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Life Technologies drives revenue by optimizing online campaigns

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Growing brand loyalty while increasing online traction is no small task, and biotechnology company Life Technologies, which offers products and services that help researchers accelerate life sciences research, is one company experiencing that challenge. Life Technologies serves a variety of customers, mainly those in academia but also in government and the medical science realm. As such, the company requires tailored messages to reach specific target markets, driven by specialized scientific keywords to communicate offerings. “We sell the ingredients, tools, instruments and software that researchers need to conduct their experiments,” said Robin Smith, senior e-marketing manager at Carlsbad, Calif.-based Life Technologies. “A lot of our technologies are cutting-edge and are developing very quickly; and, as the tech world moves fast, it has required us to move quickly, too.” Most recently the company has concentrated on improving its management of paid advertising, specifically in search, social and display, and to develop more precise buyer personas for better message segmentation. To do that, Life Technologies deployed marketing automation solutions from Adobe Systems Omniture suite. It uses Omniture's SiteCatalyst tool for Web analytics, SearchCenter for keyword analysis and real-time paid search bidding, and Test&Target for campaign and site testing. “For social, a lot of it is trying to figure out those golden nuggets, to figure out where social fits in our company and building a network to market to,” Smith said. “We also optimize to avoid bounce rates and to improve click-throughs and develop compelling messaging.” Smith is particularly interested in establishing marketing traction for Ion Torrent, a company Life Technologies acquired last year for $350 million that offers molecular DNA sequencing technology. Because of the extremely precise, highly competitive nature of keywords associated with this area, real-time bidding on paid-search keywords is important to Life Technologies. “Their goal is to get the best placement and click-through volume; and, in some cases, Life Technologies has to pay some really high prices for keywords,” said Tim Waddell, director-product marketing at Adobe. Using marketing automation, the company has set up an automated bid strategy that's updated several times a day, he said. “What they're selling is expensive, the traffic is minimal and every click is imperative,” Waddell said. “Depending on the competition and order size, they have to be able to jack up or lower keyword prices according to the value of any particular order and the conversion rate.” Life Technologies relaunched its website in November, consolidating several of the company's brands under its main lifetechnologies.com umbrella site. This, in turn, required additional automated processing of keywords. “Out of necessity, the biotech industry has to be ahead of the curve when it comes to search optimization,” Smith said. “Because search terms have various scientific meanings, they can easily get grouped with completely irrelevant terms. It's truly a unique environment.” Through its use of marketing automation, Life Technologies has been able to identify online strategies that need more attention, revision or discontinuation, and to more accurately understand where spending can drive greater revenue. Smith said the use of marketing automation has increased conversion rates by about 50%. “Previously, we could just take the approach of cutting spending and hope to increase our return on investment,” Smith said. “But the reality is that everything could drop—ROI and return on ad spend along with expenditures.”
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