The definitive book on marketing
in the life sciences




Download Chapter 7, Position—Your Marketing DNA, absolutely free. And start reading immediately.


The commercial success of new life science therapies, technologies and methodologies demands careful and strategic positioning, clear articulation of benefits, and bridging the gap between the scientific and marketing approaches to communication.

A scientist himself, David Chapin applies nearly 30 years of expertise to compare the psyche of scientists and marketers, examine today’s buying process, and demonstrate how effective marketing can change even the most skeptical attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

Investors, researchers, founders, and marketers will benefit from this logical and proven process to effectively reach and communicate with life science audiences.


“…this current and forward-looking instructional guide should be a classic, marked-up, dog-eared reference in the libraries of life science executives for years to come.”

— Kathy Meserve, Partner, Technology Commercialization Group, LLC

Making the Complex Compelling

People are talking about Making the Complex Compelling: High Performance Marketing for the Life Sciences

Read our 5-Star reviews — then write one of your own — on Amazon!

“Making the Complex Compelling is more than a must-read for the life sciences audience – this current and forward-looking instructional guide to life sciences marketing should be a classic, marked-up, dog-eared reference in the libraries of life science executives for years to come.”
Kathy Meserve, Partner, Technology Commercialization Group, LLC

“Too often life science marketing lives at the level of the trade show. In this book David Chapin elevates marketing from the tactical to the strategic, offering a structured and concise pathway to follow. The reader emerges up-skilled and eager to get to work.”
Nick Thornton, Chairman, Chiltern, Geneva, Switzerland

“Making the Complex Compelling splendidly achieves its title. It is rare that a book onmarketing leaves the reader feeling empowered and encouraged to immediately get started on the common-sense principles outlined here. It is rarer still that a book on life science marketing is actually a page turner – enjoyable to read, thought provoking and a definite call-to-action for all of us who have products or services to sell! The book is scaffolded with the rigor of a scientist but full of flourishes gained from decades in commerce. If you just want to read one—and only one—book to make your products or services more desirable, congratulations… you are holding it.”
Miles C. Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Xanofi

“This book does an excellent job of demystifying the marketing process for nonmarketers. The chapters on positioning and branding are especially valuable as these are probably the most misunderstood and misused topics, considering their importance at all stages of a company’s development.”
Malcolm Thomas, President and CEO, Arbovax, Inc

“Few are able to distill the complex down to a simple concept. It requires part art, science, and hard work to deliver a well-honed position and brand message. David accomplishes this on an ongoing basis and in Making the Complex Compelling goes further, simplifying and delivering the complexities of life science marketing in a well organized blueprint. Dare to engage…”
Brian Regan, VP Marketing, TearScience

“Whether you agree with David’s somewhat provocative statement that the level of marketing in today’s life sciences is “appalling,” his new book Making the Complex Compelling will certainly resonate with both novice and veteran marketers, alike. It contains a level of practical detail that will challenge you to consider how good your marketing practices really are.”
Andrew L. Bertera, Executive Director of Marketing, New England Biolabs

“David Chapin distills his years of design and life-sciences marketing experience into a highly readable conversation for those interested in or responsible for any aspect of marketing in the life-sciences industry. From entry-level marketer to the marketing executive in the C-suite, there is actionable information that can be used to turn contacts into clients. This book will help you make your complex marketing story compelling to potential customers, including those who don’t yet know your firm. And David does a superb job of simplifying this complex topic and providing a compelling solution to the life-sciences marketing challenge.”
Dick Blackburn, Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Business Programs, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“As a scientist who tends to think analytically, this book opened my mind to how marketing should be done based on our customer’s point of view. The information in this volume is very useful; it is wonderful to have a marketing resource that is tuned to the specific challenges of marketing life science companies.”
Richard Soltero, President, InstantGMP

“Marketing in the life sciences is a paradox in which communicating in a targeted concise way is seemingly in conflict with the thirst for deep analytical knowledge from a scientific audience. But at a time when the majority of the buying decision is completed over the internet, via word of mouth and on reputation alone, before the first engagement even occurs, it is essential that the life science marketer is skilled to establish a consistent, concise, and differentiated brand position that meets all seven of David Chapin’s stated success attributes. This is extremely difficult to do in a regulated, commoditized arena. With his wealth of experience and deep understanding from working with life sciences companies, David Chapin has constructed the manual on life science marketing strategy with Making the Complex Compelling. His book is littered with real life examples and practical steps to create and implement an effective and compelling life sciences marketing strategy. This is a quick and easy read for those looking to add value for highperformance.”
Nicholas Spittal, Senior Director, Global Commercial Affairs, Chiltern

“David Chapin’s systematic and scientific approach to life science marketing always ends up being truly inspirational. As marketers we are sometimes dazzled by cleverness and sizzle, but the depth revealed in Making the Complex Compelling will give you insights into what it takes to develop and deliver campaigns that stick and deliver, consistently.”
Allan Mohess, Sr. Director Clinical Informatics, bioMérieux

“For someone that hasn’t worked with David Chapin, Making the Complex Compelling outlines the necessary steps that enable life science companies to keep moving forward in a sustainable way. The value to the organization is at least as important as the product or service they are selling. Each step in this book has components of “education, inspiration, and reassurance” embedded within it, so that the reader self-identifies and sees the value in developing their marketing the way it’s described.”
Anton Lewis Usala MD, President and CEO, CTMG, Inc.


DAVID CHAPIN is the CEO of Forma Life Science Marketing where he helps life science organizations distill complex messages into compelling communications to engage audiences and drive sales. David is the named inventor on more than 40 patents and holds degrees in physics and design. He has won numerous awards for his work, which has been recognized in The Harvard Business Review, Medical Marketing and Media, Print, ID, Design News as well as several books about design.

Events & Programs


NC COIN’s Third Tuesday / i-8 (Innovate-in-8) Event
The Frontier – Research Triangle Park, NC
4:30-6pm – Tuesday, July 21
A prime networking opportunity that joins large and small companies, researchers, and others engaged in STEM, as well as tech-related entrepreneurs to participate in informative and educational programs.

Free Webinar: Shifting the marketing of your life science organization (a.k.a., ‘Rebranding’)
12-1pm EDT — Wednesday, July 22
What does it really mean to “rebrand?” The definition is meaningless unless the effort will help you drive sales by shifting audience attitudes to increase their engagement. In this webinar, we’ll ban the word “brand” and talk about the eight foundational assets and people you’ll need on your team to achieve success. We’ll also give you a roadmap to follow and a decision tree to show you when the time is right to shift your life science marketing. Click to register!



Book Signing! Meet the Author!
2015 BIO International Convention – Philadelphia, PA
BIO Store, Hall C Foyer, Level 2
1-2:30pm – Tuesday, June 16
David will be signing books for purchase at the #BIO2015 Store. Stop by and exchange your industry insights!

The Scientific Mindset is Not Enough: Communicating the value of clinical trials to patients and the public
Chiltern Innovation Symposium – Cary, NC (near Research Triangle Park)
Chiltern – 4000 CentreGreen Way, Suite 300, Cary NC
Thursday, June 4
As part of Chiltern’s hosting of the PharmaTimes Clinical Research of the Year finals, the CRO welcomes four leading thinkers to present on the topics of innovation, technology and communication in clinical research.

Public Speaking 2.0: Stage Presence
MAGI 2015 East Clinical Research Conference – Arlington, VA
5:15-6:45pm – Sunday, May 17
An interactive workshop designed to help clinical researchers build and refine their presentations in business meetings, industry conferences, and other speaking venues. Participants will learn to engage their audiences by making their complex messages more concise, compelling, authentic and animated.

Bridge the Gap Between Scientific and Marketing Worldviews to Tell Your Brand-Story (VIDEO)
12-2pm – Thursday, April 2
Luncheon discussion organized by Virginia Bio and Indoor Biotechnologies
Commonwealth Reserve – 427 E. Main St., Charlottesville, VA
Life science professionals from start-up, early-stage, and established life organizations, research institutions, state and local government representatives, and regional key opinion leaders

Tech Night Takeover: Strategic Marketing to Technology-Based Businesses
Panel discussion hosted by Charlottesville Business Innovation Council
5-7:30pm – Thursday, April 2
The Haven – 112 West Market St., Charlottesville, VA

Making the Complex Compelling: How to Improve Your Life Science Marketing (VIDEO)
Hosted by North Carolina Center of Innovation Network (NC COIN)
4-6pm – Wednesday, January 28
North Carolina Biotechnology Center – 15 TW Alexander Dr., Durham, NC

Are you curious about how well your organization
is doing with your marketing efforts?



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