April 17, 2024

A guide to allocating your life sciences marketing budget

Like many, I am prone to a new year’s resolution or two to kick start the year, and they generally tend to revolve around being a fitter, leaner me! We’re now hitting Q2 and marketing budgets are no different.


Whatever our life sciences and healthcare client budgets amount to, they all, without exception, are looking to achieve a good ROI in 2024. Of course, budget needs to be allocated to channels with the highest impact – usually in the form of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) – but it’s also important to create some buzz around your brand and your value proposition.


Key marketing objectives remain; lead generation and brand awareness tend to be top of the charts in terms of goals. But not all things are created equally when it comes to measuring ROI.


How do you measure lead generation?

Lead generation is generally quite straightforward to assess, and we’re all familiar with the following terms:

  • cost per lead
  • click through rates
  • response rates
  • webinar registrations
  • number of downloads of gated content
  • MQLs


But brand awareness matters too!

Brand awareness is not so easy to measure; it is less precise and doesn’t necessarily feed a sales-hungry team with leads to follow. However, it’s clear that even when budgets are lean, a baseline of brand awareness is better than nothing, because it works hand-in-hand to generate a positive response from lead generation activities. And that’s why kdm communications always advises its clients to do both. An individual needs to have some kind of emotional connection to your brand to interact with it, and that will often come from brand awareness activity.


And though harder to measure, it is possible!


We typically use the following for PR activity and social channels

  • coverage
  • ad cost equivalence
  • SOV
  • sentiment
  • follows
  • shares
  • likes



How do you stretch your budget to do both?

As a guide, we’d recommend that an equal spend is allocated on your brand awareness and lead generation activities. For example, your life sciences company has a single innovative platform and associated consumables, with a budget of $100,000 for baseline PR – including global distribution of press releases, and placement of by-lined feature articles in relevant industry press, as well as targeted media outreach – to elevate brand and thought leadership.


Of course, we’d need to know more about your company, its products, markets and customers but, as a starting point, we’d recommend that you matched that investment and allocated the same budget to lead generation activities, such as webinars, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, paid social media ads, list rental and gated content.


In addition, your marketing automation machine should yield good results from opted-in contacts. And optimised blogs, case studies, white papers and other high quality, useful and educational content – in written, video and podcast formats – should be readily available online. Platforms such as Semrush can of course be used for keyword research and inform your content strategy too.


So, whether you outsource activities to a healthcare or life sciences marketing agency or do everything in house, make sure you are strategic and smart about how you spend your precious budget to maximise your ROI and, like me, you’ll realise that with a leaner 2024, you might just be on to a good thing!



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