Sam Stern

Sam is the Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic. Modallic specializes in brand development and marketing for Mobile Healthcare Technology (mHealth) firms. As a life-long entrepreneur, Sam directs the mHealth storytelling and mHealth agile marketing process unique to the Modallic approach.

(This article was originally posted on the ePharma Blog)


The Pharma marketing and sales game is changing. The days of in-person, face-to-face sales driving the process are numbered. Today a new approach is needed to grab attention, build relationships, and earn trust with prospects.
Prospects today conduct as much as 60% of their research online before engaging a salesperson. The pharma sales pro is no longer the gatekeeper of product information. Prospects know pharma product data is available online. They can by-pass the pharma sales rep and learn about new pharma products, clinical studies, and even pricing and incentives.
Content Marketing is a must today to gain the attention of prospects early in the buying journey. Content marketing also helps build the relationship and earn the trust of the prospect. Pharma sales reps need the backing of effective content marketing to make their face-to-face time with prospects pay off in sales.
While most pharma firms realize the need and value of content marketing in today’s online-driven buying journey, they often times miss the mark. They simply add to the noise with a flurry of tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, blog posts, videos, white papers, podcasts, and webinars without truly connecting with the pains and desires of their target audience.
So, how do you break through the noise and GRAB ATTENTION?
How can you get your targeted audience to KNOW who you are and what you do?
How do you get your prospects to LIKE you and TRUST you?
Marketing isn’t cranking out tweets, blog post, white papers, videos, or webinars.
Marketing is simple.
It’s getting your target audience to KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST you.
Simple. But, not so easy to do.
The Story Strategy Difference
Breaking through all the online noise and gaining the attention of busy, stressed out prospects demands a focused, disciplined approach to telling your unique story.
Stories have the power to break through the noise to educate, engage, and motivate potential buyers to take action. Stories work because you reach your prospects on a human, emotional level. YOUR story is effective simply because only YOU can tell YOUR story.
To tell a powerful, effective story that connects with your targeted audience requires a smart approach. You need a story strategy.
The Story Strategy Process
Follow these 5 steps to crafting your power-packed pharma marketing story.
1. Discover and Know Your WHY- WHY do you do what you do? People don’t buy WHAT you do. They buy WHY you do it.
Keep asking WHY to get at the root of what makes you and your business special. When you discover your WHY, you are positioned to tell your unique story that breaks through the marketplace noise and gains attention from prospects.
2. Gain a DEEP Understanding of Your Buyers-  You must go beyond creating buyer personas for the sake of simply having buyer personas. You must enter your buyer’s world. What does she see, hear, think, feel, say and do? Use an empathy map to truly understand the pains and desires of your potential buyers. Take what you learned from the empathy map and turn it into a narrative of your buyer’s Life.
3. Map the Buying Process- Your prospects enter a buying journey. They seek to eliminate their pains and accomplish their goals. They are in search of a better way of doing things, or a better life. What challenges will they encounter during this buying journey? What tools and information do they need at key points during the journey? What are the trigger points? Who do they encounter during the journey? Who takes the buying journey with them?
Screenwriters use storyboards to map out the path characters take within a story. Your buying process is the storyboard for how you move a stranger to your pharma products into becoming a happy, satisfied client.
4. Test Buyer Story Lines- Before you unleash your content marketing, make sure you’re on track with the messaging, language, and emotional triggers of your story. Test your Story Lines with the Buyer Personas you’ll encounter. Test at least 3 versions of your Story Lines on each Buyer Persona.
5. Create, Test, Learn-  Adopt a flexible, agile approach to your marketing story. After you complete the 4 steps above, you conduct micro story strategies.
You create story lines, put them in front of your targeted audience, test the elements of your story, such as the headline, key benefits, the offer, and the call to action. Based upon prospect response, you learn what resonates and what falls flat. Based upon the insights you gain, you adjust your story strategy.
This is the focus and discipline part of your story strategy. You use constant micro-strategies. You gain big insights. You make rapid iterations. This process doesn’t end. You can always improve your story.
Follow this 5 step process to use your story to GRAB attention, BUILD relationships with your potential buyers, and EARN trust. Story strategy is the way to break through the noise and win clients in today’s online fueled world.
Want to learn more about Story Strategy and the power of Story in Marketing and Sales?
Grab the FREE Guide: Tell Stories.Drive Sales.



photo credit: aaronisnotcool via photopin cc

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