How Biotech Companies Can Leverage Marketing to Boost Investment Goals
Marketing is essential for early-stage biotechnology companies to secure funding. To succeed, the following strategies can enhance fundraising efforts while increasing a company’s visibility.
By Kathy Fowler Silverstein | November 8, 2023
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Fundraising is a critical aspect of sustaining and advancing almost all early-stage biotechnology companies. While innovation and research are vital, they are extremely capital-intensive. Therefore, the ability to secure adequate capital is an essential part of the equation that can’t be avoided.
In today’s competitive landscape, venture funding is harder than ever before. The cost of money has gone up, valuations have gone down, and so has investor risk tolerance. To win in today’s market you need to attract VC’s attention and build confidence and conviction in you, your technology, and your company. Investing in marketing and communications as part of your early fundraising plans is a great way to get a competitive advantage.
This isn’t a new practice. In fact, it has been a common and well-developed part of the fundraising playbook for most tech startups for a long time. Life science founders are now realizing the value and adopting that playbook from their tech-startup counterparts. Sharing their stories through strategic marketing is becoming an important part of their strategy too.
In this article, we will explore how biotechnology companies can leverage marketing to enhance their fundraising at an early stage to attract investors, collaborators, and also employees.
Contrary to what many people think, marketing is not about pushing out a stream of self-congratulatory or “promotional” messaging and content. Marketing is fundamentally about understanding and connecting with a company’s target audiences and other stakeholders, in ways that move them to take the actions the company wants: buying its products or services, investing, or even simply amplifying the brand.
To aid in fundraising, marketing must provide deep insights into what prospective investors or donors want to achieve. Are they simply looking for a good return on their money, or are they vested in the biotechnology company’s vision, mission, and work? What are their expectations? How do they define success? Why would they put money into one company over another?
Having grounded its marketing plan in reality, the biotech company can begin to implement strategies for building awareness, trust, and sustained motivation among potential funders. Let’s look at a handful of the most common: a company’s online presence, its story or narrative, and the content that will resonate with prospective investors and donors.
Establish a Strong Online Presence
In today’s digital age, an online presence is a fundamental requirement for any business, including biotechnology companies. The company’s website should serve as a central hub for information about its history, mission, goals, research, and funding needs. It should be well-designed, user-friendly, and regularly updated with the latest developments.
- Develop a professional website that showcases the company’s mission, values, and achievements.
- Implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to increase online visibility and attract relevant visitors.
- Maintain a blog or news section to share research updates and industry insights.
- Utilize social media platforms to engage with target audiences, share content, and create a community around the company’s biotechnology initiatives.
Craft a Compelling Story
Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool for biotechnology companies. Investors and donors want to connect with an organization’s mission and vision. Create a compelling narrative that explains the problem the company is solving and the potential impact of its work on the patients.
Key story elements:
- These are the areas that you want to build your stories around:
- Your science & technology: What is it and how does it work? How is it different? What does it accomplish that other options don’t? Why is it a better option?
- Your impact on the patient if successful:
- Share success stories and case studies of individuals who would have benefited from your product if it was available.
- Highlight the human aspect of the company’s biotechnology innovations and the important impact you’ll have on your patient population.
- Your market and where your product fits in the market.
- Your founding story and why you are passionate about seeing this company succeed.
- Stories about your leadership and employees.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that can significantly enhance a biotech company’s fundraising efforts. High-quality, informative content can help establish and advance a company’s authority in the biotechnology sector and attract potential investors and donors.
Content marketing tactics:
- Publish whitepapers, research papers, and reports that showcase the company’s expertise and achievements.
- Share thought leadership articles and insights on relevant industry trends.
- Develop email newsletters to keep stakeholders informed.
- Use a consistent and relatable tone in all marketing materials.
- Visual storytelling is also crucial. Utilize infographics, videos, and images to make complex concepts accessible.
Transparency and credibility are crucial when seeking financial support. Skillful content marketing — complemented by public relations and advertising — can showcase a company’s accomplishments, research, partnerships, and regulatory milestones.
Ways to showcase achievements:
- Email regular updates, detailing progress and breakthroughs.
- Use press releases and media outreach to inform the public and industry about successes.
- Leverage social media and the company’s website to share news and achievements.
Video is another helpful component of content marketing. Engaging videos can convey complex information, simplify research results to make them easily accessible, introduce key team members, and explain the potential impact of the company’s work.
Video marketing tips:
- Create short explainer videos that break down research into digestible segments.
- Develop video profiles of key team members, showcasing their expertise and dedication.
- Share success stories and testimonials from individuals or communities positively impacted by the company’s solutions.
Build and Nurture Relationships
Ultimately, marketing is about building relationships — with customers, with funders, with regulators, and other audiences. Every component of a company’s website, every piece of content it shares, the stories and resources it amplifies, all serve as proxies for the company itself, advancing digital conversations that — ideally — lead to human interactions and support.
Strong relationships are invaluable when it comes to fundraising in the biotechnology sector. A company’s marketing should include partnerships with industry influencers, engagement with potential investors, and networking with allied organizations.
Relationships help attract and sustain third-party validation for the biotech company’s mission, goals, and work. And that validation builds trust, helping potential investors and donors feel more comfortable risking their funds to support the company.
In summary, marketing is an indispensable tool for enhancing fundraising efforts in the biotechnology industry. By establishing a strong online presence, crafting a compelling story, implementing robust content marketing, and building relationships, biotechnology companies can attract the attention of potential investors, partners, and supporters. These strategies not only help secure financial support but also increase the visibility and credibility of your organization in the highly competitive biotechnology sector. Embracing the power of marketing is vital to advancing a biotechnology company’s fundraising success.
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A seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in health and biotech, Kathy excels in strategic messaging, branding, marketing, and PR. Her unwavering dedication to collaboration and client commitment define her career. With 25 years in television reporting, including as a medical correspondent at WJLA-TV, she boasts numerous accolades, such as a National Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award. She is most recently the Co-Founder of On the Marc Media.