Innovation in Marketing: A 2014 Survey Report

Modern Marketing


In 2014, innovation was the central focus of our Marketing Nation Summit and the subsequent roadshow tour, which came to a spectacular end in Sydney. The theme certainly resonated with marketers in cities across North America, Europe and Asia as they came out in great numbers to catch the wave of inspiration and learn from thought leaders in the field, and their marketing peers.

With innovation as such a central part of our events this year, we wanted to understand more about it. Even though it is frequently referenced in marketing content, from keynotes to blog posts – it clearly means different things to different people. So, we decided to find out how marketers perceive innovation in marketing both outside and inside their own organizations by surveying the audience of the London Roadshow. This group was comprised of senior-level marketers, representing a wide variety of sectors – both consumer and business-to-business.

From the survey results, we distilled five key takeaways (we elaborate more about them in the ebook):

1. Knowing your customer or prospect is the most powerful driver of innovation: When asked to rank what were the most important enablers of innovation, a large percentage of marketers 46%) felt that a deep understanding of the target market is the single most important requirement in driving innovation.

2. Innovation is widely accepted as having great importance in marketing: Nearly half (44%) of respondents suggested innovation as ‘very important’, with a further 36% reporting it as ‘important’.


3. Consumer brands are still perceived to be more innovative: To get a sense of how marketers perceive marketing innovation, we asked them to identify organisations they felt were leading the way with their marketing. A total of 74% of the companies identified market directly to consumers. Brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Red Bull were some of the more popular choices but the message was clear; innovation is still seen as the domain of the consumer brand.

4. Culture is a key barrier to innovation: The urge to innovate is being constrained.  Only 1 in 10 (10%) find their organisations’ marketing is innovative.  The ‘average’ marketer finds his or her own innovation blocked by a risk-averse culture (77% describe their company culture in this way).

5. Technology, research and integration – the priority areas for marketing innovation: If marketers could innovate freely in any area, they would prioritize three things: (i) marketing automation and technology, (ii) market research and insight, and (iii) multi-channel integrated campaigns.


To find out more about the survey results, download the full report here. Do the results surprise you? Do they align with your own thoughts on innovation in marketing? Please share your thoughts below – we would love to continue the conversation.