Making Hard Choices: How and When to Shut Down Technology Marketing Efforts, Part 1

New Year, New Blog Series!
Hello readers, and warm wishes for 2011. We at Fuentek hope your holidays have been restful and inspiring. We’ve been inspired to introduce some new and informative blog series in 2011, starting with Stories From the Field. This series of blog posts will highlight real-life examples of Fuentek’s experiences with our clients and our consulting efforts, and serve up the lessons we’ve learned, the choices we’ve made, and the actions we’ve taken. We hope our experience can be your guide. Happy reading, and happy new year!

There’s no time like the new year to reflect and reassess. Where are your marketing efforts working, and where are they stalled? Remember, for every hour spent on a technology going nowhere, your team could be digging for gold on a higher-potential technology!

But making the call to shut down a marketing effort isn’t easy. You’ve done everything you were supposed to do: You built a quality marketing plan, you tailored your plan to expected ROI, and you launched and followed your plan. But…you aren’t getting any traction with prospects. How do you make the tough call to cancel the effort and move on? This three part series will highlight several examples of real marketing campaigns—and when and how Fuentek decided to close these efforts.

Example 1: The Fatal Flaw
During the technology commercial assessment you got excellent feedback on the key features and benefits of this technology. Industry leaders were anxious to learn more about the technology. So you launch an aggressive marketing campaign, leveraging your warm leads, cold calling, and social media.

Not long after you make contact with prospects, you begin hearing the same feedback—one particular aspect of the technology is not viewed positively by the prospects. While the prospects are totally enamored of the key benefits, this one particular aspect seems to be a show-stopper. You discuss it with the inventor, but there is no way to overcome this perceived flaw; it is inherent in how the technology works.

How incredibly frustrating! All of the major industry leaders have you on their speed dial list and are ready to license, save for this fatal flaw. Isn’t there some way to overcome this?!

The tough and true answer: No. You’ve done your due diligence. The fatal flaw has no work-around, and without it, the technology cannot deliver the benefits that have everyone so excited. It’s time to cut it loose. Need a silver lining? If you’ve invested time in developing various marketing materials such as a technology web page, you can continue with a no-cost passive marketing effort. And when the next patent maintenance fee is due, you can reassess whether to continue with the passive effort or not.

Lesson Learned: If you are hearing consistently negative feedback, especially for the same reason, it’s time to shut the marketing effort down and move on to the next promising technology.

Watch for next week’s installment in this series: My Baby Isn’t Ugly.

–By Laura A. Schoppe

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Posted by Laura Schoppe

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