B2B marketing and innovation – seven ways to turn a great idea into reality

Peter Zafiris runs though seven ways to turn great ideas into reality in the B2B marketing innovation space.

We often limit the number of creative conversations we now have in business. We allow the pressure of hitting deadlines and attending meetings overtake the adoption of new ideas and the true power of brainstorming.

Encouraging people to think of new concepts and generally solve business problems can be a challenge. That is the role of marketing, to bring different groups of people together, obtain some great information and examine diverse insights. This will then allow for innovation and the spread of new ideas. Here are seven ways to turn a great idea into reality:

1. Business check

It’s easy to get excited from a new idea, but in most cases impatience can lead you down a dangerous path. Checking to see if the new idea aligns with your company’s capabilities and value proposition. According to Alex Osborn – in his book ‘Your creative power;’ “You need to understand how important the issue is you’re attempting to solve, before you spend any money or time on it.”

Quite simply you need to conduct a business check and gauge the likelihood to achieve and what is the price if you don’t? In other words, is failure an option?

Related: Zafiris writes of the five key components that contribute to great marketing and lead to lasting and ground-breaking change »

2. Consider resources

Taking on a new idea requires a great deal more than just cost. Osborn recommends that you carefully consider the available resources at disposal before taking on a new idea. “What will it take to get this completed? Resources include not only dollars but also the people required to make it happen.”

3. Clearly Define Objectives

A new idea won’t amount to much if you don’t know how you want to execute. Be able to articulate the ‘why’ to yourself, your team and anyone who asks. It is what fuels the passion and drive behind the effort it often takes to get great things to happen.

4. Seek external support

You need to test your idea, your theory and and assumptions. You need to receive constructive feedback and support. Going external mean it will be unbiased and real.

It may also provide you with something even better – something you never thought of.

5. Always prioritise

Let go and don’t sweat the small stuff. Check in and keep asking yourself – ‘What’s the objective?’ ‘Why are you taking this on?’ Prioritising is the key to successful execution. It means you won’t procrastinate, make excuses and just launch.

6. Be patient

The hardest part of turning a great idea into reality is the ‘into reality’ part. It doesn’t happen overnight and will likely take longer than originally anticipated. You will get there, not in the exact way you thought possible, so let go, face challenges, and keep moving forward.

7. Measure relentlessly

Recognise quick wins along the way and measure results and progress relentlessly. Keep all stakeholders fully informed and keep on reminding them of the quick wins. Tweak and improve as you move forward.

Coming up with new ideas isn’t nearly as hard as determining which ones are any good and then executing. Rather than obsessing over your next new product or service, it might be smarter to work on a better customer experience. And it’s not about pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into a new technology. It’s more about listening and understanding your customers to deliver something new and valuable.

Unless you can show that your customers will receive more value from your new offerings, it’s less likely to be innovation and more likely to be a waste of time and money. So don’t hold back, keep innovating and challenge the status quo. You will need grit, courage and perseverance. You will need to surround yourself with the right people. And most importantly you will need to let go of the past.


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Peter Zafiris
BY Peter Zafiris ON 23 May 2016
Peter Zafiris is an industrial marketer and founder of Industrial Ideas, a full-service marketing agency dedicated to industrials. Peter has built his experience in industrial marketing from the ground up. Breaking through red tape, getting the non-believers on side and silencing the critics is what Peter does best. You can email him at Peter@IndustrialIdeas.com.au.