There has never been a time of more rapid change in the scientific industry, signaling the need for more sophisticated marketing practices. How are life science marketers evolving their strategies and tactical mix during these times? We recently conducted a quantitative study of over 100 science marketers in order to understand their priorities and their budget expenditure, as well as their attitudes towards current topics such as demand generation, brand awareness and social media. In this report, we present the results and synthesize our findings.
“Being equally as bad as my competitors isn’t of interest to me” an executive of an instrument manufacturer said to me during a breakfast meeting, as I tried to console him that the challenges he faces are not unique to his company.
He is right. The scientific products industry has become more sophisticated. The increased pressures from ongoing consolidation, combined with rapid maturation of many technologies require a new breed of marketing strategy. Yet the industry’s marketing practices have not kept pace with this need to evolve. Just where do science marketers focus their budgets, priorities and attention? This was the key question that we set to answer during our biannual survey of science marketing dynamics.
More specifically, we set out to test four specific hypotheses and to better understand the behaviors around each of our hypotheses:
First, we have experienced that many companies are taking an ever-narrower view of marketing, and only funding activities in lead generation, event marketing and sales collateral. We wondered whether this observation holds across the industry. We also set out to learn whether any other strategic initiatives are taking precedence over lead/demand generation, and how marketers determine the marketing mix, given their priorities.
Second, we believe that as industry consolidation continues, the brand dynamic between the acquirer, the acquired and the competition shifts. We set out to understand the extent which companies invest in or manage their brands, and specifically in which activities they engage to manage their brands.
Third, we were keen to understand the current state of marketing strategies. In 2009, many companies announced strategic initiatives to pursue applied markets. We wanted to understand how prevalent market “segment marketing” or “industry marketing” has become in the science industry, and to quantify the extent to which industry marketing is still a priority. We also wanted to better understand how industry marketing fits within the rest of the marketing organizations.
Lastly, we wanted to follow the rise of social media in science marketing, and to learn how companies are adopting social media.
With these four objectives, we conducted an online survey the results of which are shared in this issue of Linus Report. We sincerely hope that this information will empower science marketers to continue evolving and optimizing their marketing strategies.
We created an online survey instrument using an enterprise research platform called Survey Analyticsi. Our survey consisted of 28 multiple-choice and matrix questions. The first four questions were designed to collect demographic information (role, department, company size and market).
To invite participation from science marketers, we used our internal email database ofLinus Report recipients and also broadcast the survey on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As an incentive and a segmentation tool to attract the correct demographic of respondents, we offered to share the aggregate results with participants who completed the survey. In order to build integrity into the survey results, we separated the survey results from the contact information we collected by using a completely different survey tool for each task.
The survey was open from April 27, 2011 until May 10, 2011. In this time we collected 104 complete responses. The average time that our respondents took to complete the survey was 18 minutes.