Innovate, says Doblin's Keeley at Marketing in 2010 show

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NEW YORK -- Innovation is the key to growth in the future, according to a speaker at The Conference Board's 2006 marketing conference called "Marketing in 2010: Growth Strategies for the Future."

Larry Keeley, president of Chicago-based Doblin Inc., cited Apple, Dell and Google as examples of firms using innovation with success.

"Using innovation types like finance and delivery strategically, these firms excelled in product offering and performance," Mr. Keeley said said.

The other types of innovation discussed included business model, networking, the enabling process, core process, product performance, product system, service, channel, brand and customer experience.

Apple fared well in its finance, process, offering and delivery, lacking only in service and core process. Google also excelled in finance, offering and delivery, though lacking in channel and the enabling process. Dell excelled in every area, according to Mr. Keeley, except in the enabling process.

The steps to building effective innovation are to diagnose a situation, declare intent and send the conditions, Mr. Keeley said. He looked at the performance of a few industries from 1988 and 1998 to assess innovation.

Computer firms have been innovative in product performance and networking, for instance. Passenger airlines, on the other hand, have been innovative in the process and service, but have lacked innovation in performance and experience, which may be why the industry is suffering.

Mr. Keeley said some of the top innovations of all time include weapons, money, mathematics and the number 0, printing, property ownership and free markets. Some more recent innovations on his list include vaccines and antibiotics, the Internet and genetic sequencing.

All these inventions saw a need, defined goals and executed well to become so innovative.

"Build an innovative intent by making customer discoveries and identifying changing themes," Mr. Keeley said. "Implement these goals clearly and swiftly. Think prototypes and not spreadsheets."

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