The Science of Marketing Bioresearch Brands.™
Is Your Bioresearch Institution Showing Its Human Side?
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a recognized leader in the scientific community, and its website gives us some clues as to how it maintains that reputation. The institute’s communications group uses several Leadership Marketing techniques to bring HHMI’s mission and goals to life. Here are 3 things we can learn from their approach:
Highlight Your Experts, Not Your Expertise
A highly regarded entity like Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has every right to be proud of its contributions to science. But when it comes to their website, the institution chooses to promote the work of the scientists it supports rather than its own reputation. Their current homepage features an HHMI scientist and invites visitors to learn more about the research that he does at Howard Hughes. Alongside his image is copy that explains the institution’s commitment to supporting “individuals” and “discoveries that benefit humanity.” Rather than leading with a marketing message, the homepage offers visitors an invitation to learn more about the institution’s mission and the scientists who strive to accomplish it. This approach makes it easier for visitors to connect with the institution on a deeper level right from the start.
Takeaway: People relate to people, not to institutions. The more that you can humanize your work, the more people will want to learn about it.
Share Your Motivations
It’s easy for an institution to say it is passionate about its work. It is much more difficult to demonstrate it. But that’s exactly what Howard Hughes Medical Institute does in the “How We Advance Science” section of its website. The section invites visitors to learn more about what motivates their scientists. For instance, the section highlights the work of investigator, Douglas A. Melton. Melton studies stem cells in an effort to cure diabetes because his son has type I (juvenile) diabetes. By showing his personal interest in curing this disease, Howard Hughes Medical Institute connects the dots between the research being done and the human impact of that research.
Takeaway: Your scientists are passionate about what they do. Sharing that passion makes others feel good about supporting your institution’s goals.
Contribute to the Greater Good
One of the primary tenets of Leadership Marketing is to use your expertise to inspire and inform others. Howard Hughes Medical Institute accomplishes this wonderfully in its Educational Materials section. This area of their website offers free educational materials and teaching tools such as virtual labs, videos, and scientific animations. By freely sharing these valuable, scientific resources with teachers, students, other scientists, HHMI sends a clear message that it values scientific understanding above all else. It also reaffirms their scientific expertise to the general public and the scientific community.
Takeaway: Sharing educational resources with no other goal than to improve understanding of your area of research can help build trust for your institution and solidify your reputation as a scientific expert.