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?”
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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copyright 2013, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.