How do you transform disruptors?
Adaptive marketing for business success
What can blue chips learn from disruptors like Airbnb, The Million Dollar Shave Club and Uber? The direct relationship they have with consumers. These companies are not dependent on retail structures, and are therefore in a position to make immediate use of the competitive advantage of "client knowledge". They are data professionals.
Blue chips are busy building and expanding data intelligence, and transforming their core business, digital brands are increasingly pushing into the physical world. Startups such as MyMuesli, meanwhile, have opened stores and are thinking about gastronomy experiences, while Amazon and Check24 are among the largest investors TV advertising.
The latest digital disruptors, on the other hand, face the great challenge of becoming a brand at all. Despite all the changes, some constants remain: High visibility and a strong brand image remain necessary conditions for success.
In order to be as consumer-oriented as possible, brand management today has to be based on data. But this does not mean neglecting classic channels; rather, it is the media experience through all contact points that shapes a brand’s image. Only those who know the tension between digital and analogue contact points with consumers – and know how to play with the right brand experiences – will be successful. Three prerequisites are essential for the transformation of communication.
1. Being able to see clearly – the readability of data
Consumers today have access to a vast array of information and services. More complexity and the speed and flow of information in everyday life increases the desire for individualized communication, tailored to the situation.
This makes it necessary for advertisers to recognize individual and spontaneous journeys, and to activate them across all media. For this purpose, data silos must be connected and made readable. A fragmented media landscape with walled gardens and separated ad technologies makes this one of the central challenges of the future.
What we need: A technological platform that enables data-driven intelligence on target audiences. Clients’ own and third-party data must be integrated. Iterative learning must be possible, along with direct readability of a campaign’s success, by measuring marketing and business outcomes instead of media KPIs.
2. Activate cross-media and consumer-centric insights
For agencies, the aim is to capture signals and triggers sent out by consumers, quickly and as completely as possible, and then to respond with relevant messages across all channels. We need experts who have knowledge about data, algorithms and ad technologies, who develop strategies from the insights gained. New organizational structures must ensure that real-time campaign control takes place directly and in interaction with all media. It is important to accompany clients along this journey, helping set up their “data blueprint”, enabling them to control and assess their communications.
But a word of caution: With the possibility of real-time digital measurement, the greatest danger lies in limiting data and results-based media planning to insights from the digital world. Brand growth requires the maximum exploitation of buyer potential over the long term, including more traditional media. Brands must have visibility in order to be successful. An effect-based optimization of even classical channels is crucial for the optimization of advertising budgets.
Conclusion: Even in traditional channels, it’s essential to urgently shift thinking from performance indicators to outcomes.
3. Create brand relevance with increasing ad ‘blindness’
The goal of effective brand management has always been to link brands and people more closely. To achieve this, brands must be relevant to consumers and offer added value. According to a UN study, 85 percent of consumers expect brands to make an active contribution to improving their lives. Dove, for example, communicates its mission very clearly: a new understanding of beauty and self-confidence. BrandZ research has quantified the impact of such a clear purpose on brand growth: Brands that manage to improve people's lives in real or perceived ways benefit from triple the brand value growth of other brands. The greatest change in digital disruption is, therefore, not the exponential speed of technological progress, but its consequence – the cultural change that affects all aspects of life, all over the world.
Permanent, successful adaptation is the key to future success. Within media agencies, a completely new area has been developed to meet these requirements. This evolution is logical, as it relies on the fundamental competencies and resources of their business model: Data intelligence, contact management and a deep understanding of consumers. In addition, there must be an understanding of how communication works and how brands are built.
Mastering today's and tomorrow's communication challenges is more complex than ever before. It’s in the hands of clients and media agencies to build new trust and strong partnerships. In this way, the great potential for future-oriented, innovative market development can be developed jointly for all clients, from blue chips to medium-sized companies to disruptors.