Digital Disruption – Coming Soon to Everything Near You

Blog by May 10, 2015

Steamroller for digital disruptionI love a good business buzz word and always watch with keen curiosity when a new one starts circling the water cooler, seeing if it’s going to stick.
One that has really stuck for me over the past couple of years was the topic of the recent Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) breakfast I attended in Canberra – Digital Disruption.

Shhhhhh, we don’t want to disturb it.

Well it’s not exactly that kind of disruption, though I am talking about something that could really annoy you and the rest of the industry you work in.  Yes that’s right – everybody, every industry.  Digital disruption is a fundamental change in how we do business, completely transforming sales distribution channels, service, products and entire industries.

In the words of Darren Wooley, founder of Trinity P3, AMI’s national chair and our keynote speaker at the breakfast ‘Picture it like a steam roller.  It’s coming regardless of what you do.  You can either wait to get steam rolled, or learn how to drive and keep on trucking.’

Being an active participant of consumerism in my spare time, over the last 20 years I have been the welcome recipient of many digital disruptions to the industries I buy from:

Music industry

Then:  Buying CD’s at Sanity
Now:   Accessing every album I want via subscription based music streaming service Spotify

Travel industry

Then: Visiting my local travel agent to book a flight
Now:  Booking a flight on Webjet

Then:  Going to the mall to buy a shirt
Now:  Shopping online to get a better deal

Banking industry

Then:  Taking cash and cheques into the bank
Now:   Online banking via my iphone

Media industry
Then:   Buying a printed newspaper
Now:    Interactive tablet versions of my local newspaper for free

And in the marketing industry where I have chosen to create and run a business, digital disrupters such as Google, Facebook, Youtube and E-commerce has completely changed the way we communicate with and influence customers to buy forever.

To summarise the three key outtakes from Darren’s presentation for all marketers and brands:

  1. Brands are no longer in charge – customers are. They have a voice and the power through digital to use it.  You better be good at what you do or they’re going to be telling you and their friends all about it.
  2. It’s no longer good enough for brands to just deliver on customer needs – through the use of behavioural digital data and insights your customer will expect you to know their needs before they even know themselves.  So you better know or you’ll be redundant.
  3. All marketers need to be in the customer experience business – as marketers we are often handed the advertising budget and told to get more customers in the door.  It’s exceptional and unique products and customer experiences that work harder than any advertising campaign ever could.  This is the key to harnessing the holy grail of positive word of mouth that now makes and breaks brands like wild fire in digital.

So learn how to drive the steam roller OR you could just continue to wait and let it roll over you. It will be a slow and painful death as you eventually go out of business.

How is digital disruption shaping your industry?  I’d love to hear from you on what’s changing the way you do business.


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