Life Sciences

Demand Generation Performance and Investments Trends

Kevan Savage and Raj Sharan from Alexander Group recently discussed emerging trends in demand generation for the life sciences and analytical instruments industry. Kevan noted a significant 171% growth in investments, especially in AI for mid-funnel content and account-based marketing strategies. The Alexander Group’s research indicates marketing’s influence on the pipeline is at 38%, with an 85% increase in qualification rates and a 134% rise in closed-won revenue.

Raj highlighted the importance of attribution in demand generation with companies emphasizing the need for end-to-end tracking to evaluate campaign effectiveness and seek efficiencies during cuts. Additionally, a trend in life sciences and pharma services is the strategic use of sales development reps to target accounts likely to commercialize, optimizing opportunity identification and nurturing.

Kevan Savage: Well, good day everyone. Thank you for joining us on the topic of demand generation. My name is Kevan Savage. I’m a principal at Alexander Group. I run our marketing practice. I’m pleased to share with you some recent demand generation performance and investment trends with the audience today. I’m joined by my colleague Raj. Raj, thank you so much for joining us.

Raj Sharan: Glad to be here, Kevan.

Kevan Savage: Raj leads our pharma services and life sciences practice, and so he’s going to share some great insights in terms of demand generation as it relates to what are we seeing in the industry. And so really, really excited to see some of those insights, hear some of those insights for the audience today. Well let’s jump in. So we came out of this research recently, all on the topic of demand generation performance investment trends. Let’s start with some of the stats. 171% growth in demand generation investments. Quite significant. Frankly, we may not have seen this level of investment increase yet from life sciences and pharma services companies. And a couple of things emerged from the research that we found really interesting to share with the audience. One is around AI. Not the AI for everything, for everyone and everywhere. AI for mid-funnel content, knowledge hubs, education centers, aggregation of content. Content development to improve ranking in search engine channels. That’s not something we’ve seen before, in particular driving demand generation, investment areas and performance areas. Things like account based marketing, continuing acceleration around coverage models. A lot of participation around taking these investments, allocating them to my tier and my segmentation models and my coverage with my sales teams. We haven’t seen that yet from companies. So that’s a new emerging initiative.

Kevan Savage: Also, virtual forums, roundtables. Not the events and conferences, the webinars, that all of our marketing leaders said they have to continue sustaining as part of brand strategy, but finding ways to elevate KOLs, smaller audience settings, better conversion areas, better use of investment profiles. So that’s what has kind of surfaced as a few areas or activities from some of our participants on the investment front. But we asked a lot of questions, too, from our participants to get a voice of market around what percent of the pipeline is marketing influencing? 38%. That’s what’s coming from our participants in the study. We ask questions about how well are our marketing teams driving qualification rates for marketing, qualified to sales acceptance status, and how well are they closing revenue in the funnel. 85% growth in qualification levels and 134% in closed-won revenue being reported from our marketing organizations out there in the industry. And so high level stats there. We want to get deeper into some industry trends. So Raj, I’m going to point a couple questions over to you now around what are you hearing? What are you hearing from clients on the topic of demand generation? Some of the challenges they might be facing?

Raj Sharan: Kevan, you’re right. There is a lot of investment in demand generation. But as we know, 2023 was definitely the year of efficiency. A lot of companies, almost all life science companies that we know, looked at their commercial cost and found some efficiencies. So a lot of companies decided to make some efficiency based cuts. So in that sense, attribution was very, very important. So if you’re making the investment in demand generation while you’re making some efficiency cuts, right, you want to make sure that whatever you’re spending, every single dollar you’re adding to demand generation, you’re getting the attribution. So a lot of emphasis was on tracking and making sure that when you made any sort of demand generation campaign, right, that you are able to track end to end and see what was the result of that campaign in terms of leads that were generated, what were the quality of those leads? How were the sales able to close those leads faster? Right. What was the impact to the bottom line? A lot of emphasis on the attribution piece. And this is all led by, you know, robust analytics team, revenue operations team. So that for us was definitely something that we heard numerous times from the commercial leaders.

Kevan Savage: One thing we did glean from the study is that a majority of our participants have shifted off of last touch attribution model. And why that’s important is how the conversation or the narrative has changed from, marketing has sourced some pipeline or some demand and attributed that to those efforts versus how they’re influencing the demand all the way to and through the pipeline with the relative go to market teams. And so that shift from last touch model on to something else, like a linear or decay based model is something we see as being best practice, but also know that it takes some effort to kind of, you know, shift off that, that attribution method. So a lot happening in that space.

Raj Sharan: And the other big trend, and this is primarily because of how the biotech biopharma space has been impacted in 2023 we also saw that there was a reduction in the VC funding, reduction in M&A activity. And because of that, all the life sciences companies and pharma services companies that service the biotech and biopharma segments were impacted. And so how do you find the right accounts in this particular segment? A lot of focus was, as it related to demand generation with coverage models, was deploying a different kind of the sales development reps, the lead gen rep, that’s focused on identifying close to commercialization, biotech accounts. So you’re nurturing a lot of the accounts that are early phase, but we know that they are unlikely to spend a lot in 2023. And so companies invested in a different kind of lead gen rep that were built to nurture accounts. And then when they are ready to spend bring those accounts to the account managers, field based resources so they can close that they can close those opportunities a lot more efficiently. So that was really one of the biggest trends that we saw where emphasis was, again, part of that efficiency, making sure that you’re identifying the right opportunities, the right set of accounts, nurturing them until they’re ready to close.

Kevan Savage: Very, very good. Raj, thank you for sharing some of those insights. Certainly a lot happening in demand generation, certainly a lot happening in life sciences and pharma services companies. Well, Raj, thank you very much for joining us again.

Raj Sharan: Happy to be here, Kevan.

Kevan Savage: To the audience, I want to thank you all for joining today on the topic of demand generation performance and investments, recent research from Alexander Group. And to learn more or schedule a complimentary briefing on the demand generation performance and Investment study, visit

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