Why innovation and marketing should go hand in hand
Innovation and marketing mean very different things. Professionals specialising in each discipline occupy separate departments within the same organisation. This week Think OTB looks at why in fact innovation and marketing should go hand in hand.
Innovation is frequently voted as one of the most popular buzzwords in business. But, it’s difficult to highlight exactly how innovation is beneficial to an organisation or what innovation means for a strategy. Is innovation new technology? If my organisation innovates will I have to take more risks? Should we spend more money on innovation or advertising? These are the questions frequently asked in regard to innovation. Industries feel they should innovate, but don’t necessarily understand how this can fit with their current marketing strategy, not supersede it. That’s where an innovation workshop can help.
The perfect pair
Yet here at Think OTB we believe that the two are in fact perfect partners. They should be seen as a symbiotic relationship. When used to its full potential, it can bring fantastic results for an organisation or brand. In an interesting article about balancing innovation and marketing in business, Forbes Magazine argues that ‘ideally, innovation works itself into the entirety of your business culture, and as a result it moves itself out into your marketing strategy.’
Forbes claims that it is through integration that highly successful companies came to be where they are today. Google and Nike, for example. These brands utilised the combined strength of their innovation and marketing teams to generate new ideas and products.
Marketing Week confirms this view that innovation and marketing are integral to one another. They claim that new research shows that growth and innovation are the two biggest concerns for marketers today. In interviewing three senior experts from P&G, AB InBev and Greene King, Marketing Week argues that although the exact innovation strategies of a company can vary immensely. They know that keeping a clear focus to counterbalance risks is crucial.
They point out that although an element of risk is unavoidable in innovation, ‘the key is to innovate in a way that adds incremental value to your business and your category.’ Tie this closely to your advertising strategy, whether through brand image, insight generation or enhancing the customer experience. Innovation can become a positive and measurable element of wider business strategy.
The Harvard Business Review shares these sentiments in its article ‘Innovation is Marketing’s job, too’. Written by Chief Marketing Officer of GE Beth Comstock, Beth highlights how her main objective in her new role was to make marketing the centre of organic growth for the company. In doing so, she focused her strategy on supporting and fuelling the culture of innovation which prospered at GE. They conducted research in new areas in order to build consumer bases and sold the story of an innovation in order to increase market share. It’s time for marketers to question preconceived ideas and ask others for new ones. In doing so, Comstock believes she found an integrated approach to bring together innovation and marketing.