In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Disruption may be a major motivator for business change, but it need not be a bad thing, according to the practice leader for Deloitte Digital, Steven Hallam.
Speaking at the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium in Sydney, Hallam delivered an update on last year’s Digital Disruption - Short Fuse, Big Bang report, which estimated two-thirds of the Australian economy would be significantly disrupted within the next five years.
“Disruption quite often has very negative connotations,” Hallam said. “But I actually think it is quite positive. I think consumers and businesses do derive a lot of value from how disruption affects the marketplace.”
The critical question was how to make disruption real and positive for an organisation, while also ensuring that the organisation could keep up with the rapid evolution of disruptive trends, he said.
“We’ve also been quite shocked about how quickly that disruption has occurred,” Hallam said. “The companies investing in digital are accelerating their revenues and increasing quite a lot, and those that are not are actually significantly decreasing.”
While the five prevalent disruptive trends for 2014 were social, mobile, analytics, cloud and cyber, these had become necessary but not sufficient to create a successful digital strategy and to make a positive experience. Hallam said organisations are now heading into an Act II of digital disruption, with five new attributes.
He described the first of these as the unbundling of services, a trend that started in media and was now moving to other industries.
A second trend was for everything to be delivered on demand, as demonstrated by the recent installation by cosmetics company, L’Oreal, of vending machine in the New York Subway.
“Supply chains are shortening and everything is becoming on demand,” Hallam said. “And things like are essentially shortening supply chains.”
A third trend was the rise of ‘pro-sumers’, where consumers were having greater impact on product design and marketing. While this trend was first identified as far back as the 1980s, Hallam said organisations now were better able to harness crowds of followers, as demonstrated by Telstra with its crowd-sourced support service.
Hallam’s fourth trend was the rise of the ‘trust economy’ – another older trend that was becoming more visible.
“It is moving from brand-based trust to personal trust, which is probably the biggest change in how business models need to adapt to this,” he said.
Finally, Hallam said that scalable learning was changing the way new products could be innovated.
“In the industrial revolution, it was all about the factory-based model and building scale,” Hallam said. “In the digital revolution, it is all about mass customisation and your ability to out-learn your competitors, and build ecosystems where you can outlearn others.
“This turns it from project-based work to continual momentum.”
Hallam said this echoed the words of Sun Microsystems co-founder, Bill Joy, who said the smartest people are often not the ones in your company.
“The real trick of the digital business model is how do you bring that intelligence inside your business – how do you gather it and how do you harness it and how do you add value from it,” Hallam said.
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