You will wind up selling to no one if you try to sell to everyone. Top innovators got to where they are for a variety of reasons. One of which is their methodical approach to invention.
In business, identifying the right people for your innovation campaigns can help you gain more relevant ideas as it gets you to effectively interact with those who are truly interested — or are at least in actual need — in what you have to offer to the market.
At first, it might be very tempting to include everyone on your list as being successful in innovation includes acquiring as many ideas as possible.
However, while there is some truth to this, inviting those who simply cannot relate to the subject of the challenge can mean a waste of money and time.
Considering how swamped people are with so much information in their everyday lives, trying to convey your message to everyone instead of just addressing a select group of people may drown your efforts in a wave of unfocused babble.
Knowing how to identify your target audience the right way means you can successfully get your brand out there in the most cost-effective way possible. But what exactly does this entail?
Why is it important to choose the right audience?
Choosing the right audience is as important as deciding what products and services to sell.
- The right ideas will only come from the right people. If you invite individuals who do not even have the slightest knowledge in your field, your material will most likely end up ignored — for no other reason than not being interested.
- Knowing who your target demographic is will help you develop a more effective approach.
- Choosing the correct audience is an important component of successfully marketing your business as it provides a foundation for you to focus your innovation efforts on, ensuring that your initiatives will definitely land in the right places.
- Everyone has their own set of demands and objectives. You only need to include those with the same mindset and standards as you — those who you think can deliver the output that you are looking for, as well as the expectations you’ve set.
- You don’t want to squander energy, time, and resources in attempting to convince everyone to join you. You want to specifically reach out and attract those who are truly interested in your innovation campaign.
How to select the right audience for your innovation campaign
It is much easier to achieve innovation when you have gathered the best insights. To do this, you need to select the right audience for your innovation campaign.
Here’s are some of the things that you need to remember to accomplish it:
Not too wide and not too narrow
The ideas and insights you acquire from innovation campaigns may influence your brand’s plans and strategies for the next few years. That’s why it is crucial for these insights to come from appropriate sources.
But then again, how do you know if you’re going too broad or too narrow in acquiring it?
Your audience is too wide when you’re having difficulty pinning the type of people that your product or service responds to.
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On the other hand, your audience is considered too narrow when you hardly have any prospects to make your innovation campaign work.
That is why you need to identify what issues you’re responding to through your upcoming campaign.
You need to select individuals who are capable of giving the output you need to push through with your initiatives.
You need people who can help you creatively come up with ways to distinguish yourself from competitive alternatives.
To correctly determine these individuals, start by:
- Studying your product or service. Who benefits from it the most? This might be a little too broad for you at first, but this will provide you with your starting point.
- Reviewing your customer base. Take a look at the segments that you cater to. What characteristics do they share? Interests? Pain points?
- Creating a market analysis. Strive to understand the market environment you wish to innovate in. This basic knowledge will help you determine the right people to tap for your campaign.
- Take a look at your competitors. Who are they targeting? Check if you can do the same.
Communication is key
Communication is vital at all phases of an innovation campaign.
However, it is more critical before the launch since you must inform everyone about what’s about to happen to get them on board.
If you fail to communicate, chances are, you will have a hard time persuading anyone to engage, and even those who want to will most likely end up doing it wrong in all aspects and will end up not giving you what you need.
So to prevent that from happening, what should you communicate about?
- The purpose of your campaign. Help them understand what the campaign is and why you’ve set it up in the first place.
- The goals that come with it. Share what your desired outcomes are. Try to be as specific as possible.
- Why their participation can help. State why their participation matters. For example, if you’re planning to cut down on costs, then include how their insights can help you avoid removing certain personnel from the company.
- What’s in it for them? Don’t forget to stipulate any rewards or incentives that you plan on giving out. You can also go beyond that and remind them of the important cause that solidified the campaign.
Below are some additional tips to get you started:
- Be clear and concise. Mention only what you need to say.
- Instead of simply informing, attempt to motivate and inspire.
- Demonstrate to them that their views, suggestions, and perspectives are appreciated.
- Select the channels that can help you effectively reach your target audience.
Communication is critical to the success of any innovation effort. As a result, you must plan for it and provide resources to it.
The idea here is to win individuals both within and outside of your business and get them to commit to becoming a part of your innovation campaign.
With fast technology advancements, increasing rivalry, and changing customer behavior, the need for businesses to identify new methods to acquire a competitive edge has never been higher.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is by establishing an innovation campaign. However, before you can proceed, you must first manage your expectations.
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This entails defining clear innovation goals that align with your strategic business objectives, as well as defining and inviting all the important people who can help you turn these goals into a reality while outlining what you anticipate or expect from them, the activity, and vice-versa.
You can do this by:
- Defining specific key performance indicators, such as the number of participants, the number of ideas created, the number of ideas you intend to be executed, and what improvements can these ideas contribute to within your organization.
- Developing a timeline and establishing deadlines to keep the campaign going at an appropriate pace. Set goals for each stage of the process, from presenting the issue to putting the winning concept into action.
- Choosing an idea management software to automate the process and track the development of each idea from conception to execution with ease.
- Selecting prizes, incentives, and recognition mechanisms to motivate participants to spend time and effort developing new ideas.
Short term vs. long term
Are you familiar with the three horizons of growth, designed by McKinsey & Company?
It’s a common approach for assisting businesses in organizing their innovation efforts and in establishing a suitable balance between short-term and long-term innovation activities.
The model’s underlying concept is straightforward: for a business to optimize its development potential, it must concurrently work on initiatives across all three horizons.
You cannot do this alone. This is the reason why you need to carefully choose the people who will work with you in carrying out all the activities located on each horizon.
You need to select those who are creative, willing, and capable of successfully pushing everything through.
If you only focus on incrementally enhancing your existing business with horizon 1 activities, you may see great short-term gains in your numbers, but you will ultimately forfeit the company’s long-term growth.
The opposite is true if you focus only on disruptive innovation in horizon 3 while completely ignoring your present business. You may have a promising future, but you may be out of the trade before you get there.
By striking the optimal balance, you will not only maximize your potential for development but also reduce the risk of innovation failure.
Innovation culture and mindset
Of course, in planning your innovation campaigns and in choosing the right people to include in it, don’t forget to ask your employees for help.
Asking for their input on these matters is a part of establishing an innovative mindset and culture within your organization.
Their insights can help you uncover missed opportunities and other elements that can make your innovation campaign a success.
Grab a copy of our 10 tips for organizing successful innovation campaigns today where we included our step-by-step approach to collecting and selecting ideas from a target audience.