How To Apply The Forrester Research Agile Innovation Framework


Digital disruption -- the idea that digital changes business economics, not just the way brands market products and services -- weighs heavily on Forrester Research analysts. James McQuivey developed the idea after contemplating how products are being reinvented because of digital, and wrote a book that explores how companies like Borders missed the fundamental notion that digital changes business, and reveals how companies can stay ahead of digital disruption.

There are companies like, a peer-to-peer financial lending organization that enables micro loans from one individual to another that wouldn't work without digital media. "Consumers are ready to be digitally disrupted," McQuivey said. "They are excited about it."



Shar VanBoskirk, principal analyst at Forrester, took the concept one step further. She believes marketers are pivotal when it comes to helping companies adjust to digital disruption. So she created an "agile" four-step framework, and presented it at Covario's client conference last week. It's a formula to teach company employees how to innovate and stay ahead of this notion of digital disruption.

Marketers are daunted by innovation because the word conjures visions of brilliant company-changing insights, she said. It turns out that innovations can be small, such as changes to negative interactions with customers.

Digital disruption matters to search marketers because search marketing is no longer about promotion via search ads. Queries via interface preempt search and apps enable function-specific searches. Search will become part of product maintenance, according to VanBoskirk.

Disruptions in search marketing are only part of the story. It will become less expensive to build brands. Ideas will remain with individuals not brands, and differentiating ideas expire quickly and will become more easily duplicated.

Marketers can prepare by preparing. Embracing agile innovation means having an understanding of agile development, with a more flexible approach for developing software. For example, VanBoskirk said Agile development is built on four fundamentals: Everything is a point of interaction, launch quickly then test to improve, collaborate with internal and external advocates, and adjust based on market conditions.

It turns out that negative interactions could become the best source of innovation. The best piece of advice, VanBoskirk says: the shift to agile innovation won’t work when relying on traditional tools that don’t easily accommodate collaboration or iterative development.

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