Updated Oct. 12, 2010
An effective, iterative IP marketing process should include a well-conceived plan that focuses on delivering an acceptable return on your resource investments. Once your plan is in place, the fun begins with Executing the Marketing Plan. The essential elements in this phase are as follows:
- Contact prospective target licensees as outlined in your marketing plan. Quite often this is a combination of e-mails, telephone calls, conferences and workshops.
- Respond to questions and requests about the technology in a timely manner. Manage your schedule to ensure you (or your designees) are available as needed.
- Document your interactions with prospective licensees, following a consistent process. An IP management database system is ideal for this kind of tracking. Such an information repository provides you with the current status and state of each prospective licensee along with key metrics to measure the overall progress of your marketing campaign.
- Carefully vet prospective licensees before involving the inventors. Most inventors are focused on their research projects and do not have much time available for interactions with prospective licensees. Be mindful of the inventors’ availability, involving them only when you have a high-quality prospect.
- Update the marketing promotional materials and your approach as needed to improve your effectiveness throughout the execution phase.
- Facilitate the development of licensing applications that will progress through the deal phase (i.e., executing a formal licensing agreement) and result in a successful commercialization of the technology.
An essential skill to exercise throughout the execution phase, and probably all the time, is effective listening. Acutely listen to the responses and feedback from your target licensees. Learn from how the inventor responds to questions and challenges from interested parties. Take into account the goals and objectives of your office. Regularly incorporating all of this information will allow you to adjust your marketing plan to become an excellent roadmap to commercialization.
–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