written by: Scott Christ•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/14/2011
Marketing a new invention can be a daunting task. If you don't know what you're doing, you can waste a lot of money on a marketing campaign that doesn't help you effectively promote your invention. Here we'll discuss several strategies for marketing new inventions.
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A website can be an important part of your marketing strategy when promoting a new invention. Websites are where potential buyers can learn about your invention 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you don't have web development and copywriting skills, hire a web designer and writer to help you build a simple website for your invention. Include a description of your product, information about the history of your product and your contact information.
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Direct mail is a print marketing strategy that involves sending mailings to a targeted list of clients. Here's how it works: first, work with a list management vendor to identify a list of potential clients that align with your target market. Then, create a direct mail piece such as a postcard, sales letter or flyer that describes the features and benefits of your invention. Finally, send your mailings and track the number of responses you get. One of the biggest benefits of using direct mail is you can directly measure the success of your campaigns.
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Referral marketing can be a great marketing strategy for inventors because it helps you spread the word about your invention quickly and provides incentives for people to help promote your product. Offer a gift card, reward or other incentive for people to help sell your invention. Spread the word to your friends on Facebook, e-mail and in-person.
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Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing tools includes using websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to promote your invention. Social media is a great avenue for spreading the word about your invention to a large number of people in a short amount of time. For example, create a "fan" page for your invention on Facebook, which allows you to connect your product with your network of friends and family.
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Trade Magazine Ads
Trade magazines can be an effective marketing method for inventors as well. They allow you to reach a very specific audience of people who may have the same demographic characteristics as those of your target market. For example, if you invent a technology product for Information Technology businesses, advertise in a magazine like Information Week or CIO to reach an audience of IT professionals who may want to buy your product.
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Flea markets are an easy and inexpensive way to market new inventions. All you need for marketing at flea markets is your product and the rental fee for a table to sell your product. Flea markets allow you to network with people face-to-face and capture important insights about how customers view your invention.
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Infomercials are one of the most effective ways to promote a new invention. However, you need a significant amount of money for expenses like hiring a video production company and purchasing ad space on several television networks. If you do decide to market your invention via infomercial, research and study infomercials that have been on the air a long time and take note of what these informercials do well. Ultimately, an infommercial seeks to tell customers about your invention, and then sell your product.
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E-mail marketing is when you market your invention through a series of e-mails. This marketing strategy takes time, though. First you need to develop a list of e-mail subscribers. To do this, create a weekly newsletter on your website that gives customers valuable insights into a topic pertinent to your invention. For example, if you invented a new diet plan, write a weekly weight loss tips newsletter. Once you get subscribers to your newsletter, market your invention by including special offers in each newsletter you send.
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Free classified ad websites like Craigslist and eBay Auctions can be an effective way to market your invention. Post weekly ads on these websites about your invention and include links to your website for more information about your product. However, be careful when dealing with people on these sites. There are plenty of scammers out there so never give cash or exchange your invention for funds unless you have a written contract or purchase order.
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Get Help From an Ad Agency
Advertising and marketing agencies can help you develop a variety of marketing materials for your new invention. They can help you build a comprehensive marketing strategy for your new business and recommend key marketing tactics to help promote your invention.
However, according to the Small Business Administration, proceed with caution when you hire an invention marketing company because these firms often charge high rates but do not produce a significant return on your investment. In fact, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated two of these companies, it found that just 12 out of 35,000 inventor clients made a profit of $1 or more when hiring one of these companies. What this means to you as an inventor is you should do your homework and ask for references, product samples and proof of a positive return on investment when hiring a marketing agency as part of your marketing strategy.
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Small Business Administration. "Ideas, Inventions and Innovations."http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/serv_pubs_pi_pdf_pi1.pdf .