Innovation Marketing: The Success Secret of New Product & Service Launches

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So, What Is Innovation Marketing?


Innovation marketing is the pairing of our two favourite terms: innovation and marketing. According to renowned management expert, Peter Drucker, innovation and marketing are the core functions to any business. This is because innovation can only be successful with marketing, just like marketing needs innovation for product success. 

Breaking it down, innovation is the process of translating an idea of an invention into a product or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. Whereas marketing is the process where producers communicate the features and benefits of their products and services to the consumer (Lead Innovation). Two key ingredients for product success!

Two Peas In A Pod For Product Success


The reason innovation marketing is so effective for emerging technology businesses is its strong focus on customers to generate actionable insights. By listening carefully to feedback and taking note of what is happening in the industry, the product lifespan can be optimised through a tailored marketing strategy. A customer-centric approach is bound to have the greatest market adoption, especially when taking into consideration the complexity of technology products and services. 

Innovation marketing revolves around the best way to communicate the benefits of the product/service to others. This needs to take place both within the business itself, as well as externally to the wider market.

  1. Internal marketing: the company’s own staff must believe in the new product or service before it can launch into the wider market.

  2. External marketing: communicating the benefits of the product or service to the wider market through product positioning, pricing, communication and advertising, sales channels and more. 

The graphic below shows how innovation marketing needs to be instilled in every phase of the product cycle. The needs of customers change along with the market itself as new competition emerges. This is why innovation marketing is an ongoing process that goes hand in hand with the product cycle. 

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InnovatION Marketing vs. InnovatIVE Marketing - What’s the Difference?

At first glance, you may assume these two terms bear no difference. But don’t be fooled by some minor changes in spelling! Let’s break it down:

Innovation marketing is the marketing of a new product or service. Innovation in this sense is the new offering and the method of launching, going out to market and growing and scaling the products and services. 

This is different to innovative marketing, which means implementing a new marketing method that has not been done before.

So to sum it up: innovation marketing is the act of marketing new products/services, whereas innovative marketing is when the marketing method itself is new.

Failure to launch

According to Fortune, nine out of ten startups fail. Additionally, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched with over 80% failing (Harvard Business Review). Here are some of the key reasons why:

  1. Customer orientation: There is a lack of background research and information on the market, industry, customers, users, and their needs.

  2. Ineffective strategies: Marketing guidance or strategies that don’t fit the company, industry, product, service and timing of the market.

  3. Foresight: If a company is unwilling to change and innovate and their potential becomes limited or obsolete.

With these high failure statistics, innovation marketing is the way to overcome the mass adoption barrier. By focusing on the messaging, positioning, audience identification and the de-jargoning of the technical aspects of new products/services will set the product or service up for success. In addition, without a clear growth plan, there will be stagnation of customer adoption.

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Kodak… What NOT To Do 

Kodak is one company that experienced failure due to an unwillingness to innovate. Steve Sasson, the company’s engineer, invented the first digital camera in 1975. However, because the camera was filmless and the majority of Kodak’s revenue at the time was to sell film, Kodak’s management dismissed it completely (New York Times 2015). The company could have been at the cutting edge of innovation, but instead was completely disrupted by the market as Kodak failed to adapt to a new marketplace and new consumer attitudes and filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

130-year-old company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012

130-year-old company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012

‘Marketing remains the bridge necessary to cross the chasm between early adopters to the wider group of people who will form a viable, valuable customer base’ - Harvard Business Review

The Secret To Long-Term Growth

Innovation marketing is different because it takes a strategic approach in offering personalised and embedded marketing for long-term success, not just short-term gain and immediate return of investment (ROI). 

Growth is accelerated by bridging the gap between the product and the people. The way to do this is by creating simple and accessible messages to ensure that the benefits of the new complex product/service can be fully realised. Reaching the right people with a specifically curated message means the product/service can be successfully adopted into the wider market.

Why Digital Marketing Consultancies Just Don’t cut It

The difference between innovation marketing and digital marketing is that innovation marketing consultancies use an in-depth approach to formulate strategies that take new and disruptive products and services out to market. Innovation marketing investigates the core message of the new innovation company so the product/service can be communicated in an accessible way to reach the target audience. In contrast, digital marketing is focused on maximising the amount spent on advertising within digital channels such as social media, SEO, SEM, and email. The message itself and the core marketing strategy is not investigated in digital marketing, which can often mean the ROI is in deficit. 

Crossing The elusive adoption ‘Chasm’

A book that all founders, innovators, marketing and product teams should read is Geoffery A. Moore’s book, “Crossing the Chasm”. Moore explains how to market complex technology products during the start-up period. As seen in the diagram below, the elusive ‘chasm’ refers to the gap in the product adoption lifecycle between Early Adopters and the Early Majority. This is the clincher where many new products or services fail! According to Moore, the Early Adopters have very different expectations to the Early Majority, which is why marketing strategies for each stage of the adoption curve is essential. Innovation marketing and its practices are needed at every phase of the product life cycle to ensure that the needs and expectations of each group are being catered for. We are experts of innovation marketing, talk to us today if you need assistance with the long-term success of your product and service.

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Written By Sophie Stockman

How Forestlyn Can Help You

We are technology marketing experts with a passion for innovation. With a deep understanding of the emerging technologies space, we create your marketing strategies and de-jargon your communications to help you bridge the gap between the early adopters and the mainstream audience. Whether you are a corporate organisation, small-medium size business or startup, we formulate high growth tactics for outsourced marketing, strategic direction, marketing implementation and educational workshops.  

Talk to us today to find out more about how we can help you. Book a consultation here.