Innovation is one of the most discussed topics in the world of business today. As a primary driver of growth, implementing this process has created a lot of value and improvement for organizations.

Now, innovation is seen as a great strategy to gain a lot of customers and encourage brand loyalty. Clearly, with the competition getting tougher for every industry, those who have done innovation right are in a more advantageous position than those who don’t.

Top innovators have an edge for a variety of reasons — one of which is their structured process of innovation. Their innovation campaigns are systematically created, which means they are addressing pressing issues while seizing exciting prospects.

The good news is, this can also happen to you.

In this article, you will learn what an innovation campaign is and how you can run one successfully. Let’s get started!

What is an innovation campaign?

An innovation campaign refers to the systematic method of gathering and selecting concepts from a specific population.

The key aspect of innovation campaigns involves being able to closely monitor innovation initiatives and their outcomes. Meaning you can put these results at par with those of other organizations and plan for improvements.

Why is an innovation campaign important?

In innovation campaigns, every effort you carry out to instill changes and contribute business value is bundled into a single mission with which you can assess input, engagement, and returns in a consistent manner.

Finally, an innovation campaign is a terrific approach to produce and pick ideas that can help your firm go forward. This open innovation strategy is designed to collect ideas from a wide range of sources that may or may not be a part of the company.

In essence, innovation campaigns encourage creativity by selecting the best ideas, concepts, and solutions that will address the issues you and your customers are facing at a certain period.

What is the difference between an innovations campaign and an innovation challenge?

The terms campaign and challenge are often used interchangeably, so these words might bring confusion for some. What differentiates both terms though, is the way an organization expresses innovation to its target audience.

When a company describes and discusses an entire project from a business standpoint, or creates and implements a series of actions to achieve their innovation goals, this is commonly referred to as an innovation campaign.

However, when an organization poses a question that stimulates the creativity and the problem-solving capacities of a person, an innovation challenge occurs.

Market the Challenge

In addition, while both may be focused on driving innovation, an innovation campaign and an innovation challenge deliver two different but interrelated outputs.

At the end of an innovation challenge, a couple of innovative ideas are produced and selected by a business’s chosen panel of experts. However, with an innovation campaign, a full-length innovation project begins.

This means that when you look at these terms from an eagle perspective, you will come to realize that an innovation challenge is only a fraction of an innovation campaign.

Remember, an innovation campaign is made up of not only one, but a lot of tasks — all bundled in one activity to come up with an innovation that could add value to either the organization or its customers.

Introducing innovation initiatives to a large, diverse audience might be difficult without a uniform understanding and a systematic usage of these terms. Hence, it would be best to differentiate these words and explain them thoroughly when communicating within the organization.

What are the benefits of running innovation campaigns?

Holding innovation campaigns can lead to a lot of benefits, particularly within the organization.

Some of which include:

1. Enhanced employee retention and engagement

Every employee wants to feel respected and heard. Sometimes, in businesses, this need outweighs pecuniary incentives.

When you provide your employees with a chance to participate in important discussions and allow them to share their thoughts and opinions about certain matters, you make them valued and appreciated.

In effect, they feel truly one with the company, feeling even more motivated to engage in the organization’s innovation activities.

2. Increased number and quality of innovation concepts

Innovation campaigns generate more insights. It promotes diversity by letting people from different backgrounds and expertise work together with a common goal — to add value to the business and its customers.

Once this happens, a tremendous value of viewpoints is gathered, and new angles for corporate success are identified — which may then be converted into viable income streams if managed and executed properly.

3. Minimized costs

Innovation campaigns cost less when you think about how they generate a considerable number of ideas and feedback.

When they are held alongside other events with the same objectives (such as brainstorming sessions, hackathons, and innovation workshops among many others) companies get to save time and money while running their innovation initiatives.

4. Marketing opportunities

According to a marketing research study, products labeled as “customer-ideated” have a boosted performance of at least 20%.

In essence, innovation campaigns can also serve as marketing opportunities — particularly when crowdsourcing or solving problems with the brand’s audience, like idea challenges. As a result, brand awareness improves, and consumer loyalty begins.

5. Diversity of innovation concepts

You may simply leverage the collective ingenuity of those who choose to participate in your innovation efforts.  Clients, users, partners, and even employees can become your sources of ideas if you permit them to be.

As you discuss with these parties for some quality insights, you create diversity within your innovation concepts. In effect, you get to examine difficulties through different lenses — which may then provide a wide array of novel solutions to the market.

What are the phases of an innovation campaign?

An innovation campaign is made up of four stages:

1. Preparation

As with all other activities, preparation is key to a successful innovation campaign.

Good planning yields the greatest outcomes, so as the organization’s innovation manager, you need to iron everything out before beginning your innovation campaign formally.

Set up the Challenge

Technically, the preparation stage includes establishing the definition of the problem, the type of campaign you’d like to work on, the duration of the campaign, the success criteria you’d like to utilize, the KPIs you’d set to track and measure progress, and so on.

But more importantly, as part of your preparation, it is essential for you to determine the following factors:

  • Project goal. What are your objectives in running this innovation campaign?
  • Details. What issue are you aiming to solve? What kind of ideas are you looking for?
  • Scope. What is the problem all about?
  • KPIs. What benchmarks can you refer to in tracking progress?
  • Target audiences. Who are your respondents? Beneficiaries?
  • Stakeholders. Who are you going to include in the decision-making process? How can they contribute to running the campaign successfully?
  • Communication. How are you going to make your innovation campaign visible to your intended audiences?
  • Team and roles. Who’s gonna do this with you? What tasks will you give them? How can they help you out?

2. Challenge

As the name suggests, this stage is all about setting up, launching, and running the innovation challenge. 

However, before you dive deeply into it, remember that you need to keep an open mind while doing this phase as there are no bad ideas, and every concept has the potential to become a part of the ultimate solution.

  • To seamlessly set up the challenge, use an innovation tool like Accept Mission. Platforms like these are dedicated to taking your innovation to the next level, so using it could make a big difference.
  • Get ready to launch the challenge. Use your campaign goals to create relevant timers and performance indicators. It would help to launch it during a small event first and develop high priority awareness by securing the support of sponsors.
  • Run the innovation challenge and monitor progress. Don’t forget to send the participants updates on trends and campaign progression. Give them reminders too and welcome any inquiries along the way.

3. Selection

Now that you have a lengthy list of ideas, you may limit it down and examine it with several criteria such as client preferences, cost, personnel, timeline, and so on. Create your own set of criteria and use it to assess each idea.

Develop Your Best Solution

To shorten the list, you should look for the finest ideas and filter them out. Some of the most recommended criteria are the following:

  • Strategic fit
  • Feasibility
  • Urgency
  • Viability
  • Cost
  • Desirability
  • Scalability
  • Business Value

4. Report

Finally, the last stage of the innovation campaign involves the reporting of the campaign’s results.

Basically, there are three types of reports and three types of audiences that you need to send these reports to. These are the stakeholders, the participants, and the experts. Depending on who you’re sending them to, some of the topics in these reports may contain:

  1. The success or failure of the campaign
  2. Results in line with marketing objectives
  3. The best ideas gained from the campaign
  4. The overall rate of participation
  5. Intriguing patterns
  6. Lessons learned
  7. Potential next steps

Do you want to read more? If so, continue the discussion of running successful innovation campaigns plus some tips from our report. Grab a free copy today to learn more about innovation campaigns.