Innovation management may seem like an obscure term, but you’re already doing it without even knowing what it is. Innovation management is simply profiting in some way from the latest ideas out there.

If you’re involved in online marketing, you’re involved in innovation management in some way. If you’ve considered which routes are worth your time in the vast sea of apps, platforms, forums, etc., then consider yourself ankle deep in the process at the very least.

Innovation management requires willingness to risk. Innovation means new ideas that are still in the theory or testing phases. As such, business owners are weary of investing in them, and this is especially true for small business owners who often feel like they can’t afford the risk. Innovative business owners need to be prepared for failures as well as success, both of which can be assessed by setting clear goals.

There are those willing to following breaking trends, and then there are business owners ready to bust out of the small business status by making trends happen. Pioneers in this frontier can also rely on the help of leading programs designed to make the process easier. Check out the three leading companies that are paving the way for innovation management.

Brightidea – Harnessing the “power of innovation,” BrightIdea recognizes that innovation is a must if a company expects to compete in today’s playing field. They help companies launch products, create powerful marketing campaigns and streamline the overall process and organization.

BrightIdea is comprised of field veterans, and have helped some of the top companies, including Adobe and American Express. Chances are they’re probably also out of budget for smaller businesses. In this case, I strongly recommend that you don’t discount them due to funding gaps. Start off by taking advantage of the free trial. After that, learn as much as you can. Their website has tons of great resources, including a free PDF on the future of innovation management. Remember that one of the keys to marketing success is knowing what’s being done now, what’s being developed and what’s around the corner.

Jive – Jive is all about engaging employees, customers and the social network. It offers a software that makes creating and doing business easier by alleviating information overload, allowing you to make better decisions faster. It also gets you involved in app creation. Jive continues to impress by offering cloud technology so you can access content and files from anywhere. From networking, content creation/discussion, to sharing, social listening and more, there is just so much that Jive can do; a fraction of a blog post doesn’t do it justice. Being a newer model of innovation management, Jive has simplified delivery; there’s no complexity in figuring Jive out, as is sometimes the case with older models like Brightidea. BrightIdea is great and a powerful tool, but for the small business owner on a DIY business model, the reality is that you (rather than an assigned team or assistant) will be doing the work.

I’d definitely recommend Jive to a small business owner who is serious about innovation management. At the same time, I’d say start off by first taking advantage of the free trials so you know exactly what the competition has to offer before investing in a marketing effort on this level.

Spigit – In a nutshell, Spigit offers the benefits of both Brightidea and Jive, and fuses the idea of creating social currency among employees. I also like how it uses algorithms to source the best ideas and comments, which cuts through the fluff and gets you the cream of the crop so you can move forward with those ideas. And here’s the key reason why Spigit is a serious contender. They’re not just about decision making and moving forward, they’re about using the science of those algorithms to make predictive decisions.

Spigit also allows companies to select desired features, ranging from blogs to surveys to marketing predictions. Users can also get on board with Microsoft’s SharePoint or web-meetings. The goal is to source the best ideas faster, so companies can move forward more efficiently. This is marketing genius that should be utilized by business owners who want their employees to be more than just cogs in a wheel.

Your business is only as successful as it is relevant. In marketing, especially in a time where innovation is central to business vitality, you have to keep moving forward if you hope to compete seriously.


作者 Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Benchmark Email's Online Marketing Specialist and Small Business Advocate. An Orange County based writer, Shireen specializes in online marketing and public relations. She has written for over 75 publications and has launched nine successful new media campaigns to date. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Denver Post, the Oklahoman and Green Air Radio, among others.