Innovation driving economy, WS survey finds

NEW YORK: Results from a study conducted by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research show that two-thirds of the C-level executives surveyed believe innovation will continue to propel the "creativity economy" in 2007.

NEW YORK: Results from a study conducted by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research show that two-thirds of the C-level executives surveyed believe innovation will continue to propel the "creativity economy" in 2007.

Of the 100 CEOs and CMOs at the Fortune 2000 who participated in the survey titled "The changing face of marketing and communications in today's creativity economy," 67% said innovation will be significant this year. In addition, 76% of respondents said innovation would be even more important over the next five years, with many CEOs saying that innovation is important to the company.

Billee Howard, EVP and MD in the Global Strategic Media Group at WS, said the current "creativity economy" is moving away from a "knowledge economy" and towards one based on the power of the consumer.

"[There's an] increasing emphasis [on] shifting marketing and advertising to the way people talk about the brand rather than individual products," Howard said. "Now, if you think about the top three players in a category, all are operating on consumer-driven principles."

Sixty percent of those surveyed said their marketing and advertising spending will shift in order to promote the company and what it stands for rather than individual products.

The survey also shows an overwhelming majority of respondents "agree" to "strongly agree" that the top three tools for driving innovation are better meeting consumer needs (88%), marketing and communications, and internal collaboration (both at 82%).

"Where innovation is going, it's an opportunity for marketing and communications to get involved with how a company moves forward," said Jen Risi, EVP in the Global Strategic Media Group at WS.

This study was conducted in July and August 2006.  WS began rolling out the results in October. PRWeek has reported on the results as they have been revealed.

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