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Formulators and Marketers: Working Better Together
By: Nancy Trent, Trent & Co.
Posted: November 26, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
Nancy Trent is owner and founder of Trent & Company, Inc., a global marketing communications firm that specializes in publicity for beauty and health products. One of her first positions in journalism was working for an engineering trade publication, where her primary role was to liaise between the technicians and the marketing department. That experience led to the company she founded, and to the topic she chose as guest columnist for this month’s “Bench & Beyond.”
Note from the Column Editor:
It is often said that the most challenging interface during product development is the one between R&D and marketing. Five years ago the Journal of Product Innovation Management reported1 that significant barriers exist between these two key product innovation functions. Individuals at this interface disagree about what they should do together, according to the report, and added that R&D folks are the more reluctant cooperators.
Formulators and marketers of personal care products face similar problems at their interface, but their problems are often compounded by the need to communicate in a sensory language. In this column,
Nancy Trent suggests some reasons why formulators and marketers should want to work together, and offers some ways to make it happen. Her comments belong in this column’s space because formulators who work with marketers need to communicate at the bench and beyond.
When people really understand something well, they are more likely to be enthused by it. Combining the forces of research and formulation with sales and marketing can create an excited and informed atmosphere in all aspects of a product’s life cycle—from concept and development, to production and manufacturing, to sales, marketing and public relations. Opening the lines of communication between different departments or individuals can only enhance and improve the product’s impact on the industry. Unfortunately, those communication lines are not always connected and hazardous gaps occur.