How Does Your Company Foster Innovation?

Innovation Isn’t Restricted To Techies. Using Existing Tools To Best Suit Your Business Is The Real Challenge

Innovation may be a buzzword that lots of people like to throw around. But what does it really mean, and how does it apply to you as a marketer? We searched through tomes of knowledge shared by CEOs and CMOs to bring you the final word on what innovation is, and where it can take you.

‘Chaos Is One of Several Key Ingredients To Foster Innovation’

Michael E. Driscoll

Michael Driscoll – CEO, Metamarkets: I believe chaos is one of several key ingredients to foster innovation among engineers – it is a key pillar of my engineering management strategy. Too much structure can be stifling to a merry band of rebels conspiring on the next new thing. Whether through allowing engineers 20 percent of their time to work on unorthodox projects, hosting week-long office hackathons or giving a helpful nudge to an internal skunkworks initiative, innovation breeds best in a bit of chaos.

‘LVO Optimizes Mobile Ad Campaigns Toward Offline’

Gladys Kong
Gladys Kong

Gladys Kong – CEO, UberMedia: Location Visit Optimization (LVO) optimizes mobile ad campaigns toward offline visits to a target location(s), such as retail stores, quick service restaurants, auto dealer lots, shopping malls, movie theaters, and the like.

This is a real development, and its transformative impact on marketing is hard to understate. To date, the majority of digital campaigns have been measured and optimized on the basis of online behavioral outcomes such as impressions, CTR, time on brand web traffic, online conversions, the list goes on. All these metrics failed to capture the ultimate forms of conversion, the majority of which still take place offline. LVO enables businesses to optimize on what matters most: real-world retail traffic and events.

The reason this hasn’t been done to date is twofold. First, LVO requires that a majority of users actually generate location data, which wasn’t a reality until smartphones reached a certain threshold of market saturation. We reached that point only a few years ago.

Second is that it is that optimizing media to real-world locations is just very, very difficult — relying on an incredibly complex and sophisticated process. UberMedia’s LVO uses and requires high volume accurate location data, heavy-duty computing power, machine learning, and algorithms to connect the process to programmatic bidding tools and mobile ad serving.

‘The Technology Skills Gap Costs the US $1 Trillion Each Year’

Heather Zynczak
Heather Zynczak

Heather Zynczak – Chief Marketing Officer, Pluralsight: Technology is rapidly evolving, making it hard for technology professionals and teams to keep their skills current — and to really understand their level of proficiency in a given technology.

Our skill measurements technology gives IT professionals and leaders a way to evaluate and future proof their skill sets. In as little as five minutes, a tech pro can benchmark his or her skills and identify one’s skill gaps and strengths. Our platform will then also give him or her a customized learning path — outlining the exact courses she should take — to increase her proficiency. If a user needs help understanding a concept along the way, our platform gives them the ability to connect with a live mentor. This capability is powerful at the enterprise level because it allows CIOs and CTOs to understand the brilliance on their team, provide their teams with an efficient way to close their technology skills gap and, ultimately, deliver new innovations faster.

The technology skills gap costs the U.S. $1 trillion each year in lost productivity, impacting companies of all sizes and across every industry. In this year’s Fortune 500 CEO Survey, 71 percent of CEOs identified their companies as tech companies, yet tech’s progress is outpacing workers’ knowledge of it. Ultimately, this gap is going to significantly hurt innovation and slow progress.

Read More: Bots Are Failing And Here’s Why

‘Look For Pro-innovation Partners’

Ray Grady President/Chief Customer Officer CloudCraze Commerce on Salesforce
Ray Grady

Ray Grady – Chief Customer Officer and President at CloudCraze: We picked Salesforce for a number of reasons. We didn’t want to be in the business of infrastructure, tuning, and set up when that could be handled by a partner. Salesforce also brings next-generation technology such as Einstein that we can apply to our platforms so not only do customers benefit from CloudCraze’s innovation, they also benefit from Salesforce innovation.

As an example, Salesforce has a product called Process Builder which allows customers to create complex workflows without any engineering. They roll these innovations out as a part of their core platform, and we get to apply them to commerce use cases. We have set up robust workflows for things like cart abandonment or buy-1-get-1 free workflows. Our customers get that innovation for free.

We are also in the process of integrating some solutions with Salesforce Einstein. If you are in e-commerce you can see that there are use cases with Einstein that can be very specific to an e-commerce buyer. For example, using big data to change pricing if certain data elements change, or to buy more products in stock during specific weather conditions.

Cloudcraze and our customers absolutely benefit from these innovations. Our Salesforce nativity allows us to take those features and apply them to our roadmap, which we think is also a pretty unique benefit of partnering with Salesforce.

‘Traditional Banner And Related Ads Will Fall By The Wayside’

Nick Bonfiglio, CEO and Founder, Aptrinsic
Nick Bonfiglio

Nick Bonfiglio – CEO and Founder at Aptrinsic One obvious change is how do we better target mobile devices with ads, without negatively affecting the entire user experience.This blog post is an excellent summary of what people are wrestling with.

I believe this will usher in several changes in formats and bidding. I also see traditional banner and related ads falling by the wayside in favor of more vertically formatted ads. In addition, we’re seeing two types of mobile ad changes. Those that are in native apps, which will become more drawer-like and full screen depending on the ad and those that target mobile web prospects, which will likely include vertical/in-line ad formats with richer media such as video, animation, and the like.

‘Customers Are Demanding Relevance’

Deborah Holstein
Deborah Holstein

Deborah Holstein – CMO, EverString: Customers are demanding relevance. Each touch, whether online, an SDR call or a marketing email, needs to be relevant to that individual. And, newsflash, “Dear [first name] with your role as [title] at [company]” is not relevance.

True relevance comes from a synthesis of all the obvious and non-obvious data about a company including firmographics, tech stack, hiring, social, website, news, and more. And, as everyone on a B2B sales and marketing team knows intimately, it’s a mission impossible for any one person to keep up with it all. This is where AI can provide an assist.

B2B sales and marketing teams don’t “need” more data. Rather, we need actionable insights, integrated into our existing workflow. Powerful AI platforms like EverString can acquire and synthesize all of this always-changing company data, but that’s not enough. Given the speed of change, your team needs always-on, continuous access to the freshest, most current actionable insights — so it’s imperative that it be SaaS.

Recommended Read: Top Insights on the CMO’s Best Allies, Content Marketing, and the Art of Story-Telling for Brands

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