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Posted in: Communication, Communications Development and Evaluation, Healthcare, International, Professional Services/B2B, Qualitative Exploratory


Challenge: InnoCentive is an online community for scientists founded by a major pharmaceutical company. This online marketplace provides organizations, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, petrochemical, material sciences, and consumer goods companies, with the opportunity to post scientific challenges for the world’s leading minds to solve.

Objective: The company wanted to confirm the viability of the concept, assess how to effectively launch it in the marketplace, and develop an optimal brand positioning platform.

Solution: An exploratory study of in-depth interviews and small focus groups among solvers from across the globe was conducted, to explore the cultural mindsets of scientists/solvers in international markets, understand their reactions to and interest in the online marketplace concept, and determine the most meaningful platform and messages that would motivate consideration/trial of this new concept.

Result: Insights were used to identify the potential opportunity among scientists/solvers in the U.S. and abroad, and Plan-it recommended an optimal brand platform, as well as communications and media strategies to most effectively reach this audience. InnoCentive’s agency, PJA developed a print advertising campaign based on the results in an effort to build awareness and familiarity among R & D decision-makers in key target industries. As a follow-up, Plan-it then conducted a Qualitative Communications Evaluation among VP, Director, and C-level R & D decision-makers from around the globe to determine the communications effectiveness of the print ads, in compelling them to consider this online marketplace for posting scientific problems. Learning helped refine the advertising campaign to optimally target the R & D decision-maker audience.