Marketing to scientists has some noteworthy differences compared to other B2B businesses and not just because scientists are a special breed of people. There are also some fundamental differences in how scientists typically perceive their jobs compared to how more corporate types might.
In order to truly communicate with life scientists, marketers need to understand their audience. Are scientists just like everyone else? Or do you need to wear haz-mat suits to talk to them? What does the DNA of effective life science marketing look like?
It’s tempting to look at best practices in B2B marketing and apply them when approaching scientists with a product or service. However, there are some key differences in how scientists think and behave which mean that these typical, accepted approaches to marketing are less likely to work.
In the wondrous world of advertising, creativity and rationality are often perceived as each other’s extreme opposites. This grave misconception is typically based on a rather narrow and superficial understanding of both these words. Rational means well grounded, not boring. And creative means innovative in a relevant way, not misguided artistry.
You may have noticed that scientists and engineers consider themselves to be the most rational people on Earth. They may even think they have superpowers of rationality that have not been bestowed upon ordinary mortals. It’s easy for people who market to scientists to make the same mistake.
I’ve been marketing medical devices for most of my working life. Pacemakers, dialysis machines, defibrillators, patient transfer solutions, vascular therapy devices, urinary catheters – in fact you name it and I’ve probably worked with it. During this time, I have learned quite a few things and thought I’d share my top 10 list of them with you.
For many business in highly regulated environments (such as pharma, medtech, health care and financial sectors), social media may seem like a tool that is either irrelevant or too difficult to manage within stringent and often-changing regulatory parameters. Yet, the truth is, social media is just as applicable to these sectors as other B2B markets, and can be equally as effective. Being compliant and being quiet are not irreversibly fused.
Incentives for scientists, especially young scientists, are few and far between today. Look at the world they live in. They’ve chosen to work in areas they believe will make a difference, but in areas so specialized that most people will never understand them. On average, a handful of people scattered across the globe comprehend the value that a scientist’s average 80-hour working week will actually contribute to the world.