Marketing makes inventing look easy. The greatest idea is useless if nobody knows about it. Once you have a new idea it is your job to find out if anybody else wants to use it and what they will pay for it. If you cannot find enough people to buy your idea at a price that will make you money it is time to find another idea.
Here we provide links where you can learn about marketing, get marketing materials made, or submit your idea to an organization who will do the marketing for you. If you have contributions to this list please contact us with a link and a brief description of the service including why you found it helpful to you and we will get it posted for you.
Please be aware that downloading Power Point files is done immediately when you click on the link. You will find your own copy in your downloads directory on your computer. That is usually \My Documents\Downloads on Windows machines.
Learn About Marketing
In our May 2013 meeting Delores A. Edelen of SCORE gave a great presentation on how to prepare a market survey. You can download a self running copy of the Power Point presentation by clicking on How Much Would You Pay for a Banana? Delores is currently a professor of Sociology at South University Online and, formerly, a researcher and instructor of Sociology at University of Central Florida. She has been actively involved in market research for a long time and has boiled down the gobledygook to something that is useful for us mere mortals. After determining your invention is unique it is of utmost importance to determine if anyone else cares about it and, more importantly, are there enough people out there willing to pay enough for your product to make money. A simple market survey of at least 100 qualified respondents can help you find that out. Delores' presentation looks at why we do research, what your goal should be, how to create the survey, and how to use the results. We all thank Delores' for her great information.
Now do yourself a favor - learn it, and use it. You can find more in depth information about preparing surveys in our bookstore.
Jan Mangos of SCORE gave a presentation to us on Nov. 5, 2011. To download a self running Power Point presentation called Strategic Marketing for Your Business click on the underlined title. It outlined how marketing decisions effectively assist in building a business plan. Be sure to check out the Marketing Tool and Instructions to assist in defining your market and strategy to penetrate that market. Click on the links above to get to these resources.
Here is a great video called "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" on how to think about your project and your business and how to present yourself to the world. It was presented at a TED conference and is well worth the 18 minutes viewing time.
Sell Sheets are a primary tool for marketing your invention to manufacturers, financiers, vendors, and even consumers. This Power Point presentation covers the basics on how to put one together. Clicking on the underlined title of this paragraph will start a download of the Power Point show file.
Business Cards are a must if you are in the business of sales and all inventors have to be in the business of sales. To download a short tutorial on how to make business cards click on the title of this paragraph.
The web sites below are places you can submit your invention for evaluation or for exposure to investors. While we have reason to believe these are resources that will not take you for a ride you must always use appropriate caution.
Buckminster Challenge - The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. Named "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award" by Metropolis Magazine, it attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.
Challenge.gov - This is a US Government sponsored site where challenges are posted with criteria. You choose which you want to work on and you could get a prize of some form for your successful work.
Edison Nation - They bring new product ideas to market through their vast network of retailers and manufacturers. If your idea is selected, you'll be paid a $2,500 advance plus a percentage of sales.
Everyday Edisons - Do you want to try the reality show approach? Here you can compete for a slot on PBS television. This group is closely associated with Edison Nation and also has support from the Department of Commerce.
Innovative Product Technologies, Inc. helps independent inventors get their products licensed amungst other things. Dr. Pamela Riddle Bird is the founder and gave a very informative engaging talk to us at our October 2010 meeting.
Inventing Daily, Here is a website, operated by the inventor of PaintSmart Trayz, designed to operate similar to Amazon where you can list a production version of your invention for resale. It is for consumer sale not licensing so you need to have shippable inventory and will be responsible for delivering it. Listing fees start at around $20 per month and a 5% commission is collected for each sale.
Inventor Mentor, Jack Lander, a frequent contributer to Inventor's Digest, will review your project and provide you with a document full of specific methods and contacts to move your project forward. His services are not free but very reasonable and guarenteed.
Lambert and Lambert - Here you can submit your idea for a small fee and they will develop it at their cost. You end up with royalties. Of course you have to qualify according to their criteria. We have a self evaluation spreadsheet in our Members Only area based on their rubric if you would like to see if you have a shot.
My Cool Inventions Radio - What do you do after you have retired from making millions selling inventions on TV? You give back on the radio. This is a combiniation radio show with informative presentations about invention marketing and a product submission company. The hosts of this show offer all their services to the independent inventor at no charge. They are truly here to help you move your invention forward. They make their money from advertizers not from us. We recommend you listen to the radio show which is live on Saturdays at 4PM. You can also listen to past shows on line. To be sure, there is advertizing on the show but that is why it is free to you. They let you pitch your product then get social media votes for the best pitches. The one with the most votes at the end of the contest gets $50,000! They also have crowd sourcing where the pitch your product on the air with their 250,000 listeners. At this point no one from ICCF has used them as a marketing outlet but we should. If you choose to use them please be sure to read all of their agreements before signing up. Also let us know your experience.
Orlando Tech - Is operated by Orange County Public Schools. It is a High School and Continuing Education facility. Some of their specialities are Audio and Video production. In the course of their teaching the students work on projects to produce short audio and video segments. They are always in need of projects for the students. Your marketing video is a perfect fit for them. They have numerous computers and audio and 3D video production software. They can even print real 3D mockups of your invention. This is a great way to get a quality marketing piece for your project at minimal cost. Depending on what you want the cost can be from nothing to a reasonable amount to cover expenses. For more information contact Allen Lynch at 407-246-7060 ex. 4839.