We’ve blogged often about how planning for technology marketing helps tech transfer offices (TTOs) be more proactive and efficient in selecting innovations to market. If your TTO is like most, you have more active marketing projects than you have the resources to handle. Therefore, prioritizing (and reprioritizing) your projects is the key to developing a strategic and agile marketing process that will provide long-term value. In today’s Stories from the Field post, I share details of how to apply what we’ve learned through years of identifying high-priority projects.
We recently worked with a university client to help the TTO identify the “most likely to succeed” of its nearly 50 active technology marketing projects. Due to limited financial and staff resources, our client not only wanted to focus its efforts on the projects with the greatest potential for success but also to identify the projects that it should shut down, keep open, or simply gather more information about in order to make a good decision.
Fuentek’s experience had shown that the best way to achieve such diverse objectives is to concentrate on the projects that are most likely to end in some type of deal. This allows you to focus (rather than dilute) your marketing efforts and get to the best deal as quickly as possible while expending the fewest resources. Here’s how we helped this particular client prioritize the marketing portfolio. We:
- Gathered the decision makers to “clear the decks” of those projects that warranted no further effort as well as those where marketing efforts were succeeding. Including technology managers who can provide the most up-to-date information about how each project is going is essential. In the case of our university client, this discussion uncovered 17 technologies for which more up-to-date market information was needed to understand whether further marketing was warranted.
- Reviewed the assessments and conducted market research to determine whether technologies were still relevant. Sometimes while a technology is in development, new products emerge that are a better fit to market needs/desires. It makes sense to suspend marketing of innovations for which market potential has diminished and give priority to those with higher market match-up potential.
- Analyzed new market data and determined next steps with specific suggestions for proceeding or shutting down each project. We provided our client with action plans that enabled quick and efficient exploration of high-impact opportunities. For technologies we rated as having lower potential, we recommended passive marketing efforts, which allowed our client to stop expending effort yet not completely abandon the technologies.
The lesson? The means to achieving success is not to keep as many technologies as possible in play but instead to focus on those with the highest potential. This approach to prioritizing marketing projects ensures that your TTO can direct limited resources to those projects with the greatest likelihood of generating a deal.
Have you prioritized a group of marketing projects? What approaches and criteria did you find helpful? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below or contacting us privately.