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Scientific Market: An Analysis

Have you ever considered the tremendous buying power of the various scientific groups in the country? These are sizable groups, though widely scattered, who constitute a very lucrative market for innumerable products. Until recently, this market has been grossly ignored because of a lack of information. Now, Science Info has all the information needed to tap the all important Scientific groups in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Do you have a product that can appeal to these Scientific markets? If so, we can serve as your vital link by providing information such as different categories of mailing lists and other pertinent information.

The key to selling to the scientists is to find the answers to questions like:

  • Who are they?
  • What is their spending power?
  • How do they spend their grant money?
  • What factors influence their purchasing decisions?
  • Where do they look for new products?

Who They Are:

Scientists are defined into different categories depending on where they do research:

  • Academic/University Scientists
  • Biotech/Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • Government Institute Scientists (e.g. NIH,FDA,and USDA); This sector can be further defined into several categories depending on the field of research such as Molecular biology; Biochemistry; Microbiology; Genomics; Proteomics etc.

Each scientific field should be treated as a distinct segment. Scientists require information products and technologies specifically created for their area of research. This makes it important for a list of sources to be searchable by area of study. In addition, job title is a strong variable to help refine a list of scientists. Since job function can greatly affect the prospect's purchasing authority and needs, you will want to pull the exact titles that fit the product.

Science Info's marketing service provides unique targeted, custom-prepared lists of qualified prospects who are most likely to respond to an organization's sales efforts. Their Spending Power:

The NIIH, NSF, and private industry and foundations offer research grants to scientists annually. The requested budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2005 is US$28.8 billion; the National Science Foundation budgeted for grants of roughly $6 billion: and the biotechnology industry raised $8 billion in venture capital for research and development (yes, all in Billions!). Here are some more facts:

  • Scientists numbers roughly 500,000 in USA and Canada
  • Their average grant $300,000-$500,000 per year for 3 to 5 year durations
  • Their median annual income is between $55,000 to $90,000 per year (top notch scientists' annual salaries are in excess of $100,000
  • Many hold doctorate degrees.(M.D., Ph.D. or both)
  • The spending power of this market is approximately $70 billion annually (yes, Billion!).

How They Spend Their Grant Money:

This market is comprised of people who spend a tremendous amount of time and money on education and their careers. Scientists are always looking for the best equipment and information solutions available to support their research goals. They spend most of their grant money on products that support their own research such as: lab equipment and services, books and publications, administrative and business expenses, associate memberships, and items like lab coats and testing equipment. Scientists read magazines, books, and online journals to stay current with the latest advancements and technologies. They will continue to invest in their education with books, journals, seminars, software, and similar products. Secondary markets include products like software, computers, printers, etc. Scientists are well educated and used to absorbing vast quantities of information in their daily work. This market likes to read. Long copy will not bother them provided the content is targeted to the their interests. Offers that are informational in nature work best.

Factors That Influence Their Purchasing Decisions:

Remember that scientists are regular consumers. They respond to good deals like anyone else. Our recent survey on email marketing to scientists indicates that they prefer to get their information by email nearly twice a much as other sources. The reason for this is that more than 80% of scientists would prefer to spend less than an hour a day searching the internet for the products they need.

What gets them to open these emails? Almost 50% of the scientists polled said that a relevant subject line was the deciding factor over brand name or generic 'tech alerts'. The time of day also plays a role in the likelihood of an email being opened. Most scientists admitted checking their email many times a day, but most said they were more likely to actually read those of interest to them first thing in the morning. What information catches their eye? A majority of scientists say that their big priority is grant and contract information, followed closely by new products and then newly published literature in their field.

An added bonus of using email is the ability to embed links directly to your product or service web site. Nearly 80% of scientists said that they were more likely to check out a web site when they wanted more information than they would be to call for a catalog. There are two words of caution with email however:

  • The majority of scientists prefer to receive information no more often than once a month.
  • The number one reason they 'opt out' is irrelevant information – keep your message on target and focused on their needs.

How do you keep those scientists that you've worked so hard to get? The overwhelming answer was customer service – followed by price and then quality. The secret is to give them what they need and then take very good care of them.

Where they look for new products:

There have been changes in the way in which scientists shop. Finding where your new customers are can be a challenge when entering a new market. Although the traditional approaches like direct mail, advertising in journals, banner ads, booths at scientific meetings, hiring a sales rep to visit their labs, and search engine listings are all viable methods for communicating with scientists email communication stands out as the most cost-effective method of communication.

Scientists are very receptive to email communications. One third of those professionals who sign up to receive Science Info's grant info eNewsletter also agree to receive promotional email from the organization. These email lists deliver response rates of 10-12 percent. Email campaigns pay for themselves within two to three hours, reaching profitability in 24 hours. Science Info is today's leading database marketing resource company that houses the most complete, current, and searchable master file of scientists, making it easier than ever to access your next customer!