Is Your Business A Potential Target For The Next Digital DISRUPTION?

What does Digital DISRUPTION mean for your business? If it’s the destiny of every business what can we do to prepare for it? Let’s dive in and find out!

Drive for digital has already happened!

According to a forecast by Accenture, in just 5 years, Australia’s digital economy is going to experience a 26.1% growth from 2015 to 2020.

Business around the globe are spending $174 billion on cloud technologies alone. Many organisations now have chief digital officers or have developed separate units that are responsible for driving digital strategy.

While the stats look promising, many business are still struggling with their organisational structures to facilitate the change towards digital transformation and to face the digital disruption challenges head on!

Innovation is transforming every business!

The phenomenon of digital disruption is not a new one! Nonetheless the opportunities and risks it presents change over time and those who make the first move, history remembers them as innovators!

Ever wondered how iPod replaced CDs, how Amazon defeated Barns and Nobles, why didn’t Marriot think of AirBnb, why cab drivers couldn’t come up with a brilliant idea that Uber did and how Netflix became the number one choice of Blockbuster’s long-time customers!

Businesses that are bold enough to innovate, serve as the poison pill for those that are still following the rules of the last century!

Speed of change remains critical!

When I say only the agile survive, it means that not do businesses need to innovate and change their business models, they need to do it at the speed of digital disruption, in order to survive!

From the rise of digital, to beginning of internet era, to social media and now mobile, technology, every couple of years, digital seems to be disrupting every aspect of our lives and that too at an unprecedented pace.

Instead of embracing and expanding the new digital wave, Kodak, Polaroid and many others spent their time and energies on defending the status quo. By the time, they realised digital photography is here to stay, it was already too late!

Rethinking value creation

One thing that’s common among all these innovators (Netflix, Uber, AirBnB and many others) is their ability to pin point a gap in existing products and services and filling it by rethinking a solution that creates greater value for the users! Most importantly the core of their investment is focused on the customer and supplier value proposition not product or services they serve!

Do you really think Marriot knows what a hotel industry is all about? Without having to own property, hire and train housekeeping staff or be on call 24/7, AirBnB was able to run a simpler and more efficient business model that was profitable to all parties (i.e. customers and suppliers) involved!

AirBnB’s impact on the hotel industry is yet another example! “Digital disrupters know how to rethink value creation and create a new market space that did not exist before!

Businesses can deliver value to customers using the five steps in the interaction curve: Buying, using, transferring, co-creating and integrating products and services! Business that are able to offer greater value in terms of novelty or efficiency on any of these customer touch points.

Understanding the magnitude of change

The magnitude of disruption can often potentially wipe out major businesses and sometimes entire industries.

Understanding the magnitude and the scale at which a new business model will affect your remains critical. Consider how YouTube’s “How to” videos is impacting formal education and how online booking for travel has almost eliminated the traditional role of travel agencies.

Personalisation of products, services and interactions

Today, consumers are actively approaching businesses they can interact with on a personal level. Digital Marketing analytics has made it possible for businesses to reach their customers with a personalised, relevant and targeted message, which they are more likely to welcome than cold calling or mass marketing methods. It’s the customers who dictate the business, not the other way around.

In the era of internet of things, wearable technology and social media, suitability, affordability and timeliness all play a vital role in delivering personalised service to the target market!

Timing is everything

Businesses that can anticipate the disruption before it happens, become leaders! Such businesses see themselves in a powerful position to launch themselves as pioneers in a field and sustain that image by continuing to innovate.

On the other hand, if the alternate solution does roughly the same or better job more quickly and at a cheaper cost, it will only be a matter of time that this new business model improves to a point that your solution will become irrelevant!

When Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix offered John Antioco, Blockbuster’s CEO to promote Netflix in its stores in return for Netflix running Blockbusters’ brand online, he got laughed out of the room. 10 years later Blockbuster went bankrupt and Netflix rose to a multi-billion dollar company.

Those who survive the wave of disruption, make a move before it’s too late to make any move at all.

Investment in digital infrastructure

Digital disrupters understand that technology alone cannot make all the difference. True disruption happens with the right integration of technology, people and processes with a change in the overall organisational structure and business model.

Whether it’s by hiring new talent, reinforcing new vision, or reallocating budget to new digital technologies and better customer interactions, business need to find a way to survive the wave of disruption quickly sweeping over the industry they serve.

Opportunities to survive digital disruption

Despite the eye-popping examples of digital disruptors vanquishing seasoned market players, According to Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation, 45% of company leaders believe that digital disruption is not a broad-level concern!

For those who do realise the threat it poses are in a better position to act on time. So what are the opportunities for those willing to survive digital disruption?

1. Disrupt the disruptor – Challenge the competition before it starts (Jet.com has become a threat to Amazon – the greatest disruptor of the 21st century)

2. Secure your position – “If you can’t be as good as them, buy them! (Facebook acquired WhatsApp) acquire

3. Absorb digital capabilities – Integrate online and offline customer interactions (AudiCity – Audi’s showrooms where you can custom design virtual car models on a digital screen)

4. Follow the footsteps – Learn the disruptors’ tricks and infuse a digital first mindset within your organisation.

Next wave of disruptive technologies

Digital Disruptors are always ready for the next wave of disruptive technologies that might hit their industry or affect their value chain. Preparing for a response towards potential threats and maximising the organisational capabilities to bring digital business innovation is what businesses need to do.

Even if you are a market leader today, to continue being so, businesses need to become their own disruptors!

Get out of your comfort zone and challenge your own silos and business processes, before someone else does!

Conclusion

Digital disruption is already happening and no one can escape it.

Applying high-level digital technologies to your business without understanding their potential impact, can be deadly. The need for businesses is to

  • Understand which companies are most prone to steal your share of the pie and how?
  • How can you disrupt your own business model to keep your competitors from narrowing the circle in the first place?
  • Can you use digital technologies to improve the customer experience throughout the value chain?
  • Do you have the right set of skills to compete in the age of connectivity, collaboration and rapidly evolving customer needs?

Digital disruption can be unpredictable and overwhelming, but those willing to take the risks are rewarded immensely!

Why It’s Important To Digitally Transform Your Business

“Digital Transformation” isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a core concept of my business model, and I hope by the time you’re done reading this you’ll know why it should be a core concept of your own business.

In essence, digital transformation is the process of transitioning your entire business from an old stale platform to a new digitally efficient and exciting model. There are so many different things that go into this but let’s look at how it works for sales and marketing.

Digital Transformation many times can bring your sales and marketing from the physical world of phone calls, fliers, and mailings to the Internet. These older “analog” techniques are still valid, but they are becoming much less effective over time. Why is that? E-commerce technologies have reached a point that they’re blowing physical advertising out of the water.

People are still buying things more than ever though, but where are they doing it? They’re buying on the web instead of walking into a store. Have you heard of “showrooming”? This is a term that retailers use for people who go to a store to get an experience with a physical product then search for the best price online. Best Buy in particular had this happen so much that they’ve made this part of their business model, hoping to push people to buy the product in the store through the Best Buy website. (Smart thinking Best Buy, way to digitally transform instead of continuing to fight it!)

What if you have a service business instead of a retail business? You’re still in trouble. Customers aren’t letting their fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages anymore. Instead they’re turning to Yelp and Angie’s List. Yelp and sites like it have a big advantage over older methods of service advertising. They not only can display more information, but they provide the social proof of customer reviews.

Customer reviews are the major force in demonstrating reputation in the online world. We used to call this word-of-mouth advertising, but now sites like Yelp allow a single person’s voice to reach your entire market (at least the ones who check Yelp, 132 million monthly visitors in Q1 2014 according to the site) and color other people’s perception of you for good or for ill. We like to call this “digital-mouth” advertising.

Basic Online Presence Is Not Enough

Perhaps you think you’re ahead of the curve. You have a website and some social media presence. Isn’t that enough? Sadly to say it isn’t. Many business websites don’t have much more information than a standard Yelp page. Social media is treated more like a billboard than a customer interaction platform. Worst of all, if a visitor wants to convert they have to go back to things like the telephone or basic email to get in touch with you. They violate one of my four pillars of digital transformation, the digital hook.

The mobile web has made it so easy to convert visitors that websites shouldn’t be called web sites anymore. Instead, I call them “customer acquisition engines.”

The key shift is that your online presence needs to move from a purely marketing standpoint toward both sales and marketing. Not only that, but customer data should be tracked over time to generate an ongoing relationship with an individual visitor, urging them to convert again and again until they become loyal customers.

Impossible you say? I assure you that with today’s technology it is quite possible. You may have seen some of the tactics yourself. If you use Facebook and don’t have an ad blocker on, try visiting a few business sites or talk about a topic a few times. Notice what ads you get on the side bar. Most of the time, you’re going to start seeing ads that relate to what you saw or talked about.

In fact, by merely visiting a site, companies can now start to get marketing data on you immediately. Technologies like tracking pixels can trace an individual visitor as they come and go from a site. This allows you to push ads about your business to them on other sites. When they come back, that information can be read and let the visitor pick up where they left off in the sales cycle.

Digital Transformation is Vital Now

With decreasing retail sales, more people buying online, and new sales and marketing tactics smashing competition through the digital space, the old business models can’t compete for much longer. If this article has sounded a chord of panic in you though, don’t worry because knowledge is power. Get started today and start the transformation now before you get out-transformed by your competitors!

Digital Marketing Trends for 2013

Digital marketing is ever-evolving, and as we move into the year 2013, it is evident that the technology to deliver the enterprise with digital at its core is here now. The challenge is to lead and marshal the talent and innovative culture needed to make it a reality. Given below are a few trends to watch out.

Increase in the number of Digital Marketing Agencies or Consultants

The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between the customer and the organization, putting customers in charge of the relationship. The pace of decisions and deployments for marketing automation software and services is booming. However most marketing teams are not yet ready to deal with the complexity of marketing automation nor are they capable of fully leveraging the digital transformation that is required. Due this and the unprecedented demand is contributing towards the increase in the number of Digital Marketing agencies or consultants.

Small and medium businesses are also realizing the power of content marketing and need consulting services to help with the proliferation of the marketing tools and technology available, so more and more organizations are turning to digital marketing agencies to preside over these efforts.

CMO and CIO Departments to strengthen their partnership

Technology is rapidly remaking marketing departments; marketing campaigns are morphing into enterprise digital media projects that encompass. Marketing budgets are growing to meet IT demand, it is critically important for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to collaborate in new ways and transform their organizations to drive business growth.

The Year of Mobile

Consumers are spending more time and money on their mobile devices than ever before; there are encouraging evidences which support consumer engagement via mobile. Brands are keen to leverage location technology, social media and other behavioral data to orchestrate their mobile marketing as it is generation lot of attention.

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

As marketers aspire to leverage cross-channel digital campaigns to deliver real-time results at a lower cost, integrated channel campaigns will take dominance. An integrated tool set that can convert unknown traffic to known traffic will leverage competitive advantage to most companies.

Data Driven Marketing

Data driven marketing will take prominence in the year ahead. An average B2B company uses, on average 6 different Marketing automation tools to manage a single marketing campaign, and all these tools provide the bulk of actionable data. Moreover, a company’s social network can now range into millions of potential unique contacts. The sheer number of people, accounts, and permutations in the data make engaging with that audience very daunting. At the same time, companies are under intense pressure to drive revenue, and tight budgets are forcing marketers to make informed data-driven decisions. Tools that will enable marketers to extract the insights from the detailed bulk data will actually serve modern marketing needs.

Optimized Cross Channel Customer Experience

This is what all marketers’ are focused on delivering. The customer journey should be seamless across channels and each should play to its strengths. To achieve this all your digital platforms must talk to each other and in sync with the overall marketing strategy.

Content marketing

The trend in Content Marketing is to focus less on preparing content that will sell and more on content that will educate. Instead of pitching products or services, delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent will work. Content writers and bloggers will be distinguished by the content they create and their influence reaches, not by their titles. There are a host of new decision engines, social curation platforms, content provisioning and production technologies and services emerging (e.g. Story stream, Smartology, iTrigga etc). The demand for content curation rapidly increasing, there is an interesting new set of platforms and services appearing that will enable new content models enhance content delivery by enhancing existing CMSs.

Other trends:

· email marketing will continue to growing at astonishing rates

· Paid search for B2B companies will become less popular as new ad platforms will emerge

· Google will continue to dominate the B2B search market

· The big four of the internet will be Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.