Requests for media kits would typically start hitting our inboxes around the same time the football season started. That's when agencies and marketers planned out marketing for the following year. Lately, though, media kit requests are coming in year-round.
Our media kit request form has been especially busy since COVID-19 halted most travel. We anticipate that will be the case well after this pandemic is behind us. Year-round content marketing will become a new norm, especially for leading CDMOs. That's because the B2B buying process has changed, and life sciences marketers are catching on to those changes.
We’re going to peel back the curtain of our Life Science Connect for a few hundred words. In doing so, it makes some agencies, marketers, and competitors cringe. Here it goes: we no longer produce a traditional "media kit."
To some, that’s like saying our football team runs its offense without a quarterback. But media kits are relics of the old-school B2B publishing model. B2B sales and marketing has changed drastically since our company was founded nearly 40 years ago. The way we produce and deliver information to our readers has changed too.
Media kits have been replaced by the data-driven, highly customized products, services, and content we produce for our increasingly sophisticated CDMO partners.
Media Kits Reflect Outdated Marketing Tactics
Media kits used to be great when buying magazine ads, website banner ads, and eblasts were the only ways CDMOs could reach our audience. But CDMOs are much more sophisticated now when it comes to who they want to reach, how they want to reach them, and what they want to reach them with.
Vanity marketing metrics like banner ad impressions and email open rates have been replaced with a need for more advanced buyer engagement data.
We need to have an in-depth conversation about your goals before we start discussing content creation, account-based marketing, custom newsletters, engagement analytics, market research, webinars, or brand awareness tactics. Packing all of that into a traditional “media kit” would result in dozens of pages with meaningless information that doesn’t speak to your growth goals.
That said, if you want to determine the CPL of a banner ad campaign, we do have a one-pager explaining general audience demographics and a rate card. But keep in mind that demographic information isn’t nearly as important as engagement. Plus, we don't sell things like standalone display ads, one-off webinars, or a short series of eblasts. That's because we know those short bursts of marketing activity are not an effective way to fill capacity for our CDMO partners.
Even if we did sell one-off marketing campaigns based on our circulation, that circulation information is constantly changing – that’s because we keep our subscription lists clean and current. We remove readers who have not engaged in any content within the last 18 months, and we add new readers daily who are engaging in content.
For example, one of our digital publications in the life sciences space had a newsletter circulation of 13,787 in one month earlier this year, which increased to 14,414, the following month, then decreased to 13,694 the month after that. The exact number – or even an average list size – isn’t what matters. Engagement with your content and with your brand is what really matters.
Engagement From Biopharma ReadersMatters More Than Circulation Size
Determining engagement metrics – who among our readership fits your ideal target audience – cannot be explained by average circulation size. Are you targeting small molecule or large molecule (or both)? Large pharma or emerging biotech? What pipeline stages do you care about? Does your CDMO want to promote content on fill/finish or regulatory expertise? Do you have a global footprint or are you focused only on the US?
The answers to those questions will determine how we can best help you reach your ideal buyer. When CDMOs ask media partners for "circulation size," they are ignoring the fact that every reader within that circulation will not be a fit for their services.
Once we determine who among our audience is a fit, then we will look at their potential to engage with your content. We’ll start by pulling data to find prospects who are from the right company type/size and are the correct persona/title.
From there, we’ll look at who has interacted with content related to your services. Then we find out which readers are engaging with your competitors’ content if that’s applicable. And finally, we’ll filter interactions within a given time frame so you can see prospects who are actively engaged.
This reader engagement data is different for each company. Even your competitors won’t have precisely your same demographic, firmographic, and contextual filters. Since every ideal target audience is different, it doesn’t make sense for us to produce a media kit around a broad circulation.
Think of it this way: Your marketing dollars shouldn’t be wasted in the grey area of a broad circulation – instead you should be actively reaching those gold-star target prospects.
Beware of media partners who only tout large circulation size, inflated open rates, or who can't explain how they manage and maintain their active subscriber lists.
The back-end data service that comes with our content programs is so unique in the life science industry that numbers or pie charts in a "media kit" cannot adequately compare us to other media companies. We’re not a one-size-fits-all marketing partner, just as no two CDMOs have the same marketing strategy..
Customization & Understanding Replaces Media Kits
We realize it would be easier for agencies and CDMO marketing teams if we continued to create media kits. Truthfully, it would be easier for us too if we didn’t have to customize a strategy for every one of our partners.
But we want to treat our CDMO partners with the attention to detail you deserve. We strive to show our CDMO partners real-world intent data and behavioral analytics about readers who are a fit to choose then as a trusted outsourcing partner. The way we deliver intelligence about our readers can’t be explained in a few pages about our circulation size, services, and rate card.
The only way we can explain how we help is by customizing our response to media kit requests. To do this, we first have to understand your goals. And by “goals,” we’re not just talking about a marketing team's "goal" to get as many leads as possible. We need to know specifics about the goals of your marketing team, sales team, and executive team. We want to know how much capacity you want to fill and when you need to fill it by. We want to know your one-year, five-year, ten-year growth plans and your long-term strategy. Only then can we know what to suggest and customize for you.
So yes, you can expect a request for a media kit to be met with follow-up questions and an invitation to chat with a member of our business development team. That’s because being successful in today’s CDMO sales and marketing environment is more challenging than what can be explained in a PDF. But it’s a challenge we’re eager and willing to tackle with you.
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