Data Driven Marketing: Tips for life science marketers in a privacy-centric world

January 26, 2021
5:00 min read
Laura Browne
Data Driven Marketing: Tips for life science marketers in a privacy-centric world
resource hero

This is the first article in a series on data driven life science marketing. Check back regularly for the latest installment.

Key takeaways from this article:

  • The pandemic and privacy regulations have changed the digital marketing landscape
  • Collect first-party data, making sure it is collected responsibly
  • Define clear privacy policies that provide transparency and control
  • Ensure everyone is aligned around data protection and privacy

The world of marketing has changed: Data Privacy and Marketing

With the pandemic, the move to data driven marketing online has accelerated. Traditional sales no longer work. Access to labs for demos has diminished. As a result, there is a wider acknowledgment of marketing as a powerful lead generation tool and a resulting focus on using digital marketing to identify as many future prospects as possible.

This rapid adoption of digital marketing has, however, been coupled with a growing concern over how data is collected, used and shared online. There are new privacy regulations and expansions of existing laws that need to be complied with, and high profile fines have been issued for breaches. Technology platforms such as browsers and mobile operating systems have announced or implemented new policies that restrict commonly used identifiers (cookies).

Coupled with the reduction in our ability to responsibly collect data on prospective customers, is the risk of annoying target audiences. Less targeting can result in you showing people the same marketing too many times. In addition, cookies and other tracking devices are used to attribute conversions to digital media. So when the power of these tools are reduced, it becomes harder to accurately report on and measure marketing performance.

The Limitations of Privacy for Digital Marketing In Life Sciences

  • Increased limitations on the sources of data that can be collected and used to select audiences and personalize ads and other digital marketing
  • Restrictions on cookies have made it harder to manage how many times people see ads
  • you risk irritating users – and damaging your brand – from lack of targeting and over-exposure
  • Diminished reporting on results

First-Party Data: What is it and how do you Collect it Responsibly?

First-party data is information you collect directly via interactions with your business and your marketing. For example, data collected from a form fill on your website or the downloading and registration on your app. It is valuable as you have collected it transparently from users, assuming you have the correct permissions required to collect it. Ensure you have a privacy policy established and accessible on your website. It is advisable to give users the ability to exercise control over the data that’s collected, including how to opt-out of tracking or submit a request to have information deleted.

There has to be a reason for users to give you their first-party data. Offer them something of value in return for their information. To know what is deemed valuable requires an in-depth understanding of your target audience and what interests them. Make sure you do your homework on personas to not only produce better marketing but to also strengthen the relationships.

Alignment around data protection and privacy

Before embarking on a data driven life science marketing approach that complies with privacy guidelines, it is essential to get alignment from all of your stakeholders on a privacy-centric approach. Education is critical. Make sure that everyone understands in advance the limitations that are now in place around data collection. Set reasonable expectations of results at the outset (and document them), so everyone understands that the amount of details captured will be much less than prior to the legal changes and the pandemic. Most importantly stress the value of quality over quantity. By deploying a value-led first-party data strategy, you will have much stronger relationships with your target audience, and the names that are collected have the potential to be much more qualified than ever before.

Covalent Bonds works with life science companies and their agencies to provide measurement, analytics and intelligence about marketing and communication campaigns and strategies. Learn more by visiting our website, following us on LinkedIn and Facebook. We have also set up a page that aggregates all of the top resources on marketing and media measurement. Take a look!

Here are some of our other articles we think you may be interested in: