Customer insight helps Tocris take advantage of online opportunities

Tocris is a key life science brand within Bio-Techne – a global company committed to providing the scientific research community with pioneering products and services.

Established in 1982, Tocris aim to make new discoveries possible by providing an innovative range of more than 4,000 chemicals and peptides that are used to facilitate life science research. Their core customers include some of world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, universities and research institutes.


Tocris’ overarching objectives are to grow awareness of the Bio-Techne brand and become the global, market leading vendor of small molecules. The immediate objective is to achieve an online sales growth of 10% year-on-year.

They approached Leapfrogg with the view that they were failing to take advantage of digital. In particular, they were looking to better understand their target audience using Leapfrogg’s unique research methodologies, modernise their website and explore the role of social media in communicating with younger research scientists.

Strategy and approach

We started by immersing ourselves in a period of research, to understand Tocris’ business and commercial objectives within three key areas:

1. Research into the digital marketing landscape in which Tocris operate, and of Tocris’ key competitors

2. Analysing Tocris’ marketing activity including brand identity and positioning, current marketing activity and broader marketing plans

3. Applying various research and segmentation methodologies to understand the needs, expectations, behaviours and purchasing habits of Tocris’ customers

Our research and analysis highlighted areas of strength, weakness, and opportunities for Tocris across paid search, natural search (including a technical website audit), content and social media.

Our second phase brought all the information together to define the perfect customer journey for Tocris’ customers – informing how they should communicate with their key audiences, and across which digital touchpoints.

The third phase defined our recommended digital strategy and what Tocris should do at each stage of the customer journey, from growth and brand awareness to consideration, conversion and retention.

Finally, we provided Tocris with a roadmap, broken down by channel, tactic and activity which enabled Tocris to fulfil the strategy we had mapped out.

We also assessed Tocris’ in-house resource and expertise and aligned this to the recommended strategy and roadmap, identifying which areas could be implemented by the existing team or where there were further recruitment or training needs.


From phase one, we identified immediate revenue and brand awareness driving opportunities, for example, to increase presence in paid search, to increase the visibility of top performing content and to strengthen branding and consistency across channels.

Our technical website audit identified opportunities to improve site architecture, navigation, technical optimisation, on-site content and usability and design.

The customer research challenged current perceptions. For example, it identified that LinkedIn was a key platform for engagement for Tocris’ customers when this had been previously dismissed.

The strategy and roadmap we provided gave Tocris a plan of action that could be implemented straight away, particularly as it drew on the strengths of the existing in-house team. Other areas were to be supported by Leapfrogg and are currently underway.

What did the client have to say?

“Interactions with Leapfrogg are thought provoking, informative and practical, and always result in us raising our game to the next level. I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone looking for a partner to help them through the complex and constantly evolving world of digital marketing.”

Duncan Crawford, Chief Scientific Officer at Tocris.