Where’s the Passion?

By April 23, 2012Corporate Strategy

Seven years ago, I had a brief stint at a B2B marketing firm who offered web audits. It was a fairly new idea at the time. Our IT team would conduct an audit to evaluate the usability, content and overall feel of a site. We saw some doozies. But to be fair, people loved Flash at the time. There were a lot of single webpages because manufacturing companies knew they needed a web presence but they felt their catalog already got to all the right people. Yes, catalog. (We still did a lot of catalog layouts. Those days are certainly over.)

The point is, what we were talking with people about was matching the look and feel of the company to its presence online. That conversation hasn’t changed all that much. But what amazes me is how many businesses out there today still don’t invest in their website.

I went to a networking event this week of all biotech companies. The ideas spinning around that room were amazing. Really groundbreaking, life changing stuff. The next day, I went online to find the companies I spoke with to get a sense of the research they were releasing. The passion and ingenuity I heard the night before was absent from a lot of their sites.

How is that? Is there still a gap between what happens in a lab or manufacturing plant and what the online world gets to see? I think we’re missing out. I’d love to hear from the under-represented businesses.

What is the apprehension all about? Or is it just hard to creatively communicate the business of diagnosing, researching, discovering, manufacturing?



  • VickiLesage says:

    I’ve worked on web/marketing stuff with biotech companies before and I think a big problem is that they just don’t see the value in it – they unfortunately think it’s “all fluff”. Surely they don’t all think that way and the ones that are more open to it are really going to stand out and get ahead. Yay for them! The rest can just be a pain to work with because instead of advancing on projects you’re continually having to re-convince them that what you do is worthwhile. Sigh.

  • ErikaGennari1 says:

    Yep, that’s tough. I think when they see it directly reaching investors and patients, the value presents itself. But it does seem to be fairly new to the industry. There’s nothing worse than re-convincing a client that what you’re doing matters. 

  • rustyspeidel says:

    What’s awesome is when the light finally DOES go on and these folks see the big picture. When they see how their invention is going to change the world, they embrace these changes completely. 

  • LindaKolker says:

    My experience with clients in a variety of industries is that their expertise is not in marketing. They aren’t used to thinking in terms of what prospects and customers are looking for. In addition, they’re inside the business, focused on the features of the products and services they offer. It really takes someone from outside their business to provide the perspective on what’s exciting and unique about what they do, and show them how to weave that through every aspect of their external (and internal) communications.

  • ErikaGennari1 says:

     @LindaKolker I think you’re right. It is definitely our job to provide the outside perspective. It has to be hard focusing on research in a lab all day to turn around and imagine packaging that information in a eloquent, creative way. To @rustyspeidel ‘s point, it is awesome when they do get it.

  • LindaKolker says:

     @VickiLesage Yes, it’s no fun to work with clients who won’t take advantage of your expertise and experience. You then have to decide whether to give them a lot of pushback (presumably that’s part of why they hire us) or whether to just let go of it and give them what they want. The problem with letting go and resigning yourself is that it shows in the copy you write.