The first thing to know is whether you are a reader or a listener. Far too few people even know that there are readers and listeners and that people are rarely both. Few listeners can be made, or can make themselves, into competent readers—and vice versa. Peter F. Drucker
In his 1999 Harvard Business Review article, “Managing Oneself,” Peter Drucker makes the case that success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves—their strengths, their values, and how they best work and perform. He states that, “Amazingly few people know how they get things done. Indeed, most people do not even know that different people work and perform differently.”
According to Drucker, a few personality traits usually determine how one works and performs. The first trait he discusses is reading or listening. He emphasizes that a person is either a reader or listener, and rarely both. To be a successful marketer, you must understand that people acquire and consume information differently, and provide your information in different formats for readers and listeners.
One of the most effective B2B marketing assets for knowledge professionals, especially engineers and scientists, is a case study, because it provides an answer to a potential buyer’s question, “How does your product or technology meet my specific business need?” Learning how your product or technology was used by someone’s unbiased peer to solve a similar problem is much more credible and effective than learning it from you—a vendor with a self-serving motive. And a case study is equally effective for nurturing prospective customers (especially in the discovery phase) and as a sales enablement tool to help win a deal (the validation phase). But good case study content is just the beginning; to be effective with all prospects you have to package the content for readers and listeners.
While listening implies hearing, it often includes watching, as well. Therefore, I find a short video to be a very effective way of communicating with listeners. Another very effective format for listeners is an online seminar, or webinar. For readers, a high-quality electronic document (usually in a pdf format) can be printed or read directly from a desktop, laptop or tablet computer, depending on the reader’s preference.
Here are a couple of examples of case studies delivered to readers and listeners.
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
“We knew it would be valuable for our scientists to be able to consistently find information on compounds, studies, and project status across the whole organization. We didn’t want the technology to be a driver in and of itself, but when you look at the original evaluations, Symyx Notebook was the system preferred by both our scientists and our technical teams—and that spoke volumes.” Craig Tulig, Associate Director of R&D Systems
Millennium implemented Symyx Notebook, an ELN, in two different discovery disciplines: chemistry and biology. The process and results were documented in a printable case study (for readers) and delivered in a webinar (for listeners).
Kalexsyn: Contract Research Organization
“Conservatively, our scientists save about 25% of the time spent writing reports and preparing patents relative to a paper system, and that 25% translates into more chemistry and very satisfied customers. Working electronically constitutes a time savings that equates to savings of thousands of dollars per year by providing efficiency in our workflow.” David Zimmerman, CEO
Founded in 2003, Kalexsyn, a contract research organization (CRO), has used an ELN since its first day of business, and the company’s leaders credit the system with making Kalexsyn a better, more productive partner for its clients. Operational workflow and results were documented in a printable case study (for readers) and delivered in a short video (for listeners).