How Can Marketing Start Innovating?

George Colony’s keynote challenged Marketers to step up and innovate.  Perhaps it’s easier said than done.  So how can Marketing Leaders get to it?

Kraft’s Dana Anderson had the best advice, “everything is a pilot”.  Why?  Because no one gets in trouble if a pilot fails.  People don’t freak out about pilots.  Even better than a pilot project is an exclusive pilot, which just means you pretend it’s all very “hush hush” and “in the know”.  Soon people are asking to be a part of your exciting venture, not fighting it.

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s EVP of Marketing, Jim Trebilcock partnered with Ross Martin of MTV Scratch and reinvigorated the Sun Drop brand.  The results are phenomenal both in revenue and brand awareness and reach.  It was the partnership of an old brand with a young MTV agency that provided the oomph of the campaign.  The take away is look for partnerships outside of the norm.  Bring in fresh ideas from outside your company and industry.

Mary Beth Kemp presented a session titled “What Is The Secret Sauce Of Marketing Innovation . . . And How Can You Get Some?”.  Some take-aways:

  • Distribute learning, give everyone a stake in innovation
  • Build an innovation team to develop the innovation “how” processes and culture
  • Lead change by challenging the status quo
  • Recognize and reward innovation

Here are Mary Beth’s “Top 10 behaviors which distinguish the most innovative marketing orgs”

  1. Marketing team members use social technologies to connect to customers
  2. Innovators are rewarded at our company
  3. Enable and empower innovators
  4. Budget sufficiently for marketing innovation
  5. Identify and access innovative capabilities
  6. Marketing team members use internal social technologies to share information
  7. Monitor customer input and share ideas across the company
  8. Know who the most innovative people are
  9. CMO and the rest of mgmt demonstrate they value innovation
  10. Encourage all employees to participate in innovation

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