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Biotech and Marketing

Basics of Marketing in Bioventure

Marketing can be defined broadly as the function of a bioventure that wishes to generate a profit by utilizing the venture’s resources and activities to identify and satisfy the needs of consumers. Consumers can comprise of individuals, corporate clients, as well as investors. One must distinguish marketing from "selling" and "advertising". Marketing is a strategic function, which determines the following:

bullet Who are the customers?
bullet What do they need and want?
bullet When do they want it?
bullet Where do they want it?
bullet How do they want to buy it? and
bullet How much are they willing to pay?

Biopreneurs can solve these questions and build a marketing strategy based on Market Segmentation. Market segmentation is another powerful tool that allows a biopreneur to identify its niche in the bigger market.

Market can be divided into four major segments:

bullet Dominant Market: Market share being the largest at any given time, e.g. small molecule drugs.
bullet Street Market: Market with low penetration, high competition and low margin of profit, e.g. more established products.
bullet Groundbreaking Market: Revolutionary technology that changes the business landscape within 10 years of its arrival, e.g., internet, recombinant technology, stem cell.
bullet Niche market: Demand is present but market size too small for big players.

In fundamental research field scientists focus on very specific question (niche) of a bigger puzzle, which is being solved by a large number of scientific bodies. Likewise biopreneurs should primarily be concerned with the niche marketing strategy. We will, thus, look further into the niche marketing concepts and its application in biobusiness.

Niche Marketing Strategy

The most fundamental aspect of niche marketing strategy is "specialization". Key characteristics of Niche Marketing Strategy are:


Niche market has to be large enough to provide profit


Niche market has been overlooked or ignored by the market leaders


Niche market can be defended through cost-effectiveness and goodwill in case of competition

Biopreneurs need to find a very small segment of technology potential and/or existing market. Since the economy and other structural environment is not fully developed, niche market business model is, perhaps, one of the best ways to go about a technology-driven and specialized biobusiness. During the high-tech boom (1990s), Cisco Systems, Intel, Softbank and Sycamore all started as venture business with their own niche marketing strategy. Niche marketing concept is so powerful that we won’t be surprised if one day someone surpasses Pfizer or Takeda through an effective niche marketing strategy. 





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