Gabey Goh Byravee Iyer
Nov 19, 2015

Innovation process is non-linear, culture-dependent

SINGAPORE - Speaking at the 2015 Marketing Innovation Summit, Intel's Jayant Murty, Yahoo's Nitin Mathur, Refinery29's Philippe Von Borries and others examined the factors behind successful innovation.

Jayant Murty speaks with Campaign's Gary Scattergood
Jayant Murty speaks with Campaign's Gary Scattergood
Innovation and consumer sentiment

During his presentation at the summit, Jayant Murty, director of brand strategy, integrated and partner marketing at Intel Hong Kong, said that history has shown that innovation is rarely linear: there will be gaps before huge jumps.

“There are always terrible things that oppose great ideas and most advertising dollars end up chasing the incremental,” he added. “You have to think about innovation on a broader scale, it's about people and processes.”

Murty said that the most fascinating thing about the innovation process isn’t the actual innovation or solution but rather when the problem being solved is presented.

“Framing the problem well is at the heart of innovation,” he added.

Murty also highlighted the shifting source of competitive edge to conference attendees, from traditional upstream activities such as building better products, optimising supply chains and efficiency.

The real opportunities thanks to data and technology now lie in downstream activities that focus on shaping the customer perception, tailoring offerings to circumstance and harnessing the network effect.

“What’s really interesting is when you ignore the upstream, because not everyone can play in that space,” he said. “It’s not about the better product or the better process, very often it’s about changing the axis of perception.”

Courtesy of, here's a video of Murty speaking this morning with Gary Scattergood, Campaign Asia-Pacific's head of content. 

Fostering a culture of innovation 

Indian FMCG company Godrej and tech giant Yahoo talked about how they create a culture of innovation within their companies. For Nitin Mathur, senior director, marketing at Yahoo, it is about creating an environment to think freely. In line with that, Yahoo launched Hack Days to drive creativity and prototype new ideas. 

"We've seen that it helps encourage entrepreneurship and product enhancements," Mathur said adding that the integration of Flickr images into the Yahoo Weather app helped increase daily user base 3-4 times.

Philippe Von Borries, founder of entertainment and fashion website Refinery29, said companies need to move quickly to keep up with the new ecosystem. "Not a week goes by where there isn't a new platform launch. We've embraced that by looking at what's in front of us and assign groups within the company to get on to it. Then we let a week go by and see how we fare and how people react."

Commenting on the barriers to innovation, Godrej's chief operating officer Shireesh Joshi said companies feel a familiar comfort in "driving the known". "How much do you invest and set aside to try out the unknown. When your large players you don't want to sacrifice what you have."

Mathur agreed that sustenance is equally important. "Our industry does not respect tradition and one the things we do well is to just understand consumer trends." Three years ago, Yahoo's biggest barrier was the speed of innovation and getting employees to move quickly. "We wanted to be far more open in bringing talent from outside. We've done 40-plus acquisitions to give us different mindsets to play with."

Again courtesy of, here is Von Borries speaking with Campaign's Scattergood.


More from MIS: Innovate or die: 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies to be disrupted - AOL


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