Innovation. It's a word that gets overused, especially when it comes to the HCM space. Everything is innovative, from payroll systems, to the latest ATS, or even time entry systems.
Yes, time entry systems that use retina scans to verify your identity make me feel a little like Jason Bourne but application also counts. If an HR system adds complexity, it better do it for good reason. Simply being innovative isn't enough.
For marketers in this space, finding the balance between doing really cool stuff and also making sure their innovation is practical for use is a struggle. Here's how marketers can think about innovation that pushes the envelope:
1. Spend time outside of marketing and HCM
I love industry conferences and I love my colleagues, but I've come up with some cool ideas while talking with people from other walks of life. Trading user adoption horror stories with a guy who worked for a company that does online travel reimbursements for corporations gave me ideas that I used a few months down the road for a client's own issue.
What consumer marketers and what other enterprise software categories are doing can be super applicable to raising the bar and pushing the envelope.
2. Have a colleague explain some longstanding marketing practices like you're five
Why do you collect so much information from prospects? Why don't you give them better resources? Why don't you ask customers for better referrals (and reward them for it)?
You don't have to literally explain things like you're five but simplifying what you're trying to accomplish and why you're doing it the way you've always done it is one way to push breakthroughs in thinking and expose critical flaws that everyone else just accepts.
3. Be willing to experiment and fail hard
Failure is a bad word for a lot of marketing departments. So what happens to most cutting edge, kinda crazy/kinda brilliant ideas? They get watered down, softened, and have the edge taken off them by a marketer willing to fail a little bit without much hope for significant gain.
Marketers willing to be brave can win just by willing to go big, knowing that failure could mean budget cuts, staff losses, reduction in sales, and even their job. You don't have to go on the edge on everything you do but you have to give yourself the flexibility to truly throw weight and budget behind an uncomfortably innovative idea every so often.
Are you doing something innovative and smart in HCM marketing? Apply for the InfluenceHR Marketing Awards today and get recognized for the great work you're doing.