Archive for January, 2010

IP Marketing Is an Iterative Process: Developing the Marketing Plan

Monday, January 25th, 2010

An effective, iterative IP marketing process should include a well-conceived plan that focuses on delivering an acceptable return on your resource investments. Your plan should be more of a “living,” outline-level guide than a voluminous document that you rarely revisit. An effective marketing plan can be developed with the following steps:


1.         Meet with the inventor to ensure that you have a solid understanding of the current state of the technology and to confirm the inventor’s willingness and availability to support the marketing effort.


2.         Write an “elevator pitch” or clear, concise, and compelling technology marketing description that will capture the attention and interest of your target audience.


3.         Determine the optimal approach to showcase your technology in a cost-effective manner.


4.         Develop a technical specifications sheet consistent with industry standards for the technology based on the market research in the technology assessment and when you validated your “go” decision.


5.         Identify the suitable promotional materials and methods to support your marketing plan. Refining your specific promotional plan to the norms of your target market can be considerably more effective than a “one size fits all” approach.


6.         Establish a method to package and distribute the technology to licensees. It is typically less resource intensive to define your approach early in the marketing process as opposed to being reactive after you have executed your first licensing agreement.


7.         Schedule checkpoints with the key stakeholders to confirm and validate your plans along with your resource and schedule estimates.


Developing a thoughtful marketing plan will save your organization considerable time and money and should produce a greater number of successful outcomes in the form of licenses per resources invested.


Are there additional steps you take in developing a marketing plan?


—By Jack Spain

IP Marketing Is an Iterative Process: Validating the “Go” Decision

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

An effective, iterative IP marketing process begins with revisiting the decision to proceed with marketing. This first step might seem odd, given that the “go” marketing decision was informed by an assessment. But in most cases, there is a lag between when you decide to market a technology and when you can market a technology (e.g., once a patent application has been filed). In the six months or more that usually have elapsed before marketing can start, the economic climate can change dramatically or the “shelf life” of the innovation may now be a factor. Pausing to confirm that the “go” decision is still valid helps ensure that your limited marketing resources are focused on the right commercialization opportunities.

A good starting point is to evaluate whether the information obtained during the assessment process still accurately represents the perspective of the target licensees:

  • Who the ideal target licensees for this particular technical innovation are
  • Why a prospective licensee would be interested in licensing this technology
  • What the specific features, functions, and attributes are that make this innovation compelling

Here are several steps that we recommend for validating the “go” decision without expending excessive resources:

  • Review the assessment and evaluation reports that have been generated by your Tech Transfer Office;
  • Review the invention disclosure and other more recent disclosures from the inventors—particularly those filed since the assessment was conducted;
  • Briefly review relevant papers, presentations and publications from the inventors, focusing on identification of potential commercialization opportunities;
  • Confirm the current IP protection status of the innovation;
  • Identify key milestones by which commercialization interest needs to be secured;
  • Research the requirements and expectations regarding any relevant industry technical standards that will impact or influence commercialization opportunities; and
  • Consult briefly with experts within your professional network for additional background and insights that will enhance your marketing plan.

Once this has been done, you can confidently begin to outline your marketing outreach and campaign strategy, scope and approach – a process that will be described in a future post.

Have you been in situations where this type of reevaluation has served you well – or where you wish you had done it?

–By Jack Spain