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Open Innovation: Bringing Marketing to the People.
By Peter Carvill ~ Exclusive from ITB 2014
Wednesday, 19th March 2014

Exclusive ITB Feature: Open innovation offers great opportunities for companies looking to streamline their product development and marketing because of its potential to empower and grant direct access from consumer to provider.

Speaking during a ITB Berlin session on the topic, Michael Bartl, CEO of innovation company HYVE and Ilham Habibie, managing director of Indonesian firm Ilthabi Rekatama, outlined where engaging with users had spurred online communities and product development.

"Open innovation tries to connect people with expertise," said Bartl. "Open innovation aims to narrow the gap and transfer the needed information into relevant solution information."

Speaking first, Bartl used the examples of deodorants, children's beds, and bacon. Open innovation, in comparison with closed innovation, was according to Bartl's presentation where the world is the lab instead of the lab being the world.

"The overall aim is to narrow the gap and transfer the needed information into relevant solution information," he said.

The benefit of open innovation is a simple one, according to Bartl's presentation, as he added: "It makes it much more certain that the product will be a success."

Habibie outlined a project undertaken where the general public were asked to engage in a project called 'My Indonesia Moment', which called for photo and text submissions around the objective of promoting the country.

According to Habibie, there were 835 community members, 1,914 submissions, 9,259 'evaluations', and 7,187 comments, while overall the site was visited by almost 15,000 people.

"We had this email community that started talking to one another and this created a viral buzz," he said, adding later that the majority of community members had been themselves Indonesian, giving a rough figure of 50%, although it was tourism site aimed at bringing tourist to Indonesia.

Those who contributed to the submissions were entered into a competition the winners getting a trip to Indonesia.

Habibie announced the next project - 'Your Idea for Indonesia', a similarly-themed venture to crowd-source ideas for destinations and experiences, with the best idea published online.

Habibie outlined the benefits of open innovation to Indonesia, illustrating the economic boon the country is experiencing.

Indonesia, Habibie said, is the fourth largest country in the world in terms of population, with 1% of its economy fueled by tourism and travel and US$10billion dollars spent in this area in 2013. He cited a study from financial services firm Visa that claimed 9 million tourists came to Indonesia, spending each day on average roughly EUR 100 and staying for a week.

"Can people use this [open innovation] technology? Yes, absolutely," he told delegates. "People in Indonesia are very tech-savvy and are very welcoming. The most Twitter-active city in the world is Jakarta and it's also number two when it comes to Facebook."

He added: "It's a young population. 60% are younger than 30. They are the firs to jump on the bandwagon and they like to try out things. They are people who like to participate in social media."

Delegates were asked their opinions on open innovation during an interactive survey with the session's audience with 98.3% said they thought it offered great potential for corporate growth and profitability, while nearly 70% said it was not yet applied by the travel industry, and 94.1% said it was a future necessity for companies that want to be taken seriously.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from is not permitted.

Pete is a British print journalist based in Berlin. Originally from Liverpool, he has been a reporter since 2007 and since then specialized in financial journalism. Pete has lived in four countries and has ambitions to increase that number saying that the only way to really live life is to constantly wake up in a new, exotic location.

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