Friday, March 12, 2010

How to find scientists discussing specific products

The internet provides an opportunity never before imagined to target scientists working on specific experiments and procedures that need your product.

Today, I will show you how to find those scientists online and how to target them for low cost/high ROI with laser-like focus.

Let's say you are the product manager for Shimadzu's new Biospec Nano that directly competes with the wildly popular Nanodrop, now owned by Mega-Corporation ThermoFisher. You are tasked with the job of taking market share from the Nanodrop.

Of course, you should do all the obvious things like advertise in Science, list it on Biocompare, and haul the machine around to ASCB and AACR with a team of trained sales professionals to talk to scientists. Thats great, but Nanodrop is right there with you with the full marketing might of a $10 billion dollar company behind them.  In my opinion, you will lose that battle.  Nanodrop was first to market and scientists love it making the BiospecNano a vitamin (nice to have) and not a pain pill (required).

How do I know scientists love the NanoDrop?  I did a sentiment search (for more on this click here).

In this case, I searched for the Nanodrop on, an online discussion forum. Discussion forums are a very different Social Media Animal than quick conversation websites like Facebook or Twitter or opinion sites like ScienceBlogs and Nature Networks.  You'll have take my word on it today, but look for a comparison article soon.

Here's what I found - The word Nanodrop is mentioned in 40 different discussion threads.  One thread went on for 3 pages with at least 100 scientists from all over the world raving about the Nanodrop.

Actual Quotes -

"The Nanodrop works great, it saves a lot of time and reagents. " - Shareef, United States 

"...At its price point (~$8,000) and ease of use (no consumables), there is nothing out there that compares."  - Ivan, United States 

If you think outside the box, this is a perfect place to begin a low cost/high ROI assault on Nanodrop if you are Shimadzu. 

Your game plan is simple  - Steal all this free press for the Biospec Nano.

How? sells "keywords" (its in their media packet, which for some reason you have to call to get, thats dumb). So, every time the word Nanodrop appears on this site it could be a link to the Shimadzu version of the product and not the "real Nanodrop" owned by ThermoFisher.  

Yesterday, I called them up and asked to "buy" the word Nanodrop.  $100 a month.  That's laughably cheap!  They even agreed to tag the word for a month to show me how many clicks it gets.  Even if I only get 10 clicks that result in one sale, that's still cheap.  $100 to cockblock ThermoFisher AND make a sale of a $8000 instrument per month, that is low cost/high ROI!

Next, repeat the process described above on the other major life science discussion forums.

Here's a short list. There are thousands of scientists discussing untold numbers of products on these three sites alone. 

Of course if you work for Nanodrop, you may want to play defense by securing the word and advertising space for yourself.

Full Disclosure - The author of this blog is a former employee of and has financial interest in the company.  He doesn't think this changes a single thing in the blog above since he gives three other scientific discussion boards to call as well. Yes, he had a blast calling his former company and acting like he wanted to buy something. No they didn't catch on! 

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