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Use market research to fuel innovation

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011 – In any industry, it is often the company that is the most creative and innovative which is able to devise strategies and keep a competitive edge. Conducting market research is one way those in the advertising industry may be able to gather new ideas and gain a fresh perspective from consumers.

Matt Herrmann writes for Ad Age that the advertising and marketing sectors are in danger of following the downward trajectory of countries locked in debt spirals, as rather than developing new ideas, some are leaning too heavily on the borrowed thoughts of others.

“The consequences of agencies’ profligate idea borrowing are much the same as the dwindling economy of Greece; relying on existing ideas means less idea capital we’ll have to borrow from in the future,” Herrmann says. He warns that if new ideas aren’t injected into the body of work that the industry creates soon, borrowing and retooling old campaigns could become the norm.

Herrmann concluded that advertising professionals have two options: “We can either accept this as a the new order – it would be the expected path of least resistance – or we could try something different and forge an industry that fulfills our best hopes and youthful expectations … Creative solvency is key to the future of this business.”

Others in the sector are also addressing the importance of innovation. Several ad and marketing executives will be leading a panel during the Advertising Week 2011 conference to discuss mobile advertising and the emerging trends surrounding the medium.

Some brands have lost market share as a result of the financial downturn, with paper product manufacturers – such as Kimberly-Clark and Kleenex – falling behind cheaper generic brands, The New York Times reports. In order to claw back to their earlier standings, the companies are starting to innovate, creating new products and reinventing their images.

The newspaper reports that Kleenex, for instance, is now rolling out a cooling tissue that aims to sooth noses rubbed raw during the cold and flu season. The company is hoping its Cool Touch tissues will convince some consumers to invest in tissues rather than substituting with toilet paper, and draw other customers from competitors, according to the source.