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As part of the build up to the Econsultancy’s 2012 Innovation Awards, we’ve been quizzing some of the best and brightest entrants about different aspects of innovation.
With that in mind, it's time to get down to brass tacks and takes a look at the economic imperatives surrounding innovative company cultures.
While it’s great to set your sights high, eventually you’ll have to deal with the harsh reality of funding ideas and convincing stakeholders who may not be as enamoured with the gleaming future and sense of endless possibilities as you are.
We gathered our awards shortlist once more and asked them how they manage to convince key stakeholders, and given the current economic climate, ensure that there is available budget for testing and deploying innovative ideas...
In yesterday's post, we took a quick top-down look at what innovation meant to some of the businesses who’ve made it onto the shortlist for our Innovation Awards this year.
While opinions differed greatly about what makes innovation, everyone we spoke to agreed that businesses need to push boundaries in order to grow and thrive in the current climate.
Our respondents work across a huge variety of sectors, from start-ups to multinational, but they’ve all managed to integrate practical, innovative ideas into their business.
We know you don’t read the Econsultancy blog for esoteric opinions, so today we’re looking more closely at how they managed this, by asking:
How do you build an innovative company, or foster innovation within your organisation?
Innovation has always been one of Econsultancy’s core brand values and we celebrate this every year with our Innovation Awards, shining a light on those companies and individuals who’ve helped to advance the digital marketing landscape over the past twelve months.
But what do we mean when we talk about innovation? It’s a deceptively simple word with a million interpretations. For some it can be about simple changes; incremental decisions and refinements that give big results.
For others it could be a radical overhaul of the entire company structure. Some businesses seem to naturally burst with ideas, while others require specific challenges to inspire them.
In the run up to this year’s awards we thought we’d ask those who’ve reached our awards shortlist to tell us what innovation means to them.
We’ll be publishing a series of posts throughout February, covering everything from building innovative companies to exploiting new technologies.
We hope they’ll give you an insight into how some of the market leaders work and help you develop your own innovative ideas (and dare we suggest, enter them for an award in 2013).
Econsultancy’s annual Innovation Awards shines a light on the finest creative thinking across the digital industry. This year more than 450 companies entered the awards, so we’ve been rather busy this past month or so.
After some intense reading we have shortlisted around 150 companies, across 19 categories. There were some very close calls, so commiserations if you didn’t make it through this year. The standard has been higher than ever.
Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted. We know that innovation is a team game, so if you’ve played a part in any of these projects then you deserve a pat on the back. Or a pub lunch. It’s a Friday, after all.
Simon Harrow is the COO of Kiddicare.com, responsible for driving business growth through strategy development and execution.
I've been talking to Simon about what makes something innovative, and how companies can encourage innovation...
Helen Southgate is Senior Online Marketing Manager, primarily responsible for affiliate and paid search, at BSkyB.
I've been asking Helen about what it takes to foster innovation within a company, and what she will be looking for from awards entries.
We released our Innovation Report this month, and it's chock-full of great examples of forward thinking from brands and advertisers.
With the deadline for this year's Innovation Awards approaching fast (get your entries in by October 28), I've picked out some great examples, (some old, some new) from the report...
Econsultancy’s Innovation Awards deadline is fast approaching and I thought it would be useful to provide some guidelines on what judges typically look for in an awards entry.
Ultimately it’s about focus, and answering questions in a clear and concise way. It's about accuracy. And it's about standing out.
Here are 15 things to keep in mind when compiling your awards entries…
Hiscox recently won an Econsultancy award for Innovation in B2B Marketing, with a campaign that used wi-fi hotspots to target potential customers.
Annabel Venner, Marketing Director for Hiscox UK & Ireland, will be speaking at our JUMP event on October 12.
i've been asking Annabel about planning and measuring multichannel B2B campaigns.
Roll the music, for I’d now like to announce the winners of Econsultancy’s Innovation Awards 2010. Before I do, I’d like to thank all of the expert judges who helped us in the process of making our minds up.
Aside from the lucky few winners, we have commended a number of other entries that stood out from the crowd. Commiserations if you missed out. The innovation bar was definitely raised in 2010, and - innovation aside - we were delighted by the sheer commitment to best practice by hundreds of firms who entered the awards.
So, here goes…
Ah, December. For many media folks it is a month of fat lunches and the parties. It used to be like that for me too, until we launched our Innovation Awards a couple of years ago.
Since then December has turned into a month of hardcore reading. Our in-house judging panel (me, CEO Ashley Friedlein and Research Director Linus Gregoriadis) spent the majority of the month poring over the 350+ entries, checking out sites and apps, and generally trying to make sense of things.
Last year was a great year for innovation, based on what we read. There are some amazing things going on in our industry.
So after reading through a whopping 400+ entries - the equivalent of about four novels of text - we have decided upon a shortlist for our Innovation Awards.
All entries were judged during the first phase by Econsultancy's internal staff (myself, CEO Ashley Friedlein, Research Director Linus Gregoriadis, and analyst Jake Hird). The next phase of judging will take place over the next week. For this we're inviting our esteemed panel of judges to cast their eyes over the shortlisted entries.
The judges work at firms such as Honda, The Guardian, lastminute.com, Orange, Mindshare, Channel 4, Google, Isobar, PHD Media, Unilever and Poke. On top of that we have various internet ninjas primed for action, including Avinash Kaushik, Jeremiah Owyang, Sidharth Rao and Dr. Dave Chaffey.
There have been some really fantastic things going on in digital in the past year or so, and we believe that the shortlist represents real innovation in our industry. Well done to all who have been shortlisted, and commiserations to the others who just missed out (some by the very tiniest sliver).
We'll announce the winners on 9 December - next Wednesday.