Marketing for Science Based Organizations Perspectives and Questions

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Marketing for research and science-based organizations is complex and not well understood; especially by the research, scientific, and technical communities. This paper presents a conceptual framework for scientists in research and science-based organizations to think about their organization’s marketing and sales functions, and related processes. NASA, one of the world’s most successful research organizations, which put two American astronauts on the moon in approximately 8 years, is briefly explored. The role of 21st Century research and science-based organizations in creating societal, organizational, and individual wealth is examined via a conceptual framework of the virtuous wealth creation process. Two forms of intrinsic organizational cultural conflict are examined; the external cultural conflicts between potential customers and the technology organization, and the internal conflict between scientists and economic managers. Strategic marketing is addressed and consists of market need, market segmentation, choosing a target market, and the organization’s position relative to the target market and competition. Tactical marketing (AKA sales) and its elements are delineated - product, price, promotion, physical distribution, and most importantly - personnel. The integration of all elements of strategic and tactical marketing into a cohesive whole is underscored. Additionally, several marketing and sales questions are posed to facilitate self-assessment by research and technology-based organizations.

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