Carrying on on the topic of innovation seemed rather right for trying out (rather belatedly) our new blogging platform. I've had interesting discussions with some of you recently about innovation and am both writing a report and creating a track session for our Marketing Forum in LA next month about how CMOs can/should plan for marketing evolution.
Where do you most focus your marketing innovation efforts today? Take my poll to the right as to where your marketing organization invests its resources.
Many marketers I've connected with spend most of their 'innovation time' and resources trying to figure out new media channels - social, mobile and still, digital. We do tend to think most about Promotion. But what about the other parts of the marketing mix?
Have you innovated in Place? Procter & Gamble has made online D2C sales a hot subject in the last months. Beyond e-commerce, have you rethought where your products are actually sold?
And what about the Products themselves? M&Ms lets people personalize the classic candy with their own words and photos. Has your marketing team used technology and customer proximity to change - even slightly - what you sell?
And the last P. Have you thought about Pricing innovation? I'm constantly annoyed at getting a worse deal from my mobile phone and cable providers than new customers coming in. Oh, and you can add magazine subscriptions to that stack. Beyond offers, when was the last time you rewrote your rules around pricing and introduced some novelty?
I look forward to your comments and thoughts. Have you seen interesting experiments in the market? Or are you working through some ideas yourself?
CIO job tenure is now averaging 4.6 years, according to the Society for Information Management. That’s up – way up -- from the 2-3 year average that we saw just a few years ago. How do you explain the lengthening time in job? Is it just because CIOs are better at their jobs than CEOs or CFOs who have higher churn rates? Probably not.
My guess is that the post dot-com bust and post 9/11 recession triggered CIOs to hunker down and be a bit more risk-adverse. They stayed put for a few years, then facing the more recent economic slump, stayed put even longer. They stayed busy doing what they unfortunately are known for -- helping with enterprise cost cutting. More reactive, more cost conscious, and less innovative CIOs are less likely to take risks and less likely to be fired for risk-taking.
But I suspect the trend towards longer tenure is rapidly coming to an end. The CIOs I speak with are eagerly waking up to tackle innovation and new investments in 2010. And we’re seeing more and more ex-consultant hot shots and business execs from elsewhere in the company recently hired on to “fix IT” join the CIO ranks. More proactive, innovative, and impactful CIOs are more likely to follow ambitious career paths – or (if your a glass-half-empty kind of guy or girl) get fired for risk-taking.
In my recent interviews with IT services providers on the topic of innovation, one of the key findings was the many different ways in which innovation can be categorized. Some companies view innovation as simply an extension of their traditional R&D capabilities, others view their innovation as a way to prove their thought leadership, still others view innovation largely as a strategic marketing imperative. Sometimes, it’s a combination of these factors.
One interview that stood out was with Lem Lasher, the Chief Innovation Officer (and Global Business Services President) at CSC, who described to me a deep and holistic approach to transforming CSC’s innovation capabilities. Three things that stood out at me about Lem’s approach: