How to be an Innovative Marketer (New Video)

Many marketing and sales leaders are in the throes of 2014 planning. The “business as usual” crowd is asking “How will we perform in 2014 compared to the previous year?”

Lisa Nirell

Many marketing and sales leaders are in the throes of 2014 planning. The “business as usual” crowd is asking “How will we perform in 2014 compared to the previous year?” The innovators, however, are asking “Where can we create first mover advantage, and generate growth in areas we never dreamed?

Which group describes you?

Are you feeling lost as to where you can create a first mover advantage this year? Before you choose, consider the key findings from Booz & Co.’s “Global Innovation 1000” reports.

Over the past seven years, Booz & Co. has tracked and surveyed 1000 publicly traded global companies who invest the most in R&D.

In 2012, they announced that Apple, Google, and 3M were considered the top three innovators. Yet here is where the study gets interesting. Their average R&D spending was $1.78B–much less than Microsoft’s $8.71B. Microsoft ranked number five among the top innovators list.  Booz found that the most innovative firms outperformed the top 10 R&D spenders over a 5-year period in three areas: revenue growth, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue, and market cap growth.

These innovators also share three things in common: they drive superior product performance, ensure superior product quality, and a have a strong identification with their customers.
If you are driving top line growth in your organization, here’s what this means to you:

  1. The lines between marketing and innovation are becoming even more blurred. Customer engagement in the innovation process is no longer a “nice to have;” it is essential.
  2. Innovation is a state of mind, not a designated R&D budget line item. If your culture fosters open mindedness, transparency, and lifelong learning, your probability of innovation success will increase.
  3. R&D investment increases do not guarantee growth. Innovation happens in the strangest of places. Consider increasing the percentage of time spent attending select industry and customer conferences, etc.
  4. Turn to technology companies — and, more specifically, Silicon Valley firms — for inspiration. Six out of ten most innovative companies occupy that industry category. Study these companies, visit their facilities, interview their thought leaders, and attend their conferences.

Consider how you can incorporate innovation into every top growth initiative. The best ideas probably live outside the four walls of your office.

Also, please share your first mover thoughts and enjoy reading these related posts:

Four Timeless Qualities of Strategic Leaders
The Secret Innovation Weapon for Mature Markets
Cash, Lies and ROI: Are Your Marketing Budgets a Flight Risk?

copyright 2013, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

Comments open: True

Related Posts

In the past 31 years of my career, I have deliberately avoided broadcasting and grandstanding when it came to social and political moments.

Now it’s different. America is burning, both figuratively and literally. Curfews are standard practice. The origin of “curfew” comes from the French word “couvre-feu.” This literally means cover fire.

And as a thought leader, adviser, coach, and the founder of several diverse professional communities, I can no longer cover the fire with politeness and positive thinking.

Read More

As marketing leaders, you know that a strong company culture cultivates a workforce of powerful brand advocates who enhance marketing efforts. What can marketing do to navigate the culture war that ensues in the face of increased M&A activity? Here are three rules of thumb to consider as you evaluate an M&A deal on the horizon, and when you are in the throes of a post-deal journey.

Read More