International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Exploring Role and Characteristics of Clients in Promoting (or Hindering) Advertising Agencies’ Multidimensional Innovation
Barbara Masiello, Alessandra Marasco, Francesco Izzo, Umberto Amato

Service literature has recognized the important role of customers’ characteristics for successful innovation and is increasingly emphasizing the contribution of lead users. However, few studies have analyzed this issue with reference to advertising and other creative services, especially because of the difficulties in defining innovation in these industries, by capturing its complex nature. Through a large-scale survey on European advertising agencies, we provide empirical evidence of a multidimensional nature of innovation in these services, which can be better promoted by clients embodying some attributes rather than others. Indeed, our results identify three clusters, which differ for the clients’ innovation enabling characteristics and their potential roles in promoting agency’s innovation: the Dominant lead users; the Expert lead users; the Ordinary clients. We acknowledge the role of lead users in advertising and contribute to literature highlighting when they can be conducive to agency’s innovation or be detrimental to it.

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