Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Marketing innovation- who has the edge?

I am listening to a technology panel at Davos right now, which has a group of large incumbent players (Verizon etc) and HTC, from China.

One insight that struck me was- how big businesses that have a vested interest in their businesses are all about trying to "incrementally" innovate on their existing businesses, whereas newer organizations (HTC), are willing to be much more open, because they do not have any existing interests they need to protect. This was particularly true in the way the biggies were trying to penetrate the so called "emerging" markets…

Extending that logic to marketing, I am wondering if having "established" marketing programs perhaps might be a liability? Wouldn't it be an idea (albeit a much unappealing one to my ilk) to start marketing plans on a zero base every 2 years ? I mean genuinely zero base, not a set of platitudes for continuing with existing programs. It would push people to ask and answer important questions on whether the business case for investment is there, and if it is, how best can it be leveraged.

Business would love it- because it gives all a chance to look marketing investment with ever-fresh eyes, doesn't allow spends and investments to ossify, and more importantly, forces the marketing group to continuously reassess portfolio allocation to channels- for instance, I believe that we will be spending magnitudes more on online channels of influence (web based/ 2.0 stuff) going forward…

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