Olga Torres is a life science marketing and sales professional with research experience in neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, immunology, and cell and molecular biology. Her career path transitioned from research to technical sales, then to marketing. Recently, after overseeing Marketing at Averica Discovery, an analytical development CRO, she founded her own life science marketing consultancy, Targeted Life Science Marketing.
Ethan Kopit - interviewer
Thanks for sharing your experience with SAMPS with us Olga - it’s much appreciated. To start us off, can you describe how you first became involved?
Sure! The marketing program I built for Averica was starting to get a lot of attention in our network. Last January, my boss made the suggestion to reach out to other life science marketers, and create a network. That is when I found Chris Conner’s Life Science Marketing Radio. We connected, he interviewed me for the podcast, and encouraged me to submit an abstract for the 2016 SAMPS annual meeting.
The annual meeting gave me the opportunity to connect with more of my peers. Presenting allowed me to offer something to the community. My marketing tools topic partially came out of the podcast prep. That was when I realized how many tools I use. I’m a true technophile. I love the speed at which tools are evolving, and the ways you can integrate them to help automate your process and amplify your impact. There wasn’t enough time to talk about tools in the podcast, and I decided it to offer to present it.
What was your goal when you came to SAMPS for the first time? What were you looking to find?
My primary goal was to network, to get to know the community. Networking with peers re-energizes you. Your frustrations can be validated and you discover that they are universal. As marketers within life science, our experiences and jobs are different that those in other industries. As marketers within our companies, we face scrutiny as many people don’t quite understand all that the role can do. The meeting allows us to not only share challenges, but share solutions and find resources.
Did you find what you were looking for - what exactly did you take away from the meeting?
Yes! It’s not just that sense of community - I learned great deal. One of my favorite parts were the predictions and discussions about the future of marketing. Marketing is a job where you’re never thinking about the present, you think 3 months, 6 months, 9 months in advance. Listening to prediction has such a strong impact on the things that I can prepare for and incorporate into my current plan. There were factors in that discussion that I had never considered, like globalization. It has not been a large factor at Averica, but in on a market level it’s an enormous issue.
Ultimately, what do you think the value of SAMPS is? Why are you coming back for your second year?
SAMPS provides a community that understands the complexity of your role. In Sales and Marketing, you’re often justifying your actions to others, but at SAMPS you are surrounded by people who share your experiences, your goals, and your challenges. I love that the people are forward thinking. Together we look at the reality of now - how do you connect to your audience, how do you get through the bombardment. Without SAMPS sales and marketing professionals are left with tired adages and trainings that do not relate to our immediate questions and concerns. SAMPS was founded for all of the reasons, and it is the reason I will continue to return.
Ethan Kopit is a Co-founder at Acenna Data. Acenna is a sales analytics company that uses scientific research data to help research vendors have more productive sales teams and a deliver a better customer experience.