What Is an Innovation Marketing campaign

by Conquerer

Innovation has been on everybody’s lips for fairly a while and now, greater than ever, firms see it because the holy grail of progress. Certainly, this can be a nice option to create worth and progress, however not the one one. What we’ve noticed is that those that get innovation proper have a transparent benefit over those that don’t.

There are numerous causes for the benefit of prime innovators and their systematic strategy to innovation is one in every of them. Innovation campaigns are structured strategies of fixing urgent issues or tackling thrilling alternatives. In addition they assist kickstart a wider deal with innovation.

So what’s an innovation marketing campaign, what are the important thing advantages, challenges and steps to get it proper? Let’s dig deeper to search out out how one can begin innovating by means of campaigns or methods to get higher at it.

What’s an innovation marketing campaign?

Very first thing first, challenges and campaigns are generally incorrectly used interchangeably, particularly when referring to innovation and ideation. Whereas they’re linked and so they have similarities, it’s finest to make clear what to make use of when.

A marketing campaign refers to a collection of actions directed towards attaining a purpose. However, a problem could be a part of a marketing campaign. A problem implies a contest whose finality is to determine a winner.

As you in all probability know, innovation is the introduction of one thing new. That one thing could possibly be something from new companies to merchandise, processes and even incremental enhancements to one thing that already exists.

  • An innovation marketing campaign is a scientific, time-bound technique of pursuing innovation. Campaigns have ultimate, particular objectives, occur over a selected time frame and happen solely as soon as or can grow to be recurrent.
  • In comparison with an innovation marketing campaign, an concept problem is targeted on ideation to drive innovation. An concept problem is supposed to attain innovation by gathering the best concepts and insights. It ends with a profitable concept or answer and it’s adopted by their implementation. Thought challenges are literally one technique by means of which innovation campaigns can occur.

It’s additionally useful to your group to make clear these phrases if you talk internally. If there’s no frequent understanding of the phrases and constant use in terminology, pushing a brand new initiative to a large, various viewers can grow to be messy.

What varieties of innovation campaigns are there?

Now that we’ve established the terminology, let’s transfer ahead to the varieties of innovation campaigns you may select to prepare. Innovation is usually a way by means of which you’ll obtain your greater, strategic purpose. Which means innovation campaigns as effectively, rely significantly on the purpose they pursue.

That being stated, innovation campaigns are versatile and could be utilized in numerous conditions. We picked a number of of the most typical varieties of innovation campaigns and divided them into two giant classes: open innovation and concept challenges.

Open Innovation

Open Innovation has grow to be very talked-about, and the post-pandemic period enhanced much more the necessity for open collaboration to supply inventive, precious options. By now, open innovation wants no additional introduction, however let’s do not forget that in a nutshell, it’s about organizations accessing exterior sources and data to drive innovation internally.

We coated this matter in a previous article where you can find out everything about the types of open innovation, benefits and challenges as well as concrete examples of companies applying open innovation.

For now, we’ll focus on the innovation campaigns that can stem from the open innovation approach.

1. Crowdsourcing

It’s common for crowdsourcing to be confused with open innovation itself, but this is in fact just one way of doing open innovation. Crowdsourcing is the method through which ideas and knowledge are obtained from participants outside the organization, or at least the unit of the organization initiating the campaign. This method is used when companies want to get input, solutions and ideas to a specific theme or challenge.

Crowdsourcing is different from other types of open innovation because it’s accessing external resources, like customers, to get ideas or feedback on your products, services or business solutions. This type of campaign is usually open to a very wide audience and can attract thousands of participants. There is a lot of work involved, from marketing to communication and community management. It requires plenty of resources and a very well-organized plan. Some might argue that it’s not as effective as other types of campaigns.

However, Lego is the perfect example to show that crowdsourcing can work. Through their recurrent innovation campaign, Lego Innovation, they constantly gather ideas from customers worldwide and they implement those that get enough support and can prove financially viable.

benefits innovation

2. Colleague crowd

A colleague crowd campaign is the opposite of crowdsourcing in the sense that it’s not about outsourcing but accessing internal knowledge. You can organize a colleague crowd to get employees to collaborate and provide relevant insight.

The advantage of a colleague crowd is that your workforce knows your business better than other external sources. You can organize a colleague crowd, for example, if you want to improve workplace satisfaction or safety. This approach could also be used to improve collaboration between teams. We know very well that tensions are very common between teams in large organizations. To help them see the others’ point of view you can use an idea management tool as a simple way to enable them to work collaboratively to solve their problems.

3. Co-creation

Another open innovation approach you can use for your innovation campaign is co-creation. It’s often confused with crowdsourcing because of their similar broader meaning, which is accessing external resources to get a solution to a problem, or new ideas that reveal further opportunities.

Co-creation, unlike crowdsourcing, is accessing the knowledge and inputs of a known audience. While crowdsourcing is more like a spray and pray approach, co-creation alternates outbound and inbound exchanges of information. It connects internal innovation activities with external resources.

Co-creation, unlike crowdsourcing, is accessing the knowledge and inputs of a known audience. It connects internal innovation activities with external resources.

A good co-creation example is the B&W Nivea deodorant. After thorough analysis to establish the issues and wishes of their prospects, Nivea rigorously chosen a pattern of individuals to conduct a web-based co-creation course of to assist them develop a brand new deodorant that doesn’t stain. For this marketing campaign they used the voice of their prospects to get new inputs and choose one of the best concepts. Their co-creation marketing campaign has efficiently complemented the R&D work and managed to drive innovation from scratch.

• Thought Challenges

Thought challenges are a targeted technique to drive innovation by means of ideation. Now we have beforehand mentioned intimately what concept challenges are and methods to arrange them. Now we have additionally created an entire toolkit that may information you thru your complete course of.

To summarize, concept challenges within the context of innovation campaigns, it’s necessary to notice that these could be:

  • Downside-centric
  • Answer-centric

The usual course of to observe on this case it’s the double diamond of innovation, pictured under.

double diamond

An issue-centric concept problem is targeted on discovering issues earlier than developing with options to them. In a solution-centric concept problem, the issue has in flip already been outlined, so the main focus is on discovering one of the best answer for the given drawback.

Enterprise advantages of innovation campaigns

Innovation campaigns have elevated in reputation because the web and new applied sciences have made it simpler and extra possible to leverage the data and creativity of crowds.

Innovation campaigns are versatile and include loads of advantages for companies:

1. Decreased prices

For a given variety of concepts and enter generated by means of an innovation marketing campaign, the prices are often low. Particularly if we put them subsequent to actions organized for related functions, comparable to hackathons, brainstorming periods or workshops. With innovation campaigns you might be saving time and profitable cash.

2. Elevated quantity and variety of concepts

Via innovation campaigns you may simply harness the collective creativity of lots of and even 1000’s of attendants. So long as campaigns are effectively deliberate and have a transparent focus, getting new concepts and insights received’t be an issue.

Prospects, staff or companions have simply grow to be concept suppliers and as some research suggests, the concepts of crowds can generate extra enterprise than these coming from consultants of their particular subject.

The user-generated merchandise bought by MUJI outperformed these created by skilled designers by an enormous margin. The merchandise created with buyer concepts had a gross margin that was 4 instances greater within the first 12 months and 5 instances within the subsequent three years.

Muji innovation campaign resultsIn fact, these outcomes from the Japanese client good firm MUJI may not be replicable by each group.

These outcomes had been doable additionally as a result of members who offered concepts outnumbered the inner sources. A better variety of members naturally results in an elevated variety of concepts, which takes us to the following profit.

3. Improved high quality of concepts

Because the MUJI instance confirmed, innovation campaigns can simply produce extra concepts than another initiative organized at a smaller scale. Such campaigns additionally deliver collectively folks from completely different backgrounds and their variety could be very precious.

It’s simple to get caught up within the previous model pondering that “leaders and managers know finest”. However there a lot worth in getting recent views. This selection supplies not simply various concepts but in addition helps organizations establish new alternatives for enterprise progress. These could possibly be new merchandise, enhancements or enterprise fashions which might later grow to be worthwhile streams of income.

4. Model consciousness

There may be large potential in utilizing innovation campaigns for advertising functions as effectively. Much more fascinating, HBR suggests {that a} product’s efficiency will increase by 20% when it’s labelled as “customer-ideated”.

Finnish retailer, Alepa, launched the Block Wish campaign to find what prospects need from their native shops. Alepa shops grew to become extra common due to the Korttelitoive chatbot service that allowed prospects to simply specific their needs. This marketing campaign helped automate logistics and product line adjustments with 70% of wished fulfilled in 48 hours. 9 out of ten prospects had been glad with the service, so this proved to be a profitable innovation marketing campaign that additionally elevated model consciousness.

The prospect to make use of innovation campaigns as advertising campaigns shouldn’t be missed, particularly within the case of crowdsourcing or outside-in kind of challenges. They will improve model visibility in addition to buyer loyalty.

Innovation campaigns may even be deliberately directed in the direction of gathering advertising concepts. Your advertising group can begin an concept problem to get a recent perspective.

5. Worker engagement, and elevated retention

All staff wish to really feel valued and listened to. Intrinsic motivation has higher results than monetary incentives. Giving a voice to your workforce exhibits that you simply care and acknowledge their work.

Innovation campaigns could be organized for a myriad of causes, even for organizational functions. For instance, you may interact staff by means of an onboarding problem concept. The larger the corporate the more durable it turns into to onboard new staff. Those that have gone by means of that very same course of might need concepts to enhance it. Give it a attempt. You is perhaps stunned by the outcomes.

The right way to do an innovation marketing campaign

Heaving examine the advantages of innovation campaigns, now you should be wanting to get began. Earlier than that, listed below are six necessary steps to information you thru the method:

1. Single focus

Resolve earlier than hand what’s the purpose of your innovation marketing campaign. A targeted purpose is a primary necessary step as it will information your subsequent choice: the kind of marketing campaign.

innovation campaigns tipsThe right way to set your objectives? Consider what you wish to obtain, what’s your precedence and the way effectively it matches and helps the enterprise technique. Don’t go too generic or too particular. A too generic purpose will make it more durable for members to know what you might be after and if it’s too particular it would restrict the alternatives for excellent concepts and options.

Whatever the objectives you set, they need to be quantifiable. In any other case, how will you realize they’ve been achieved?

2. Resolve what kind of innovation marketing campaign to prepare

This one will fluctuate significantly from enterprise to enterprise, however it is going to be principally guided by your objectives and aims.

Possibly it’s essential enhance efficiency and establish alternatives for enchancment so an concept problem could possibly be extra acceptable. If in case you have a selected product that wants enter from exterior sources, you’ll wish to look into crowdsourcing choices.

There are quite a few enterprise objectives for which organizing an innovation marketing campaign is sensible. Whether or not you need exterior data or inner experience, it’s finest to map out the doable approaches and their match along with your objectives earlier than making a ultimate choice or advancing to the following step.

3. Select the target market

Relying on the kind of marketing campaign you’ll arrange, the members can be both inner, within your group or exterior, like prospects, companions, stakeholders and so forth.

The following factor is to look into the doable viewers in response to their relevance, measurement and reachability. In brief, it’s best to be capable to steadiness these three elements.

After getting determined the members, it is going to be simpler to determine on the communication channels and instruments. Take a look at our complete guide to idea challenges for more details on choosing the participants.

4. Planning and execution

Now that you have chosen the goal, the participants and communication tools, you can start planning. Try answering questions like: How to get the message through? How long is the campaign? How to reach participants, what questions to ask and how often? How to encourage participation? What incentives to offer? How are results measured and what determines if the campaign is a success or a flop?

When it comes to incentive to increase reach and attendance, think beyond prizes and financial gains. For example, the LEGO innovation campaign has created a community around it. People are motivated by having their ideas acknowledged and seeing them become reality. The 1% they get from sales is a contributing factor, but not the single most important one.challenges innovation campaigns

5. Launch and monitor

Launch your innovation campaign and monitor the performance. You might have to make changes along the way so be patient, flexible and proactive.

6. Follow up

The innovation campaign is just the beginning and only because you reached a final result doesn’t mean your work is over. Focusing only on getting to the end is counterproductive for long term results. It’s important to make sure that innovations are followed through and implemented.

This step usually means handing it over to other business units in charge of putting things into practice. At the end, you want to have tangible results for both the organizations and participants.

Challenges and risks of innovation campaigns

Things can always go south, even if you had a detailed plan. Some risks are harder to predict but being aware of some common challenges can help minimizing them. With innovation campaigns, the end result is not entirely in your hands and while solid plans are important, you have to be prepared to adapt to unforeseen changes.

These challenges can be operational, strategic, legal or cultural. If you identify and can prevent any of these, you will save time, money and maybe even the entire campaign from failing.

types of open innovation challenges

1. Lack of accountability and commitment

Organizing a good innovation campaign can turn into a full-time job. These projects are intensive and require complete focus from project or community managers in charge of them. When planning, assess the resources, delegate tasks and decide who is the main responsible.

Assign an owner who can evaluate ideas, provide feedback and give visibility to the progress of the campaign. The main responsible has to keep the campaign alive, otherwise people lose interest.

When no one takes full responsibility for the project, it’s hard to build trust and motivate people to take part. It’s easy to see when there is no full commitment to the campaign. If no one is aware of the progress of the campaign, of the steps to follow or people involved, then you have to take action. Make sure that once you have someone in charge they have a clear process in mind and they take the time to let everyone know where things are at.

2. Increased complexity

The number of people involved, the nature of information and the collaborative process can make some innovation campaigns rather complex.

The lack of a clear strategy and a well-planned campaign can make things even more complicated for both organizers and participants. Focus and communication are the keys here. From planning, to launching and reporting the results, communication has to be concise and transparent. We recently talked on our blog about the best ways to communicate when launching an innovation initiative.

Choosing the right tools will also help you manage complexity better. In the planning phase, consider the actual steps you’ll go through and how the tool you choose will support your work. Use an appropriate innovation management tool to gather ideas, keep the conversation going, evaluate and rate inputs.

An innovation campaign becomes less complicated when you build an effective process around it. Innovation initiatives often fail because they become islands, separate from the rest of the organization. It’s important to have the resources and a clear plan in place on how to go from an idea all the way to innovations that are actually on the market. This will remove a huge amount of ambiguity and bring clarity.

It’s important to have the resources and a clear plan in place on how to go from an idea all the way to innovations that are actually on the market.


3. Unclear goals, not being aligned with strategic objectives

It’s important to understand and promote the “why” because it gives focus and direction to the campaign. It becomes especially challenging to manage a campaign when the goals are not clear. If these goals are not aligned with the business strategy, it can easily turn into a waste of everyone’s time.

For example, Heineken has used co-creation and crowdsourcing to find solutions for sustainability and product design. Originally launched in 2009, their Brew a Better World marketing campaign introduced them $1.1 billion in income.

Their dedication to innovation had particular objectives: construct buyer loyalty and get a aggressive benefit by means of innovation. This technique additionally helped them collect new concepts at a fraction of the price of conventional strategies.

Sensible Ideas for a profitable innovation marketing campaign

Innovation campaigns are an open door to collective creativity, not suggestion packing containers for gathering suggestions. Which means additionally they require extra effort than simply gathering concepts. Take into account the following steps after the marketing campaign has ended. Following up on innovation initiatives ought to be taken significantly, in any other case you may lose the belief of those that put the trouble into making it occur.

There isn’t a recipe for achievement in terms of innovation campaigns, however there are some ideas which may assist improve your probabilities of success. Listed here are the 5 ideas we expect are necessary to think about when working in your marketing campaign.

1. Get members excited and motivated

Use multi-channel communication to contain as many individuals as doable. In case you are pondering of open innovation and concept challenges outdoors of the corporate, think about the channels that may attain the specified viewers. Use completely different communication channels, however not an awesome quantity.

Inform a narrative. Nobody will get excited by dry particulars like revenue margins, gross sales, acquisition price and so forth. The story of collective creativity and significant participation, in addition to the flexibility to make a distinction, sounds extra interesting. When telling your story deal with the “why” you might be doing the marketing campaign, and why it’s of their curiosity as effectively.

Even when it’s a bit tougher to articulate the “why” attempt to think about intrinsic motivators like that means, selection, competence and progress. Additionally, consider offering incentives that encourage novel and artistic pondering. As already talked about, it’s not simply in regards to the cash. Monetary incentives for concepts or options might improve the variety of submissions and members, however intrinsic motivation can reveal extra creativity and ingenuity.


Monetary incentives for concepts or options might improve the variety of submissions and members, however intrinsic motivation can reveal extra creativity and ingenuity.


2. Acquire credibility and belief

Managers and C-level executives play an necessary position as their presence builds credibility and belief. It’s best to attempt to embody them in your communication plan. Clarify that their position is essential for the marketing campaign to achieve traction and ask them to handle members straight.

Efficient communication builds belief and in addition allows transparency. Enhance transparency by means of a two-way communication the place members really feel listened to and their position is acknowledged.team trust campaigns

3. Maintain it easy

Don’t begin extra campaigns without delay as it may well get complicated and divert consideration from what you wish to obtain. Keep away from overlapping campaigns or organizing them too typically. It might probably ire and overburden these concerned. It’s finest to make use of innovation campaigns as an influence device to handle particular objectives quick. Nevertheless, on the long run it’s best to deal with shifting in the direction of steady ideation and innovation throughout the group.

4. Select the best instruments

If you wish to improve the attendance price, you need to ensure members have a superb expertise. Instruments could make or break this expertise. No one desires to take care of technical particulars and waste their time attempting to determine methods to contribute. This additionally applies to the organizing group who does all of the heavy lifting within the background.

So, decide instruments that may assist you to handle the entire innovation course of. We’ve achieved the analysis and compiled an inventory with the 20 best innovation management tools.

5. Plan for the long term

Innovation campaigns are a great answer to acute specific challenges that require new ideas, creativity and collaboration. However, they are just a means to support bigger strategic innovation goals.

If you want to see solid results from innovation you can’t rely on small changes but you have to embark on a longer journey. Take baby steps towards the right direction and as long as you keep your goals in mind you are on the right track. This approach will lead to more powerful results and will transform your organization.
We wrote on our blog in more detail about assessing your innovation maturity and how to achieve this transformation through the Innovation Maturity Matrix.


Innovation campaigns are a great way to access new sources and open the door to new perspectives and opportunities. Whether you will work with internal or external stakeholders, their participation can bring a new way of thinking and help you improve your innovation efforts.

We’ve seen that innovation campaigns have the power to increase profitability, create better products and generate new opportunities for growth. They are a great way to move towards a more holistic approach to innovation, but at the same time it’s good to keep in mind that they are by no means a shortcut. Innovation campaigns require loads of work and resources, as well as responsibility and accountability.

It’s up to you to decide if this approach would work for your specific situation as innovation campaigns are not the right tool for everything and everyone.

Idea challenges are one of the methods through which you can put an innovation campaign in practice. So we have created a practical Idea Challenge toolkit that takes you through all the steps, from planning to choosing your participants, to launching and communicating the details. You can download the toolkit here.

Cover Complete Toolkit to Idea Challenges

Download the Toolkit


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