Written by Kevin Hampton, Director of Marketing, Kineticos

The life science industry relies heavily on market research, more so than any other industry in my opinion. The evolving nature of the industry, along with the extremely high financial stakes, stresses the need for market data. Whether it’s an emerging biotech trying to determine their molecule’s lead indication, or a diagnostic company exploring a new geographic market, there is no substitute for having a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics.

Primary research is particularly important because it is crucial to have fresh data help drive business decisions. The main advantage of conducting primary research (in addition to secondary research) is that the information gathered can be specific to the researcher’s needs, and you can control how the data is collected and reported. With secondary research, the sought-after information is frequently buried amongst unwanted and/or irrelevant information. Another advantage of conducting primary research is that the outputs become proprietary information, which can be kept hidden from competitors.

Primary research does, however, require significant resources to effectively and efficiently manage timelines and budgets, primarily because it involves relying on others to provide information. This is precisely why most life science companies choose to outsource their primary research efforts.

For example, conducting 10 Key Opinion Leader interviews sounds easy enough, right? However, if you’re targeting only physicians treating a very rare disease, who charge $1,000 per hour for their time, and only show up to their scheduled interviews 50% of the time, the logistics alone can be a nightmare. Then, once the interview is underway, it takes a unique skill set to be able to objectively extract information.

The most important reason to consider outsourcing primary research is for the same reason most conduct it in the first place: it is unique to the researcher’s specific needs. Companies that opt to conduct their own primary research are extremely susceptible to polluting the information with innate bias. Using the same example as above, if interviewer has any influence on the interviewee whatsoever, there’s a very strong possibility the information will be tainted. Humans are naturally biased, so the only way to remove it from the equation is to ensure the interviewer is a 3rd party, with no preference or influence on the information collected.

In the life science industry, with innovation comes uncertainty, and with uncertainty comes risk. Primary market research, regardless of who conducts it, is designed to reduce the uncertainty and risk. If done right, it can pave the way to success; however, if done wrong, it can lead you down a long (and costly) dead end road.


Kevin Hampton, Director of Marketing, leads Kineticos’ marketing efforts and is focused on building a brand that reflects Kineticos’ deep life science expertise and passion for improving patient outcomes.  Mr. Hampton is responsible for the strategy and execution of Kienticos’ thought leadership and lead generation programs and also supports the sales function within Kineticos to ensure objectives remain aligned.

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