CMG: Co-creating with customers is rising in product innovation

Marketing consultancy's latest report, The Customer: Your #1 Resource to Innovation, sets out why customer interaction is so important in product development and innovation

How CMOs and brands are better interacting with customers around product development and innovation has been put under the spotlight in a new report by US marketing consultancy, CMG Partners.

The The Customer: Your #1 Resource to Innovation report is based on a series of interviews with marketing and business leaders discussing the changing dynamic around customer engagement when building new products and services.

The report notes the emphasis now placed on customer interaction in what CMG labels the ‘M&3Cs’ of product development – market, customer, capabilities and competition – thanks to rising opportunities for customer engagement through digital, social and mobile channels. It also advises companies to keep their eye on the customer, rather than focusing on the art of innovation for its own sake, as well as embrace agile methodologies for product development.

The report then outlines six approaches CMOs are taking to innovate and establish best practices around better conversations with their customers as a competitive advantage.

The first of these examples is from database management vendor, Informatica, which has formed ‘productive advisory councils’ featuring select customer groups that participate in the full product development cycle. According to its VP of product marketing, Ravi Shankar, the company ran five product advisory councils last year featuring key customers that looked at the impact of trends including big data and mobile.

“When we conduct our product advisory councils, we get a sense of how the customers are moving in a particular direction related to those trends,” he stated in the report.

Shanker said the first driver in modern product development is Informatica’s current customer base of hundreds of enterprise-level software clients.

“We invite them to come to us and say ‘I need X, Y and Z to be done on the product so that I can take it to the next level’,” he stated in the report. But that’s not to say the focus is purely on customers.

“The second driver we need to understand is the company perspective in terms of where the company is going, what kind of features we are talking about releasing and how that may impact the sales cycle,” Shanker said. “The third driver is market movement. I need to know where the market is moving from a trend perspective.”

Another example detailed in CMG’s report is Samsung’s use of mobile customer data to inform new product releases and products. The vendor’s general manager and head of global services, Chris Jo, explained his team leverages data and interactions with customers in multiple ways, sometimes forming a community base to drive interactions, or using its app store to engage via comments.

“It’s not just one-way. We strive for two-way communication so we make sure that we really understand what our customers want – whether they are complaining or complimenting,” he said.

A third example listed is tax and accounting firm, Thomson Reuters’ use of customer forums and focus groups for product development and customer experience improvements. According to its CMO, Tobias Lee, a big challenge it faced was collaborating more closely across functions in the business. At the same time, capturing early customer and industry feedback is also something it’s striving to be more proactive about.

“To build specific forums, we partner with professional associations,” he said. “For one association, we planned a strategic sponsorship of their event with a session around the tax executive. We hosted that forum and use it as a launch pad for a new product called Checkpoint Catalyst. It was a hybrid of a controlled release and a show-and-tell.”

CMG partner, Mark Chinn, said CMOs and product leaders are increasingly faced with better informed and more demanding customers.

“Those leaders who engage their customers for new product insights and innovation – and who act on those insights – have the competitive advantage in today’s market,” he claimed.

More on this topic

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Red Agency YouGov Galaxy Report, February 2019 Predictors Study. https://redagency.com.au/re...

Vanessa Skye Mitchell

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

RIP holden

Max Polding

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in