Marketing Strategies

Study Reveals How B2B Marketers Can Drive Standard Operating Innovation

ATLANTA, Feb. 27, 2015 –A new study, “The Pursuit of Standard Operating Innovation,” was released today and examines how marketing innovation drives real value for companies by impacting every part of the enterprise.

Conducted in the fourth quarter of 2014, the survey was administered to B2B marketers at a “manager” level or above with an average company revenue of more than $250M. More than 320 valid responses were collected and analyzed in an effort to understand the role marketers should play in enterprise-level innovation.

The study was conducted by leading experience design agency, Sparks Grove, a division of global consultancy North Highland; along with its research partner Econsultancy. The second annual report in the partners’ B2B research series reveals how to foster innovation in a repeatable, measurable way.

According to the study, innovation inevitably comes with hard work and the drive to create a process for creating and testing new ideas. The components required to create “Standard Operating Innovation” within a complex organization include: having a designated budget, balancing breakthrough and incremental innovation, encouraging innovation think time and measuring speed, quality and quantity. In addition, more than one in three innovative companies find 3rd party perspective and expertise has the largest positive impact on their innovation efforts.

“The results and implications are convincing. Real value from innovation efforts is available, but as you’ll see, it’s a ton of work to get there. And it’s not a one-time thing. It’s an all day, every-day, standard operating approach that is driving the evolution and revolution of B2B enterprises,” said Rob Sherrell, Vice President at Sparks Grove.

The most common piece of advice offered by successful innovators was some variation on “act first and seek forgiveness.” Many others describe a more nuanced approach. One key senior level VP respondent noted, “Keep pushing your ideas. It rarely gets heard the first three times. Sooner or later the ears open and mindsets change.”

Highly innovative marketing teams are much more likely to allocate budget, measure the impact of innovation and create a fertile environment for creative thinking. They are also 57% more likely than the mainstream to rigorously examine innovation using the lenses of speed, quality and quantity.

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