BioStrata combines science and strategy

Life science specialist marketing communication agency BioStrata was founded by Clare Russell and Paul Avery in 2014

Headquartered in Cambridge, this international marketing and public relations agency is one that not only claims to be specialist, but actually is

IT IS NOT DIFFICULT TO understand why BioStrata has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category – for here is a specialist marketing communications agency that has effectively broken the mould to underpin the success of its now global life science client base.

Headquartered in Cambridge, the reason given for the award was the company’s international sales over the last three years which have grown from £445,000 to £1,000,000. But there is more to the BioStrata success story than the booming sales figures reveal. It is down to innovation – being different is the rationale. This is an international marketing and public relations agency that not only claims to be specialist, but actually is.

Started by Paul Avery PhD and Clare Russell PhD in 2014, the founders realised that buyers now controlled the sales conversation, so they would need to deliver more than the traditional, interruptive marketing mix that was failing in the customer-centric, information-rich modern world.

First off, they began to gather a team around them who has been there and done that – fellow PhD-holders, highly qualified scientists, people who had spent time in relevant laboratories, the common denominator being they all spoke the language of life science. As Paul explains: “We know how life science customers think, feel and buy – after all, we used to be them.”

Now with offices in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (US), the team includes a significant number of people with deep scientific experience and knowledge of the life science sector combined with the necessary marketing and public relations know-how. That’s why they have been able to partner with a client base ranging from companies providing life science research tools, diagnostics and lab automation solutions, to those working in the food and environmental technology, biotechnology, drug discovery and pharmaceutical sectors.

With 100 years of experience between them, the BioStrata line-up has turned marketing on its head. Instead of the focus being on outbound methods, chasing customers for their clients, they championed inbound marketing, a strategy that attracts prospects to relevant life science companies.

This is because BioStrata decided that life science is perfectly suited to inbound marketing, as scientific buyers are often cynical about traditional methods with overt sales messages and prefer to make up their own minds based on their own research and analysis. Instead, these knowledgeable audiences prefer to turn to research to find what they want.

So, BioStrata effectively baits the lines on the web with relevant, compelling content about their clients’ products and services, and draws in prospective customers. And it has worked. One of BioStrata’s early clients was the precision diagnostics company Protagen AG. “I trusted BioStrata to provide an integrated program of inbound marketing and public relations services over a number of years,” says Dr Georg Lautcham, former CEO of Protagen AG, which was recently acquired by OncImmune.

“The team’s ethos is centred around collaboration and partnership, which ensured I was able to rely on them to proactively identify new opportunities on a day-to-day basis, but also to provide valuable strategic counsel on key issues when it mattered most.”

Nor has BioStrata rested on its laurels in terms of adopting a different, specialist approach to public relations. In April this year, BioStrata launched Life Science Newswire, a breakthrough targeted press release distribution service to help companies reach industry journalists and editors worldwide with life science and healthcare news they’ll find interesting.

“The year-on-year growth marked by our Queen’s Award helps us to invest in our people and in nurturing creativity and innovation, and to strive for greater success for our clients,” comments Clare.

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