Earlier this month, I spent the week in in not-so sunny St. Louis Missouri, at the 63rd ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics. It was an invigorating mix of posters, sessions, workshops and exhibitors, and what struck me most was the vibrancy of the event. Who said trade shows and congresses are dying in a digital world?
One clear theme that emerged from this year’s event was the celebration of the development of products incorporating technology from a different industry specialist. This is especially relevant in the OEM sector, where the large vendors are reticent in mentioning that a specialist has contributed its expertise and technology to developing an instrument/software. The market has come some way in realising that this is a selling point (commonly citing the ‘intel inside’ program as a justification), but sadly this is the exception rather than the norm.
This got me thinking about why companies feel the need to be specialists in all areas? If you are the market leader in developing hybrid mass spectrometers, that does not mean that you are required to have the specialist marketing know-how to promote those products. It does not diminish your reputation if you consult the best from allied industries in order to achieve maximum potential. The best leaders never do everything themselves, but surround themselves with advisors who they learn from and share responsibility with, for example accountants, lawyers, HR etc., this is the premise of a good board of directors.
So why do so many instrumentation and software vendors believe that it is better to do their marketing ‘in house’? It is often cited that they use product managers and engineers because ‘they know the product inside out’. However, just because you understand your product, does not necessarily mean that you know the psychology of the buyer, and how to influence the purchasing decision. This is a completely different skill set from understanding the underlying science. You wouldn’t employ a decorator to paint your portrait just because he knows paint would you? So why use a scientist or engineer to market your product?
Here at The Scott Partnership we work closely with our clients to help them achieve their sales and marketing objectives. By building lasting relationships with everyone from the CEO to applications scientists, sales teams to marketing directors we become an extension of your in-house teams and true partners in your success. This combination of specialisms (our client’s scientific innovation and our unique integrated sales and marketing approach) is powerful, effective and demonstrates the importance of playing on your strengths.
Marketing encompasses the first critical stages in your lead generation process, so ask yourself, can you afford not to use a specialist?
Laura Browne, CEO of The Scott Partnership Inc.