How to do innovation in marketing

Innovation in marketing isn’t easy. If you’ve ever wonderd how to do innovation in marketing, read on: there’s a few tips, insights and recognizable scenarios here.

Look from outside at your company – fresh insights help a lot

First of all, think baby steps. Innovation in marketing doesn’t mean you and your marketing team need to do something radically different. It’s already a nice step to invite existing customers over to your office and interview them. It can give great insights on how others see your company, its purpose and role for their business. Don’t forget that you do your marketing job for your company every day, so you are totally up to speed with your company’s values, unique selling points and proposition.
To the outside world however, it might not be that clear. And that could be not because you don’t put in enough effort or marketing budget, but simply because people have different ways of seeing things. This can help your company a lot to review existing products and services but also develop new ones. It might sound weird to do that from a marketing point of view, but don’t forget: you’re the main communications channel of the company. Use it wisely.
Meetings can help to bounce around ideas for solutions or new products. Use them efficiently though: have an agenda, an end goal and a followup, and be sure the right people are present at the meeting. Image via Flickr.

Know your enemy, know your friends

A person can’t achieve success on his own, and neither can companies. Therefor, a company needs to know their competition, but also define their partners in their segment. Size up how a competitor is doing: why are they succesful, what are they doing right? Learn from that. But maybe even more importantly: why have they failed at certain things, what have they done wrong? You don’t need to make the same mistakes your competitors already have made. Learn from them and apply those learnings to your own marketing.
The same goes for your business partners. They are in the same business as you, and can bring a lot of knowledge to the table. They might have specializations like SEO, SEM, email marketing, content creation, media buying, marketing automation or video production that you don’t have. Hire them, learn from them, collaborate with them. You’ll be more succesful as a company and as a bonus, end up being more knowledgeable than before. How to do innovation in marketing has everything to do with working together and get new insights, just like the previous example with bringing in existing customers.

A brainstorm session is a drop in the ocean – have a culture of innovation in marketing

If your company has a brainstorm session once in a while, where ‘thinking outside the box’ is encouraged but ideas posed are later on unsupported or undeveloped, you’re doing it wrong. Have a culture of innovation by constantly finetuning all processes in marketing, seeking new opportunities to enhance communications and relationships with the outside world.
Destroy sayings like “We’ve always done it that way” or “Why change something that works?”. Your company might be out of business if it keeps things exactly as they are for too long:
Comic by Tom Fishburne –

Research, do, learn, repeat

That culture of innovation for marketing means constantly researching new options and different ways of doing marketing. After applying those new things and ways, learn from the results and repeat the process. There are companies that have gone through a dozen versions of a product before they got it right. Marketing departments that went through several corporate styles before it felt right. And slogans that change every year until one sticks.
Talking about slogans, there are a few companies that change theirs every few years on purpose. For example, Coca-cola: their current slogan is Make it Happy. However, one of the most famous and simple ones: ‘Always Coca-Cola’. It’s from 1993, over 20 years ago. Open Happiness is famous as well, with great animated ads.
Does your company have a slogan? If not, it might be time for one. It can help outsiders identify in a split-second what your company does, and stands for. Limit it to a few words. That alone can be the start of a path to innovatino in marketing for your company.

How to do innovation in marketing – a recap

If you haven’t read the 677 words above and skipped to this recap, that’s fine: be sure to start soon before it’s too late for your company. How to do innovation in marketing is all about communicating the right message to the right audience in new ways – take it one step further and surprise your audience. They will be delighted and remember your company, the main purpose of marketing.

  • An outside-in look: interview customers on how they see your company
  • Learn from competitors and business partners
  • Have a culture of innovation – embed it in all (marketing) processes
  • Have a continuous process of researching, applying, learning and repeating

Good luck!


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