Love or hate ROI, innovation is the engine of value creation
Brands, marketing and innovation are at the heart of business – from purpose to performance – and there is no getting away from the fantastic richness of data analysis which we have available to us. Yet, due to lack of capability or confidence, or maybe even laziness, we see data as the adversary or creativity, rather than a supporter. We need both, and we need to learn to use them together.
Market analytics, building an in-depth understanding of market dynamics – from segment profiling to value drivers analysis, price elasticity to scenario modelling – enables us to focus our creativity where it can have most impact, both in terms of marketspaces and marketing actions. Focused creativity - understanding the real problem to solve, the best opportunity to seize – is likely to have far more success, than random intuition filtered by prejudice and convention.
Therefore data is essential at the start of the innovation process, but also at the end.
Being able to stand before investors or business leaders, and explain how a fantastic new innovation project will deliver $460m of economic value to the business is unbelievably powerful. Particularly when you can talk with logic and confidence about how it will be delivered. Combining consumer research, creative ideas and financial analysis becomes the real alchemy of a great marketing leader.
Investment analysts spend their careers trying to project the future profits of business, and CEOs and FDs understandably become preoccupied with this too. Therefore, if you can make your case in terms of five-year value impact, including revenues and costs, investments and risks, it is a far stronger conversation than trying to estimate revenues next year, or worse still, being seen as a risky cost.
Of course “value creation” can be misunderstood as shareholder greed, the bloated bonuses of bankers and narrow-minded hedge funds that destroy organisations. Yet smarter investors recognise that the best ideas, the best organisations, are worth investing in for the long-term. They don’t seek a quick buck, they don’t want to just pocket the profits and live for today. They see, like Better Place, that real value is created over time, and that finding a way to create a better world - socially and environmentally – is all part of creating a richer, more sustainable cycle of wealth.
Business needs bigger thinking, new ideas and fresh inspiration, to move forwards.
Everyone understands that real creativity and disciplined innovation are the lifeblood of organisations today. Therefore with focus and confidence, every organisation needs new “idea agents” – visionaries, catalysts, disruptors and facilitators – driving their businesses in in the right directions, shaping the world around them in a better way, reengaging people with hope and inspiration, seizing the opportunities of a VUCA
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