Innovation is spread across the extended marketing mix, from product through to physical evidence. It could be argued that the people element is the key to marketing innovation as they are the ones who come up with and deliver it. Innovation is a key part of the New Product Development Process (NPD) but isn’t just about creativity and new ideas, it’s about evolving business processes, products and markets which meet untapped customer needs; the key thing here is innovation is not just about product, it’s about processes, manufacturing, communication and timing.
What is innovation?
Here’s a textbook answer for you:
Innovation is ‘not a single action but a total process of interrelated sub process. It’s not just the conception of a new idea, nor the invention of a new device, nor the development of a new market. The process is all of these things acting in an integrated fashion’. Myers & Marquis (1969)
What do I need to consider?
So if innovation is a holistic process, businesses must work in harmony with suppliers, employees, customers and all other key stakeholders to ensure the right idea is invested in and the whole process evolves to deliver the product or service in record time.
Utterback (1994) categorised innovation into 7 groups which should be considered as part of the innovation process:
- Product – Making changes to the product e.g. moving from CDs to MP4
- Process – Evolving how products are made and delivered e.g. Online banking
- Position – Changing the context of the products e.g. Mobiles are now internet browsers too
- Paradigm – Changing the organisations attitude e.g. More environmentally aware
- Organisational – Updating how the organisation operates e.g. Growth through franchise
- Management – Re-engineer business processes e.g. Structure & hierarchy
- Marketing – Expanding delivery & communication channels e.g. Digital channels
So, innovation is more than a new idea; consider all the other elements above to ensure the right idea is delivered at the right time and adds value at a profit.