This is a follow-on post to a previous article titled “Is Marketing Innovation Part of Your NPD Innovation?” about inclusion of marketing innovations as part of new product development (NPD) initiatives. The Forrester Research survey that prompted the article had me thinking further about the survey results showing that only 11% of marketers have budgets specifically designated with allocations for marketing innovation.

I did some exploring, rudimentary research and spoke to some people on whether companies whose core business is not marketing solutions or services, invest in initiatives specifically for marketing innovation, but came up with nothing – no examples or experiences where marketing innovation was an initiative in itself.

Companies regularly invest in product innovation initiatives, and sometimes in services, process, and business model innovation. But, it seems that companies rarely, if ever, invest in marketing innovation initiatives. Why not? Marketing is a core function and competency to develop market presence and demand in all companies, but why are marketing-specific innovation initiatives so rare?

I’m not talking about marketing plans, campaigns or programs associated with an innovation initiative to develop a new product or service – those initiatives all contain a requirement for marketing to launch and bring those products or services to market. It’s about making a conscious business decision to invest in an innovation initiative for specific marketing objectives, just like companies do for products.

Think about it, companies have a significant budget for marketing, and they make large investments or bets on developing innovative new products. But when those innovative new products come to fruition, the go-to-market approach is essentially the same even though the collateral, advertising and other materials are new or updated.

All the innovation and new ideas, approaches and processes that the marketing organization uses comes from external sources – vendors, analysts, industry associations, conferences, etc. What if companies invested in marketing-specific innovation to develop innovative new ways to market and sell existing products?  Seems that would be a good investment and probably less costly than developing a new product or line extension.

I’m interested in finding out more about this idea. Have you seen or experienced any innovation initiatives specifically for marketing in a company whose core business is not marketing solutions or services?

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