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Plan to Innovate

Plan to Innovate

in Trends in the Marketplace

According to a recent Forrester Research survey, only 11 percent of marketers set aside a specific budget for marketing innovation efforts. Bert Dumars, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, believes that mastering marketing innovation is getting harder due to the “ever-changing customer landscape caused by digital disruption, perpetually connected customers and shifting customer expectations.” Although creating an innovation-driven culture can be challenging, Dumars believes marketers who adopt the following strategies can achieve positive ROI from their innovation programs.

Secure C-level support. Forrester found that only 20 percent of marketers receive support from executive leaders when it comes to innovation programs. To make a stronger business case, marketers must develop a plan to strengthen organizational leadership, estimate specific marketing innovation budget allowances and forecast expected returns on investment.

Conduct digital touch-point walkthroughs. Just as marketers conduct physical store walkthroughs, taking the same digital journey as a customer can reveal invaluable information about customer experiences, expectations and challenges.

Take advantage of in-house or outside partners to brainstorm and ideate “what’s next” opportunities. Once strong contenders are identified, conduct pilot market tests, measure results and scale those that gain traction. The results of these pilot programs can be used to demonstrate the need for ongoing funding and support.

Bottom line: The best way to master marketing innovation is to synthesize the insights, end failing programs fast and quickly scale the successes.