Innovation: What's new?

Bryan Dollery

by Bryan Dollery

Successful marketing demands innovation - but what might be innovative today could be old talk tomorrow. This month's Keyword will round up what's new.

Marketing and innovation go hand-in-hand. Those who understand how rapidly technologies and trends develop try to keep ahead of the curve, and it’s those efforts that drive the very changes we attempt to stay on top of. While core values of quality and efficiency remain at the heart of content and services, it’s the innovations that take those values into the reality of marketing. The Keyword of the month is Innovation - let's take a look at how this has cropped up in the marketing world lately.

Something just a bit magical

Disney Research recently showcased smart lights at an international conference in London. The technology works by transmitting data with variations in light frequencies that are invisible to the human eye. Disney have demonstrated this in a way that aligns with their own brand of magic – a magic wand can light up the LEDs in a princess dress. Warm and fuzzy as this may be, how does this relate to marketing? While many potential uses of this technology have yet to be uncovered, one relevant use case is beacons. Used to trigger messages tailored to the users' location, beacons can offer some great in-the-moment personalization. However, only a third of retailers have tried out beacons in their marketing strategy, perhaps due to the difficulties involved in implementing them.

Smart lights are theoretically easier to set up than beacons. Philips have already started to retail smart bulbs that don’t require any extra components to be installed. Receiving devices don’t even need to be on an WiFi or cellular network. As long as the app is installed, retailers can send highly relevant messages to mobile device, just by having the lights on.

Social: Snapchat and Tumblr

The focus of many social network strategies is spent on the bigger, more common channels, leaving the likes of Tumblr and Snapchat in the shadows. For those looking for opportunities to innovate, now is the time to change that thinking. In March this year, Snapchat introduced “Chat 2.0” which includes features such as auto-advancing stories, instant video and sticker enhancements, expanding the ways in which users can enjoy the platform. By extension, this increases the opportunities for marketers. The options available for ads make them feel native for the platform, like swiping up for info, just as you would for “normal” posts. One strategy being used on Snapchat is contests – encouraging users to take photos or videos using your product engages them in a way they would already use the app.


Compared to last year, Tumblr has had an increase of 15% of Interbrand 100 companies using the channel, which is the largest increase of any social channel in Simply Measured’s report. With its unique tone and cult following, Tumblr encourages innovation at the content level, making it a place where marketing campaigns with a creative edge can thrive. While many companies are shying away from the challenge, the potential rewards are great – there is an entire audience waiting to be reached who will be be hugely impressed by brands able to tailor their content for Tumblr’s quirky taste.


  • Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the US every day (1)
  • Samsung has won more Lion awards than any other marketer in the past five years (2)
  • 7/10 consumers in the US are are willing to try out instore tracking and mobile push notifications for incentives (3)

Puzzle solving

Samsung proves to be a top innovator

Last month, Samsung was honored as the winner of Cannes Lions Marketer of the Year 2016. The award was accepted by Younghee Lee, EVP running Samsung’s mobile business. “We've done a lot of research to understand what consumers want and need,” notes Lee in an interview with AdWeek. “That is at the core of our marketing.” Lee goes on to reveal that research has shown “innovation”, “innovative” and “dynamic” to be amongst the top words people associate with the brand. The Korean electronics company demonstrated their commitment to innovation earlier this year with the launch event of the Galaxy S7, where 5,000 installed Gear VR headsets allowed the audience to experience the product unveil in virtual reality. Now, with Samsung’s recent designer Serif television available for pre-order in the US, the company continues to prove itself as a leader of innovation in product design and marketing.

We're always looking for ways to innovate here at Luxus, and our marketing conference in August is no exception. We're packing a whole island full of marketing professionals to discuss and demonstrate the ways they are innovating to face the challenges of today. Luxus Next will be a martech conference like no other, so grab a ticket while there are some left.


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