Posts tagged with Innovation

What makes something innovative?

IA-logoInnovation 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). 

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Q&A: John Watton of Expedia on innovation

John Watton leads the global marketing team for Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN), which provides private label solutions to the travel industry.

He is also a member of the judging panel for Econsultancy's Innovation Awards, choosing from this shortlist

I've been asking John about encouraging innovation within companies, and what he will be looking for from awards entries. 

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Revealed: the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2012 shortlist

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.

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Q&A: Ed Longley of Hiscox on digital innovation

Ed Longley, Head of Onine at Hiscox, is a member of the judging panel for our Innovation Awards. 

I've been talking to Ed about how Hiscox encourages forward thinking within the company, what he will be looking for from awards entrants, as well as examples of innovation from the last 12 months.

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Q&A: The Guardian's Piers Jones on digital innovation

Piers Jones, Group Product Manager at The Guardian, is a member of the judging panel for our Innovation Awards. 

I've been asking Piers about creating a culture in which innovative ideas can flourish, his top innovations for 2011, and what he'll be looking for when judging this year's awards...

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20 ways to encourage innovation in your organisation

Innovation is close to our hearts here at Econsultancy. It can be difficult to kickstart new projects and to implement change, but dare to dream and amazing things can happen.

Like many companies we’re not short of good ideas, it’s just that executing them can sometimes be a challenge. 

For us this is largely linked to resources and prioritisation, rather than our organisational culture. Other firms have the resources, but lack the gumption to try new things out.

So what can you do to foster a culture of innovation within your company? Last week I asked our Twitter followers to suggest some ideas, and here’s what they recommended…

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The ‘big idea’ is no big deal

In the not too distant past, creative agencies coined the term ‘the big idea’ as the Holy Grail solution to a client brief.

There’s no question that great creative concepts are worth their weight in gold, partly due to tighter than ever budgets. And I’ve worked with agencies over the years where fantastic amounts of resource were focused on coming up with the next big idea. 

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How to write an awards entry that stands out

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…

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Movie theatres kill interesting movie rental experiment

Traditional media companies, like movie studios, are often criticized for their lack of innovation. But an experiment planned by Universal highlights just how tough progress can be.

Last week, it was revealed that the company planned a limited experiment in two mid-size cities in the United States. The experiment: for $59.99, consumers would be able to rent the movie Tower Heist while it was still in theatres and well before it became available as a traditional VOD rental.

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Google's Blogger refresh: too little, too late

It's easy to forget that more than a decade ago, when 'blog' was still a nascent buzzword, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams launched a service that would help propel blogging into the mainstream.

That service, Blogger, was acquired by Google in 2003, and a year later, Williams left to pursue new opportunities.

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The New York Times adopts the Google Labs approach

Google is arguably one of the most innovative companies of our time. A big part of that is that, despite the fact that the vast majority of its revenue comes from a single revenue stream (online advertising), the company has been eager to experiment with new ideas not necessarily related to search.

One of the primary ways it has conducted its experiments in public has been through Google Labs, "a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them."

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Can a faster release cycle boost Firefox?

Mozilla Firefox is still the second most popular web browser in the world, trailing Microsoft's Internet Explorer by a still-hefty margin. But Firefox might lose its number two spot in the battle of the browsers to Google Chrome by year end.

What can Mozilla do to keep that from happening? One possible answer: a faster release cycle.

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