Why Innovation is Crucial for Marketers
By Amanda Greenwood, Tax Cloud and Myriad Associates
Netflix. We’ve all heard of it and most of us probably have it.
Why is that?
Two words: Innovation. Marketing.
We, as consumers, expect nothing less than impeccable customer experiences and new, exciting ways for brands to engage with us. If they want to capture and hold our attention, they need to work hard for it.
They need to think outside the box and invest in innovative marketing strategies.
This is exactly what the marketing department at Netflix does. We’ll delve a little deeper into Netflix’s innovative marketing strategies later. First, let’s establish…
What innovation marketing is
To establish what innovation marketing is, let’s split the term into two and define each part:
- Innovation is: Coming up with new and exciting ideas that, once implemented, will either add value, improve performance or solve a particular problem.
- Marketing is: Communicating information about a product or service to an intended target market at the right time, in the right place and in the right way.
If we join both terms together:
- Innovation marketing is: Coming up with new and exciting ways to communicate information about a product or service to an intended audience that, once implemented, will improve performance, add value or solve a problem.
Innovation marketing should be present across all marketing activities: From collecting target market information and identifying customer needs to creating communication strategies and introducing products and services to new audiences.
“Innovation marketing as a discipline encompasses marketing activities in the innovation process. This includes, for example, research into customer needs, concept and prototype tests with customers and the marketing of new products.” – Lead Innovation
Innovation marketing’s primary function is to ensure that products and services are put in front of customers in a way that resonates with them. This, in turn, increases revenue opportunities, eliminates the potential for flops and reduces any unnecessary waste.
So, is that why over 44% of marketers think innovation in marketing is critical for success?
What makes innovation marketing crucial for success?
Research shows that over 93% of customers think that the experiences they have with a brand are just as important as the products or services they offer.
So, in a saturated market, the best way to keep engaging your customers is to keep optimising their experiences.
Marketers, therefore, need to keep finding new and improved ways to engage and connect with their customers so they can deliver the right message, at the right time, on the right channel.
“It’s more important than ever to deliver innovative marketing experiences that are meaningful, engaging, and create 1-1 customer connections.” – The Drum
Innovation marketing allows them to dream up new, creative ways to offer customers unbeatable experiences that they aren’t necessarily expecting.
What does it take to be innovative in marketing?
Let’s bring it back to Netflix. With over 200 million paid members and having made $25bn in revenue and almost $2.8bn in profit last year, it’s clear that Netflix is a successful business.
Some might say its success is down to taking ‘’lucky punts’’ on viral shows like ‘Bridgerton’, ‘The Last Dance’ and ‘Stranger Things’ but actually, it comes down to their innovative approach to marketing.
Netflix is the pioneer of data collection, analysis and implementation. Even at the beginning of their journey they were collecting and meticulously analysing intensive data about TV shows, series and films and matching it with consumer viewing and demand data. This innovative approach not only allows them to deliver the right content to their subscribers (therefore improving their overall experience), but it also allows them to find the right approach when it comes to marketing their shows.
Take IKEA too. With 315 stores in 27 countries, it’s the world’s largest furniture retail chain and generates around $35 billion of revenue each year.
And it’s IKEAs constant focus on looking for new ways to enhance their customer’s experiences that’s setting them miles apart from other furniture retailers and making them so dominant in the marketplace.
“IKEA’s marketing where the company is most innovative. The brand has put customer experience at the heart of their marketing strategy, not just at individual needs and touchpoints, but across the whole buying cycle.” – Linkdex
For instance, to allow their customers to see how IKEA products would look in their homes before they purchase them, they’ve built an augmented reality ‘Catalogue App’. This innovative app not only gives customers access to the entire IKEA inventory, but it also allows customers to see exactly how these products would look in their own homes.
Companies like Netflix and IKEA integrate innovation marketing into their company culture and manage to successfully execute their ideas ahead of their competitors.
But how do they physically do that?
How to be innovative with your marketing approach
It takes the following to encourage a culture that allows employees to think up and deliver innovative marketing strategies that will blow your customers out the water:
- A spirit of adventure and a willingness to try out new ideas. Mistakes should be seen as important lessons rather than failures, and no idea should ever be considered as a bad one.
- An obsessive focus on the customer and a deep understanding of what they need and why they need it.
- An ability to embrace change but also remain true to your one, core brand concept.
- A dedication to investing in innovation. Whether it’s claiming R&D tax credits to support the development of innovative products, services or processes or securing R&D grants to fund exciting new marketing initiatives and campaigns.
Innovation marketing is crucial to the success of your business. As the ‘’Father of Management’’ Peter Drucker once said:
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation“.
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