When Scott Coleman joined DuPont in February, he had the challenge of transforming its image from that of a chemical company to a science-based one.
“In recent history, I think most people still believe it's a chemical company,” Coleman said. “We wanted to update the reality that DuPont is really a science company—one that excels in innovation and directs its efforts toward solving some of the world's most difficult problems.”
Some of those pressing issues, featured in DuPont's ad campaigns, marketing partnerships and thought-leadership programs, are food, energy and safety.
“A big focus this year was stimulating engagement [among target audiences] and offering compelling thought leadership and content around these issues,” Coleman said.
One of DuPont's major efforts was the introduction around the world of innovation centers that bring together scientists, business executives, government officials and educators in off- and online environments to collaborate on specific topics, such as providing more efficient energy solutions.
Another marketing push for Coleman this year was establishing media partnerships with properties such as BBC Global News and National Geographic to create integrated marketing programs.
With BBC, DuPont sponsored “Horizons,” a TV series that focuses on what businesses in the future will look like and how they'll help solve global problems. Scientists and engineers from DuPont, as well as from other businesses and academic institutions, are featured on the program.
With National Geographic, DuPont ran a print and online campaign called “Welcome to the Global Collaboratory,” showcasing how it is helping to solve global problems in such areas as food, fuel and safety.
“Content is everything in this world,” Coleman said. “With the advent of digital, it opens up avenues we haven't even begun to explore.”
DuPont is now working on an internal system that uses social media tools to help its scientists, engineers and subject-matter experts collaborate and share best practices. —K.M.