Is everything really ‘Innovative’
. . . or is it just a buzz word we’re all becoming numb to in tech content these days?
After attending the panel session today “Innovation Fatigue: Tech Content in a Noisy World” there were some very seasoned panel guests to walk us through the pain point of overusing the word ‘innovation’ when it does not apply. Stephanie Losee – Visa, Head of Content, Ann Gould Rubin – IBM, VP of Marketing, and Evie Nagy – Slack, Senior Editor all had insightful takeaways around tech storytelling.
The main theme of the panel session was centered around the fact that everything cannot be considered innovative in our storytelling journeys. Our customer base wants to know about the latest and greatest, of course, but how do we overcome the fatigue of labeling everything as innovative?
What should innovation be centered around?
Losee started with stating that the word innovation should be centered around reputational goals. Even though Visa is a payment systems company they are first and foremost a tech company. Rubin quickly agreed and injected how IBM is able to reach their customer through tech storytelling. She mentioned that at IBM they ask themselves a few key questions:
- What do we stand for?
- Who do we serve?
- What is our enduring idea?
For IBM, their enduring idea is about ‘world-changing progress’. Which means it’s about taking innovative tech and applying that to the human experience for all things (e.g. oil & gas, financial tech, electric energy, etc.). Having a clear objective with KPI’s is the key to failing fast and scaling fast.
Making Innovation Relevant.
Often, innovative technology is complicated and not very relatable to the general public. So how do big companies, or even small businesses, relate their innovative tech to the world. Evie Nagy at Slack summed it up nicely with Slack’s mantra of making what they do Clear, Concise, and Human. As content marketers and advertisers, we cannot expect the audience to just ‘get it’ and understand what is being innovated on. IBM gave a prime example a few years back at SXSW when they introduced Watson and Watson Chef. Watson Chef came to SXSW to show off the thousands upon thousands of possible ingredient combinations that would taste good to the human palette. The activation resonated with SXSW attendees because it’s something human they could relate the Watson technology to. Food.
Stop saying you’re an Innovation Thought Leader.
Innovation is often something that is organic and goes through a lot a trial and error before it can be considered innovative. This is the exact stance Slack has about innovation and their humbleness around it. They often do not say they are “innovating” on something until long after they’ve actually produced real innovation. Which is a lot of the same concept as trust in advertising. Brands don’t advertise to their audiences to tell them to ‘trust’ them, they provide relatable human experiences that build trust. The same should go for innovation.
To tell your story of tech innovation you need good people who can translate your technology into relatable human experiences. This means finding a team or partners who are adept at marketing and storytelling through content. At Agency Entourage, we have been building a following for our clients for nearly a decade. This panel session at SXSW 2018 validates the top of mind content that you have to be able to generate on a weekly or monthly basis. The content cannot just be content but must be good, storytelling, content that provides value.
Let us talk to you about how we can help you shape your tech content story. Just shoot us an email at email@example.com or fill out our contact us form, and we will get started helping you reach your content marketing goals.