The role of Data Science in Life Science: taking a structured approach to scaling your customer base

You’re ready to accelerate growth and scale your customer base. You want to be proactive but it’s not clear where to start within the boundaries of the resource you have available. Here’s where to start; collect data that reflects the customer’s response to everything you do. It’ll become your own Big Data and will enable you to prioritise, build a predictable sales revenue model and embrace future technologies.

The data will take you into “Precision Marketing” which is essential for a sector or organisation whose ambition is clear. It is also relevant because it is increasingly challenging to demonstrate the value of your product or service as your customers scale back expenditure in response to their own external issues. Furthermore, the B2B buying process has changed dramatically. B2B buyers are opting to educate themselves and form their own opinions online rather than meeting face to face. This makes the buying process more complex with more unknowns than ever.

By collecting numbers for every customer interaction, you can build yourself a marketing and sales funnel. From this you can calculate conversion rates from one stage to the next, e.g. number of emails opened to number of meetings made. This will begin to highlight the elements that need to be optimised; do you have enough of an audience that, when the conversions are applied, will generate enough uplift in paying customers? At which point do you lose customers? Why is that?

A funnel for each commercial activity will tell you the size of the audience generated and conversion rates. You can then compare this to the related financial investment and time taken to implement. Of course, the more data you collect, the more robust the model will be. Eventually, you will know with confidence what commercial budget is required and how to best spend this investment to achieve your growth ambitions.

Adopting Future Technologies

When I say the future, I mean 2018. AI is here and related technologies are being developed and launched as we speak. These technologies will improve customer experience and productivity beyond your wildest dreams. However, it is imperative that you have quality data about your customer behaviour to take advantage of this; data that is accurate and meaningful.

So, my advice is to start now. It doesn’t have to be a huge cost centre as there are a range of tools to help you from real-time dashboards connected to all your online activities (we use HubSpot) to WordPress plugins and traditional counting. Either way, start. The science data alone won’t sell your product but the data science can; because it’s all about the customer.

Alix Mackay is a member of Life Sciences Scotland Marketing and Comms workstream and Inbound Consultant for Life Sciences, Quantify.

Alix will be speaking at our Life Sciences conference: A Vision for Life Sciences in Scotland: Accelerating Growth, driving innovation. Get your tickets here: