My colleague Danielle McCulloch and I had a great time last week presenting our Effective Technology Marketing webinar. If you were watching the #TTOmarketing hashtag, you know that we tweeted quite a bit. Of course, 140 characters isn’t much, so today I’m going to elaborate on a few of my favorite tweets from the webinar.
Prep is key in discovering Who What When Where Why How and How Much for yr #techtransfer marketing.
I think these seven questions are the most important tools in your tech transfer toolbox. When combined with Fuentek’s AMMO approach, these questions can help you in any situation to plan the way forward. Think of it as a story. In any story, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. You begin with a prospect, develop the business relationship, and end (you hope!) with a deal. Along the way, there’s character development (who are my prospects and how can this technology solve their problems?) and plot twists and turns (how much time do I spend with a prospect and when do I recommend changing course?). You can use these questions at any point to help you characterize your options.
Strong message tells audience what’s in it 4 them. Why should they care?
Prospects have one primary question: Why should I care? If you want a strong answer, think about the problem your innovation solves and then communicate why it is better than other solutions. Be strategic with your information, though. You don’t have to give a prospect the entire message at once; it could be overwhelming. I like to hold back a few details until I know a prospect is seriously interested.
Mechanism: Select best one(s) that time & budget allow to convey message to yr audience.
There are a variety of tools for conveying your marketing message. Beyond the technology Web page, you could go to a trade show, publish a white paper, pick up the phone, send an e-mail, blog, tweet—or any combination of these methods, depending on your resources and budget.
You’re never totally prepared. Expect the unexpected. Plan for it!
Prepare your approach, prepare your material, but don’t forget to prepare your team. I once worked with an inventor who was reluctant to share details about his technology. Because we had a great prospect who had lots of questions, we coached the inventor to prepare him for a range of questions. If you involve inventors in your conversations with prospects, which can be a great idea, make sure they also know to expect the unexpected. (You’d be amazed as some of the details some prospects want to know!)
Is the effort U R expending in a #techtransfer marketing effort right 4 what U expect to gain?
Throughout your marketing campaign, constantly ask yourself whether it is going in the right direction. Think of this in terms of both tactics and strategy. At a tactical level, there are a variety of mechanisms for reaching your audience; you may need to change course in order to meet your final objective. At a strategic level, constantly reassess the time and resources you are committing; are they in line with the prospect’s interest and your ultimate goal for the technology transfer effort?
Conversation is an art. Zero in, but keep ears & options open for other opportunities.
You may achieve your goal in one phone call, or it may take 6 months to reach your end game. In every conversation, keep qualifying your prospects until you know they’re solid. Ask. Listen. Think. Repeat. As you zero in, continually manage expectations. Sometimes your initial goal may change as your conversation progresses, so always keep your ears (and mind) open for alternate outcomes. (I’ve blogged about an example of this before.)
Online tech description a must-have. Can B simple (passive) or comprehensive (active).
When you establish a Web page for your technology, the amount of content you include depends on various factors, including which items best convey the technology’s value, how big the opportunity is (i.e., keep the marketing investment in line with the expected return), and more. The levels of development and IP protection also affect the content you are able to include. The online description at a minimum includes basic information about the technology, its benefits, and its applications. It may include specifications, test results, frequently asked questions, and publications and/or presentations. It could even include photos, videos, podcasts, webinars, information about awards, relevant events and news items, and success stories. (Check out this webcast with more information and an example of a comprehensive tech Web page.)
If this is sounding interesting to you, consider purchasing the video of our Effective Technology Marketing webinar.
What are your favorite tips about technology transfer marketing? Post a comment below or send me a private message.