My PhD advisor used to say, “A day in the lab can save a week at the library.” CG Life’s San Diego office heeded that advice and visited the Institute of Genomic Medicine Genomics Center and the Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics at the University of California, San Diego campus.

During our field trip, we learned more about the priorities of core lab managers and next-generation sequencing (NGS) professionals. The following key insights describe what matters most to core labs and how marketers and communicators can use this information to better engage with this audience.

Core Labs Are Like Businesses

Core labs are a business, with fellow researchers as their customers. Their primary goal in choosing new instrumentation is not cost but rather selecting technologies that will be in high demand with researchers on campus. Core labs typically try to break even when it comes to operating and capital costs, leaving instrument prices as a secondary factor.

Although core lab managers do not purchase every item a researcher asks for—who has room for that many instruments?—they do consider requests seriously.

As marketers and communicators, we would be wise to continue to reach out to researchers, to understand their challenges and garner their interest, as they are a primary influence for core lab managers.

Nature and Science Are Still #1

As we know, peer-reviewed publications serve as academic currency. The core lab managers stressed that top-tier outlets, like Science and Nature, remain the premier journals for genetic researchers even among the cornucopia of options that currently exist, including open-access journals.

Marketers and communicators should leverage studies that are published in these premier publications, creating a connection between top-quality studies and proven technologies and instruments.

Scientists Want More Than Just Marketing Spiels

When companies visit to discuss their newest technologies, they are urged to bring more than just coffee and doughnuts (although that doesn’t hurt). Core lab managers appreciate when active post-docs or staff scientists present their data acquired with the technology alongside the sales pitch.

Marketers and communicators should include real studies in their pitches as a demonstration of what their platforms can offer.