Life Sciences Sector: The Impact of Digital Marketing (2023)

The life sciences sector– comprising pharmaceutical businesses, biotechnology and medical technology such as medical devices – is rarely thought of as a leader indigital marketing.

But it is a sector about which the UK government is very positive and one where the UK economy stands to gain greatly. With renewed investment in the sector and a refreshed approach to its growth via the Strategy for UK Life Sciences initiative, life sciences businesses need to acknowledge the potential of digital marketing in promotion of their own businesses and of the sector as a whole.

The life sciences sector stands to gain a lot from an investment in digital marketing, as I will go on to explain here.

Life Sciences: A Sector of Opportunities

According to a recent report by finance giant Deloitte, the life sciences sector is in a very healthy position in 2014, stating that “an overview of recent sector performance shows that it is favourably positioned to achieve success in 2014 and beyond.”

This apparent prosperity is driven by an increasing demand for the life sciences’ products and services. An aging population has been cited as one driver for growth, as well as technological advancements and product innovation.

This prosperity and vision of the future of life sciences sets it apart as one of the key sectors for the UK economy, as highlighted by the government’s commitment to growing the sector in its Strategy for UK Life Sciences project which began in 2011.

(Video) Digital Marketing Trends In Life Science

But whilst demand is increasing and the future looks promising, the life sciences sector as a whole is failing to keep up with other sectors in terms of digital – and is therefore missing out on opportunities to showcase its value to a wider audience and to take advantage of the investment potential coming from governmental funding.

Digital Marketing in the Life Sciences Sector: Why?

Digital marketing affords all businesses the opportunity to play on a level playing field. Whether you’re a global life sciences business like 3M or a much smaller company operating in your own niche, the same tools are available to use.

Traditionally, the life sciences sector has been slow on the take up of digital technologies – despite being one of the most innovative sectors going. It’s approach to digital is often very fragmented, and at worst life sciences companies are adopting a scatter-gun approach with no real aim, or no digital marketing at all.

This is surprising, for one main reason: The life sciences sector is almost entirely reliant on its ability to communicate new innovations and technologies. To omit digital marketing is to ignore one of the world’s greatest communication channels – the internet.

Life Sciences Sector: The Impact of Digital Marketing (2)

How can the life sciences sector use digital marketing?

Life sciences businesses should be taking advantage of digital marketing. Below are two key areas where digital marketing should be a focus:

(Video) Life Science Marketing Webinar

1) Sales

The promotion and consequent sale of life sciences products and services can be greatly boosted through the use of digital marketing.

Did you know, there are 15,671 groups about ‘medical’ on LinkedIn at the time of writing this article. That’s 15,671 places that people are discussing a topic highly relevant to the life sciences sector. Savvy life sciences businesses should be there, adding value to those discussions and positioning themselves as the experts in their field – which is a strong facilitator of future sales.

According to Google, there are 5,400 searches every month for ‘pharmaceutical companies’ – you can bet that a high proportion of those searching are looking for companies from whom to buy. Indeed,higher intent phrases (search phrases where the user displays a greater propensity to buy) also have strong levels of monthly search traffic – such as ‘buy medical equipment uk’.

It’s not just LinkedIn and Google that represent strong opportunities for life sciences companies to sell online. Blogging and content marketing, such as the creation of whitepapers and informational videos, will position these businesses as experts and investment in areas such as search engine optimisation (SEO) will ensure their products and services reach a wider audience.

2) Positioning

With so many life sciences businesses in the UK (did you know the sector accounts for over 165,000 jobs in the UK alone?), any company that wants to stand out from the rest needs to invest in digital marketing.

The showcasing of expertise is one of the most valuable outcomes of social media – and one that is used by businesses across all sectors, not just life sciences. By displaying expertise online, companies can communicate their value to a nationwide and even global audience.

(Video) Content Marketing for the Life Sciences

For example, 3M’s Health Care Academyis an online platform for heathcare professionals to gain access to important information and valuable training. As the provider of said training, 3M positions itself as a thought leader in its field whilst perhaps more cleverly still, they are training up the very people who may go on to buy from them in the future.

But huge initiatives aren’t the only way to position a life sciences business as an expert in its field.

Many companies in today’s digital landscape are making use of tools such as Twitter, where the accounts you follow and who follow you are strong indicators of the type of business you are. Your brand affiliations in this way can showcase your position in the life sciences community. By sharing highly valuable, expert content on Twitter, life sciences businesses can increase their visibility and gain valuable exposure.

By sharing great news stories and updates across the web, life sciences businesses contribute to the overall understanding of the sector and can set themselves apart as individual exemplary businesses – ripe for investment and PR should the opportunity arise.

Life Sciences on Digital Marketing: Where to Start?

So there are numerous opportunities available through digital marketing for the life sciences sector. Here, I’ve only touched on the very top level suggestions but dig a little deeper and you will spend hours considering new ventures, tools, initiatives and channels through which life sciences can sell to their customers and promote their own businesses and their sector.

(Video) The Role of Enterprise Software in the Life Sciences Industry

Tackling these opportunities head-on will require a time investment, and it starts with a strong plan. By creating a strong strategy with a clear roadmap to show the way, life sciences businesses can approach digital marketing one step at a time.

This plan needs to begin with a strong understanding of the life sciences target audience. Who are you trying to speak to? What can you add of value into their existing conversations? How and where can you start new conversations with them?

Next, what tools are available to you and appropriate to your audience? No doubt, much of your target audience is on Facebook but are they there to look for your products or services, or are they just there to catch up with friends and family? Understand what channels your audiences uses and where it’s appropriate for you to engage with them.

Implementation of the strategy is obviously an integral part of its success. Having the plan is one thing but life sciences companies will need to invest in time and resource to bring those plans to fruition. Internal resource can be a good starting point, but more and more life sciences businesses are turning to digital marketing agencies to manage their digital marketing, allowing them to focus internal resource on the business in hand.

Finally, life sciences businesses investing in life sciences must continually measure, analyse and refine what they’re doing. This means utilising tools such as Google Analytics, LinkedIn Insights, Followerwonk and so on to assess the outcome of their efforts in relation to the goals laid out in their plans. As a sector which has yet to fully invest in digital, front runners at this stage will refine their methodology long before those who follow months or years down the line – meaning now is the time to test, try and assess.

(Video) Health Equity Summit with Google Health 2022

If you’d like more information for life sciences businesses on how to use digital marketing, look out for our life sciences events (we regularly work with Medilink, for example), or contact us via our contact page.


What are the major impact of digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing opens a whole new world of opportunities. There are social media, email campaigns, content marketing, Search Engine Optimization, banner ads, and so much more. All of these functions can easily be taken care of online as well, making the process smoother.

What is science in digital marketing? ›

The Higher Diploma in Science in Digital Marketing is an industry led conversion course for non-marketing graduates who wish to acquire sought after skills that have become paramount for businesses to survive and thrive in a digital landscape.

Why digital marketing is important for future? ›

Digital marketing gives businesses a platform to interact with their customers and audience. This helps the companies identify their customer's needs more effectively and create trust and a unique sense of their brand with the customers.

What is digital marketing and its scope in future? ›

The scope of Digital Marketing provides some of the most powerful techniques of marketing where traditional modes of marketing fail. The great panjandrum on Digital Marketing over industrialists is to empower them and to optimize their start-ups in the quickest possible and most cost-effective fashion.

How digital marketing change the world? ›

Traditional marketing became a secondary option for new-age businesses when digital marketing was introduced. It allowed brands to reach their target audience at a much lower cost with a better conversion rate. Later on, digital marketing was adopted by all businesses across the globe, to increase their reach.

What is Master of science in Digital Marketing? ›

What is an MSc in Digital Marketing? This program focuses on the digital types of marketing, such as PPC, Adwords, social media, SEO, web advertising, and more. During your coursework, you will learn strategies to help you market effectively through the Internet. Some of the classes are strictly lectures.

Why is marketing science important? ›

Marketing as a science is about objectively using data to support decision making. It's about understanding how to interpret data — and how to identify common errors or misrepresentations in interpretations.

Which industry needs digital marketing? ›

Top 5 Industries Using Digital Marketing To Grow [And Why They Use Digital Marketing]
  • Health. In-demand Digital Marketing Skills.
  • Fitness and Nutrition. Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn.
  • Food Industry.
  • Entertainment.
  • Education.
19 Dec 2020

Why digital marketing is popular these days? ›

Digital Marketing is popular and growing because businesses have identified that “Place” or the best channel to distribute their product or service, is online. Spending on digital advertising continues to grow every year.

How is career growth in digital marketing? ›

Businesses are herding to connect with more customers online, the future of a digital marketing career is quite bright. Modern technologies are evolving the digital sphere such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital personal assistants and social media rise are shifting the way digital marketing is steering.

Will digital marketing continue to grow? ›

The future of digital marketing in India is bright and promising. Digital marketing, as compared to traditional marketing, offers some key benefits that make it an effective and affordable strategy for marketing the brand. In 2020 and 2021, the scope of digital marketing has seen a drastic level of growth.

What is the future of digital marketing in 2025? ›

By the year 2025, virtual reality will take the lead in marketing trends. Customers will enjoy the amazing emotional experience as they shop for product brands with colorful, engaging advertising. They will come back time and time again, increasing their loyalty to a product brand, possibly even more than chatbots.

What are the top 10 benefits of digital marketing? ›

Top 10 Advantages Of Digital Marketing For Small Business
  • It Connects You with Your Consumers on the Internet. ...
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  • It Saves You Money. ...
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What problems can digital marketing solve? ›

  • #1 Generating Quality Leads. ...
  • #2 Knowing Your Target Audience. ...
  • #3 Developing a Content Marketing Strategy. ...
  • #4 Budgeting for PPC & What Ads to Run. ...
  • #5 Creating Content People Want. ...
  • #6 Going Multichannel or Omnichannel. ...
  • #7 Creating Mobile First & Responsive Content. ...
  • #8 Promoting Brand Awareness.
18 Aug 2021

What are the challenges of digital marketing? ›

10 Major Challenges for Digital Marketers in 2023
  • Learning About Your Customers. ...
  • Generating Qualified Leads. ...
  • Managing Cash Flow. ...
  • Creating Engaging Content. ...
  • Complying With Privacy and Data-Sharing Regulations. ...
  • Making Websites Accessible. ...
  • Strategizing Mobile-First. ...
  • Establishing an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy.
18 Sept 2022

Who is the father of digital marketing? ›

Philip Kotler ... The “father of digital marketing,” Philip Kotler, is often referred to as such. He is an American professor who is credited with founding marketing as an academic discipline and has produced over 60 marketing books.

Who is the founder of digital marketing? ›

Some argue that Gugliemo Marconi who invented the radio in 1896, was the world's first digital marketer. Others will say that computer engineer Ray Tomlinson should be credited with the birth of digital marketing because he sent the first-ever email in 1971.

When did digital marketing become popular? ›

The 90s were when the term digital marketing was coined and when it kicked off into popularity. People started buying personal computers and using email, and in only two years, between 1994 and 1996, the number of people using the internet went from 16 to 70 million.

Which country is best for digital marketing course? ›

Best 8 Countries to Study Digital Marketing in 2022
  • 1- USA. Berkeley Global, University of California, Berkeley. ...
  • Germany. Berlin School of Business and Innovation, Berlin. ...
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24 Mar 2021

Is digital marketing a STEM course? ›

Digital marketing has been the most popular online course among STEM students — accounting for almost half of the total enrollments. This is followed by business communication, advanced Excel training and trading certifications, according to online learning platform Internshala.

Is digital marketing a good career? ›

Is Digital Marketing a good career? Digital marketing is a well-paid job. At the executive level, the average salary of a digital marketer lies between INR 2,50,000 and 5,00,000. The salary grows with experience and can reach up to INR 8,00,000 to 10,00,000.

What is commercial life science? ›

Commercial operations of pharma and life science consists of sales and marketing of the products and services. Every patient requires individual and special treatments. Hence, sales and marketing should only be done for the products and services based on people's requirements.

What are the 3 types of marketing? ›

So, without further ado, the three types of marketing are: Call to Action (CTA) Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) Point of Purchase (PoP)

Is digital marketing an art or science? ›

Successful digital marketing involves an integration of the left and right brains; a comprehensive aggregation of art and science. It requires tapping into the scientific aspects of data analysis and the artistic aspects of expression.

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The science of marketing is an endless process of analysis and adaptation. Data-driven marketers set clear objectives, track important metrics, and analyze their results to determine which tactics are successful and which aren't.

How marketing management is science? ›

Data is at the core of the marketing-as-a-science movement. Colloquially, the “art” of marketing management in the past can be characterized primarily as decisions that were made from the gut (intuition) based on experience. In contrast, marketing as a science favors data-driven decision making.

What is the impact of digital marketing on consumer Behaviour? ›

The most direct way digital marketing affects consumer behaviour is through the frequency and volume of online ads. Consumers who regularly encounter ads for a product or service will likely develop a positive opinion of that brand, and they will be more likely to buy from that brand in the future.

What is the impact of e marketing on traditional marketing? ›

Customers are not limited to the sellers in their local area but have access to a wide range of sellers (suppliers) all over the world. This allows them to compare prices, products, and services; and enables them to buy products directly from suppliers without having to visit shops.

How do different digital marketing channels impact the business? ›

Digital marketing helps brands to stay relevant as they can make themselves visible to audiences through various channels. Apart from traditional channels, marketers also utilise digital channels to guide prospects through their purchase and journey and to ensure your brand keeps in touch with existing customers too.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing? ›

Comparison Table for Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital marketing
Proper strategies on social media content management help to build customer loyalty with customized and engaging messages.Reaching a global audience also increases competition with global brands.
3 more rows
16 Feb 2022

What are the scope of digital marketing? ›

With digital marketing, businesses can use data to target audiences based on factors like gender, age, location, interests, and education. Companies can also retarget potential customers who are already familiar with their brand using different methods and messages for each audience.

How has digital technology affected consumer Behaviour in today's time? ›

Being online is now way more simple and helps in keeping consumers and companies, both informed about each other, and it isn't a brand new thing. Moreover, increased mobile payment security has heightened online buying activities. People are now more comfortable to go window shopping on their smartphones.

What are the types of digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing can be broadly broken into 8 main categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing .

What are the challenges in digital marketing? ›

10 Major Challenges for Digital Marketers in 2023
  • Learning About Your Customers. ...
  • Generating Qualified Leads. ...
  • Managing Cash Flow. ...
  • Creating Engaging Content. ...
  • Complying With Privacy and Data-Sharing Regulations. ...
  • Making Websites Accessible. ...
  • Strategizing Mobile-First. ...
  • Establishing an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy.
19 Sept 2022

What is E marketing explain the impact of e commerce on market? ›

E-commerce is buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. Along with e-commerce there is also a popular term called e-business due to which the business of enterprises has increased electronically with the help of internet by which they can reach to many customers which increases their sales.

Can digital marketing really helps in business growth? ›

Higher revenue

Small and medium enterprises using Digital Marketing techniques will have 3.3 times better chances of expanding their workforce and business. According to Google, companies using digital marketing strategies have 2.8 times better revenue growth expectancy.

What is the most effective digital marketing channel? ›

Our top 5 digital marketing channels to increase conversions
  • SEM / PPC. One of the most effective digital marketing channels for increasing conversions is SEM or search engine marketing. ...
  • SEO. ...
  • Email marketing. ...
  • Social media marketing. ...
  • Video marketing.
11 Nov 2021

What are the four types of digital marketing? ›

4 Types of Digital Marketing You Should Consider for Your Business
  • Content Marketing. ...
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ...
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ...
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
10 Apr 2019

What's an example of digital marketing? ›

Examples of digital marketing include: Social Media Marketing (SMM) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

What is digital marketing conclusion? ›

The research and practice of digital marketing is improving with the advancement of technology. The advancement in technology fosters multifaceted opportunities and at the same time poses unprecedented challenges for the marketers.


1. Sasha Whitaker | Digital Marketing Expert in the Life Sciences
2. Opportunities in the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector in Malaysia
3. The psychology of digital marketing. Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy
(GDS Summits)
4. Digital Marketing In 5 Minutes | What Is Digital Marketing? | Learn Digital Marketing | Simplilearn
5. The power of a digital thread in life sciences webinar
6. Mitzi Rettinger & Merck Life Sciences | Digital Transformation Webinar | Digital Marketing Institute
(Digital Marketing Institute)
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