By Elie Ofek, Harvard Business School, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org | Olivier Toubia, Columbia Business School, USA, email@example.com
The relevance and importance of marketing in innovation management has been questioned in recent years. Marketing has been blamed directly or indirectly for poor returns on investment in innovation, and marketing models of the diffusion of innovations have not been widely adopted. In this monograph we argue that marketing is currently in a unique position to reaffirm its critical role in innovation management. We review some recent research that has already started this "reinstatement" process and propose some future directions that may help complete it. We argue that the focus of marketing input into the innovation process should be shifted from quantifying consumer input through surveys toward uncovering qualitative insights by observing and engaging consumers. We also argue that marketing has a unique role to play in unifying and bridging various paradigms proposed in diffusion research. Finally, given the dramatic shifts in consumption patterns and social interactivity over the past few years, we explore how marketing has and should contribute to non-traditional and novel approaches to the launch of innovations.
It would be difficult to find a CEO today that would not rank "innovation" as one of the top means by which a firm can sustain growth and survive a harsh competitive environment. However, it is unlikely that many CEOs would place "Marketing" as one of the top functions in charge of formulating innovation strategy or ensuring the success of an innovation initiative. Marketing and Innovation Management discusses why marketing has been perceived as being less relevant for innovation strategy and explains how this can be remedied. Recent work by marketing scholars holds the promise of an increased marketing impact on innovation decision-making. Marketing and Innovation Management reviews the role marketing plays at the early phases of innovation management when decisions are being made on new products and services. Marketing's role in innovation management can be reinforced by shifting marketing input to innovation and by moving the focus away from quantifying consumer input through surveys and towards uncovering qualitative insights by engaging and observing consumers. This monograph addresses the topic of understanding customer adoption and the diffusion of innovations. The authors review recent developments and demonstrate how marketing concepts and frameworks fit with and enrich those proposed in other disciplines. Finally, Marketing and Innovation Management examines the launch of innovation into the marketplace and how recent trends are changing how marketers' approach this critical task. Marketing and Innovation Management provides an understanding of what marketing can bring to the table when it comes to setting innovation strategy and proposes a way to approach research in this domain so that it has the intended effect of helping firms integrate the customer perspective.