Life science marketing can be a difficult task, especially because scientists often don’t like to be marketed to. They are particularly adept at identifying marketing and ignoring it. With the limited chances your company may get to win over life scientists, you need to make sure you send the right messages to the right people using the right mediums. If your sales aren’t where you think they should be, throwing more money at the problem in the form of more marketing or advertising may not be the answer, especially if you have a good sized marketing budget already. Poor marketing ROI can be a symptom of many things – sending the wrong or sub-optimal marketing message, sending the message to the wrong audience, using the wrong medium to convey the marketing message, etc. In order to identify what the cause is you need to take a hard look at your marketing. You need to perform marketing research.
The American Marketing Association defines marketing research as “the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.” Simplified, marketing research is the tool that is used to determine the best way for marketing to be performed.
Life science marketing research can answer many questions. Some examples include: What is the best medium to market to a target audience? What is the best message that we should use, and / or what benefits of our life science research tool should we highlight? Are we marketing to our customers enough? Are we marketing to them too much? What can we do to improve our marketing ROI?
Marketing, at its most basic, seems easy. Convey the benefits to the customers and the customers will buy the product, correct? Not necessarily. It’s very easy, and often the case, for a company to have a different viewpoint than the customer or overlook something that is important to the customer. (Some of the most hilarious marketing message gaffes come from mistranslations and would have been readily and easily avoided if the companies spent anything on marketing research. If you’d like some hilarious examples you can read about some here.) Marketing research helps you be on the same page as your customers.
You probably wouldn’t make product development decisions based on a gut feeling, so why make marketing decisions based solely on instinct? If your company is concerned with making sure your marketing is optimized and you’re getting the most from your marketing dollars, then spending a few of those dollars on marketing research can go a long way for you and supercharge your marketing ROI.