In Defense of Passive Marketing in Tech Transfer: Technology Listings
Updated July 2017
I was once invited to a university technology transfer office (TTO) to discuss ways to get the word out about licensing opportunities. The invitation came in response to the launch of the AUTM® Global Technology Portal. The GTP allows free posting of tech listings by AUTM members and free searching by all. (Quick definition: A listing is a description of a technology and its possible commercial applications.)
The GTP gives TTOs another important arrow in their marketing quiver. That’s because this type of passive marketing tool is as essential to TTOs as their active efforts.
I would say that 99.999% of the time, it is worth creating an online listing for technologies that have market potential. Why is the online technology listing de rigueur? Well, the first and most important reason is…
You’re Practically Done
You expended the bulk of the resources needed to write the listing when you did the screening or other triage process. You gained an understanding of what the technology is, what it can do for the user, and why the market would be interested in it. The cost to convert that knowledge into a technology listing is incremental.
If you wrote it down as part of the screening report, use that technology overview to write the listing. (Be sure to remove any enabling information if the IP is not already protected.) If your triage process doesn’t include a written report, the information is at least in your head as part of making the disposition decision. Take that extra step of writing it down.
But the technology listing isn’t merely a “because it’s there” marketing tool. There are other important reasons to post technology listings online as a form of passive marketing.
In this day and age, your TTO must have a strong online presence to be considered a credible source for technology or a partner for collaborative R&D. If you have nothing on your website about technologies, capabilities, and expertise, then visitors will conclude that your organization has nothing to offer in that field.
Conversely, the more hits you get for a search, the more likely there will be a match for a license or partnership.
Technology listings are an effective way to populate your website, showing off the depth and breadth of your portfolio and your capabilities as an organization.
It’s Cost Effective
It’s important to consider the expected return on investment in commercialization. Granted the ROI in a tech transfer effort is not always financial. Nevertheless, you don’t want to put way more into the marketing effort than you can hope to get out of it.
Passive marketing helps you get the word out without breaking the bank.
Technology listings are not just for passive marketing. An online technology posting gives you something to point to when reaching out to prospects for active or targeted. There are no printing costs, and it makes it easy to include multimedia and social media items in your online technology marketing.
It Captures the Serendipity
Regardless of the marketing strategy, an online tech listing creates the opportunity for a potential licensee to find you. We’ve had numerous cases where prospects have approached us or our clients after finding a technology listing through online searches.
Of course, this is highly dependent upon the effective use of appropriate keywords and writing a high-quality listing. Check out our advice for writing effective technology marketing collateral.
Fuentek has written hundreds of listings that have effectively promoted our clients’ technologies to potential licensees and partners. Contact us today to discuss how to put our experience to work for you.