Here is a summary of the questions we receive most frequently.  Just click on the question number to access the answer.

This list is dynamic.  Don’t see a question for which you need an answer?  Email me today: bfoster@the-mip.com


  1. How big is the microscopy market?
  2. I haven’t launched my product yet. Why should I be doing market research now?. 2
  3. What can you do for us and what is it going to cost?. 2
  4. What makes the microscopy and imaging markets so different?. 2
  5. If there was one secret too success in this industry, what would it be?. 3
  6. We’ve tried market research before and it just didn’t work out. Why is The MIP more successful? 3
  7. What’s the difference between marketing and sales?. 3
  8. How important is the Internet to this market niche?. 3
  9. How important is your website in the microscopy, spectroscopy & imaging arena?. 4
  10. What role does Social Media play in microscopy & spectroscopy? Does my company need a Facebook Page PLUS a website?. 4


1.    How big is the microscopy market?
The answer is, approximately $3.8 Billion. However, that number probably means nothing in terms of your product. Unlike any other analytical technology, the world of microscopy and imaging is just too fragmented for this question to be pertinant to most business development.

From the technology standpoint, this market is complex. It encompasses light, electron, and confocal microscopies, atomic force and scanning probe microscopies, scanning white light interferometry and related surface profilers, holographic microscopy, an alphabet soup’s worth of elemental analysis techniques, and most recently, a host of vibrational spectroscopy methods, including Raman, Near IR, and FT-IR.  To compound this issue: electronic imaging underlies all current microscopies.

From the application/discipline standpoint, this industry is equally complex, encompassing traditional biological, medical/clinical and materials sciences to semiconductors and nanotechnology  with secondary markets in foods, forensics, and environmental sciences.  In terms of applications, the biggest areas of expansion are the Life Sciences, followed by the natural resources (oil and gas).  Within the life sciences, neuroscience is driving tremendous advances in optics, signal processing, and light sources.  Pharma and pathology are also spreading their wings, driving innovation in whole slide scanning and digital pathology.

Finally, there is great disparity between different types of labs: academic, industrial, national/government, and private research/consulting facilities.  Within academe there are also major dividing lines between the low-end K-12 and junior college/university sectors.

A much more relevant question to most new product and business development is “Where is my product most likely to be successful in the world of microscopy and related imaging?” The MIP is expert at finding those answers, contributing to:

  • realistic, fundable business plans
  • more cost-effective technology development and manufacturing
  • quicker market penetration
  • more rapid revenue and better use of existing resources.

Give us a call today at (972)924-5310.  Let’s discuss where  your REAL market is and how The MIP can help you to reach it faster.

2.    I haven’t launched my product yet. Why should I be doing market research now?
This answer may surprise you.  The best time to do market research is before your idea hits the drawing board. Knowing your audience and the solutions they are looking for

  • reduces engineering time and investment,
  • speeds market penetration, and
  • drives the sales effort.

The bottom line: fewer dollars in, faster and more dollars out.

Visit our Services/Market Research to learn more then give us a call today at (972)924-5310.  Let’s discuss questions you might have and how Early-Stage, User-Based Market Research can save you time, money, and resources.

3.    What can you do for us and what is it going to cost?
Before we can answer that question, we have some questions for you:

In real terms, what are your costs for each of the following?

  • Delayed time to market
  • An over-engineered product that is too expensive to make and doesn’t sell
  • Missing a critical buying cycle
  • A badly placed ad
  • Expenses related to full time staff in sales and marketing
  • Deferred growth because of lack of experience or staff

In real terms, what is the value to your business of each of the following?

  • Shortened learning curve for your business
  • Allowing your whole company to move more aggressively toward capturing market share in microscopy and imaging,
  • Ease-of-use of turnkey systems
  • Reducing the need for extra staff and budget
  • Well-planned and controlled budget and scheduling processes for hassle-free management
  • High visibility
  • Rapid credibility
  • Rapid revenue growth

A recent survey revealed salaries for top level marketing management average $200K/year, with staff of The MIP’s expertise commanding nearly $300K/year. Our target market is companies with emerging technologies. We understand that these companies rarely have this type of money budgeted for all marketing activities, let alone the salary of one individual. However, with a universe of services available, The MIP can define exactly what you need and provide you with a quote to fit your budget.  We specialize in working with your existing staff, stretching each dollar even further.

Give us a call today at (972)924-5310.  The first call is FREE.  We can quickly identify what you need to be more effective and what we can do to help.

4.    What makes the microscopy market so different?
As a technology, microscopy requires a unique hand-eye-brain coordination derived from an intimate physical relationship between the microscope and the microscopist. As a result, working in this market is more akin to manufacturing, marketing, and selling cars or clothes. The MIP offers a unique mix of technology and strategic business development expertise to shorten your learning curve and position your product successfully in this unusual arena.

5.    If there was one secret too success in this industry, what would it be?
Amazingly, there is one key fundamental: “Show me”.

6.    We’ve tried market research before and it just didn’t work out. Why is The MIP more successful?
For over twenty five years, The MIP has conducted user-based market research to define markets and technologies, set pricing, and identify applications. Unlike any other market research or strategic consulting group, The MIP is active in the industry–every day.  As practicing microscopists and spectroscopists ourselves, we bring you a unique perspective on the end users’ issues.  Our work routinely takes us into the worlds of nanotechnology and the semiconductor as well as biotech, biological/medical and materials sciences, and forensics.  We “speak” science… and we know the right place to do the right research to reach your prospective audience.

We specialize in finding out what is on the mind of your customer.  Visit our Services/Market Research to find out more then call us at (972)924-5310 and let’s discuss the T/MIP Difference.

7.    What’s the difference between marketing and sales?
In the simplest terms, marketing controls the message and sales controls the relationship.  However, the advent of the Internet has dramatically changed the nature of the customer, driving sales and marketing closer together.

On a more detailed level, marketing is a complex array of activities which starts with profiling your market, your specific audience, and your competition, then moves on to a second tier of activities centered on promotion and sales. When properly structured and managed, marketing establishes a special dialogue between management, sales, engineering and the end user that leads to rapid market penetration and revenue generation, as well as more cost-effective technology development and manufacturing. The promotional end of marketing is your silent sales person and should be done in close concert to provide the best tools to support your sales force.

Your Sales Team is your front line with the customer, your “feet on the street.” The nature of today’s customer is to appear at the top of the Sales Funnel then disappear until just before they are ready to buy.  With the help of Marketing, the Sales Team needs to do everything possible to gently stay in front of that customer during this “blackout”.  Their job is the most delicate: a balance between staying “front of mind” while not being overly intrusive.  Their ultimate goal: to be there when the customer is making that all-important final decision to buy.

The MIP has tremendous depth in marketing strategy and implementation as well as sales support.  Visit our SERVICES menu and our Portfolio to learn more, then give us a call at (972)924-5310 to see how we can help you on both sides of this important balance.

8.    How important is the Internet to this market niche?
Critical!  Since microscopists rely so heavily on electronic imaging and digital image processing, they feel very much at home on the Internet, and use it extensively for communication, image exchange, researching research, evaluating equipment, and application information.  Your job: to feed quality material onto the Internet to catch their attention.

9.  How important is your website in the microscopy, spectroscopy & imaging arena?
Your website is your single most important sales tool.  But building a site does not guarantee that anyone will visit. The Internet is just too broad.  You need to find every excuse possible to drive traffic to your site.  The MIP has been doing just that for decades now.  Visit our “VISIBILITY” page then give us a call at (972)924-5310 to find out how to make best use of this valuable tool.

10. What role does Social Media play in microscopy & spectroscopy? Does my company need a Facebook Page PLUS a website?
Over the past 5 years, The MIP has conducted market research with thousands of microscopists, tracking the best way to stay in touch with your customer in this niche.  (Visit the Hot Spot/Social Media on our HOME page to learn more about the current study).  For the moment (as of January 2015), the good news is that a website, properly supported, is sufficient.  In terms of other Social Media, Listservers and LinkedIn are the best way to stay in front of and in touch with your prospective customers.  Twitter is just now coming on line as a way to keep in touch, especially when it comes to sending out immediate messages about neat things happening at an important tradeshow.  Otherwise, most microscopists and spectroscopists, while intrigued at first,  just find it a nuisance.  The key: good quality content delivered in a timely fashion.

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