Entering the Next Phase of Digital Transformation
Fueling the blur of combat is a radical shift in brand growth models. Within the span of most executives’ careers, advances in technology have reshaped how consumers engage with brands. In the US and UK, more than 60% of consumers now discover products online, and 85% of millennials trust reviews from a faceless stranger more than traditional advertising. The same technology advances have dramatically altered the competitive landscape. CMOs can no longer forecast forward their current profit pools only by looking to fill in geographies and nearby product market segments. That process risks ignoring the industry’s disruptive trends, as profit pools shift quickly from products to services to experiences and communities, and as mass products evolve into new segments with accelerating personalization. Growth strategy today requires consumer products companies to look “present forward” and “future back”—to create a faster horse while envisioning the car—in order to define new growth platforms beyond their current products, business model and capabilities.
N ot so long ago, marketing consumer products felt like a genteel game of lawn tennis: Established competitors invested in creative with long lead times, using proven models of TV and big-box retail, alongside trusted agency partners. Today, it’s more like a sprawling contest of mixed martial arts, with new competitors playing by different rules; an unprecedented complexity of channels, content and partners; and a step change in speed and ways of working that has punches flying at incumbent consumer products companies.