Marketing Green Technologies – Part 1, for Inventors

Karen posed a couple of entertwined questions over on one of the Linked-In Group discussions:
“How can inventors of green products find and market to potential customers?”
and
“How can companies find new ‘green’ products and evaluate their effectiveness?”

For the inventor —
Having been there for most of my working life, I know that marketing even the best new product to industry isn’t easy. Most manufacturing companies are inherently conservative and cautious about adopting new products and new designs. And well they should be! Their caution is certainly understandable when viewed against the company’s responsibility for the safety of workers and the community and the efficient operation of million or hundreds of millions of plant investment.

Wearing my marketing hat, I often emphasize the emotional, non-rational side of b2b sales. However, in the case of new and unproven manufacturing products, it is vital to give the design engineer or maintenance leader confidence – built on hard data and credible experience – that your product won’t fail. In many cases, the cost of a failure (to the company and to the individual career) so far outweighs the potential and uncertain benefits that they just won’t take a chance.

That being said, companies are always happy to find ‘better and cheaper’. But in my experience, few are able to invest people resources to systematically monitor and assess new products. More typically, engineers will look for solutions to problems as they arise. Thus, it is vital to be visible (or memorable) when the engineer encounters the problem.

Bottom line – Being in ‘the right place at the right time’ means being in many places – print ads, internet, trades shows, customer visits – most of the time.

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