Should you give away your IP? | The Marketing Network
Should you give away your IP?

I say you should. In fact you should make every effort to do so! In general, the better your idea or Intellectual Property (IP), the harder it is to sell it, to get people to believe in it.

Your so called IP is already ‘on Google’ and if you think your IP will somehow protect your business, you’re sadly mistaken. Today anyone can learn how to do anything simply by going onto Google, YouTube, or in any of the social media channels.

But just because your prospects know what to do they will not necessarily know the intricacies of how to do it. As a marketing company, The Marketing Network has made many marketing resources freely available for all to see and download – http://www.themarketingnetwork.com.au/marketing-resources. These templates have taken us many years to develop and we believe they are the best free small business marketing and advertising resources available. We were at first hesitant just giving them away. But then we realised that it is not only the questions in these marketing templates that deliver the results but what you do with the answers that makes all the difference. Here is a blog on ‘Marketing Secrets’ that discusses this in detail: http://www.themarketingnetwork.com.au/blog/beware-of-marketing-secrets-the-problem-with-sme-marketing

Furthermore your customers  may not have the patience or the skill to do so which is where you expertise comes in. By giving away your so-called IP you can exhibit thought leadership and you can provide your future customers with the confidence of knowing that you can help them, which will put your business in their “top of mind” for when the time comes to choose a provider of what ever it is you specialise in!

Here are a few examples of freely available IP and how this has not changed the market dynamics:

  1. Copywriting: It is a skill, there are many small players around the world all vying for SME business. There also just as many Copywriting practitioners teaching these skills in Copywriting courses, selling ebooks, e-learning, webinars etc. And there are many SME business owners using both of these types of services. Of course there are also many many books on the subject, ranging from the simple to complex. Now if you look at the standard of copywriting on most small business websites, you would be forgiven in forming an opinion that all this copywriting expertise and so called IP has not made any difference and the general standard today is just as bad as it was 5 or 10 years ago!
  2. For years most business owners were extremely frustrated about not being able to quickly, easily and freely or cheaply manage their own website. And then technology advanced and gave us CMS – Content Management System. Today 99% of all websites have an easy to use content management system yet probably less than 5% percent of SME website owners actually use the system properly or regularly to get any real benefit from it. Instead they use their website marketing or website design company to change the content for them and make sure the website look professional and is maintained correctly.
  3. Web Video is a reasonably new expertise, gaining great popularity as a marketing tool. Yet the principles of video production and engaging storytelling have not changed from those practiced by the Hollywood studios or advertising agencies. The only change has been in technology. So if you were a Video Production business specialising in video production and video promotion for small businesses would you and should you teach your customers and prospects how to D.I.Y and hence give away your I.P.? Once again I say absolutely!

Why?

  1. If you don’t, somebody else will! Your prospect will find someone who will do this for them or they’ll “learn it themselves for free” – although we all know it is not really free and the opportunity cost of their time is the greatest cost! So you end up losing incremental revenue if you don’t teach them, revenue you would not normally get a sniff at!
  2. By showing your customer how to film their own marketing web video, you will get your customer to understand the complexity of what is involved. And understanding means appreciation!
  3. Even showing a customer how to do it, does not mean that they can or will do this themselves! They probably don’t have your passion and enthusiasm, creativity and skill level to do a professional job then when compared to your standard! After all they are in the business of doing what they do best, which is NOT video script writing and story boarding, shooting, lighting, editing, uploading and promoting on the web, etc

You can now see the list of I.P. being given away or do-it-yourself advice is never ending…there is information on every topic imaginable and it is free! From SEO to Photography, Conveyancing and Plumbing you can get it all at a click of your mouse. Why does a UK Plumbing company have hundreds of Plumbing Video’s online for free? Because it understands that by doing so they will be seen as an expert which will help them win much better and more complex jobs, and they also understand that there will always be a segment of the market who will watch their YouTube video and say “it looks too hard, I’ll just call them!”

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