Being innovative is no longer something to think lightly about, it's essential--it's a sign of adaptability and, therefore, company longevity and survivability. But the paths you take as you try to navigate the innovation scene matter and can have a strong influence on how you impact consumers. Poonam Khubani, Chairman of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), offers some key points to consider as you try to bring your creations to the world and connect more effectively with buyers.

Consumers need a hand understanding market complexity.

Consumers often think they're doing business with one company, but in reality, they're often sending their money to a third party seller such as Amazon, who have their own customer service, return policies, and fulfillment processes. It's best to make your relationship clear and more visible to help consumers make purchase with complete confidence.

The number of creative ways to reach your market is mind-blowing (and tech helps).

Take WeChat, for example. The most widely used social media app in China with 800M+ monthly active users, the platform integrates with all types of services and brands, pulling shopping, payment, and other functionalities into one app. WhatsApp being another perfect example commands over 1.3 billion monthly active users. Experimenting where these platforms can be internally leveraged is an incredibly easy way to reach an enormous audience. Don't be afraid to push your limits and try something new!

Without measurement, influencer marketing is only meaningless hype.

Maybe you get lots of likes. So what? What is your actual conversion? What's the return on your money spent on advertisement? Which campaigns and channels are you rapidly experimenting that are consistently showing a positive return on investment (ROI)?

Influencer campaigns are tempting to rush into because you may get excited about an influencer with millions of followers, but it could be meaningless if you don't methodically research their audience and know how you'll be verifying their effectiveness - it can end being a huge waste of money. Smart tools like Sprout Social and  TubularLabs can help you quantify ROI much easier. Also, make sure you support that research with deeper market intelligence, SimilarWeb being one of the leaders of the pack that we use.

The takeaway? Make sure you deeply understand not only who your target audience is, but that of the influencer you're looking to partner with.

Khubani's overall message was very clear,

"Don't be afraid of technology. Embrace it. See the growth potential of new horizons."

For an integrated conference that covers the above topics, Khubani encourages consider the upcoming Electronic Retailer Association Great Ideas Summit, February 26-28th, 2018 to be held in Miami. It's the perfect chance to learn about how to make a winning brand on TV become a digital mega-brand.

If you're looking to dive into these points more in depth and discuss marketing trends with experts face-to-face, consider the upcoming Electronic Retailer Association Great Ideas Summit, February 26-28th, 2018. It's the perfect chance to learn about winning as a brand from the best direct response thought leaders!

Published on: Oct 26, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.