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Selling the World the Next Big Idea Introduction Coming up with a new product that would benefit

society is easy in comparison to convincing the world to adopt the new technology and accept it as the next big thing. Ultimately, it is the marketing plan that convinces consumers what to buy and what is important. Often companies will take old ideas and sell them as new ones; this can be accomplished through sophisticated marketing that tells the consumers what they want. New innovation uses the same marketing plan. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and former CEO describes this kind of marketing:"A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." He believed consumers do not actually have a certain feature in mind that they particularly want; it is up to the marketing and advertising team to "tell" the consumers what they want. This is a highly complex marketing scheme that involves many risks and huge investments. Corporations that embrace this idea have (for the most part) been highly successful. The purpose of this article is to explain this type of innovation marketing, and explore the most critical parts of the plan according to scholars. Process In 2004 Motorola came out with a cell phone named the Razr. It was the best selling clam-shell phone to date, selling over 130 million units in a four year period (Telegraph. 2013). The marketing plan centered on the thin profile of the phone and how fashionable it was (USA Today, 2007). A lesser known feature of the phone is the fact that it was one of the first to offer voice recognition. It was a footnote on the spec sheet, getting hardly any attention. While it was a primitive form of voice recognition, used mainly for saying the name of the person you would like to call, it was a breakthrough nonetheless. In 2011 Apple introduced Siri on its new iPhone

4S. Voice recognition had been around for several years by this point, there were already apps people could download and use for the same purposes. A year later, Siri was a well known feature, Apple sold millions of units. The difference between the iPhone 4S and the Motorola Razr is the marketing plans used. Both phones were highly successful, the Motorola Razr set the standard for what "cool" is, which was thin and compact at this time. Other phones released after the Razr focused on cosmetics rather than pushing the phone's hardware. The Samsung Juke was a small phone, 3.8 X1.2", released in 2007 that followed the trend Motorola had set for the world to follow. Apple is incredibly good at convincing the world their "innovation" is the future, they have done it time and time again. Apple has made words like app, Siri, and Face Time all household names that most people in developed countries recognize. Another clue that the success of a product lies more in the marketing plan, than the product itself is the fact that imitators that have built products similar to competitors but have had more success. "IBM got into computers as an imitator; Texas Instruments, into transistors as an imitator; Holiday Inn, into motels as an imitator (Lee and Zhou, 2012). Lee and Zhou argue that "imitation is not only more abundant than innovation, but actually a much more prevalent road to business growth and profits". While I believe is true in a sense, it takes away from the importance of a company to have an innovation or idea that is groundbreaking. Most companies that find success in this are the ones who use the "copy but improve" technique that copies other products but does it better, and markets the "new" product as innovative. This blurs the lines of what is truly innovative and what is not. The biggest problem with focusing on a single innovation is the risk. This is a nightmare for Research and Development Managers. Focusing on a single aspect of a product in marketing is like going all in on the poker table. While research is done prior to making these decisions,

there is no telling how a product will be accepted on a global scale. As Moehrle and Lothar stated in 2008: "risk and uncertainties have both positive and negative aspects, which reflect opportunities and threats for a company." There are many risks when considering focusing on a single selling point. The biggest risk is losing money; this encompasses all the other risks which could include patent infringement, no interest in the product, and damage to reputation (Moehrle and Lothar, 2008). With this in mind, a successful company will invest a large sum of money into market analysis. This is where things can get dicey as finding out what people want has to include many forms of research including interpretive, critical, and statistical research. Marketing research has to cover a lot of bases. Using multiple theories and ways of analyzing a market help paint a better, more accurate picture out of an abstract idea like "the market". Stanley Deetz introduced three functions that these different perspectives help accomplish: directing attention, organizing experience, and enabling useful responses (Deetz, 1992). There are some companies that have an easier time collecting data than others, companies that already have products in the field they are in benefits them substantially. They are able to track their sales of previous products, conduct surveys directly to customers, use existing customer support inquires to track weaknesses and see which ideas they have used previously are successful and build from there. After this analysis of the market the next step is to come up with and focus on the selling point for the product. Even with extensive research, the company still has to roll the dice. Once the focus point has been selected and the product has been completed, the company has to develop a tactical launch. The launch is where the biggest investments are made; the most money

is spent on the launch than any other phase of the marketing plan. It is a critical stage as this is where all the planning and research have to pay off (Rubio and Redondo). Banking on a single idea makes it especially risky. The next crucial step for this process is generating word of mouth. Mitchell J. Lovett, Professor of Marketing at the University of Rochester believes word of mouth, or WOM is the cornerstone of marketing. He believes it is especially important with the uprising in social media. I agree with this, WOM spreads faster now than it ever has with the introduction of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. WOM can have a positive impact on a company, or a detrimental impact, this is where feedback comes in and has to be monitored so problems with the product, or questions, can be addressed in a timely manner before the severity of the bad WOM gets out of hand. It is possible for companies to influence WOM directly by making accounts on social media sites and having good customer service. Positive WOM is the hardest, but best kind of advertising a company can get, it is what advertisers strive for. It is a complex process Lovett states, as authors have identified 13 brand characteristics that stimulate WOM. WOM is what drives the notion that it is the best product available. If a company wants consumers to hear positive things about a product then the best source is from friends, family, and associates as they are the most trusted source (Lovett, 2013). WOM makes consumers believe this product is the future, it is innovative, popular and adopted by many. It is crucial to keep advertising after launch to keep pushing these ideas and the popularity of the product to convince consumers that this is where the future is headed, and it is not just a FAD like waterbeds and Segways.

Communication within an organization is key, employee buy in and satisfaction has been shown to be directly linked to customer satisfaction (Shneider, 1999). Direct benefits are not always required to achieve this. Apple promotes organization identification, this means that the employees completely buy into the idea. "Anyone visiting an Apple store is greeted by a bevy of helpful employees. They are enthusiastic. They wear colorful Apple T-shirts. They often dont seem to be selling Apple products at all. They seem to be living the Apple lifestyle"(Coget, 2011). Coget believes employee buy in trickles down to the customers, this could help explain Apples success with the "innovation marketing" because their employees embrace and focus on these "new" technologies. Conclusion The steps, which have been focused on in this incredibly complex marketing strategy, are all communicative. All of these steps can be better understood with communicative research, finding ways to communicate to consumers and not only interpret what they want, but convince them a particular "innovation" is the future is difficult. Why do people buy into one idea but not the other? Putnam would agree that the interpretive approach would be best suited to answer this question. Boje's emphasis of storytelling is crucial to understand why a product might fail. WOM simplified is storytelling, what a consumer experiences with a product becomes a story that they can tell countless times, depending on their opinion and emotional ties to the product. The critical social sciences side of it looks at the bigger picture, is "innovation marketing" the best strategy? This lens would point out the negatives, and success of this strategy, coming to the conclusion that this type of marketing does not work for every single product or company. While choosing a single communicative lens might be difficult for this particular process, it is necessary to focus the information and get a more detailed picture of it.

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