When you hear the word ‘innovation,’ the first thing that comes to mind is all the technology around you. Right?
Well, let us clear the clouds for you.
Innovation, in general, is any idea that can bring disruptive changes to any industry.
But, wait. What does it have to do with marketing?
Well, innovation and marketing have a lot in common—much more than you can think.
On the one hand, innovation needs marketing for successful adoption. On the other hand, marketing needs innovation for successful results.
What is Innovation Marketing?
Like most people (including you) know, marketing is the process of creating, educating, and converting sales for any product.
In general, for any industry or market, the easiest trick to improve their marketing efforts is through competitor analysis.
But what about a product that has never existed in the market before?
Well, here comes Innovation Marketing.
It is a discipline that includes marketing activities in any innovation process.
For example, market research about customer needs and wants, conceptualizing and creating prototypes, and more. The marketing model also includes pre and post-production testing in real-world scenarios.
Marketing and Innovation – They go Hand in Hand
Business consultants and innovation experts have been long quoting that marketing and innovation go hand-in-hand.
Peter Drucker (an Austrian consultant) once said, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
Perhaps, taking a deeper look into the purpose and role of marketing in the innovation process might help.
Let’s take an example.
Say you’re creating an algae-based biofuel. First of all, you’d need to know if the market needs such a product or not. If yes, you’d then need to think of the economic feasibility of creating such a product.
On top of this, you’d then need to develop a strategy to overcome market challenges. For instance, most of the machinery that uses fossil fuels won’t be compatible with the newly created biofuel.
In this example, from conceptualization to marketing and then selling, everything is well-researched. And any discrepancies in the data would easily mean that you could lose all your innovation money. The money that you invested in the research and development.
What you’ve learned so far:
- Innovation is a disruptive idea that caters to an existing need in the market
- Innovation begins with identifying the needs that have not been met in the market
- Marketing is the first and the last step involved in the development of any innovative product
Why Innovation Marketing?
Now comes the most critical question – why should you be bothered about the innovation market, if at all?
Identifying the market needs isn’t that difficult. Neither is the task of creating or developing a product to cater to these needs. Perhaps, you can also hire a Digital Marketing Agency to promote your product in a greener way. Besides, the general public would be already willing to go for more innovative products. After all, it serves people’s need for exclusivity too.
So, why do you need innovation marketing exclusively?
Let’s continue with the last example.
So, you’ve created an innovative fuel that can resolve the air pollution problem. And it’s economically feasible, too (let’s assume). But did you think of how you’re going to convince people to buy biofuel instead of cheaper and more readily available fossil fuels?
It might not be possible to replace a complete product chain in the market overnight. So, you need to answer if the market would be willing to take up the change. And if yes, at what pace?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can begin marketing your product. In other words, you can start educating your target audience to buy your product instead of other fuels.
Here comes the role of innovation marketing. Like the product, the marketing strategies can also not be the conventional ones. Although the routes can be the same, the approach certainly won’t.
You might be thinking of using social media platforms or Youtube ads for promotions. But that’s not enough.
For a better reach and more effective outcomes, you’d need to target specific audience groups with user-centric content. Besides, you might also need to submit your innovation to the journalist’s media to gain more coverage and earn credibility.
What you Risk Losing?
You’ve read about innovation marketing. You’ve also read about how it can benefit your business or your innovation process. And you’ve also learned why you should be choosing it over traditional marketing.
But, if you’re still unconvinced, we have something else for you.
If not implemented, there are some possible risks and dangers for your newly developed innovation.
Please read them here.
- Lack of market insights can lead to wrong decisions. Ultimately, it would risk your investment. You may lose the product to infringement, or you may try to sell it in the wrong market. Worst of all, you might create a product for irrelevant needs.
- Even if you do everything right during the initial research and development process, you’re risking your investments again if you can’t sell your product. Only the right marketing strategies can help your product get the recognition it deserves.
- For the wrong products or marketing, your company’s reputation is also at stake. In other words, one wrong move can easily affect the sales of your other products too.
Innovation marketing is an essential lever for the success of any new product in the market. Regardless of how innovative your product is, it would be a complete waste of both time and money if you can’t bring it to the customers. And not to forget the efforts you put in creating and developing the product.
Innovation marketing works at the forefront of any product development process. It explores the needs of the market, adds more features to these needs, and then helps create an attractive design and serves a purpose for the target user.
Notably, it does not end here. The leaps that innovation marketing does works in the back end as well. From ensuring the right design and features to the delivery channels, marketing encompasses all activities involved.
Perhaps, the most significant advantage that it has to offer is saving unnecessary efforts and capital investments.