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The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

Facebook Expands Local Ad Products For Businesses With Multiple Storefronts

Facebook is expanding location-specific ad products for businesses with multiple storefronts. (AFP/Getty Images)
Businesses with multiple storefronts can now translate into even more advertising deals for Facebook.
On Thursday, Facebook FB +4.63% announced the launch of two new local marketing products  aimed at making it easier for businesses with multiple locations to create local ads for each store and better understand customers in each area.
The first new tool allows businesses to easily create location-specific ads based on each of their “Pages.” The update allows businesses to use the Pages for each of their locations to pull in different ad copy, links and call-to-action buttons, making unique ads for individual stores. For example, a cafe using the product, called “local awareness ads,” could choose to automatically insert a different city name in their ad, depending on the location of the people seeing the ad. People in San Francisco might see, “Join us for dinner in San Francisco,” while those in Dallas would see “Join us for dinner in Dallas.” Call-to-action buttons such as “call now” or “get directions” can also be created to direct the user to whichever store is closest to the user at that moment. Business must have at least five locations to use the tool, Facebook said.
“If you’re a merchant with multiple locations, you’d need to make separate ads,” said Facebook’s director product marketing for ads Matt Idema. “This makes it really easy to do those campaigns.”
The second product is a new data tab for businesses within “Page Insights” aimed at making it easier for businesses to know how to tailor their marketing to best reach customers. The new tab has information for local businesses about the people near their stores. The tab, for example, can give businesses information about foot traffic near each store at different times of the day and on different days, which helps businesses know when people are most likely to go to their store. The tab can also show businesses aggregate demographics of people nearby, such as gender or age and whether the people are local or tourists. And for the first time on Facebook, businesses can see the percentage of people nearby who have seen their ad. 
“These are new capabilities for local businesses to create more relevant ads and drive better results through Facebook’s products,” Idema said. “It’s a dramatic change for businesses using the Facebook products today.”