What large brands can do to break down barriers and innovate like a startup

Former director of marketing at Nestle USA and current Ferrero executive urges marketers to do a ‘sprint process’ to reveal innovation opportunities


Daniela Simpson
Daniela Simpson

3 key obstacles to success  

But before businesses - particularly large players - can even begin to embark on a similar sprint process, they need to know what they’re up against. Simpson flagged three main obstacles blocking innovation and growth.

One huge innovation barrier for marketers, particularly in large companies, is a “lack of flexible processes that enable speed”. “The processes are well intended, but often times they become very rigid and slow us down versus propel us to innovate.”

Just a few years ago it would take 18 to 24 months to get a new idea or innovation - even just a new flavour of a snack - into market, Simpson continued. “That was because we had very slow processes and they were very rigid, and we had to follow them.”

The second big barrier is risk adversity as it relates to the pursuit of perfection in testing and validating ideas.

“I want to perfect this new innovation and test it over and over until I remove all of the risk, but it becomes very cumbersome and in the way of speed and agility and flexibility,” Simpson said. 

The third obstacle revolves around not having the “right cooks” in the innovation kitchen. Simpson said she’s encountered two extremes, both of which don’t produce the right outcome.

“You either have the right people in innovation, but a small group of people and a lack of involvement from the rest of the functions across the company like sales, finance or operations. So you’re doing your thing in isolation from the rest of the stakeholders in your company - and that’s usually dead on arrival. The innovation is never going to go anywhere.”

The other extreme is when you have the entire leadership team and many people from many different functions all wanting to be very involved as the marketer tries to create new product or services. “That can become very frustrating because they’re now micromanaging and getting in the way,” she said. 

At the same time, marketers need to recognise how important it is to become demand creators.

“In order to sustain a modern marketing function at the macro level, we need to become incredible demand creators, either in creating demand for product or for services, which will ultimately result in company growth," Simpson concluded. “One of the best levers to create demand is innovation."

Check out more of the thought leading marketing content and highlights from this year's CMO Momentum conference:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, 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