What Is Your Innovation Budget?
Big companies like Apple and Google are always researching, developing and innovating. They have a dedicated R&D budget which is, not surprisingly, in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
For these mega-corporations, innovation is both market protection and market advantage, as they race to stay ahead of the competition. They work hard to ensure that disruption does not take their market share.
New ideas that lead to the creation of new products and new markets are a significant investment. However, new ideas are what keeps these global corporates ahead of the game.
Big corporates know the importance of innovation, but what about smaller enterprises?
The digital world is explosive and highly competitive - all businesses are subject to the fast-pace of change.
Is It a Question of Innovate or Die?Is it that serious?
Your business needs to improve its innovation investment or risk being eliminated by smarter competitors.
When it comes to marketing and technology, small and medium business are not exempt from the need to innovate.
Sticking your head in the sand and hoping the tech wave will wash over is inviting your competitors to steal your business.
Can you afford to be ignoring the marketing-technology future? You need inbound marketing and innovation to make a difference.
How much should you spend on innovation, research and development?
The good news is that your R&D budget need not necessarily be just a numerical value on your budget spreadsheet. There are plenty of ways to innovate without having to spend loads of money.
Introducing the Free Attitude Change
Innovation starts with an attitude change. Lifting your eyes to the future and opening minds is something that anyone can do for free. No charge.
Top-level management, CEOs and boards need to have an open mind to new thinking and new ways. Judging cutting edge innovation is not going to be measurable using the old tried and tested budget it - execute it - get ROI on it method.
Being innovative means taking risks. A failure to do so though is very risky as you will simply get taken out by a new competitor introducing new technology that blindsides you. (think Uber and the taxi industry)
Marketing Technology (Mar-Tech) is Taking Over
This is particularly challenging for most business owners and managers because they come from a different world – usually that of accounting or finance.
In today's world, mar-tech is taking over, influencing everybody whether they like it or not. How?
Remember, every customer and prospect touches the Internet in their sales journey.
Prospects check out your website and social media channels BEFORE they go anywhere near your sales team. Is your website taking your prospects on a journey of trust? Without a trust building website, then your sales are going to dry up and you are going to struggle as a business.
So how can you reskill and learn to become more innovative?
Here are nine ways to boost the innovation of your business for under $100.
1 Read Gary Vaynerchuk's Book #AskGaryVee
This will set you back $14.99 AUD but leap you forward twenty years. The style of an expert on the cutting edge of the digital age will give you serious food for thought. Gary Vaynerchuk has invested in Uber, Facebook, Snapchat and has created a massive online community. #askgaryvee is a straight talking, hard hitting, confronting, reality check that pulls you into the world of digital marketing.
We promise it will motivate you to change, for the better.
2 Host a "Suck and Dream” Scrum
Why not host a power walk with willing, open-minded team members in your organisation? Think of all the things in your company that sucks. Make a list, then fix them. That cleans up the past.
Now, turn your attention to the future. What are all the things you could do in the future that would be awesome?
Tip: Remove the executive management from the scrum to allow free thinking without the halo effect of superior positions, experience and salaries causing trepidation in the room.
3 Shelve Microstof Office and Try New Cloud Software
The cloud software revolution has made thousands of apps now available instantly on the Internet. The Microsoft domination of business is over.
Chances are extremely high that one of these apps can improve the productivity of your business.
Action: Put aside the 90's-based Microsoft Office suite and trial the hundreds of fantastic cloud-based business tools.
4 Do Your Own Research on Information Technology
We are not talking about the IT department doing it for you. It's about jumping on the computer for an hour and discovering what is hot. Start surfing the tech sections on Mashable, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post and you are on your way to a world of discovery.
5 Host a Staff Innovation Competition
Holding a team innovation competition awards the person that has the best idea about anything in the whole wide world.
This innovation competition always throws up some different points of view. Plus, your team members will enjoy the process.
Holding the competition is simple. Just book a dinner for the team members sometime in the next three weeks, and let the ideas flow.
Plus, it's a great way to improve presentation skills for your team.
6 Subscribe to a Futuristic Podcast
This process can lead to a significant return. Just a few ideas from the cutting edge of technology can make a big difference to your business.
What products can you introduce right now made from the bits of the existing products?
7 Attend an Overseas Conference
The Americans are super progressive and live in a very competitive world – it's the quick and the dead.
One visit to an American conference will provide you with plenty of ideas and a jolt to remind you of how competitive the business world is.
8 Update and Create New Website Pages
Innovation can be as simple as sweeping away the old and replacing with the new.
You can start with your website, as 90% of sites that we see are outdated. Gone are the days where you treat your website as a project, complete it, then forget about it.
Your website needs evolution on a daily basis.
The chances are high that when you made your site, your business was different.
Go back and update your website. Make a list of all the questions asked of your business, then have your sales and marketing team make a page out of every single one.
Think about what your customers are searching for on their mobile and how your website performs.
9 Get a Free Marketing Technology Audit
Are you worried about the mar-tech revolution? Innovation globally is changing the world at a rapid rate.
The good news is that we can help.
If you would like to get an innovation audit, get in touch with us now for a free consult. In one 60 minute consultation, we will give you a minimum of 10 ideas on how to innovate your business.
As a Platinum HubSpot Partner based in Adelaide, Australia. The Kingdom is an inbound marketing agency, so we have a comprehensive understanding of 25 different applications that improve sales and marketing. Have you seen HubSpot? Have you seen how sales and marketing software can make a difference to your business? Here are 10 benefits for your business, from the innovative tool, HubSpot you may never have realised existed.
It may be easy to think it is It's never too late to make a change. But if you don't start somewhere, (like right now) then you run the risk of being too late. Then it's game over.