Marketers have been advised that while innovation should be a priority, it must not lead the agenda at the expense of other important matters.

According to Jeremy Nicholds, executive director of mobile at Visa Europe, the need to innovate depends largely on what market position a brand or product is in at any given moment.

This, he said, means marketers do not need to “change for change’s sake” and must instead concentrate on staying relevant to customers.

Mr Nicholds stated that there are various ways in which it can keep in touch with the needs of their audience, which includes “reading and anticipating changing behaviour” and “being alert to the possibility of doing things in fundamentally different ways”.

“The ensuing task is to articulate a strategy/plan that delivers incremental sales, profitability and so on,” he commented.

A similar argument was put forward by Louise Fowler, interim marketing director at First Direct, who said that while technology has made innovation much easier and quicker, there is a risk of “innovation for innovation’s sake”.

She accepted that leaps forward in how things are done can be exciting and life-changing when it solves a problem or meets a need.

However, Ms Fowler said there is nothing “inherently fantastic” about innovation that fails to achieve these outcomes.

Marketers were advised to concentrate on meeting the needs of their target customers and solving their problems in a way that ensures profitability.

She added that while it is good if these objectives can be achieved innovatively, this should not be the “end in itself”.

Should marketers make innovation their top priority?, Marketing Magazine

Posted by Robin McCrink