There is no one single recipe to market a diverse portfolio of technology-based intellectual property. Defining and institutionalizing an agile marketing process is important for delivering consistent, high-quality results from your technology transfer efforts. I recommend designing, developing and deploying an iterative marketing process that includes updating the marketing strategy on a regular basis with the feedback you receive from potential licensees. This includes frequent checkpoints to validate your assumptions, pausing to reflect on the market feedback you receive, and adjusting your plans and marketing materials accordingly.
A key overarching factor to incorporate into your marketing plan is the projected return on investment (ROI) of your marketing resources (i.e., do not plan to invest more resources than your projected licensing revenue stream). Technology IP marketing requirements are different than traditional commercial product marketing plans. I recommend that you invest “just enough” resources until you are able to substantiate the commercial licensing interest for the technology and then respond accordingly with the next step or iteration of your plan. Throughout the process it is important to validate assumptions, and capture and factor relevant market data into your marketing plan and level of commitment. Do not hesitate to bring the plan to a halt if feedback and market factors indicate a negative change in the licensing potential of the target technology.
The marketing plan should not be considered an open-ended project with an unlimited budget. Your key stakeholders should be engaged in a review of the next steps after each major milestone or key iteration. I recommend identifying and scheduling periodic checkpoints with key stakeholders throughout the marketing project. These checkpoints should be used to:
- Reevaluate the marketing strategy and approach
- Determine if additional market research is required
- Reconsider target markets and prospective licensees
- Recalculate the anticipated ROI of the marketing plan
- Decide whether to continue or terminate the project
An iterative-based, agile marketing process with effective feedback loops should position you to identify and capitalize on high-quality prospective licensees from your marketing resource investments.
—By Jack Spain
Posts in the “IP Marketing Is an Iterative Process” series:
#1: Introducing the concept of agile marketing
#2: Validating the “go” decision
#3: Developing the marketing plan
#4: Executing the marketing plan
#5: Checkpoints for the marketing plan
#6: Getting the deal