Whether you host your own Technology Portal, or set up an IdeaConnection Portal, submissions to your portal will be significantly increased by engaging our dedicated outreach personnel.
With almost a million new websites being launched every week and 150,000 new domain names being registered every day, competition for web traffic is fierce. With this degree of competition, launching a new Open Innovation Portal, or trying to improve an existing one, requires a tremendous marketing effort before it is discovered by the target audience.
Once targets have been reached, it is essential to continue to promote your portal to these relevant groups, to remind them of why to use it, and to continually increase your user base and effectiveness of the portal.
Many open innovation portals have failed to achieve reasonable traction, even when substantial resources have been applied. This is often due to one or more reasons:
- a lack of understanding of what is required to create a successful web platform, and then a subsequent misallocation of support resources (e.g. most of the resources go to initial marketing push);
- a lack of understanding and attention to the needs of users versus your own needs. This is demonstrated by the widespread dissatisfaction with OI portals by people who have submitted, only to never hear back;
- the assumption that scientific people and academics will immediately embrace a web platform, completely replacing a dynamic that has traditionally been quite relationship-driven.
Rather than take a likely-to-fail strategy of "build it and they will come," IdeaConnection has adopted a continual initiative that will help protect your investment in your portal and serve as a tool to maintain communication with important IP holders and developers, people who are becoming an increasingly important source of technologies for commercialization.
An increasing number of companies are finding that their open innovation portals are not meeting expectations. There are many thousands of technology requests on the internet and very few ever get filled. IdeaConnection's Open Innovation Portal Support services have proven to be very effective in increasing quality submissions by 300% to 3,000%.
Our team actively engages with relevant universities, associations and other agencies in order to steer the owners of new technologies to submit to your portal. IdeaConnection's personnel are science and technology literate, and are dedicated exclusively to outreach on your behalf.
The mandate for the outreach personnel is to communicate and reach out to targets in order to:
- Create and maintain relationships,
- Continually grow the database of targets,
- Educate and introduce targets to your portal,
- Maintain contact in order to "strike while the iron is hot,"
- Keep awareness of the portal in the consciousness of key people,
- Collect competitive and other useful information from targets.
Outreach Targets include:
- University Tech Transfer Officers,
- University research leaders, researchers, department heads, principle investigators
- Funding and investment sources, technology parks, start-ups, and other incubators engaged in your target technologies,
- Stakeholders in relevant adjacent or distant technologies.
Initial Marketing Activities
To give your portal an instant boost and search engine recognition, IdeaConnection provides:
- Editorial communication in our widely-read newsletter, including members, scientists, and problem solvers;
- Website banner ad distribution on our website of 100,000 impressions over 30 days;
- Direct email to our database of patent brokers and IP lawyers;
- Description of the portal on our crowdsourcing resource page;
- Twitter, Facebook and blog postings;
- Interview with your designated OI leader which is promoted on our website and distributed through our Innovation newsletter.
Reduce your scrutiny burden, and protect yourself from frivolous lawsuits by having IdeaConnection filter your leads.
If you accept ideas from the public, you may be interested in providing yourself with a layer of protection against IP contamination.
Companies are often sued by people who claim that their ideas/inventions have been stolen by a company that they had submitted them to.
By directing these ideas through the IdeaConnection system, you achieve two benefits:
1) Reduce Your Burden
IdeaConnection's experts will filter all of the ideas that are submitted to you. Our experts have signed Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements, and have relevant knowledge and experience pertinent to your submissions. These experts will evaluate the submissions and forward to you only quality ideas/inventions that pertain to your area of interest, thereby reducing the quantity of submissions you need to review. This saves you money by reducing the workload impact on internal resources.
2) Protect Yourself
IdeaConnection will ensure that you only are given non-confidential information up to the time you decide to sign a non-disclosure agreement to have in-depth discussions with the submitter. Also, by only being shown a small quantity of high quality ideas, you are being provided with a layer of protection from IP contamination. You have real deniability in reference to most of the ideas submitted to you, and can confidently deflect frivolous lawsuits, as you have never seen (most of) the submitted ideas and inventions.
Web traffic comes from 2 sources – organic traffic and paid traffic:
- Links from your main website
- Links from other websites
- Returning visitors
- Pay-per-click ads (PPC)
- Banner ads
- PR campaigns
- Other marketing initiatives
Unless a portal has some viral or self-promoting element to it, there will usually be little organic traffic generated at the outset. Typically, a web marketing strategy will rely on paid ads to build up traffic to the web service, and then rely on a combination of paid/organic traffic on an ongoing basis.
The paid traffic will attract first-time visitors, a percentage of which will turn into repeat users. A marketing strategy will count on some of these visitors leaving links to your service in various places (blogs, their own sites, discussion boards, etc.), which will drive more (organic) traffic and also help with your search engine positioning.
Once a certain traffic threshold is attained, continuing the paid traffic campaign will result in maintenance or continual growth of traffic.
The main consideration with PPC campaigns is that, like any auction, they do need constant (daily) attention. Bid prices change on a day-to-day basis, and the campaign and keywords must be continually tuned to increase spending on high performing keywords and ads and decrease spending on low performing keywords and ads.
IdeaConnection's dedicated team will manage your PPC marketing, to make the most effective use of your marketing budget.
Our unique portal solution includes a system that awards people for referring technologies to your portal, thus incentivizing people to use your portal over other venues.
Search Engine Optimization
Our SEO prowess will make your portal search engine friendly, and will move you up the ranks for your search terms. IdeaConnection will manage and implement all current and future available search engine optimization tools.
We tune your webpage to make sure you have the highest response rate for your desired target submissions. This includes changes to the portal, text or content with the goal of increasing search engine traffic to the portal.
- IdeaConnection already has databases and lists of tech transfer departments, researchers, etc., with whom we continually communicate;
- IdeaConnection also has a large database of patent lawyers/brokers;
- Through extensive past technology scouting activities, IdeaConnection has substantial experience in evaluating/triage of opportunities that are potentially of interest;
- IdeaConnection has visibility into the portal efforts of other companies, and has seen mistakes and successes, and can use this information to help ensure the success of your portal;
- IdeaConnection has full-time people who are 100% focused on supporting your portal;
- IdeaConnection is able to engage immediately with extensive experience in marketing for your area of interest;
- IdeaConnection's unique knowledge of the technology pipeline;
- Our steadily increasing effectiveness/ROI due to our expanding network and databases;
- IdeaConnection's ability to easily expand initiatives, based on success;
- Our established and trusted working relationship with a track record of being responsive and attentive;
- IdeaConnection is flexible and resourceful, and able to modify the strategies used, based on real-time results.
(Client name confidential)
"In a 30 month period, there have been a total of 499 submissions to our OI portal. Out of these 499 submissions, the number of submissions directly resulting from IdeaConnection outreach activities is at least 380. In other words, at least 78% of the submissions to the portal were a direct result of IdeaConnection outreach activities.
During our outreach activities, we often spoke with department heads or other administrators who promise to disseminate the information throughout their organizations, and it would have been impossible for us to have tracked the results of that dissemination. Therefore, it is likely many submissions were made because of IdeaConnection efforts, but were untracked in our statistics, so the 78% figure is likely under-reported.
It should also be mentioned that the above figures do not include the submissions generated as a direct result of search engine marketing, such as pay-per-click ad purchases."