Great founders and scientists aren’t always great marketers and vice versa, Dr. Meghan Burns said, detailing the COVID-era launch of her latest startup and its potential to help healthtech companies navigate a critical time for messaging and awareness.
“There is a lot of value that a marketer with an understanding of science can add to healthcare industries,” explained Burns, president and founder of Connect Healthcare Consulting — a full service marketing agency for healthtech companies, built using a unique combination of Burns’ skills as a scientist and marketing and communications executive.
Connect Healthcare launched in September, following five years of success for its sister company, Connect Veterinary Consulting — which was born out of Burns’ passion for marketing.
“I’m a doctor by education and have had a previous corporate career on the pharmaceutical side of the business. Startups spend a lot of money on research, but how you translate the science behind your product in a way that resonates for a veterinarian or a physician, a pet parent, or a patient makes all the difference.”
Both companies look to provide an answer with a focus on working with founders to prescribe strong business development practices and marketing strategies, Burns noted.
“We have the unique skill set of being able to understand both science, communication, and business development. We understand the marketing from that perspective as well, and we do it with scientific integrity,” she said, detailing the company’s expertise in such areas as pharmaceutical development and advertising regulations in veterinary and traditional medicine.
“The benefit of working with this type of agency is being able to work directly with the founder for
that extra personal connection to your business,” Burns explained.
“Just like for healthcare marketers, direct connections and relationships with customers are being redefined daily and require businesses to pivot and refine their business models. This is the purpose behind starting the company — being able
to help local and national startups succeed by making the right connections and communicating effectively.”
As powerful a tool as Connect Healthcare could prove to be for startups, the company hasn’t come online without its own challenges, Burns said.
“A lot of my business is done face-to-face through events — whether those be networking or client meetings,” she said. “Getting in front of people and being able to get the word out about the new business … we can’t do that in person [at this time.] The loss of the personal touch for me has been difficult.”
Undoubtedly rocky, the COVID-era hasn’t been all bad, Burns added, noting it’s presented founders with a number of new opportunities and positive challenges that could produce significant growth for their companies.
“The world is your oyster right now — you can pivot and look at how we can all be doing business better, communicate more effectively, and how companies locally and nationally can support each other,” she said, honing in on ways she and her company could provide data-driven strategies that effectively help founders share their pandemic-era innovations with the world.
“Being able to help startups communicate the science behind their product — whether it be COVID related or not — I think it’s [my] biggest opportunity,” Burns said of the road ahead of her as she looks to take on more clients.
“It’s critical to have a partner that understands science, marketing, and the regulatory aspects of any
business. We’ve seen that with some of the misinformation and the miscommunication with COVID.”