It’s true that each of the ‘3 Degrees of Disruption’ (covered in a previous blog article) will cause waves of discontent with traditional users, value chains and routes to market. But ultimately, their ‘value creation’ needs to outweigh the ‘value erosion’. There’s a multiple of indices to this value – with wealth/prosperity, employment, competitiveness, innovation, sustainability and wellbeing at the more esoteric and philosophical level. For the more everyday marketer there’s market-share, customer sentiment, revenue streams and lifetime customer spend. The list across the two levels is extensive.
However, these two levels are not quite as disparate as they seem. For the disruption to fully succeed, the marketing function has to combine the attributes and qualities of both levels to vision, lobby, evangelise and trade their way to success. This is crucial as the key influencer group often includes commentators, media opinion formers, industry leaders and practitioners of the ‘current normal’ – as well as the ‘next normal’.
Take automated vehicles and transport as an interesting example. Whist there’s definitely a provocative user story there, it’s easy to ignore the impact on other stakeholders – town planners, insurance companies, driving schools, safety bodies, regulators/policy makers. For this disruption to be realised, it’s crucial that these stakeholders get on-board for the journey (excuse the pun!). If not, they will dissent, distract and deflect the evolution to death.
Marketing leaders need to articulate and quantify the two levels of value using an exciting and ever-expanding range of digital, social, experience and content tools. But, many marketers go into execution mode too quickly, without establishing robust stories and stakeholder visions at the outset. It’s essential that they’re developed in the early days – even though they can be recalibrated over time.
Let’s explore the pathway to Map, Message and Migrate to Disruption:
It takes tech experience, marketing dexterity and a Jackanory-mindset to tackle the two levels. The pioneers of Disruptive Technology will typically demonstrate rapid change in terms of price/performance/choice relative to alternative approaches. Or they experience breakthroughs and improvements in capability that were previously unachievable. Dramatising this for the whole influencing and decision making group is arguably marketing’s most important task.