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Weathering Digital Disruption

2.18.2016 Josh Schwartz
Have you considered how Digital Disruption may be affecting your business? Read on for insights that can help you navigate the future of your brand.

There’s a scary new catchphrase trending in business and marketing circles: Digital Disruption. While decidedly ominous, it simply means that the Internet has changed the way people find and interact with brands, and the way those brands operate and compete. Any innovation that fundamentally alters the marketplace causes its own flavor of Disruption. Looking back, the Printing Press, Steam Engine, Automobile, Telephone, Airplane, and Assembly Line all disrupted the way that businesses succeed or fail in the marketplace.

Change can be scary, but it also creates rare opportunities for those who are informed and flexible. We’re going to look at a few ways Digital Disruption is shaking things up to help you understand how it is affecting your business, and how Data-Driven Marketing can help.

Everything is Faster

At this point everyone knows that technology is moving at an ever-increasing pace. We live in an age where the latest gadget is announced and has been one-upped before it even hits the shelves. It’s hard to know how to compete in a world like that. Unique ideas quickly turn into crowded industries, and there is always someone doing what you do, and doing it better, or cheaper, or both. Even companies with revolutionary products who beat everyone to market and have ample budgets often struggle to be heard.

Global Competition

If you think competition can’t get any stiffer, think again. Digital infrastructure is spreading rapidly to developing countries all over the world, and they’re eager to join the fray. That means new markets are opening up, but it also means new competitors who understand those markets better than you. Digital Disruption has turned the earth into a wild frontier where Gangnam Style is the #1 video on YouTube and Nicolas Cage is a megastar in China.

Individualization

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about individuals in the context of globalization, but the fact is the larger the overall market gets, people increasingly want to be seen for who they are. Brands will succeed and fail by their ability to create timely, personal interactions in a way that feels genuine and meaningful. Email blasts that read like Mad Libs won’t cut it. Big Data may sound a lot like Big Brother, but it actually helps us understand particular people and their needs in unprecedented ways.

Data is Your Friend

In light of all this, if you think you have what it takes to effectively communicate your brand message without any data-derived insight, more power to you. The consumer landscape is broad, varied, and mutable; if you don’t know who your market is and what they actually want, by the time you get to the party, you’ll be painfully outdated. It’s more important than ever to have the right data that can help you correctly define your audience and your position within the market.

In our experience, every time a major innovation causes a new round of Disruption it heralds the arrival of a new business paradigm. After Henry Ford fired up his assembly line, economies of scale that had never been imagined took price competition to a whole new level. We, and many others, believe that individually targeted Marketing powered by data analysis is the new standard by which businesses will be measured. It will enable you to react swiftly to rapidly shifting trends and avoid costly guesswork. It will give you a voice in the multitude, and it will increase the effectiveness of your message by engaging consumers as individuals.

Digital Disruption is introducing a lot of changes, but the business world has always been a place that demands adaptability. Technology has always impacted market strategies, and that isn’t going to stop. Rather than being overwhelmed, take advantage of the powerful new tools at your fingertips and use Data-Driven Marketing to make your company and your brand stronger than ever.

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