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B2B's role in economic recovery: Focus on innovation

Against the backdrop of America's looming Aug. 2 debt-limit deadline and the Fed's announcement today that it's prepared to provide more stimulus, innovation is increasingly top of mind for some economists.

Ken Goldstein of the Conference Board, for instance, is saying that innovation could be a solution to boosting the economy, which grew an annualized rate of only about 2 percent during the first half of this year.

"'Without innovation, not only would you be stuck at 2 percent -- we might be lucky to get 2 percent growth,'" he's quoted as saying in this NPR article today. Goldstein also says that an emphasis on innovation could increase growth by half a percentage point, which could lead to 50 and 100,000 new jobs a month.

His approach puts him in good company with many senior business executives. About 72 percent consider innovation to be a "top three strategic priority," according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey. Moreover, 84 percent said their company considers innovation to be an "important or extremely important lever for reaping the benefits of an economic recovery."

The need for greater innovation is loud and clear. Turning good ideas into jobs and companies is crucial to economic growth and recovery.

This imperative extends to creating competitive advantages, which is particularly acute in the B2B high-tech market. Facilitating innovation is necessary to developing revenue-generating offerings, maintaining customer loyalty, and protecting and building market share.

Product managers need best-practice processes supported by effective technologies to quickly bring to market new products that customers want to buy.

We've been researching the innovation market, and working with several B2B companies on their innovation efforts. And we thought it timely to consolidate our findings and share our insights with you.

We're starting a new blog series, "B2B Innovation," that will cover innovation best practices and technology considerations to help B2B high-tech companies:
  • Foster customer dialogue to uncover true market-driven requirements
  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the innovation process
  • Improve customer and market responsiveness
  • Shorten new product development cycles
  • Increase new product success rates
  • Cultivate customer satisfaction and retention
We're also working on publishing this information in a white paper, which you'll be able to download from our website. We'll let you know when it's available. In the meantime, I'll be blogging our B2B Innovation series regularly. Watch our blog or bookmark our B2B Innovation tag for my next post. Now to anxiously await the outcome of President Obama's congressional meeting today!

UPDATE: 8/22/11: Our white paper is now available for download from our website under the white papers tab in our Resource Center. Click over to grab it now. It's titled "Addressing the Innovation Imperative for B2B Companies."

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