Innovation at APG|SGA
For APG|SGA, the topic of innovation is not just a buzzword, but an elementary component of corporate culture and of great strategic importance. This has always been the case: In its more than 100-year history, the outdoor advertising company has repeatedly introduced innovations that are now standard for Out of Home Media.
The basis for product development and innovation is the active exchange with partners, advertisers, national and international expert committees, institutions and companies as well as the permanent monitoring of ongoing activities. All findings are systematically incorporated in order to improve the product portfolio.
We also place a strong emphasis on speed for our partners and customers: we react as fast as possible to changes in the market, take on board new needs and develop the appropriate products. We also take social, economic, legal, and technological trends into account. The topics of digitization and sustainability are not new to us.
Our systematic innovation process, highly motivated teams, and the use of the Design Thinking method lead to innovative products and services. After a pilot phase, we integrate these new solutions into our portfolio and continuously develop them further.
The systematic innovation process of APG|SGA
Although innovation requires creativity and freedom, a structural framework should be set in order to promote these two topics. Therefore, we have developed our systematic innovation process that leads us successfully to new offers for our clients and partners.
Explore - Identifying trends and opportunities
Thanks to a regular exchange with advertisers, agencies, and strategic decision-makers, the needs of the advertising market are collected and analysed. In addition, scouting helps us to detect relevant trends for the market and to derive opportunities for the future. We compare the outcomes with our innovation search fields and the strategy of APG|SGA and determine the further progress.
Ideate - generating, formulating, and prioritizing ideas
Out of the relevant needs and trends, employees generate innovative and creative ideas in interdisciplinary teams or together with external partners (e.g. universities, start-ups, developers). In these workshops we use current methods such as Design Thinking. The teams elaborate the ideas, talk to customers and partners, and adapt the ideas after receiving valuable feedback. After a prioritization phase, the solutions are developed further. It is very important to us to involve customers and partners from the very beginning: Thus, we are always aware of their needs when developing new ideas.
Validate - explore the market, build, and test the prototype
In a next step, the innovation teams outline the prioritized ideas to prototypes and test them with customers or partners. Valuable customer feedback is used to make adjustments when necessary. Thus, we are able to demonstrate the potential marketability at an early stage. This iterative approach helps us to respond quickly and in the best possible way to the needs of customers and partners.
Incubate - reach market maturity
The customer-centric prototypes are transferred into pilot projects or Minimum Viable Products (MVP) and first tested in central regions. This allows us to always take feedback from the market and make enhancements. If the idea is also convincing here, it moves on to the next round.
Accelerate - develop the market
After successful completion of the test phase, the roll-out can take place throughout the market. The sales activities are started, marketing and sales are set up, and the roadmap is defined.
Scale - penetrate and scale the market
After successful market development, the newly designed solutions are handed over to the respective business unit, which continues to manage sales and marketing. In addition, the further development of the solution is planned. Innovations will be introduced to the market throughout the year.
Our innovation process is subject to an iterative approach. Thanks to the constant exchange with customers and partners, the innovation teams can adapt the solutions. In addition, the teams must pass three gates during the innovation process. In these gates they pitch the idea in front of a jury, which decides on the further course of the idea. Depending on the strategic fit and the business case, the innovation teams have to revise the idea again.
APG|SGA is always looking for other firms in order to assess current market needs and develop solutions together. Do you have the feeling that we could be the right partner for you? Then get in touch with us. We would be happy to talk to you about forms of collaboration and discuss how we can create innovations together.