Unlocking the full potential of early-stage innovation in Immunology through strong lead generation

Did you know that scientific innovation can’t happen without powerful partnerships?

Just ask Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJI)!

JJI’s mission is to solve the world’s toughest health challenges and drive scientific breakthroughs that improve health for everyone, everywhere. To do so, they need good ideas. And JJI believes that good ideas can come from anywhere. That’s why the innovation champion offers scientists, entrepreneurs, and startups the opportunity to accelerate their promising early-stage innovation by offering them one-stop access to science and technology experts.

One therapeutic area in need of constant innovation is Immunology. To reach the right bright minds and harvest breakthrough innovations, JJI reached out to Mach Media for help.


Attracting the right scientists, entrepreneurs and startups is easier said than done. Many associated Johnson & Johnson with pharma in general, not realizing that the company is a leader in Immunology and offers exciting opportunities for early-stage innovation through strategic partnerships.

To catch the attention of scientists, entrepreneurs, and emerging companies, there were three challenges JJI had to address:

  • Create strong brand awareness among JJI’s target audience
  • Position JJI as the partner of choice in Immunology
  • Generate relevant Immunology inquiries that could lead to new collaboration opportunities

With those goals in sight, we got to work.


To overcome the above challenges, we launched a pilot campaign on LinkedIn which ran for three months and targeted academics, entrepreneurs, and TTOs in three phases: AWARENESS, CONSIDERATION, AND CONVERSION. With this pilot campaign, we did not just want to attract the right people but also create a robust blueprint for any future campaigns.

We pinpointed three principal objectives to hit:

  • Elevate brand visbility.
  • Maximize traffic to the landing page.
  • Enhance lead generation for email subscriptions and Immunology inquiries.


In phase 1, we launched a range of ads focused on creating brand awareness, sharing general information about JJI and their position in the field of Immunology. For this phase, we counted the cost-effectiveness of ad impressions (CPM) as our key performance indicator (KPI).


Next, we launched phase 2 with ads tackling two topics: the power of collaboration and the struggles our target groups often encounter when it comes to early-stage innovation.

Tailoring our messaging carefully to our two groups, we highlighted the need for strategic partnerships and the many professional resources and networks accessible via JJI. We also addressed obstacles such as a lack of access to data, restricted funding, and time-consuming go-to-market processes.

This time, we aimed to drive traffic to the JJI landing page, keeping an eye on click-through rates (CTR) and total clicks.


In the final stage, we were all about capturing the right leads via LinkedIn forms, converting our hard work into tangible results.


To better understand our target groups and set JJI up for future campaigning success, we split our audience target list into two groups: JJI’s own target account list and LinkedIn’s suggested parameters.

Additionally, during the first two weeks of the LinkedIn campaign we performed an A/B test to evaluate the effectiveness of two different creative directions, one having a more sober design with text superimposed on a science-related image, while the other incorporated brighter colors and a more creative design.

And to add the cherry on top, we also spruced up the JJI landing page with engaging copy, presented JJI’s co-creation model in an eye-catching graphic, and added videos with JJI stakeholders and partners detailing their experiences.


So, with all that work done, how did we do?

The pilot campaign proved that LinkedIn is the way to go for JJI to generate new Immunology inquiries. Through the campaign, we achieved

  • 25 new email subscribers
  • 16 new Immunology inquiries submitted
  • 1 assisted JLABS application

What’s more, the campaign uncovered best practices that will allow JJI to generate even more inquiries in the future:  

  1. Ensure sufficient ad rotation
    It’s important to change up the ads you are showing to your target group. Showing different ads at frequent intervals helped us increase our reach, keep our audience engaged and understand which ads they prefer. We found, for example, that in the AWARENESS stage, JJI should showcase an ad four times per month to establish trust.
  2. Know your audience and their bugbears
    When launching our ads, we found that all our target groups responded well to ads that openly addressed their pain points in early-stage innovation – think a lack of resources and equal say in strategic partnerships.
  3. Stay true to the marketing funnel
    The tried and tested marketing funnel also held up during this pilot campaign. Launching our pilot campaign across the three stages of the customer journey proved essential to engage prospects.
  4. Allocate sufficient media budget
    If you want to reach the right people, you will need to invest the right amount and this campaign was no exception. When we noticed increased interest and submissions in the CONSIDERATION phase, we upped the budget to increase ad frequency and pull even more prospects in.
    Utilizing a generous daily budget will especially ensure consistent visibility throughout the day.
  5. Trust LinkedIn parameters
    When comparing the results of targeting JJI’s tailored list of prospects versus LinkedIn’s parameters, we learned that the latter outperformed the first. Proprietary lists clearly struggle to compete with LinkedIn’s broader targeting strategies.
  6. Follow up swiftly
    Got a prospect hooked? Then reel them in!
    During this pilot, we learned that getting in touch straightaway when a prospect shows interest and following up with them sooner rather than later can make all the difference. And don’t just stick to emails as those pesky firewalls can be a pain – send follow-up text messages or pick up the phone

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