The art and science of creating technology is very different from the art of marketing. Though one may think that great technology markets and "sells itself", the truth is quite contrary. There are numerous examples in past and recent history where the best or even greatest invention never made it anywhere because the forces bringing it to market were weak or insufficient.
Take the example of Nikola Tesla, a prolific, brilliant 19th century inventor with nearly 300 patents to his name.
Among many other famous inventions, we came up with a way to transmit electricity using alternating current across long distances with minimal loss. His rival was Thomas Edison who had come up with a much less practical method of electrical transmission via direct current.
For a while, Edison was on the lead by carrying out a campaign to discourage the use of alternating current, including publicly electrocuting and killing animals, primarily stray cats and dogs, but also unwanted cattle and horses. He even paid Harold Brown to build the first electric chair for the state of New York to promote the idea that alternating current was deadly, dangerous and unwanted compared to his technology.
The lesson learned here is that without proper marketing and effective promotional techniques (although Edison’s were arguably quite unscrupulous), it is not easy to present your technology to the market and have it take root and dominate.
The set of skills required to push your technology to the market is totally different. Thankfully, we have the Internet and the World Wide Web at our disposal making matters easier, simpler, more efficient and targeted. Today it is much easier to take your technology to the market with the help of the Internet and the capability it offers to help raise awareness, build brand recognition and allow people to freely and fairly evaluate the merits of competing technologies and chose winners that best serve people’s needs.
The following are the main techniques involved in avoiding the silent treatment and taking your technology to the market:
1. First and foremost, if you do not have funding for the promotion of your technology, you have already hit a dead end. The Internet is full of crowdfunding sites which actually allow people to fund your project if they find it interesting and worthy of their support. This is one of the easiest methods you can employ to find funding and do project legwork that will be used in the future to build brand recognition, a support base and a network for collaborators and new partners. In fact, when you think about it, crowdfunding offers a much more convenient and efficient approach to getting started, organized, structured promoted AND funded when compared to traditional sources such as banks, money lenders or investors and venture capitalists.
2. You need to embrace social-media in order to sell your technology. This is one of the easiest ways to get publicity and it is also low cost. All it takes is investment of time on your part to spread the word, find good partners and relevant outlets to share your message through and all of that is time well spent which will pay for itself once your invention takes off. Make sure to produce a good video or other descriptive media of your technology before you pitch it on any of these sites. If your work is good, the word will spread like a wildfire and hopefully go viral if you are creative enough to pull it off.
3. In tandem with marketing and publicity of your invention or product, you can also start blogging a lot. This will help your website get numerous back-links from individuals who may be interested in the technology you pitch and write about. This will also help you connect with new partners as well as prospective customers by the means of exchanging comments, latest news happenings and field developments.
4. Using the Internet, you can also keep uploading media such as photos, advertisements as well as videos that speak about the special features of your technology. This is one of the fastest and cheapest ways of advertising your product that should not be overlooked. Seeing is believing and the more you showcase and display your technology, the more you will get people excited, interested, aware and hopefully create a lot of positive buzz in the process.
5. Another important tip when pitching your technology in the market is that it should have good visibility across the internet. This means that it has to be friendly to search engine optimization and must turn up on most related searches. Though this process may seem long and tedious at first, it will be well worth your time once it comes through and thus merits time to develop and get right.
6. Prepare a cogent, effective and exciting press release that you then submit to various media houses and publications. If your technology catches their fancy, you never know. You may just find your technology being spoken about on a news channel such as CNN or prominent tech sites such as TechCrunch or Wired or national newspapers.
7. Stay active on the Internet. Once people see a proactive individual pitching certain technology that they believe in and are investing time to describe and promote, they will have no choice but to give the product a good look. Passive and entrepreneur are two contrary words and the twain shall never meet. Be prepared to be active and set up project and technology feeds to spread the word once you are up and running to as broad of an audience as possible.
With respect to all of this, tech-focused crowdfunding is one of the best ways to get quick and strong visibility in the market and in the process build and develop your start-ups funding capacity.
The crowdfunding route offers options that are integral for any small tech business these days to get started, find funding and fulfill all aspects of their initial promotional and marketing strategies. Visit one today and see just what I am talking about.
What are your tips for technology crowdfunding? Let us know in the comments below.