Business Innovation

The idea around Marketing Innovation is for us to build a future we can’t see yet. Either by creating a new channel, a new technique or innovating on something we are already doing. The idea of innovation is unlike all the normal things we do on an everyday basis.

Innovation requires its own unique set of skills and company structures. It’s not enough to think outside of the box but we have to wonder why the box exists at all. The strategies we normally bring to organizational growth are not enough when it comes to innovation. We need a new strategy to help us go into uncharted territory. As Jeff DeGraff writes in reality, meaningful innovation happens when that unpredictable, game-changing idea or person arrives on the scene.

A lot of organizations categorize and segment customers and build to satisfy their desires. They build new products where they know there is a demand for it. This I wouldn’t say is innovation but more a form of order fulfillment. It’s not unlike fishing where we know the fish are biting. This form of improvement is giving people what they want now but not what they’ll want next. This strategy can only work for a limited time till you find yourself always working just to keep up and never getting ahead.

Innovation today is more important than ever not only are organization in competition with their direct competitors but you will see companies you never thought of entering your space. Apple into payments and digital wallets, Google into driverless cars and car maker Tesla entering the battery-based power backup systems for homes. These companies are able to execute on innovation because they a structured to do so, they have a cultural based around innovation. Due to this fact you may not even see your next biggest competitor coming. Technology is another force that at times forces our hand to make change. At the speed of which technology continues to change it forces traditional companies to pay attention. Is it worth investing in road side billboards when all passengers and drivers spend more time looking at their smartphones than the road? Or does the high cost of television commercials still justify the ROI with the amount of people using PVR’s too fast forward through commercials? Business will continue to see new threats coming from companies who are innovating. What we try and use on a regular basis because that’s how it’s been done for years is becoming harder and more expensive.

A culture of innovation is a mindset to always look to improve. Always be looking at the data and find ways to move your clicks, opens and conversion rates to higher levels. This needs to matter to all marketing teams because nothing lasts forever and over time your audience may change. You need to reward progress to encourage improvements and innovation. Innovation is really something that needs to be in the cultural of the company. A focus to allow people to work to innovate and try new things. You want to encourage your staff to try and test different techniques especially in digital. With the nature of digital we have the capabilities to test, track and measure success. A company should allow for their staff to spend time focusing on researching, pondering, debating and playing. Make innovation enjoyable and rewarding. Value the time that goes into the whole innovation process. The moment your teams can reach this cultural of innovation you will be in a much better position to execute on those ideas that are discovered over time because execution can be just as important as the innovation itself.

Make the time to play, tinker and experiment!