Technological innovation and how to avoid it

Technological innovation and how to avoid it
SHARE
THIS



Don’t innovate.

Seriously, if you can get away without any innovative technology in your marketing, by all means do so. Marketers should use it as a last resort. This may sounds like heresy when we hear so much about it, but no one acknowledges the dark underbelly of innovation.

To understand just how abhorrent innovation really is, you need to consider the two different ways you can do it – the easy way and the hard way.

With the easy way, you take something that exists somewhere else, and repurpose it for marketing.

There are two catches with this. First, you need to be looking well outside the usual ‘research sphere’ to find an emerging technology to repurpose. This means spending a lot of time hanging around bio-technology trade shows and digital art conferences.

Then, when you find some fantastic novelty, you need to engage non-advertising partners to make it happen. That means companies that often don’t understand the timelines of ad campaigns or the foibles of CMOs. 

That may sound problematic, but it pales in comparison to the hard way. This is the real deal, where a truly new invention is born, within a piece of marketing.

Recent Australian examples would include Finch’s ‘Donation Glasses’ for the Pedigree Adoption Drive and Snepo’s ‘Fundawear’ for Durex. We saw something we’d never seen before, and we saw it in a piece of advertising. So just how bad is this ‘real’ innovation?

Think about it like this. First you have to invest significant resources well ahead of the curve. Second, this investment is high risk with no guarantee you’ll actually develop something viable. Third, there’s the struggle to protect your IP from knock-off happy competition. And finally, while most innovation pays off through scale, you’ll have difficulty getting much re-use out of your innovation in the novelty-obsessed world of advertising.

With all this doom and gloom is there ever a time when innovation is justified? Absolutely.

There are many reasons to push the limits of creative marketing through technological innovation. From invigorating a stale category to breaking through as a new entrant, from forcing brand re-evaluation to simply differentiating yourself in a cluttered market.

If you do find yourself going down this road, here’s three simple tips to minimise the pain:

– Innovate the product, not the communication. Nike+ (and Nike Fuel) is a great example of a technology innovation that has created ongoing business value.

– Make your agency do the hard work. Someone has to invest resources and  take on risk. Surely that’s the kind of reckless behaviour you pay your agency for?

– Acknowledge that technology innovation isn’t the same as everyday marketing, nor is it the same as product development (unless you’re a technology company).

So getting it right probably means treating it differently – breaking with the traditional process to create Skunkworks-style operations where innovative magic can happen.

It can be done, the proof is there for all to see. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Brett Rolfe is director of technology and innovation at Naked Communications.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright

We'd be headlining Danni Wright's Women in Media profile the "Wright stuff" if it wasn't utterly predictable and naff.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact
  • Media

Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact

UnLtd, the media, marketing and creative industry’s social purpose organisation has announced a total industry contribution of $10.5m to social impact in FY18. The total value of funds, services, inventory and time donated by the media, marketing and creative industry increased by 21per cent compared to the previous financial year due to a growth in […]

Posterscope Promotes Two
  • Media

Posterscope Promotes Two

Posterscope, Dentsu Aegis Network’s specialist out-of-home agency, has promoted Ryan Hedditch to the newly created position of national head of strategy and Samantha Summers to Sydney Group Business Director. In his new role, Hedditch is charged with driving the continual improvement and transformation of the Posterscope offering to clients and partners. Summers’ promotion will see her lead […]

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions
  • Media

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions

Native discovery platformOutbrain has announced several movements in its regional leadership team, with plans to make more new hires. This comes on the heels of two senior appointments it made in February, after closing a record year in the region with expansion into new markets. Yoav Tourel has been promoted to head of sales for […]

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage
  • Media

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage

YouTube EXTRA Gum has launched EXTRA Support Acts, a program created to support Australia’s up and coming musicians by transforming pre-roll ads on YouTube into a digital support stage. It has been created in partnership with Clemenger BBDO Sydney as creative lead, Universal Music Australia and BRING for talent and music strategy and content, MediaCom and YouTube. The […]

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings
  • Media

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings

OMD Australia has taken the top spot for Australia’s Number 1 media agency in size, according to RECMA’s 2018 ‘Overall Activity Volume Rankings’ report released last week. Additionally, the company was named first in profile classification with a dominant profile for the 3rd consecutive year, along with vitality ranking and structure ranking. Furthermore, OMD Australia was also named […]

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team
  • Media

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team

Judging by the image, it seems Red Agency may have had no staff whatsoever prior to this hiring spree.

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey
  • Media

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey

B&T's editor coincidentally spilled honey on his shirt while typing this. And by typing, we mean copy and pasting.

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less   
  • Advertising
  • Media

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less  

Y&R wins Best&Less amid rumours the clothing shop its changing name to 'Somewhat OK&Reasonably cheap'.

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.