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Marketing & Innovation
Successful innovation is a necessary objective for an effective marketing strategy. Innovation should not only be purposeful and organized but a risk taking change by a marketer so as to maximize benefits for his firm.
An innovation converts a new idea into a meaningful product or process. And this new product or process should have feasibility and get commercially accepted by the customers.
A successful innovation goes through three stages: Idea generation, implementation of the idea and finally market acceptance of the implemented idea. The first two stages of an innovation can be controlled by a business but the third is an external factor and thus depends on customers and their reactions.
Every marketer should have an innovative attitude in his marketing approach. It should be an integral part of marketing concept. Even management guru Peter Drucker has once said that a business enterprise’s objective is to create new customers and it should have hence two main functions – marketing and innovation.
All growing companies have an important role for innovation in their marketing plans. Innovation alone assures growth and survival while customer orientation approach assures survival only. The evolution of new product is a practical business function and it is known as the product management function.
The process of product planning and development is always adopted for product innovation. Product development is a general term covering the search for new products and new innovations as well as the improvement of existing products.
There are mainly three ways by which a new product can be obtained: Firstly through internal development, secondly by licensing. Licensing means securing the right to produce a product from the original patent holder. It can be a contractual arrangement. The most desirable example here is that of Coca Cola. The third method of obtaining a product is through acquisition, i.e. buying a company that developed or patented the product. Though it is a costly method it gives exclusive rights to the marketer.
Marketers also need to promote or exert maximum influence on consumer behavior so as to make them adopt the innovation. The adoption of an innovation requires planned management of change or it requires overcoming the resistance to change. An adoption process changes the consumer’s attitudes and perception.
The adoption process covers steps that a consumer usually goes through before determining the feasibility of buying new products from the marketer, such as: Awareness of the innovative product, interest which makes them to seek information, evaluation or mental trial of the product, direct or physical trial of the product and finally adoption, i.e deciding to buy the product.