How can CMOs drive marketing innovation

by Shweta Verma    Sep 04, 2013

marketing innovation

Procter & Gamble recently held an event to inspire P&G marketers to accelerate digital, social, and mobile marketing innovation while not losing focus on core brand building fundamentals. Defining the key focus areas, CMO Marc Pritchard stated: “We have fallen in love with technology but need to fall back in love with ideas. We need great creativity.”

While most marketers agree that innovation should be a key component of their budgets, most of them are finding it tough to actually focus on it. According to a recent Forrester study of 45 marketing leaders, only 11% of marketers set aside a specific budget for marketing innovation efforts, and only 9% make marketing innovation a part of every marketer’s budget.

Interestingly, 95% of these marketers agreed that they are achieving positive ROI from their innovation programs. However, at the same time, they point out that in today’s digitally connected world with constantly changing customer expectations, innovation could be hard to achieve.

Forrester suggests that it is important to build an organization culture that promotes innovation. It says that risk averse-organizations that exhibit a “command & control” structure innovate only when forced. But it is the customer-obsessed organizations that are inherently innovative. It places iconic brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Chick-Fil-A, and 7-Eleven under this category.

Here are some key steps that can be followed to create an innovation-oriented marketing approach:

- Build a business case for innovation and get C-level support

- Allocate a specific per cent of marketing budget and define the expected ROI

- Take advantage of in-house or agency partner innovation labs to brainstorm and ideate

- Leverage customer insights to take an innovation-anywhere approach

- Define the key drivers and create accountability for the team