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Marketing and R&D Magic: Dissimilarities Pull the Best from R&D and Marketing

By: Nancy McDonald and Salvador Pliego
Posted: December 10, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 5

Nancy: A pretty perfect combo. She turned this dynamic into spectacular success, using her imagination to capture the imagination of countless customers. This is exactly what we’re talking about. As Bare Escentuals’ Mineral Makeup sales have continued to explode, however, making notable headlines in the process, there have been more than 612 competitive mineral makeup introductions in the past 18 months, according to Datamonitor’s Productscan Online. 612! Where’s the vision and the magic in that?

Salvador: You may be reacting a little harshly, Nancy, but your assessment is correct. The hard fact is that beauty products do not represent a fundamental, physiological human need.

Nancy: More importantly, Sal, they do fulfill a real emotional need. The appeal of beauty and fragrance products resides in the realm of the imagination, in the human spirit. When that imagination, that spirit are combined with the power of technology and ingredients, you finally start pressing the right buttons out there.

Salvador: So, to the reader I say “What are you waiting for?” Each day, novel and exciting ingredients are emerging from the world’s laboratories, and older ingredients already in the market have ripened with time and have been re-invented with age. Take reliable retinol, for example. There are now submicron technologies that allow us to stabilize it, use it and get the most out of it. I am hereby challenging marketeers to partner with your R&D teams to leverage this wealth of technology. Together, we can recapture consumers’ imagination. Marketing and R&D are not competitive adversaries. We need to ensure that we work together as true partners in the product development process. Certainly, every product can’t achieve the amazing heights of Bare Escentuals, but it’s a sure bet that it will enhance any product’s success quotient. Regardless of who or what sparks it, the recipe remains flawless: A brilliant, imaginative marketing idea combined with a breakthrough, imaginative ingredient or technology courtesy of our partners in R&D. Wave the magic wand and presto! Now we’re pulling a rabbit out of the hat.

Nancy: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well … perhaps differently.