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Event report: Edinburgh International Marketing Festival

Creativity and innovation are fundamentally interlinked.  Creativity contributes to innovation, and innovation contributes to creativity.

Edinburgh International Marketing Festival’s Innovation in Marketing and Communications afternoon commenced with the assertion that the marketing sector has a lot to learn from Silicon Valley.  These days marketing isn’t all about persuasive adverts and fancy metaphors.  These days marketing and branding are intrinsically tied up with the product and the technology.  The marketing crowd were told that – like technologists – they need to come up with ‘products’ that are forward looking, commercially focused and always in beta.

The speakers suggested that marketing professionals should aim to:

  • Build work around innovative values and principles
  • Experiment
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Always try to improve things
  • Use prototypes and pretotypes
  • Focus on usability
  • Focus on delivering revenue
  • Hire open-minded people capable of thinking innovatively

The above aims could be shared by technologists and marketing professionals alike.  Both need to be innovative.  Both need to be creative.

The mindset required for inventing something and selling it is no longer fundamentally different, so the boundaries between the two is blurring.  If the marketing sector can learn from the technology sector, perhaps the technology sector can learn from the marketing sector by expanding their creative and innovative technological approaches to include selling and marketing their products in creative and innovative ways.

These days technologists need to think like marketers, marketers need to think like technologists, and the two disciplines need to be interlinked in order for a product to succeed.

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