Redefining Innovation: Marketing and Investment Banking

Written by Gabrielle Jabre

The theme of the 43rd International Conference is redefining innovation – not necessarily as a disruption, but rather as something that can be sustainable and innovative in our day to day lives. Within both the marketing sector and the investment banking sector, the directors spoke to us about a business model defined by this type of innovation.

Today, Jack Mackenzie, executive vice president of PBS (Public Broadcasting System) research, enlightened us to a new meaning to innovation in the media industry. His passion is driven by his curiosity about improving transparency and communication in marketing.

He doesn’t see himself as a marketer but rather as a link to the consumer, asking about and analyzing the product as if he were the consumer himself.  Mackenzie sees social media as a “byproduct of a mindset of millennials” to promote themselves as they have grown in a society where feedback is desired, especially through social media. Mackenzie’s role in social media is to shed light for companies on how to use social media as an appropriate platform.

For example, he explains how online advertising can be a marketing tool rather than an invasion of privacy or a nuisance.  Mackenzie recently won an award in 2015 for research innovation where he managed to measure emotional connection and reaction with television programming, especially reality tv.

The idea was sparked by a corporate client who wanted to get into the niche of reality TV. Mackenzie proposed finding the emotional connection and then evaluating whether the specific reality show fit with the client’s brand and business. This innovative idea was key in changing the perception of how products are made, rather than create a product for the people, the product is created for an emotional connection.

Mackenzie’s innovative ideas do not stop there. His next move is to look for a change in the movie industry. Mackenzie wants to change the way movies are presented and researched and advertised, and is hoping that his research will change the way Hollywood works with a domino effect. Therefore, on balance, the takeaway from Mackenzie’s interview, is that no matter how old the industry and its marketing techniques, there is always room for innovation and improvement.

Paul Swigart, the CEO of VTB Capital, an investment banking division, gave another interesting perspective on innovation. Swigart is involved in the early stages of investing, which is time-consuming but very rewarding, as Swigart does not see this as his job but rather his passion.

Swigart is more focused on business models that are not disrupting industries (like Apple) but rather redefine innovation by looking for businesses that improve efficiency, cost, environmental standards, and user-friendliness. Swigart’s message underscores the theme of the conference and shows that innovation is not only about the breaking the industry but being sustainable.

Innovation, as seen in these two different industries, is not only about the traditional meaning of breaking the barrier, but also about extending it. Swigart’s talk highlights that innovation is natural to each and every one of us and should be sustainable.