As everyone knows, the Great Recession or 2008 and 2009 has taken its toll on most industries and the biotools supply industry is no exception. However, there is real evidence that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a bit brighter. Stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have finally started to find their way to biotools companies’ revenue reporting. Recently Bruker, a leading European supplier of analytical instruments with more than $1 billion in revenues, reported at an August Investor Presentation (give the PDF link a moment to load) that they have already realized greater than $10 million in stimulus funded revenues in US markets and anticipated as much of as 20% or more of their revenue could come from global stimulus efforts. That bodes well for the biotools industry. But the big question for all biotools companies is – will growth be sustainable or just a windfall?
Percepta Associates recently reported that more than more than 80% of the roughly $9 billion to be distributed by the NIH as extramural grants will be hitting research budgets between now and February 2010. Ideally the stimulus will create new jobs and researchers report that new hiring is in the plans of many research laboratories. Job creation stands a better chance to contribute to a sustained growth in the biotools industry because more researchers will presumably perform more research, which means they will use more equipment, consumables, materials and reagents.
It remains to be seen if the global stimulus efforts will promote sustainable growth, but smart biotools companies are preparing for all possibilities. While sales departments are actively vying for the influx of funding with their current product portfolios, marketing managers should be planning for the next generation of products that will deliver true value. Knowing what value is to the end-user is a critical part of delivering it. Has your company taken the time to understand what is important to your customers or are you assuming you know? Trusting in assumptions is a very risky undertaking and if you have not recently polled your customers to understand their needs in detail you may be wasting valuable time and resources. If you follow the current marketing thought leaders you will know how important it is to profile your customers and make sure you are tailoring the right message to the right end-users. If you are not sure how to do this, Percepta can help. Contact us any time with questions or add your comments, which are always welcome.