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Beyond Marketing: My Highlights

As soon as I started reading Tim Walter’s new white paper, Beyond Marketing, recently posted on Acquia’s web site, I was glad I had a yellow highlighter handy.

I use a digital marker, of course, but for me it serves the same purpose as the old, analog version -- the one that smells like homework: to capture ideas that are worth dwelling on.

And there are plenty in this report.

Walters, a partner and principal analyst with the Digital Clarity Group in New York, lets us know right from the subtitle that this is not going to be a cursory survey of trendy marketing memes: “Why Digital Disruption Requires a Deeper Transformation.”

In fact, he notes that although some second-wave of commentators have scoffed at Clayton Christensen's use of the term "disruption," that is exactly what is going on.

To disrupt simply means ‘to cause something to be unable to continue in a normal way," he reports after consulting a dictionary.

And he doesn't soft-pedal the consequences of looking the other way.

That was the first sentence I highlighted.

Beyond Digital

Then Tim gets into the why and how of the digital revolution: how digital innovation literally compress time and space.

Think about how the bank window morphed into an ATM, then into an app on your smartphone. Or how entertainment went from stage, to cinema, to television, to streaming video and multi-screening.

bank windwo morphed

In these cases, and many others, digital disruption removed friction, transformed the nature and value of information, and changed the meaning of consumer.

This last point attracted a lot of yellow on my digital copy of the white paper.

So did his thoughts on what this means to any organization that wants to remain relevant: we all have to "develop the ability to sense, understand, and respond to changing market conditions and customer expectations with extraordinary speed, agility, and flexibility."

The key is not more, or more intense, marketing. It's delivering consistent, coherent, and contextual experiences.

And remembering that consumers are now in charge, and they like it.

That kind of digital transformation resonates with me, and apparently with MRM//McCann CEO Michael McLaren, whose quote attracted my highlighter as one worth remembering.

digital transformation

This requires speed and agility, of course. But as Tim nears his conclusion, he suggests something else is even more important.

speed and agility

Whatever else you do, he concludes, your organization must be ready to respond quickly.

There's much more in this paper, of course, including an extended analysis of how "strategic inflection points" lead to success or failure during times of massive paradigm shifts.

I recommend you read the entire white paper (it's only 18 pages), to see what you get out of it.

Don't forget to use a marker, and let me know the highlights that you think are worth noting in our comments below.

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