We are taught in school never to copy somebody’s work or claim credit for work that others do. Yet in business people are trying to copy the success of industry leaders. In fact, we reinforce this notion by telling people to do these simple things or face being left behind. Whether it is in a blog, video, or training course, we are trained to copy a formulaic approach to achieve success. The few who do venture off these formulas are treated as the exception than the rule. They are recognized for their ingenuity, but anyone using a similar approach is viewed as a clone. The truth is that using ideas and principals from business models is a necessity. There is only so many times we can reinvent the wheel. We need to instead look at how models work and modify them to produce an entirely new idea.
Mix and Match
Innovation does not necessarily come from creating new things, but rather from bringing different principals together. A current mega trend has been using social media and integrating it within your company operations. The most popular blogs will tell you what you need to do to achieve this and tell you how to grow those social media tools. Blogs often forget to mention that other traditional sources like TV and TV are still important to any marketing strategy. Social media is vital to establishing a constant channel for communication. Social media is a big market, but the TV and Radio space are still enormous markets that have big reach. Any marketing plan should utilize all marketing channels to get the most amount of exposure for their main offer. If we are to accept the model being discussed in many marketing blogs, we would only be using our resources partially effectively.
Using multiple channels is far more effective since it allows you to diversify your audience and gives you more flexibility in messaging. There are principals explained in social media that do relate to traditional media. Formats you choose need to be meaningful and have an impact on the audience. Good marketing sources will highlight the importance of generating a meaningful introduction through your headings and language you use. In the same way, if you are using TV and Radio ads, you need to establish important introductions in the first few seconds since the ads limit you to the amount of time on air. In this way lessons learned in improving your social media can also be used in marketing channels like radio, news publications, and television. Combining concepts to improve issues not often discussed prove to be winning formulas. To best use this approach we need to look at big trends. There are many trends that are currently happening in the marketing space. Topics such as automation, optimization, social media, and ads on mobile are all big trends that often go in industry talks. Being able to apply these topics into areas often forgotten can bring a revolutionary idea that nobody would have thought of.
Beyond just being able to find a theory that may prove to work outside its typical association, finding practical uses is important. Practical uses are not just limited to products and services we use every day. Finding uses in accessibility and usability are also highly valued. It’s for these very reason why software and interface innovations have become so increasingly influential. As we simplify tasks into multipurpose devices, the need to make navigating through these devices becomes increasingly important. An average person will have a smartphone, tablet, and other devices that will do various tasks very differently. Being able to find innovations that make these devices interact more easily while being able to fully use all the power of the device will be a big determinant of success. The practical applications play a part in getting that connection established.
Where finding ideas is based on theories, creating ideas is a way to connect these fields relying on practical applications. One example of this idea has been the smart watch development. Smart watches act as miniature PDAs that have a wide array of functions. This device can act as a GPS, cell phone, music player, heart rate measure, and other functions. The reason why this type of device has been so popular is that it puts everything in an interface that can be accessed while moving or going somewhere. It’s the very same reason why smartphones have become so prominent when they were first introduced. Simple additions make the device appealing and practical since the device has more functions than other watches. In our field we should look at this model for enhancing devices as a trend that will perpetuate the physical product market. The key in this process is to find ways to connect things we do daily and add them to a device that is a natural fit. Adding these features not only provides value, it also attributes a unique fit to the product.
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