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4 Steps to Health and Science Messaging and Strategic Positioning

Health and Science Messaging and Strategic Positioning

Nowadays, people are inundated with information from every direction. News, email, social media, television, and radio continuously bombard us with an increasing volume of content. This creates fierce competition for attention and makes it more challenging to engage with target health and science audiences including partners, investors, healthcare providers, payers, patients, and other stakeholders. To prevent your target audience from hitting “unsubscribe” or tuning you out, you must create your unique voice in the highly regulated industry of health and science. 

The Importance of Health and Science Messaging and Strategic Positioning  

Health and science messaging and strategic positioning are the foundation of any successful communication plan. They define and differentiate your brand from peers and competitors in a crowded marketplace. Effective strategic positioning grabs your audiences’ attention, pierces their misperceptions and cynicism, and motivates them to take a course of action or change their behavior. Whether you are speaking to healthcare providers, payers, or patients about new treatment options, or seeking investors to finance your health and science innovation, creating a clear and compelling narrative that effectively delivers your value proposition is an essential first step to effectively engaging your audience and encouraging them to take a desired course of action. Regardless of your goal or audience, effective messaging communicates your identity and the value of your work. 

Step 1: Understanding Your Health and Science Audience and the Landscape 

To craft messaging that resonates with your health and science audience, you must first understand that audience and the environment where they exist. As you think about defining and segmenting your audience, what you are asking of this audience? For example, if your target audience is investors, consider, “We are looking to raise $50 million to continue clinical development of our lead product candidate.” It’s essential to look beyond what you think is important and consider how your actions will impact this audience. 

Conducting research on channel discovery and social media preferences can provide valuable insights into where and how your audience consumes information. Conducting an environmental scan helps assess what other voices (especially peers and competitors) are competing for your audience’s attention. Analyze what competitors and other stakeholders are saying and identify the white space that you can own based on your differentiation. Creating an effective and differentiated narrative based on your environment key to successfully compete for your share of voice and ultimately your future success.  

Step 2:  Crafting Your Narrative 

Based on our trademarked methodology, the LHS Immersion® process, crafting a compelling narrative involves developing key messaging and positioning that focus on four core themes:   

  1. What is the unmet need or market opportunity you are addressing?  
  2. What is the solution you are providing?   
  3. Why does your organization represent the best opportunity to solve the problem?   
  4. Why should your audience listen to and engage with you?  

Core messaging for health and science companies should address the challenge and the opportunity in a manner that is comprehensible to the least sophisticated members of your target audience. Highlight the burden on patients or society, the untapped potential in the market using market data, and how your approach is different or disruptive compared to others.  If you are operating in a competitive field, avoid directly attacking or competitors, which won’t be well received by your audience and could invite a counterattack.  In fact, celebrate advances in your field and the overall potential benefit to patients and use them as a platform from which to communicate your value and differentiation. 

It’s important to support your key messages with proof points that validate your claims, such as market research, data, and third-party support.  If you can, make it relatable by telling patient stories. This can really help put things in context and help to humanize you and your mission.   

Of course, it’s essential to be mindful of regulatory boundaries, especially when discussing FDA-regulated products. Public companies should obtain legal counsel well versed in securities regulation on public statements and storylines before they are disseminated. 

Step 3: Test Your Health and Science Messaging 

Testing your messaging is crucial to making sure it will be well received. Share your narrative with friendly subject matter experts or key opinion leaders to gain their feedback. Having the opportunity to identify objections and misperceptions in advance of broader dissemination is key to messaging refinement. By testing and refining your message, you ensure that it resonates with your audience and drives the desired outcomes. 

Step 4 Engage Health and Science Audiences 

Once you’ve crafted your narrative, it’s time to get out there and start communicating. Pull your messages through all relevant communications channels, including your website, corporate presentation, elevator pitches, and social media platforms. Keep up a consistent cadence of news announcements about substantive milestones that include your key messaging.  Implement a thought leadership program that leverages speaking engagements at conferences, scientific and industry recognition programs, and contributed content such as bylined articles published on your LinkedIn page or on a third-party website. 

LHS Immersion®: Messaging and Strategic Positioning for Health and Science Companies 

Whether you are a commercial or emerging company, our proprietary message development and positioning platform, LHS Immersion®, can help you build influence and awareness and reach the right stakeholders, with the right message at the right time. Our work in strategic positioning ranges from launching to relaunching brands to developing investable storylines for investor audiences as well as patient and physician groups. We partner with you to articulate investor, corporate, and brand positioning for key stakeholders that aligns with your company’s mission, vision, and identity. We delve deeply into your organization and secure internal alignment on who you aspire to be. We employ creative approaches to develop storylines from different angles and energize your communications initiatives with this trademarked approach leading to the development of a 12-month Blueprint Communications Plan.  

Our Blueprint Communications Plan pulls the new health and science messaging and strategic positioning through multiple channels that can be amplified through media and investor relations activities, thought leadership, social media, and content marketing.  All this work is measured by predetermined KPIs to measure progress and impact.    

Health and science messaging and strategic positioning is a continuous process that requires a deep understanding of your audience and what motivates them.  Keep it simple and be adaptable with your message based on evolving circumstances. By following these principles, you can effectively differentiate yourself and engage your target audiences. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Know your audience and what motivates them. 
  • Understand the competitive landscape and identify the white space that you can own. 
  • Keep your messaging clear, credible, and consistent. 
  • Use proof points and storytelling to validate your assertions. 
  • Continuously test and refine your messaging. 
  • Communicate consistently across all your channels. 

For more information on strategic positioning including LHS Immersion, visit LaVoieHealthScience. 

Want to learn more about how LHS can help you achieve your communications goals? Reach out to us at hello@lavoiehealthscience.com. 

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