Research Priorities for Innovation

by | May 10, 2010 | Innovation Method, Jared Diamond, Multiplication, The Economist | 0 comments

The Marketing Science Institute announced its research priorities for 2010 to 2012.  The priorities are based on input from member company trustees and academic thought leaders. Topics are selected based on importance to marketers, need for more
research-based knowledge, potential for achieving a more powerful conceptualization of a topic or issue, and the extent to which the topic can benefit from MSI’s capabilities in fostering collaboration between practitioners and academics.

There are eight research priorities, and one of them is focused on innovation:

PRIORITY TOPIC: Identifying and Realizing Innovation Opportunities

Firms must innovate to discover new ways to create value for customers. At the enterprise level, firms must design their organizational structure, build a culture, develop capabilities, and provide rewards to encourage successful innovation.

Innovation in Business Models. New business models can be powerful; they can create markets, disrupt markets, shift product-market boundaries, and alter competitive structures. Hence, research is required to provide frameworks and tools for firms to identify and assess opportunities for innovation in business models at very early stages (“green fields”). How should diverse innovation opportunities be prioritized? Research is also needed to identify ways for firms to collaborate with network partners. What are useful methods for assessing the innovation capabilities, resources, and activities of network partners, as well as for assigning roles? How are intellectual property rights and prices determined for products created with open innovation models?

Innovation in Business Processes. How can firms create and sustain organizational processes and cultures that anticipate, adapt to, and successfully manage innovation—especially at the marketing/technology interface? Under what conditions should firms internalize specific marketing innovation capabilities and processes such as design capabilities to obtain a competitive advantage? This issue is especially important for service organizations where service processes are a key component of the marketing mix.

Innovation in Products. Firms require new approaches to identify product concepts and forecast their market potential at a very early stage—and still account for post-launch factors such as market, category, competitor, channel, and retailer responses. Forecasts and entry strategies must also take into account economic, social, cultural, regional, and national factors. Exacerbating these challenges, the success of a new product introduction partially depends on social network effects—which firms are not yet well equipped to predict or leverage. Traditional stage-gate new product development processes that have been successful for goods do not seem to work equally well for services or good/service hybrids; hence, improved new product/service development processes are also required. Research is also required to help firms design new products dynamically in real time by learning and adapting to customer behavior.

The Marketing Science Institute is a non-profit organization that bridges the gap between marketing science
theory and business practice.  MSI supports academic
research for the development and practical translation of leading-edge
marketing knowledge on topics of importance to business. Researchers who are interested in addressing these innovation issues or any of the other priorities should contact MSI about receiving support.