From all sides we are attacked by messages like: Companies who do not innovate can’t
progress, or Innovation is a way to stay competitive.
In conditions of fierce competition and saturated markets, innovation is presented as the only way of survival. And really when we look at how much this word was used in modern marketing communications, we get the impression that innovative products and services are at every step and that innovative marketing teams are made up of innovative experts packed with innovative ideas.
But what is the essence of innovation? How to recognize in which situations this is a real innovation, and in which situations innovation is just a word? How can we be truly innovative in the field of marketing and communication? Especially in today's digital age in which technological progress accelerates exponentially, and unforeseen business models fundamentally changing the entire industry.
What is innovation?
To answer these questions, we must deal with the very meaning of the concept of innovation.
We define innovation as a change, a freshness, or a process of making changes.
In doing so, it is important to emphasize that innovation is not just a good idea. What makes innovation is the practical use of a new and improved ideas. Without the realized, applied and commercialized ideas, there is no innovation.
Innovation means improvements in different areas. There are innovations in product design, process, work organization, service, and, of course, innovations in marketing and communications.
So innovation always represents some improvement, but is every improvement innovative? The answer is no. In order for an improvement to be called innovation, it must represent a qualitative leap, a fundamental change, and completely new answers or solutions to a problem.
Real innovation is changing the world.
Manipulation of emotions vs autentic value
What could then fundamentally change the world of marketing and communications, a world that has already been seriously altered by the constant advancement of technology? Is it advertising on an unexpected internet platform? The development of a new interactive applications? The original application of augmented reality technology?
New technologies truly represent a highly innovative communication tool, but that their application would be truly innovative, we believe that it is necessary to rely on what is the substance and essence of each, above all human, and then marketing communication, which is the influence on human emotions.
Communication is the process of sending a specific message shaped in a specific way to cause a change in the recipient of the message and point it to the corresponding activity, and this activity is the purchase of a product or service. In order for communication to be successful, it must be directed to the part of the human personality, which moves to action. To emotions.
But marketing for decades relied on the manipulation of human emotions, what's so innovative?
We believe that innovation in marketing communication is not hiding in something new, so far unseen and revolutionary. True innovation can sometimes lie in something that is unnoticed, ignored or forgotten. In this case, it is a fact that communication should not be a one-sided process and that emotion should not be manipulated manually, but awaken in the most authentic way. Emotions can be challenged through color, music, sound effects and images of socially desirable or undesirable scenes, but such an effect is short-lived and increasingly less effective for younger generations. Consumers are getting better informed, and younger generations are aware of the mechanisms by which different marketing techniques are used. Promises of an ideal life and filtered information to younger consumers mean less and less.
Consumers want to know the answers to questions like:
- I know that this product will not turn my life into a commercial, why should I take it, not someone else?
- Is this product consistent with my values? Is animal origin, whether it originates from sustainable sources, does the company that produces it employ minorities?
- Do I really need this?
A marketing communication that answers these questions answers the authentic needs of consumers to effectively solve a problem in a way that is consistent with the image of ones they want to nurture, making emotions that are much more effective than short-term fear or excitement.
The art of listening
Quality communication is open, two-way, transparent and honest. Quality communication also involves the rare art of listening. The fact is that we mostly listen to the goal of giving something to a response, not with the goal of really understanding something. The expansion of new technologies and communication platforms has made active listening to business ecosystems ever more important, because only through active listening to the right communication strategies can be successfully implemented.
Another important feature of quality communication is authentic motivation. Why do we get into the communication process with the consumer at all?
Do we really believe that we can offer the consumer something that will improve his life? If so, our faith in the product must be embedded in the communication itself.
Do we just want to "bump" the product and take the money? If so, this will be felt through
communication. While modern media offer unlimited possibilities for creative formulation of sales messages, there is no "secret ingredient" that can provide authenticity to such a message if it is not really present.
It is immeasurable that the inevitable motive of any marketing communication is profit. This motive cannot be excluded, but it is possible to reconcile it with other motives that will make the purchase of a particular product by consumer’s truly equal and fair exchange. This can only be achieved if the product provides the consumer with something that is genuine to him. If this value is well understood through active listening and is well-communicated through a well-formulated message.
If the main objective of marketing communication would be to actively involve consumers in the communication process in order to solve their existing problems, and if the marketing message was designed to truly respond to the consumer's wishes and needs, emotional manipulation would become irrelevant. Marketing communication should no longer rely on the artificial creation of emotions and hitting hidden and unconscious motives, because an open and two-way communication process would open the way to authentic emotions that emerge due to the existence of a problem and finding a solution to this problem.
Restoring humanity in marketing - this would be an innovation!