BioTactics in Action: Start Page

Vol. 1, Issue 1
May 1998 

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Online Newsletter for
Biotech Marketing and Business Development

Please visit this month's sponsor: Celebrus Consulting Group


Competitive Intellegence: Resources on the Web, Sharon Locken, President, Locken Information.

More Sales and Profits from Existing Customers.
Cay Villars, President, Market Value Concepts.

Importance of Brand: Research Products. Bill Kelly, President, BioInformatics.

Consolidation: New Marketing Strategies in Research Products.  An interview with Bruce Lehman, President, Lehman Millet, Inc.

BioTactics Parners program - how it benefits your business.

New Job Postings

border.gif (871 bytes) Marketing to Life Scientists: The Importance of Brand
by Bill Kelly, BioInformatics, Inc.
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         break2.gif (1649 bytes)
l2.gif (904 bytes)ast year, my firm published a study entitled Marketing to Life Scientists: Keys to Success. Our objective was to help marketing professionals better understand how to optimize their marketing mix in the academic, industrial, and government segments of the U.S. Life Sciences market. In order to understand how life scientists prefer to learn about products and technologies, a survey was mailed to 10,000 U.S. researchers. Respondents were asked a series of questions about the relative effectiveness of sales representatives, catalogs, the World Wide Web, direct mail, print advertising and scientific meetings. The scientists were also asked to describe their "likes" and "dislikes" about each technique.

t.gif (892 bytes)he responses to our survey clearly confirmed some commonly-held beliefs, but challenged others. Among our major findings:

  • Life scientists overwhelmingly learn about vendors and products from catalogs and through colleagues.
  • Life scientists do not perceive sales representatives to be an important channel of information regarding new products and technologies, but concede most salespeople are very knowledgeable about their individual product lines.
  • 85% of all respondents have used the World Wide Web to find information about companies and their products, with more than a third reporting they do so frequently.
  • "Currently using the vendor's products" is the single most important factor considered by a researcher when deciding to open unsolicited mail.
  • "Substantial technical content" is the single most important factor in drawing the attention of a life scientist to a print advertisement.
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents prefer to attend smaller meetings devoted to specialized topics.

    m2.gif (953 bytes)ore significantly, the responses to the survey indicate purchasing decisions often take place in the realm of perceptions and familiarity -- despite the scientific nature of the products and the customers who buy them. Many people have always assumed that because this is a scientific market, customers buy products based strictly on technical performance. In fact, we discovered quite the opposite to be true. Brand preferences, and perceptions about the supplier, are extremely strong motivators, even where the products are essentially the same.

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