Innovation and creativity are a strategic investment. Beware of spending time and money on pretty, shiny and/or new things with no strategic foundation or direction.
I have chosen my words very carefully. There is a distinct difference between investing and spending (wasting) money.
Marketing should always be an investment vs budget or spend. But I have recently seen a number of clients spending money on tactical activities with no strategic direction or foundation.
Whether design, NPD, media, communications, or brand-customer experience, the intention of innovation and creativity should always be to gain ROI. Or at minimum to ‘test and learn’ to understand if and how it gives you ROI.