Here is How Free Patent Landscape Can Help you With New Client Acquisition
You may have an excellent team and a superb product/market fit. But that’s not enough. There are 1000s of businesses with a great product/market fit. But they fail as they couldn’t control their customer acquisition cost.
A sale happens by itself, said no business owner ever. If you want to boost revenue and grow your company, you need to work your bones off on customer acquisition. You need to know which strategy to employ to get maximum return on every buck spent.
Successful entrepreneurs know how important it’s to understand a customer before initiating the acquisition funnel. But a question stands intact: how to know a customer inside out?
Going to their company page, skimming through LinkedIn accounts of top leadership is some option which may serve your purpose, but remember this is what all are doing.
So what is next ? How can you outshine everyone to become the Usain Bolt of the acquisition race?
Great question. Let me take you through a cost effective three step approach that will not only help you to outshine your competitors but will also help put you as someone – in front of your prospect – who understands their industry way better than anyone else. Read on:
While working in the Intellectual Property industry, I was involved in many patent landscape studies. Surprisingly, I’ve found that patent landscape studies can be used as an alpha weapon, by almost anyone, to make their customer acquisition a success. And how to go about it is something I’ll walk through in this post.
You might have heard the word “patent landscape” for the first time. So let me remove the confusion first.
A patent landscape provides the snapshot of a specific technology. It helps in making many strategic decisions. It reveals the future aspects of a technology area and where one can invest his research efforts.
There are chances that after reading this article, you search Google and find that a landscape study is too expensive. This may discourage you to execute the strategy I am about to walk you through. Thus, to negate that scenario, I will provide you several resources to search free landscape studies at end of this article.
Let’s circle back to what we were discussing. Let’s find out how a free patent landscape can help you find more clients.
How A Free Patent Landscape Helps in Client Acquisition
At the beginning of the customer acquisition cycle, when you make the first contact with a prospect, he uses to have few questions in his mind. These questions uses to be crucial which make him take a go or no-go decision.
The questions a prospect may have in mind are as follows:
- Does this person understand the industry I’m working in?
- Will he deliver what I expect?
- Is he different from the first 10 service providers who approached before?
- What else he can provide me?
These are some questions that you have to answer, however unconsciously, right away to stand out of the crowd. Further, a first impression lasts longer. Plus, it can be your only chance to convert that new client into a perpetual business generator.
Let me give you an example to elucidate how you can go about it.
Let’s say you are a company that provides Data Analytics solutions. You are approaching new clients from Digital OilField industry to expand your clientele.
However, there is a catch. You’re not familiar with the client’s industry. All you know is why oil prices are falling and that’s it. Thus, you don’t have enough metrics to showcase your capabilities.
And that’s where patent landscapes come into picture. You have to find a patent landscape – links at bottom of the article – to understand an industry, its state of research – past as well as present, its major players and competitors of your clients, challenges the industry is facing or may face in the future, etc.
Finding a free patent landscape and studying it is just half of the battle. You should also know how to use the information it contains at different cycle of the communication process. Sweat not, the three step process below explains that.
When we contact a prospect for the first time, we can divide the communication that takes place into three steps, which are as follows:
- The Initiation Stage
- The Interest Building Stage
- Providing a solution
The Initiation Stage:
You will agree to the fact that the more you make a prospect listen to you, the more you’ve time to showcase your expertise. This also increases you chances of converting a prospect into a client.
I know you will nod your head when I will say that everyone loves talking about their field of interest. Isn’t it? And when you have decent information about your prospect’s industry, you compel him to listen to you.
And you’ll get that information with the help of a patent landscape. I would like to tell you that patent landscapes reveal shocking insights which even industry experts are completely unaware of. In fact, they pay for these insights.
For example: After going through a patent landscape study on digital oil field domain, you will have information like Schlumberger is leading the domain, Chinese companies are becoming hyperactive in recent years, etc. You can lead your talk with such insights.
Interest Building Stage
Once you have made a good start, you have to keep the momentum going by further building interest of a prospect.
But how to do that, you ask? You have to do that by showcasing how better you understand the problems they are facing or may face in the future. This can include the future aspects and challenges of their area of operation, market expansion problems, strategies of their competitors, etc.
This is essential because it makes a prospect assume that as you know his problems, you may have a concrete solution at your disposal.Thus, you earn his interest as well as trust.
For example: Taking example of landscape on digital oil fields again, The patent landscape on Digital Oilfield can help you know how lack of manual labor is a problem that Oil and Gas industry in the future may face. And how using innumerable sensors can create a problem of data maintenance and analysis. On the flip side, you can also pinpoint how advancement in networking technologies can further boost digitization of oil fields.
Two steps we’ve covered above will count as waste of efforts if we don’t offer a solution to the problems we brought to the table. If you’ve already discussed your prospect’s competitors, their area of research, future aspects and challenges of their market, then there’s nothing left to wait for. You should offer your services as a solution to one of the problem existing in your prospect’s domain.
For example: As you’ve already discussed various challenges the industry will face, including the problem of data maintenance and analytics among others. In the third step, thus, you have to present your service as a solution to one of the problems that your prospect is facing.
Moreover, while presenting your solution, well it’s a no brainer to suggest, you can boost your credibility by giving references of your old clients.
How This Approach is beneficial?
The use of patent landscape gives you the key details of your prospects industry or his area of operation. A prospect, for sure, will love to work with a service provider that understands and his problems better. Thus, it will give you an edge over your competitors.
From Where I Can Get Free Landscape Reports
You can find a landscape analysis on a particular company like HP or Sony, to a vast technology like 4G LTE, or Internet of things, easily with a simple Google search. This is because many patent analytics companies publish patent landscape analysis on various technology to showcase their expertise.
However, to save you some time, below I’ve provided a list of companies which time and again publish patent landscape analysis on various technological areas.
WIPO: The world intellectual property organization is a rich resource to access free patent landscape reports submitted by various IP Analytics companies. You can get hundred of patent landscape studies on WIPO.
GreyB Services – IP research and analytics company, GreyB Services, published various patent landscape studies on their website under IP Research and Marketing analysis section on their blog.
Technology Insight reports – Technology insight report is a go-to resource to get free patent landscape studies on latest technologies in different industry verticals.
Slideshare.com – Not a major source but, you can find sample reports here, absolutely free.
About Author: Nitin Balodi works at GreyB Research where he with his colleagues delves on patents a lot. He is an aviation freak with a call-sign of ‘flanker’. He loves writing about technologies that will shape future of the humanity.
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