B2B Marketing, Paula Deen, and Differentiation
One of the best lunches I had in recent months was with Carmen Popescu, Senior Project Coordinator of Pharmaceutical Applications at Roquette America. Our conversation ranged from linguistics to Ceaușescu to tabbouleh to the state of higher education in America to hair care products. Carmen is energetic, witty, and warm, the kind of person you want to spend time with. She’s very down to earth, but she’s also the kind of person who sees the science in, under, around, and behind everything. In other words, she’s like me and just about everyone I know, except that she’s a genius in pharmaceutical formulation and applications. She’s the epitome of a Science Person.
In B2B marketing, most companies either are experts in their fields or claim to be one. In the B2B world, just about every company boasts innovation and proprietary solutions and technologies that differentiate them. In the race, though, to out-innovate, out-solve, and out-offer, we often lose sight of the fact that the ones innovating, solving, and offering solutions are people with everyday interests and common hobbies, people who like goofy sitcoms, weekend sports, and outlet malls. It’s easy to forget that the desire to work with people we like and share interests with can far outweigh whatever features and benefits we might like in a company’s product line or service offering. When it comes down to it, where the innovation, products, and services aren’t largely differentiated, it’s the quality of the people that makes the sale.
When we began a partnership with Roquette America, I was struck by how warm and witty and enjoyable their people are. They dissolved my uninformed notion of science experts as, well, a bit unapproachable. In fact, one of my very first discussions with one of Roquette’s science experts was about Paula Deen Riding Things. It was at that moment that I knew that we had to make sure that who Roquette’s science experts are as people doesn’t get lost among their product and service offerings, no matter how great and effective they are (and they are pretty amazing).
That’s where the Science People campaign (and the trade show booth collateral below) was born. That’s what brought Carmen, along with several other Science People from Roquette’s pharma division, to St. Louis for an in-house photo-shoot, and many enjoyable, interesting discussions and lots of laughs. If I were looking for a partner in pharmaceutical product development, I’d look no farther than Carmen, Cal, and Harshal, Roquette Pharma’s Science People, the kinds of people anyone would enjoy working alongside.