Memo 2 from Webtrends Engage: to survive, companies must act instead of react


Chris Stutzman
Chris Stutzman

Chris Stutzman from Forrester Research gave a compelling presentation today at Webtrends Engage in San Francisco called “Adapt or Die.”

In it, he noted that the world is changing. And just in case you weren't certain of that fact, consider how Google TV has pushed the television industry to accelerate the development of interactive TV.

And now the tablet exceeds all expectations continuously. Reforecasted estimates now say that 150 million tablets will be sold by 2015. That's huge!

So, how do you connect the dots — touch points, forums, communities — that make up today's complex digital world?

Forrester Research survey showed that:

  • Two out of three CMOs said they struggled to implement digital strategies. Only 4% said they were able to take advantage and push ahead. Most were held back by a variety of measures and internal complications.

  • Two out of four said they would reorganise this year to fix the situation, which is what we all do when in crisis. This is not the answer!

Tomorrows brands cannot be led by yesterday's organisations, he said.

Five bad habits have been identified:

  1. Complacency (e.g., Blockbuster Video). Solution? Accept change.
  2. Conformity (e.g., airlines). Solution? Dare the status quo.
  3. Analysis paralysis (e.g., McDonalds). Solution? Act continuously.
  4. Hands-off management. Solution? Participate personally.
  5. Silos of knowledge (e.g., General Motors). Solution? Tear down boundaries.

So, what should we be doing? Adaptive marketers require:

  1. Inspired intelligence. For example, the “Microsoft was my idea” campaign. Nine million people contributed to essentially the world's biggest consumer group.

  2. Empowerment. Pizza Hut and Dell have launched their own social media “command centre.” Enabling people to have more visual, intuitive data. They have learned that if we learn from social network comments, it can lead to controlling costs of call centres, can help direct product development, and steer future focus.

  3. Personalised service. Knowing all about our customers and personalising the service we give to them. Learn to be niche marketers rather than mass marketers.

Adaptive intelligence helps connect the dots!

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