Informing and Influencing Scientists

Late last year, we asked over 1,000 scientists what would convince you to purchase a product from a supplier you’ve never used before.

The most commonly cited motivators was a recommendation from co-workers (66%) which underscores the importance of strong branding in attracting new customers.  Scientists, like most consumers, also enjoy getting items at no charge and 61% of those surveyed claim that a free product sample for evaluation would be most influential in their decision to purchase a product they have never used before.  Financial considerations aside, the selection of this answer choice as the primary motivator for trying a new product indicates that scientists are wary of unfamiliar products that elevate their perception of risk.

Academic and Industrial scientists are largely motivated by the same factors to purchase a product they have never before used.  Academic scientists are more likely to rely on recommendations from their peers and are significantly more likely to consider a product’s price.  Industrial scientists are clearly more heavily influenced by the opportunity to try new technologies and techniques.

But then we looked at the data through the lens of media engagement and only 50% of Highly Engaged scientists cited recommendations as an influential factor — a full 19% below their Less Engaged counterparts.  Another common answer is that the product being considered is required by a specific protocol, but only 29% of highly engaged scientists selected this answer choice.

Consider the implications for your marketing programs if our hypothesis is correct: Highly Engaged scientists are the people their colleagues turn to for recommendations, and they’re also the Early Adopters who can make or break any new product introduced to the market.  They’re also the ones who are most attuned to your marketing and are willing to give you the opportunity to make your case.