Science. It’s brought us electricity, the internet, and fundamentally changed how we view ourselves and the world around us. Not to mention, it’s a rich field of study for marketers to explore. When potential customers know there’s solid science behind your advertising claims, they’re far more likely to hear you out.
Now, there are some right ways and some wrong ways to incorporate scientific data into your marketing strategy. Let’s briefly examine some ways marketers can make use of scientific data.
Do Your Research
The field of scientific marketing is one you have to take advantage of if you want to be competitive. It’s all about crunching big data and turning it into valuable insights for your marketing team. For example, grocery stores often encourage their customers to sign up for loyalty programs.In exchange for information, customers may get special deals or bargains. Every time one of these customers swipes their loyalty card, the company receives information about what they bought and how much money they spent. They can then use that data to learn what’s working and what isn’t.
If you have a web-based company, traffic analytics work much the same way. When interpreted correctly, they can tell you exactly what kind of content works and what doesn’t. Google’s Analytics Academy is a great place to learn how to make sense of it all.
Let’s switch gears for a moment and talk about how to present scientific data to potential customers. One way to do it is through infographics—or embeddable data sheets that break data down into visually appealing graphics. “You have to be informative but also entertain the reader,” says Francesco Franchi, an expert in infographic design. Franchi considers infographics to be more than mere visual representation of data. He believes they should encourage “infographic thinking”, a groundbreaking concept that differentiates infographics from the more linear designs of Power Point presentations.
When a reader is engaged in infographic thinking, they’re drawn in by the visual design of the data and become absorbed by what it all means. In other words, they pay attention—close attention. Take a close look at this graphic to get an idea of why they work so well.
Don’t Blind Them with Science
Finally, we’ll talk about a big mistake scientifically-minded companies make time after time. For the purpose of our discussion, we’ll call it “blinding with science”. In essence, it’s the practice of using highly technical terms the average reader won’t understand, as well as presenting too much data all at once. Here’s the thing: even if you’ve got some killer research papers backing up your claims, scientific material is often very dense and poorly understood by the vast majority of people who don’t come from a scientific background.
Obviously, if you’re marketing to scientists or people of other highly-technical professions, use all the science-y jargon you want. In most cases, however, that information needs to be translated into the vernacular of your customers. Read these two short sales pitches, and ask yourself which one is a more effective advertisement:
“The 1100VFX includes control box (C-25) 120V control w/timer operations, GFCI protection, and photo-eye for light operations.”
“The 1100 VFX includes a control box that’s compatible with most existing systems. Dazzle and amaze with lights and timer operations that sync multiple units at once. Each unit is protected from electrical surges and will automatically shut off if any malfunctions are detected.”
Now, if you were an expert in pond aeration—the subject I chose for this demonstration—you might prefer the first pitch. If you’re like the 99 percent of us who know nothing about the subject, it’s clear that the second pitch is the superior choice.
But what if you’re marketing to both the general public and technically-minded people? One solution is to create a product manual or technical specifications PDF for your products or service. This can take the form of a brochure if you want to get copies into people’s hands. These manuals can help you create an effective duel marketing strategy, allowing the technically-minded to get the info they need while not overwhelming the average customer.
In all, incorporating scientific data into your advertising strategy is a must for marketers. Whether you’re using big data to help plan your next move or citing scientific research in your advertisements, getting familiar with the basics of marketing science will pay off in dividends.