Why is innovation important in your company?
We are used to hearing that we must offer a different product, covering the consumer’s interests and through business innovation. But what is the meaning of this element that is so present among the indispensable requirements of companies?
In addition to meeting customer needs, companies must try to improve step by step. If they establish a business strategy based on facts and with achievable objectives over time, they will be able to implement innovation in their companies. To achieve this strategy it is very important to know the business in depth and, above all, its consumers.
There are a number of sectors in which it is necessary to have knowledge. The company, the industry, the competition, the suppliers, the products, the demands to be met and which are the elements that can improve the company.
This innovation is very necessary, above all, to differentiate the company from the competition. When we implement a marketing strategy, we expect it to have a positive impact on the product or market. To achieve this, we must be very clear about our target audience and the positioning we want to achieve.
Innovation is divided into 2 aspects:
- Creative: birth of new ideas.
- Execution: transformation of the idea into a new product or service that meets the needs of consumers.
Once we activate the innovation process, new ideas will emerge and we will be able to adapt them to the company’s products. To determine the strategic plan we must take into account both innovation and marketing. This fusion will give value to the product so that the consumers remain loyal to the company since it generates advantages over the competition.
The term innovation encompasses so much information that it can be a huge challenge for the company. There is the idea that it is necessary to create something very different to be successful, but what is innovative is to cover a pending need with a product that performs well and is not on the market.
That’s where the tricky part lies, something that is not on the market. Today we live surrounded by products and services, we believe that everything has been invented and we can’t think of anything. All we have to do is merge the marketing department and the department in charge of creating new products. This brainstorming can unleash great ideas and have very good results.
Innovation in the marketing world
When we think of the marketing world, we tend to focus on selling the product. But is that innovation? It is the first time it is implemented, but there is much more to it than that. The essential thing is to keep in mind the 4 P’s of marketing:
- Distribution (place).
How to innovate?
In marketing we can also find several types of innovation:
- In vertical marketing
- Changes in the product can be varied:
- o Size.
- o Packaging.
- o Design.
- o Development of complementary services.
- In lateral marketing
This type of innovation occurs in the creation of new products that satisfy needs and meet objectives.
- Search for new markets.
- Development of new products.
- Marketing mix applications
Trends in the marketing world
The digital revolution that the world is experiencing thanks to the pandemic has left its mark on businesses. Businesses have realized the importance of digital visibility and have taken action. Some elements that will mark 2022 will be:
With Zuckerberg’s announcement of the new metaverse businesses should be on their toes as it is unknown how their marketing strategies will be implemented.
- No to cookies
The implementation of new legal measures to protect the user are already a reality. 2022 will be marked by first party data. This will not be a problem for Google or Facebook, who will surely look for an alternative.
- Quality vs. quantity
The update of web cores has led Google to bet on the quality of content. In 2022 Google will try to keep improving in each search intent and offering the best results.
- Conversational marketing
Chatbots will again play a key role in 2022. Security and accompaniment at the end of the process will be the role these elements will play.
- Video marketing
The positioning of videos in 2021 will be developed next year as it is the most consumed multimedia element.
- No code automation
The tools that help marketers do their jobs with ease will have a large growth in 2022 and will be more intuitive and sophisticated.
- Integration of the social media experience
This element is already indispensable this year but will gain even more momentum in 2022. Online stores will gain even more prominence on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
- Innovation manager
This figure is not yet implemented in companies because it involves an investment and most prefer to get good results from their corresponding departments. But, if you decide to hire an innovation manager you will see that this is a person with leadership skills, creative skills and very good change management.
This employee will be able to guide departments towards business change and transform problems into opportunities. Curiosity, creativity and open-mindedness are just some of the characteristics that this person will have.
As a person who helps to find innovative elements, he/she must have a global vision of the market, the company and the competition. He or she must have in-depth knowledge of these three areas. Their field of work is usually related to the marketing department or ICT.
Profile and career opportunities
The innovation director or manager has a very specific profile which requires a university education (bachelor’s degree or engineering) with a specialized MBA and 5 years of experience in positions of responsibility related to innovation.
In addition, he/she should be interested in a global and strategic vision, know how to deal with multidisciplinary teams, good communication skills and be oriented towards the client and business objectives.
- Development of innovation activities.
Encourage the rest of the departments to work together with a vision of innovation.
- Design and execution of the company’s innovation projects.
With the implementation of these projects, profitability and technology as a differentiating element will be sought.
- Systematization of the innovation process.
Define policies to achieve the set strategy.
- Make strategic decisions related to innovation.
Coordination of areas through the improvement of processes, products or services that have greater competitiveness in the market.
Sectors in which to develop
- Commercial and sales
- Human resources.
- Banking, accounting and finance.
- Fashion, retail and mass distribution.
- Engineering and technology.
- Food and beverages.
- Real estate.
Tools to apply it
We can use different tools for the innovation and idea development process. These tools are intended to improve collaboration between the departments of a company and thus, promote brainstorming to help manage the development of the product or service.
To set this process in motion, it is very important that you keep in mind the overall objective of the company and the audience you want to target with this innovation.
Innovation trends 2021
Surely you have heard of artificial intelligence. It is one of the most used terms when we talk about innovation since we relate this definition directly with technology. Below we leave you with several areas of work that are seeing a lot of growth this 2021:
- Voice assistants.
- Sustainable products.
- Hyper-data analytics.
- Innovation ecosytems.
How to promote innovation in your company?
As we have mentioned, implementing an innovative business strategy requires a lot of work, skills and capacity of workers. Creativity plays a fundamental role in this process.
We must form a team in which we trust and we are sure that it will give its all. This point is fundamental because we must trust that our team is going to research the competition to know what they are up against.
There are a series of steps to implement business innovation:
- Competitor analysis.
If we carry out an exhaustive analysis of our direct competition, we will be able to identify what preferences the consumer has and why that company covers them better than we do. In addition, we will be able to obtain numerous ideas and develop them in our business.
- Internal analysis.
If we analyze the competition, it is obvious that our company also needs to investigate what is going wrong, what is going well and what needs to be improved. It is important to align the company’s objectives with business innovation.
To encourage creativity, the marketing team can carry out different actions and thus create a working environment that favors the creation of new products.
We must determine a specific department for the development of business innovation. The members of this team must be people with a lot of experience to know the disadvantages and advantages of the company and know the procedure to solve conflicts.
- Design of ideas.
This is where creativity comes in. The time to think and brainstorm together. Analyze what could change the product if it provides advantages or not to the company. From the analysis we will know in depth our problems and our target audience. In this way, we will obtain better results.
Types of innovation
There are different types of innovation depending on the field your company works in and the objective you have set.
- Technological innovation.
This type of innovation is the one we have heard the most about. Technological advances are the order of the day.
- Organizational innovation.
The structure of the company is fundamental to obtain good results. If a business restructuring is carried out, we can obtain good results.
- Commercial innovation.
This is where marketing comes in, the way of making the product known. This is the point at which the consumer will decide whether to buy it or not, which is why it is very important to spend more on commercial innovation, as this will lead to good results in the purchase of products or services.
Every two years the National institute of statistics publishes a survey related to innovation in companies. The last one published is the one for 2019 as we are still waiting for 2020 data.
The expenditure used was 3.8% more than the previous year with an amount of 19,390 million euros. Innovation in companies remains quite low as only 20.8% can be called “innovative”.
Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country lead the communities with the most innovation. Engineering, design, marketing, intellectual property and software development are just some of the sectors that have experienced the most innovation.
Internal R&D is another of the sectors in which more is invested. In contrast, as we can see in the table, external R&D is the area with the least expenditure. The distribution of spending on innovative activities went mainly to motor vehicles, R&D services and programming, consulting and computer activities.
Covid-19 has changed lives, routines and businesses. Yes, the latter has been one of the sectors that has revolutionized the most. The technological development that was experienced during the standstill made in April 2019 is having its effects on today’s reality.
The digitization of the business sector and innovation go hand in hand towards the creation of leading companies. Most companies claim to be undergoing changes on a creative level.
To develop this innovation in the industry, it is very important to have the best employees. Employees are the key element to foster innovation in the company. There are three points to develop in order to continue growing along the path of innovation.
- Business technology.
As you can see, the pandemic has turned the business sector upside down and it must adapt to the new changes. Digitalization, new tools and innovative ideas are the day to day market. Have you already implemented the innovation process in your company?