No company in the area of natural products, dietary supplements, or drugs will reach optimal success if their science and marketing departments have opposing or even differing views about what a company needs to succeed. Once your company has a clear business plan in place, one of the most crucial aspects to your success is the coordination between your marketing and science departments. After all, it makes no sense to put a product into the marketplace if there is no consumer demand for it, no matter how effective it is. On the other hand, when you can’t validate a product’s claims from a science perspective, your product is equally likely to fail.
Here are some bullet points to consider when coordinating management, science, and marketing teams to optimize your company’s success:
*Encourage management to clearly communicate company goals.
The success of a company relies on your management officers clearly communicating company goals in easily understood language to both science and marketing teams. In addition, management should establish a robust project plan to prepare your product for market. This should include timelines, costs and go/no-go decision points. Even a no-go decision about a product can ultimately help your company’s bottom line because funds can be diverted sooner to other products with a greater chance of success.
*Make certain that your management team does not have a bias.
If management leans toward sales or over-emphasizes science, then you’ll either get your product to market too quickly or… never. Communication between marketing, science, and key officers in the company is essential for improving the likelihood of a successful product. Many companies have a bias towards sales or science based on the backgrounds of its decision makers. Try to be aware of these biases and work to bring them to light so they can be counterbalanced.
*Give your science team structured timelines.
No scientist ever said, “I think we’re done here.” This is true no matter how many clinical trials or iterations in formulation your product has already undergone. That’s because scientists are naturally curious, and they’re perfectionists, too. It’s management’s obligation to the bottom line to use these character traits to the company’s advantage. Management should work with the science team to put together realistic timelines that allow for quality science and a product’s ultimate success. If you don’t, then they’ll take forever. And you won’t have a company, and they won’t have jobs.
*Bring your marketing team up to speed on the science.
Deeper knowledge never hurt anyone. By strongly encouraging your marketing team to understand the language and terminology of the science team, you help them better conceptualize how to sell the product. This will also allow them to put together more compelling marketing materials that reflect the science. Keep in mind that all marketing claims must be substantiated by science so it’s crucial that your sales team understands what they can and cannot say about your natural product.
While it’s great if you can stay on your initial timeline to launch a product, you’ll often have to make changes to this based on many factors. These extensions are natural and necessary, and you should expect that they will come up. This can be due to many factors, including a longer-than-expected timeline for manufacturing, a need for additional science, or even packaging delays. The key is to establish initial timelines that take unforeseen events — that are nonetheless predictable — into account.
*Look for additional opportunities throughout the process.
As is often the case, information surfaces in the course of product development that points to unexpected improvements or additional intellectual property opportunities. By implementing the above suggestions, you’ll make it easier for management, science, and marketing groups to recognizes these possibilities, leading to an increased value of your company’s products.
The key to the successful integration of science and marketing of your new natural product is effective management. Both your science and marketing teams should be guided by your company goals, clearly expressed by your managing officers. It’s also the management’s duty to make sure that everyone understands each other’s language and concepts. Clear communication will help you execute a successful plan for launching your next product.