How To Get More Budget For Life Science Marketing: Using Marketing ROI To Your Advantage

March 8, 2023
5:00 min read
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Author: Hrissi Samartzidou, Vice President, Global Product Management & Market Development, Pharma Services Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific

With current news cycles focusing on an impending recession, budget cuts are at the top of mind of many scientific marketers. This makes impact-based marketing and ROI measurement a very important topic. Getting funding or defending a life science marketing budget is a competitive game. There is always limited funding, especially in scientific companies.

Protecting Your Life Science Marketing Budget

In order to protect or even grow your budget, you need to prove that your marketing is working. You have to be able to show how much money you're bringing in through your marketing efforts. If you can't do that, then nobody's going to believe you when you come back and ask for more money.

Measure Marketing Impact

Marketing has changed. We are no longer just talking about brand building and awareness. Today we need to measure impact and be able to show it. This is the key to getting more budget: demonstrate the impact that your current marketing activities have on their business. The following are the main lessons I have learned from developing impact-based marketing programs throughout my career leading commercial functions:

1. Always make sure that your business case is solid, and include a vision for how you will quantify success. You have to have a goal and you need to have ways to measure it. 

2. Ensure you get senior executives onboard at the outset. It is often a pleasant surprise from their end because they don't expect a lot of numbers and hard evidence from marketing.

3. Develop a culture of measurement. In order for this culture to work effectively, it needs both transparency and accountability. 

a. Transparency: Provide your team with the martech systems and data required to visibly demonstrate marketing effectiveness.

b. Accountability: This comes down to leadership. You must engage the team every step of the way, ensuring that fear of failure does not become a barrier: try to make them feel they are supported, whatever the outcome. If there's a fear that they're going to show that they're failing, that they're not achieving those targets, then that's a major problem to be dealt with at the leadership level.

4.Develop an agile approach to marketing that includes a flexible, yet actionable, plan on how to share the data and insights and act on it.

You need to provide your team with the infrastructure to demonstrate marketing value and then institute a culture that allows for them to try without being penalized. It's critical to be able to identify what their marketing ROI is and then empower them to reinvest in the areas that have the greatest impact.

This is what I mean when I say marketing can be a science: set a hypothesis, go out, test it, see what works and what doesn't. If you measure and continue to improve, you maximize the impact of your current funding, and lay the foundation for defending budget requests.

These are just some of the lessons I have learned during my marketing career.

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