Argos, innovation – and intuition’s role

Google Home smart speaker

Marketing technology is steadily changing business’ approach to innovation.

The traditional approach was to take a creative idea, analyse, research, develop, commercialise and test throughly. Then, only when a significant understanding and probability of success could be guaranteed was it put up for approval. Investment in a new idea was risky. Extensive research has been the recognised solution to minimising risk.

Modern technology coupled with agile approaches has allowed marketers to mix intuition with tried approaches and bring new ideas to market sooner at low cost. Innovation can be applied monitored and evaluated in near real-time.

Argos has introduced the facility for customers to use Google Home smart devices for voice shopping. They’re the first UK retailer to do so, despite competition from Amazon, who has its own-brand Echo speakers.

Customers will be able to check product availability and reserve items in store, via Google Assistant.

Company and customers experiment

The most interesting aspect is the company’s approach, mixing intuitive judgement with testing. Not only is the retailer exploring the opportunity, but also encouraging the customer to investigate and experiment with it. One assumes that development and refinement will progress hand-in-hand with user feedback.

Argos chief executive John Rogers described their approach as “trying and testing”, with the launch of an app on Google Home.

This could prove to be another groundbreaking step in retail marketing. Only time will tell, but the important issue for marketers is that we now have the ability to explore such possibilities quickly without scary levels of investment.

It’s another fascinating and encouraging demonstration of marketing technology lowering the barriers to innovation being brought to market.


Ian West
dangerous ideas

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