A very interesting article in HBR, Vicki Gardner highlights recent research from Nielsen showing that most of what is deemed marketing innovation actually just cannibalized existing products and market shares – and that genuine innovation should come from collaboration. As Gardner says; ” Regarding innovation, the numbers indicate that the vast majority of innovation also results in splitting the pie vs. growing the pie — and in some cases, innovation inadvertently shrinks the pie”.
As an advocate in partnership marketing it’s just as important for me to point out that not all partnership and collaborative offers are good ones – and that sometimes it is best solution is to walk away from the deal. As an old boss once wisely told me ‘do not fall in love with the deal’ – but keep a clear idea of what you really want from the relationship. In an interesting piece published in Business Insider in 2010, Venture Capitalist Don Rainey pointed out that small businesses need to just say no to certain partnership deals. I agree with Rainey up to a point but I think some of the ‘no-no’s’ he points out can be overcome with a sharper partnership approach too.
Marketers need to power up the radar, can the horizones and hone their ‘collaborative’ streak and realise, as some of the best brands in the world have, that the future is all about ‘partner or perish’ (to quote Xerox). Brands cannot go it alone they need to find collaborative allies.
In a recent article published in Marketing Society the editor of ‘Market Leader’ – Judie Lannon commented that marketers are getting ‘squeezed’ – as aspects of their role fall increasingly within the domain of others. She’s right of course – they’re getting squeezed. And to get away from the internal squeeze – marketers need to get out and engage and collaborate more. (You can see the original article and comments here. )
Hewlett Packard grew its business using powerful partnerships with Intel (chips) , Oracle (databases) and Cisco (networking) – but as Judith Hurwitz points out in a recent article published in Harvard Business Review (HBR) – it now needs to revisit and reinvigorate these key relationships to regain its innovative edge.
The term partnership can mean different things to different people and in many cases that makes sense but it should never just be about the purchase orders. This is a point that has been made very clear recently by Ben Gomes-Casseres. If the shared definition is not understood and agreed by the parties early on, it can frustrate and poison any chance of a long-term relationship – be it one based on sales, marketing collaboration or anything else.
Trust is always a vital but often enigmatic ingredient in collaborative business relationships. In Part One, I explored why, for some people, it is often their biological wiring that leads them to shy away from investing in a new relationship. In this follow-up piece, I am going to look at the commercial aspects of trust – and what you can do to encourage it within marketing partnerships.
When faced with lightning fast changes to core technology why try to solve everything yourself? In an uncertain marketing landscape why choose to cross it alone? As Kevin Kelly pointed out in a great piece from mid-2010 the smartest businesses form alliances, build collaborations and use the power of networks to get an advantage.
The mad, brilliant and socially awkward scientist. The artist shivering quietly in the studio. The maverick hyper competitive marketer, alone in their spreadsheet. It is a dominant image – explaining the great steps forward being huge individual and innovative leaps, driven by one dynamic individual. Continue reading “More Exaptation Marketing – And Less Innovation”