How Scientists Can Transition from the Lab Bench to a Science Marketing Career

Science marketing blends scientific expertise with marketing creativity. Skills from the lab like technical knowledge and communication can be assets in this career transition.

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From Lab Coats to Marketing Suits: Pivoting to a Science Marketing Career

Science marketing is an exciting and ever-evolving domain that integrates the precision of science with the creativity of marketing. It offers a unique opportunity for scientists to transition their lab skills into a dynamic, impactful, and financially rewarding career. Through the insights of an interview with Jenna Gallegos, Director of Scientific Marketing at Samba Scientific, we offer you a brief overview of this transition.

What is Science Marketing?

At its core, science marketing focuses on promoting scientific products and services. This involves:

Advertising: Crafting advertisements tailored for scientists, usually placed in scientific journals and news platforms.

Websites: Establishing a brand’s online presence with comprehensive details about their products and services.

Content Creation: Crafting compelling narratives about a science company’s offerings, often in the form of white papers, case studies, and articles.

Social Media Management: Engaging the science community and generating organic outreach on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Graphics: Visualizing complex data and ideas through infographics, charts, and illustrations.

All these efforts converge towards a singular goal: generating and nurturing leads, which, in the long run, transform into paying customers.

Who’s at the Helm of Science Marketing?

Science marketing isn’t just the domain of marketers; it’s filled with “recovering scientists” – professionals with deep-rooted scientific backgrounds. Large companies might have in-house marketing departments, but smaller entities often rely on specialized agencies like Samba Scientific.

Benefits of having a scientific background include:

  • Deep understanding of technologies.
  • Empathy with the target audience, given the shared experiences.
  • A robust network of professionals.
  • Proficiency in data analysis.


Honing Relevant Skills from the Bench

For those in the scientific community considering this transition, the skills you’ve cultivated during your scientific journey can be your greatest asset. These include:

Technical expertise: An advanced understanding of techniques and the broader industry.

Industry Knowledge: Being familiar with stakeholders, vendors, and industry terms.

Network: Connections and relationships forged during academic pursuits.

Communication: The ability to decode and convey complex ideas.

Analytical Ability: Essential for deriving insights, especially in marketing analytics.

Additionally, scientists can further their expertise by engaging in science communication, outreach, and by exploring the business side of science through internships or entrepreneurship programs.

A Peek into the Day-to-Day

Science marketing is diverse, and no two days are identical. A week in the life of a Science Marketing Account Manager might involve internal meetings, strategy development, direct client interactions, crafting messaging narratives, and analyzing performance metrics. It’s a role that celebrates continuous learning, creativity, collaboration, and the joy of seeing tangible results from efforts.

Challenges & Rewards in Science Marketing

science to marketing No career is without its challenges. Common challenges include tight deadlines, demanding clients, and having to sideline creative ideas due to various constraints. However, the rewards often eclipse these challenges:

  • Translating intricate science into captivating stories.
  • Being at the forefront of scientific advancements.
  • Offering mentorship and utilizing scientific expertise.
  • Enjoying better work-life balance compared to academia.
  • Celebrating the success of impactful campaigns.


Transitioning from the Bench to Marketing

For those ready to pivot, here are steps to transition seamlessly:

  • Identify roles that align with your interests and their prerequisites.
  • Assess your skills and benchmark them against what’s desired in the industry.
  • Proactively develop missing skills.
  • Emphasize your unique value and transferable skills in your resume and LinkedIn.
  • Network extensively.


Dive in! Apply to roles, even if you don’t tick every box, and be confident in your interviews.


Science marketing is a realm where scientific precision meets creative storytelling. As Jenna rightly points out, “Marketing skills and sales skills are more transferable than technical skills…with dedication and preparation, scientists can access rewarding careers that leverage their experience.

Embracing a career in marketing provides an avenue for scientists to amplify their skills beyond the lab and explore newer horizons in the vast world of business.

Check out our job board for open opportunities around the biotech industry or keep exploring our vast Career Resources.

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