Digital disruption is happening all around us, and everyone is seemingly changing their business model. While I am generally skeptical of marketing hype, significant digital trends are clearly occurring, and every B2B marketer should monitor the relevancy and cost-effectiveness of their business model.
- An interesting read, the Harvard Business Review article, What So Many Strategists Get Wrong About Digital Disruption, offers a cautionary view of digital disruption.
From my experience, the following 3 digital trends could impact your business:
- Internet of Things (IoT) – “Smart” (i.e., intelligent and connected) devices resulting in more capable products and dramatically more information about the operations.
- Consumerization – B2B users seeking “consumer” experience when buying, using a product or service and/or interacting with suppliers.
- New Sales & Supply Arrangements– Using 3rd party resources (and typically leveraging the internet) to deliver product or services more effectively and/or efficiently.
Each trend represents a different set of issues – and potential change – for your business model:
Internet of Things (IoT) – Should your company develop “smart” devices, and if so, to what degree? Can – or should – your company be an IoT leader à la GE or John Deere? If not, then what is your company’s role? Is there a services opportunity?
Consumerization – Should your company change your user interfaces and user experience, including customer service, and if so, how? What is the role of digital channels for promotion and sales and their impact on traditional ones? Are product and pricing innovations possible given customers’ changing expectations?
New Sales & Supply Arrangements – Are there new sales channels that are more efficient and/or effective? New logistical services that are more efficient and/or effective? If and how can your company leverage cloud computing?
B2B marketers face many options and greater risk in today’s digital world – delay and lose to competition, but act rashly and lose resources and time. I believe marketers can make better decisions by monitoring these 3 major trends and their potential impact.