R&D science vs marketing

Sep 16 2015 Published by under industry, life in the office, science

Sometimes I'd like to write more about the day to day things that happen in my job but a lot of those things are not mine to share on the internet. So let's try the following for a change:

A scientist and a marketeer went on vacation together. The weather was mixed, some days were nice, others not so much. When they come back, someone asks them: "how was the weather?"

To which the scientist answers:"On 2 out of 14 days it rained for more than 8 hours. In total, there was 20 mm of precipitation, of which 2 was from hail and the rest from rain. On 5 days it was predominantly sunny. The average humidity was 82%. The wind came from the east and in the second week turned to the south east at 15-20 km/h. Wait, let me show you a powerpoint with figures summarizing ALL TEH DATA!"

To the same question, the marketeer answers:"It was sunny!"

4 responses so far

  • Jim Woodgett says:

    Thought you were going to say that for every dollar a pharmaceutical company invests in research they get $3 back. For every dollar they invest in marketing, they get $10 back. Which basically explains why we're in such a mess.

    • babyattachmode says:

      It makes sense in the way that marketing people only have to market drugs (or devices, or whatever other things) that have been completely developed, whereas R&D does a lot of upstream work that never makes it to the market. But I agree that portraying things too simple can be harmful for how the rest of the world thinks about how things work (like in the case of serotonin's role in depression for example)...

  • MitosRock says:

    Completely true. When its done correctly, however, the reason the marketeer can state the broad generalization is because they know the scientists in R&D have gotten it right. In my opinion science and marketing need to work closely in order to ensure the company can go to market with a broad message while also knowing the full details of the thing you're selling (product, drug, medical device, whathaveyou). Maybe they're working too close together if they're going on a 2-week vacation together...but I digress. In this way, you reach a broad audience but don't oversell. In my company scientists are encouraged to learn the language of marketing and marketing folks are expected to learn the science. Not to do the other person's job, but so they can connect on a very deep level, and eventually win in the (very competitive) life science market.

    • babyattachmode says:

      Yes! I fully agree with you that this is the perfect situation, which requires both functions to invest in understanding eachother's language.

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