In the 1980's the music group Air Supply titled a song that perfectly describes what an innovator is and what an innovator does. An innovator knows how to "Make Something Out of Nothing at All". In the social media area, with so much content and so many different brands, a marketer must be an innovator if they hope to be successful.
One of the wonderful things that we are seeing in our contemporary world is the continent of Africa wanting to evolve from being a simple emerging economy that depends on foreign aid to survive to a middle class economy. Africa is a continent that has many resource limitations. Africa can become a middle class economy if entrepreneurial investors come to the continent and create innovative brands. Social media creates the platform by which this great innovation takes place. How do you become an innovatory? How does a continent like Africa become developed?
A marketer becomes an innovator by doing 5 things. Those five things are ASSOCIATION, QUESTIONING, OBSERVING, EXPERIMENTING, AND NETWORKING. How do these five things work?
ASSOCIATION. Association is the ability to connect things that don't seem to have a connection. These "things" may be questions, problems, or ideas from different fields and areas. In Florence of the Middle Ages, sculptors, scientists, poets philosophers, painters, and architects came together. They created new ideas, "out of nothing at all". This is how the Renaissance was created. This era is one of the most inventive all time. Steven Jobs has observed that creativity is connecting things. There is a wisdom of crowds.
QUESTIONING. Innovators ask question that shake the status quo. Innovators constantly ask why we do things this way. Is there a better way. "What if" is another favorite question of an innovator? A very innovative manager is Jeff Immelt of General Electric. In 2001, he asked if businesses could be formed by using the limited resources of wind, sun, and water. From this Ecomagnation was created, which is now creating revenue streams in the billions.
OBSERVATION. Observation is just watching how your customer uses your product. An innovative company is Proctor and Gamble. They were able to create a new form of Tide created especially for the Indian market. India has a shortage of warm water. The new Tide did not need as much water and could be used in cold water to get the same amount of wash done.
EXPERMINTATION. An experiment is using a product under different circumstances. Observation is looking at something new. Experimentation is using something new. Experimentation is becoming an important element in the development of battery driven cars.
NETWORKING. Networking is the meeting of people from different backgrounds and developing products through these new experiences. General Electric has created a new thing called Reverse Innovation. Reverse Innovation is the creation of a product for a Third World market and discovering there is a market for that product in a Western environment.
My material is for free. If you feel that I can help you further, please contact me.