Illumina has significant market share in genomics. How would they reach beyond their current users to grow the market for genomics analysis? A podcast of course!
Paul Bromann is a Scientific Liaison and the host of the Illumina Genomics podcast, a 15-minute program where he talks to scientists about how they are using genomics technology in their work. They don’t talk about products or mention Illumina, even when the guests get excited about what they can do with Illumina’s platform.
The goal is to grow the market for genomic approaches into new areas of life science research. That means telling stories to non-practitioners without intimidating jargon. It’s a gentle approach and an easy entry point to show their target audience what other scientists are doing.
One of the benefits of a podcast is that you don’t need eyeballs on a screen to understand the story. Scientists can listen while waiting for an incubation, doing routine tasks, exercising or commuting. In fact, this effort got started when a video series wasn’t getting much traction. (It doesn’t hurt that producing a podcast is much less expensive. Paul is traveling around talking to scientists anyway.) Now he’s able to share those conversations with a wider audience.
…we get some credibility by featuring the people who are actually doing the innovative work in the field, so it’s one thing for us as marketers to develop content, develop a story, and push that out, but it has a lot more impact and it’s much more compelling if that story’s coming directly from one of the key opinion leaders in the field.
The demographics on podcast listening are favorable. Podcast listening is growing. Listeners tend to be younger, more educated, and relatively affluent. And people who listen to podcasts tend to be very engaged with their topics of choice. (I can confirm this.) Paul told me that drop-off on the video series was high. Podcast listeners tend to listen to the end and come back for more.
There are side benefits as well:
- Potential collaborations for R&D
- Develop contacts for expert panels at events
- Brand-building opportunity for your KOLs
And there is something magical about a podcast. A microphone is less conspicuous than a camera. People speak more naturally and freely. Organizations that may have been reluctant to have people speak for a video are often happy to let them speak on a podcast when they know it’s just about the research. Those institutions can then use that content in their own PR efforts. Win-Win.