SAMPS was previously Association of Commercial Professionals for Life Sciences (ACP-LS)

12 Takeaways from the 2019 SAMPS U.S. Annual Meeting

November 24, 2019

There was a little something for everyone at last month’s 2019 SAMPS U.S. Annual Meeting, held in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic district.

The two-day conference, sponsored by Bioz, Media Matrix, Razor Profiles and STELLAR Meetings, featured a rich array of speakers, topics, workshops and ideas. Here are 12 things attendees – who hailed from both sides of the Atlantic – walked away with.

  1. Sometimes Attendees Are the Presenters

Mike Rabin of Asahi Kasei Bioprocess America, Inc., and Life Science Connect’s Abby Sorensen kicked off the main program with an Unconference! session. And it was … really neat. The Unconference! flipped the traditional script, with focused roundtable discussions yielding brief attendee-driven presentations and Q&A sessions. Interactive and engaging, the session proved a great way to start the day and get to know fellow attendees.

  • SEO Isn’t About Keywords

Adam Smartschan of Altitude Marketing offered a presentation and workshop on modern search engine optimization strategies. The key takeaway? The days of keyword stuffing and technical tricks to improve rankings are long over. SEO in 2020 will be about proving your expertise, authority and trustworthiness, and tuning content to your desired users’ search intent.

  • Great Data Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

SciLeads’ Laura Haldane offered an illuminating journey into the world of open data in scientific research. Did you know, for instance, that you can find top authors on just about any topic using a simple keyword search on Microsoft Academic? Well, you can – and it’s darn cool.

  • Weather Forecasting Isn’t a 7-Day Thing

Bill Kirk of Weather Trends International made a compelling case for the efficacy and feasibility of year-ahead weather forecasting using statistical models. From sales of consumer health products to potential impacts on clinical study participation and conference attendance, the potential impacts of tightly correlated weather data in the sciences are myriad and intriguing.

  • You Probably Need a Better Revenue Attribution Model

Sorensen highlighted the importance of advanced attribution models for effective sales and marketing organizations. Simple, traditional models focusing only on a single touchpoint are no longer enough – they miss a significant percentage of the buyer’s journey, influencers and decision-making process. Instead, a multi-touch or multi-contact attribution methodology needs to be adopted … particularly by the 30% of B2B marketers not using any model at all!

  • Pixar Tells Great Stories

Stephen Archer of Spring Partnerships used Pixar’s “For the Birds” to illustrate the importance of storytelling in marketing. The takeaway? There’s a structure to every story, and we as humans are conditioned to want to follow it. Every ad, every video and every piece of content is more than something for a prospect to see – it’s a chance to make them feel something.

  • The Customer Experience Matters. A Lot.

Sales and marketing in the sciences doesn’t end when the prospect signs on the dotted line. Andrew Bertera shared numerous intriguing examples of how New England Biolabs is transforming the long-term customer experience with deep dives into buyer behavior, innovations like on-site reagent freezers … and even hands-free access to instructions and guidance through a custom Alexa skill.

  • Content Marketing & Dating Aren’t That Different

Julian Stubbs and Robert England of UP There, Everywhere helped arm attendees with the skills needed to better get to know buyers and deliver content to engage them. Inbound marketing is a bit like a relationship. You need to know every little detail about the person on the other end of the screen, not ask for too much too fast, and give them what they want, when they want it.

  • Toyota Can Help Improve Your Sales & Marketing Processes

Michelle Hackmann, PMP, of Philips led a workshop highlighting the potential of Kaizens – simple, focused exercised aimed at creating small positive changes – within life science sales and marketing. There’s a lot to Kaizens, but the DMAIC methodology – define, measure, analyze, improve, control – clearly has effective applications within the commercial space.

  1. Big Data Is Built on Small Details

Matt Engelhart of DiD broke down critical elements to getting the most out of your data. The key? Doing your homework. Launching a Saturn V rocket without a checklist would be a terrible idea. Launching a major data exercise without a plan, clearly defined terminology and responsibilities, backups and security procedures in place would be, too.

  1. Buyers Are Real People

The much-anticipated annual Customer Hot Seat panel, led by BioInformatics’ Bill Kelly, revealed several critical insights. Potential customers don’t want to feel “advertised to,” want salespeople to serve as resources, think poorly done remarketing can come across as a bit “creepy”, and love to try new products in a low-risk, low-cost situation. In other words, buyers in the life sciences are people. Treat them well, and they’ll treat you well.

  1. Gen Z Is Wellness-Focused

In study findings being presented for the first time at SAMPS 2019, The Linus Group’s Kristin

Apple highlighted the feelings of Generation Z (the generation born since the late 1990s) on healthcare. Broadly speaking, they’re focused on wellness, preventative care and health as more than just a vital sign. Reaching them effectively, it seems, will be a bit different than previous generations – it will require deep listening, an unfiltered message that penetrates their circle of trust, and the use of behavioral cues.

We’d love to see you at next year’s SAMPS annual meeting – or online, either here at or over at LinkedIn. Wherever you engage with this active, energetic group, you’re sure to take something valuable away.

Adam Smartschan

Vice President, Innovation and Strategy

Altitude Marketing

SAMPS, Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research, is the first and only organization dedicated to sales and marketing professionals within the life sciences.

The association’s goal is to serve its members who work in commercial roles for life science products and services companies and associated businesses, globally.
SAMPS was previously named ACP-LS. We feel that SAMPS more clearly describes the membership, and will form a better foundation from which to expand this membership globally. 
© Copyright 2019 -SAMPS-serving Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research 
All Rights Reserved
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