Making Hard Choices: How and When to Shut Down Technology Marketing Efforts, Part 2

Last week I talked a bit about reflecting on and reassessing your technology marketing efforts, and we looked at an example of how and when to make the hard choice of shutting down a marketing effort on a fatally flawed technology. This week, let’s take a look at a second example: a technology transfer marketing effort that shouldn’t have launched in the first place.

Example 2: My Baby Isn’t Ugly!
A client came to Fuentek with a technology that they wanted to market. They outlined a number of (what appeared to be) compelling market benefits, and in fact they had had great success using the technology themselves. They insisted that we kick off the marketing effort without first performing a technology commercialization assessment. They were persuasive and, against our better judgment, we agreed.

Immediately upon contacting prospects, we began hearing consistently negative feedback. The current state of the art had far surpassed this technology; no one was interested. Every week during our status calls with the client’s licensing manager, we recommended shutting the effort down. Every week we were told to continue making calls. They were convinced that the technology was the best thing since sliced bread.

After two months of us telling them that we kept getting the same feedback, the message sunk in for our client that the technology was not licensable. The client finally agreed to shut it down.

Lessons Learned:
1. Don’t market a piece of intellectual property without first doing a technology commercialization assessment. The assessment would have quickly and inexpensively determined what the client found out the hard way—that this technology was not commercially viable.
2. If you are marketing a technology and the feedback is consistently negative, be bold and pull the plug—sooner rather than later. Move your resources onto other efforts that have a higher probability of success. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!

Stay tuned for next week’s example: A Roller Coaster Ride.

–By Laura A. Schoppe

Posted by Laura Schoppe

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