For most marketers, including those in the Life Sciences space, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the gold standard for enterprise multi-channel marketing platforms. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a marketing team within the largest Life Sciences companies that doesn’t make use of the platform’s comprehensive suite of capabilities.
But adoption of Salesforce Marketing Cloud drops off dramatically in the next tier of life sciences organizations: the small- to medium-sized pharma and medical device companies that may have a limited commercial footprint, or perhaps are preparing for their first commercial launch. Despite the fact that many marketing and sales leaders in these companies have come from organizations that utilized SFDC, they haven’t yet made the investment to bring this platform into their current workplace.
As a company that helps clients set up and operate Salesforce Marketing Cloud, we wanted to understand why more small- to mid-sized companies weren’t taking advantage of this uniquely powerful tool. After speaking to a number of commercial leaders in this space, we’ve uncovered four widely held misconceptions that are preventing these organizations from taking the leap into an enterprise-level marketing platform. And we thought we’d invest a few paragraphs in taking these misconceptions on one at a time.
Misconception 1: “We don’t need it.”
It’s easy for a commercial leader in a small- to mid-sized life sciences company to look at the relatively narrow scope of their current marketing efforts and conclude that they don’t need a platform like Salesforce Marketing Cloud. After all, their marketing efforts are a fraction of what they’re used to in a larger organization. “We should be fine making do with less powerful tools, or with an ad-hoc, as-needed approach to reaching our target audience” is how the thinking often goes.
In some cases, these leaders will scan Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s exhaustive list of capabilities and get overwhelmed, thinking “right now we just want to send the occasional email to our list of HCPs – we don’t need to do journey mapping, detailed analytics, real-time tracking of audiences across channels, or any of the other applications they provide.”
In fact, many organizations in this space use Salesforce Marketing Cloud just for email marketing. They’ve chosen to invest in the world’s leading email marketing platform for its reliability, robust capabilities, and HIPAA compliance.
Leaders in these organizations recognize that while today’s need may be limited to email marketing, their need to reach audiences across channels with the right message at the right time through a variety of channels will become increasingly important as their company grows. Getting Salesforce Marketing Cloud up and running now will enable them to expand their marketing efforts as needed to support their growth, without having to go through the disruption of re-platforming.
Misconception #2: “We can’t afford it.”
Thanks to its long list of capabilities and its reputation as an enterprise-class platform, leaders at small- to mid-sized companies often assume that Salesforce Marketing Cloud will be a budget-breaker. That’s why we love seeing the look on prospects’ faces when we tell them that a subscription for email marketing capabilities can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars per month.
Yes, the price will increase as an organization adopts more of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s functionality, but by that time the organization is typically producing revenue and can more easily absorb the cost. The bottom line is that the platform’s modular approach to functionality and pricing helps minimize the financial barrier to entry.
Misconception #3: “We can’t implement it.”
Setting up Salesforce Marketing Cloud and integrating the platform with your organization’s other systems is a manageable task…if you’re a seasoned IT professional! Many of the leaders who approach us for help are accustomed to having a Big Pharma-sized IT team at their disposal to manage the implementation of a platform like Salesforce Marketing Cloud. But many small- to mid-sized life sciences companies don’t have the right IT people on hand to manage this setup. A botched implementation will end up limiting the platform’s functionality and adding expense in the long run.
That’s why more companies are choosing to outsource their Salesforce Marketing Cloud setup. There’s a growing ecosystem of certified Salesforce experts who can take the pain out of the implementation process, for a fee that’s usually less than customers expect, and always less costly than trying it yourself and getting it wrong.
Misconception #4: “We can’t manage it.”
Managing and maintaining a Salesforce Marketing Cloud instance isn’t rocket science. In our experience, we’ve found that many tech-savvy marketing and sales leaders can handle the key tasks required to keep the platform operating effectively if they’re willing to climb the initial learning curve and invest a significant (but not overwhelming) amount of time.
The issue is, very few leaders in small- to mid-sized companies want to invest the time required to manage their technology. They have more pressing matters to handle and typically have too few bodies to handle the work.
Once again, it’s outsourcing to the rescue. For a relatively painless fee, organizations can count on outside experts to manage their Salesforce Marketing Cloud instance and handle the tech side of the platform so their people can focus on more mission-critical work.
Hopefully, we’ve helped puncture some of the misconceptions that might be standing in the way of small- to mid-sized life sciences companies who could benefit from using Salesforce Marketing Cloud but haven’t taken the leap.
If you’d like to explore the ways in which we can help you get up and running with the gold standard in multichannel marketing platforms, get in touch!
For small- to mid-sized life sciences companies that need to reach and market to healthcare providers, Conexus offer the rare combination of deep life sciences experience with end-to-end support expertise, including support for Salesforce.com applications. As a Salesforce Consulting Partner, we are dedicated to delivering excellence and are certified in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Sales Cloud. We help customers get up and running on the industry’s leading and marketing technologies up to 33% faster than traditional implementations. From implementing and maintaining Salesforce applications, to building, managing, and measuring digital campaigns, Conexus serves as “The Team Behind Your Team.”