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Thoughts on Innovation – Jesse Abrams

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Jesse Abrams

Homewise Founder & CEO

Recently distinguished by the American Marketing Association Hall of Legends as one of Canada’s top 5 “Marketers on the Rise” and by Marketing Magazine as a “Top 30 Under 30” Marketer in Canada, Jesse is an accomplished Digital Marketer and Advertiser who has a passion for growing businesses and never settling for the status quo. Jesse brings this passion for change and growth as the founder of Homewise, where he looks to change the face of the mortgage industry.
Prior to Homewise, Jesse was a Partner and VP of Client Services & Digital at Beyond Marketing Group (and the acquired Engagement Labs), where Jesse was instrumental in growing the business by 400%, while accounting for 70% of revenue. Before BMG, Jesse spent 4 years building the Digital Marketing Department at General Mills. His contribution was instrumental to the growth of integrated marketing, quadrupling digital spending while driving the success of internationally recognized and business improving campaigns.
Previously, Jesse worked at Proximity Canada where he won 3 Cannes Lions while working on brands such as Gillette, Mars, & Campbell’s.
Jesse is also passionate about charity. At 22, he co-founded the Joel Schwartz Memorial Hockey Tournament. A charitable fundraiser which has raised over $1 Million for Autism and special needs. Jesse later in 2017 co-founded his second charitable fundraiser called Serving for Sinai, which in two years has raised over $420,000 for life-saving research at Mount Sinai Hospital. Jesse has also taken part in 5 Ride to Conquer Cancer events, raising over $200,000. Jesse was also appointed to the Reena Foundation Board of Directors in 2012, later being voted to the Executive Board.

 

What is your definition of “innovation”?


In simple, innovation is never accepting the status quo. It is looking at current options and thinking about not only how to improve them, but also how to transform them in a way that nobody would have ever expected. It can be based on what is “next”, but true innovation comes when the focus is on what has never been created before. It’s not about getting ahead of the curve, it is creating the curve.


Why is it important for companies to innovate and invest in modern technologies?


Client expectations are changing more quickly than ever before. If we as companies do not move faster than they are, not only will we lose their interest and affinity, but there is more than likely another group of smart people building the next disruptive idea in their basement (that’s where we started!). If giants like Blockbuster, Blackberry and Kodak can fall from grace as quickly as they have, anyone can. On the more positive side, innovation enables companies to develop new experiences and products that they may not have ever been able to before. Unlocking areas for growth and engaging customers to have deeper relationships.


What advice can you give to Canadian businesses looking to make the most out of their investments in innovation?


If your innovation is based on where customers are today, then you probably aren’t going to build something that will be sustainable and scalable. Don’t just think about digitizing processes, think about where your customers will be 2, 5 and 10 years from now. Change does not happen overnight, so focus on what you can do to innovate for the future.

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