5 steps to avoid product death in the era of disruption

The word disruption has been around for the last couple of years, and has been been tossed around in varied frequencies. Speaking at the Digital Marketing Conference in Indonesia, Piotr Jakubowski, CMO of Go Jek said, “Disruption is not new. In the estate of digital and technology, disruption hasn’t changed.”

The difference between innovation and disruption is that innovation takes a product and just makes it better, he added.

Taking the example of digital platforms such as Airbnb, Snapchat and many more, Jakubowski explained that innovation is the key factor that has lead to the growth of such platforms. Without this, “death” is in the near future. Citing Vine as an example which recently went through trouble waters and “death”, he said:

The reason behind such ‘deaths’ is because people did not move fast enough to innovate.

He further explained that innovation can however only be supported with the help of efficient adaptibility and constant speed. This is what gives marketers the opportunity to have advantage over other products in the market.

Marketers should ideally take full responsible when it comes to digital innovation and leadership.  However, while a significant number of marketers said that CMO of a company is responsible for the digital push of the company, Jakubowski said that every single individual in the company who has access to the product is responsible for its growth and innovation - irrespective of the department.  Being self reliant is the key.

As for relying on agencies for innovation, he said:

Creative agencies support us with a different and better point of view. However, we cannot rely on them to be the one source of information. If we are trying to move forward, it has to start with us.

Moving forward, he highlighted five key steps to follow to ensure that marketers are ahead in the game of product innovation.

  • It is not digital, it is reality.

“Stop calling it a digital execution because digital today happens all the time. It is not about digital marketing, it is about marketing effectively in a digital world,” he said.

He highlighted the reality of the digital world is that every single person is connected on one single platform - the Internet. It is connected future, which has drastically changed the customer journey.  It, therefore, becomes critical for marketers to understand how consumers choose their products.

“Product purchases now majorly rely on references,” he said. “It is therefore imperative that to know who the consumer is and the kind of digital content they consume.”

While marketers understand the need to connect with consumers on basic level, they often fail in mapping the customer journey. Therefore, the question is how does one establish a strong connected with the correct audience in the scattered digital space?

  • Become one with your consumer.

Innovation in the marketing world comes down to understanding who the customer is. “99% of the marketers do not market in the world we are living in,” he said. As such, it is important for marketers to understand what their targeted consumers are watching and consuming.

“This holds true for every market, irrespective of the product you are marketing,” he said.

Citing the example of Twitch, a live video streaming platform for video games, he said, “There are 100 million people every month who tune into this platform. This is where the consumers are and this is the type of content they are watching.”

He therefore questioned the credibility of 30-second and 45-second video ,and advertisements.

“When we create content there is no need for time limit. The part that needs to be addressed is the strategy to establish customer journey. When you know the kind of content customers are watching, take that time to sit back and market yourself in that space accordingly,” he added.

  • Break the rules.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules, you learn by falling over. If you follow the rule we will not be disrupting anything,” said Jakubowski

He explained that digital gives marketers the opportunity to build larger environment. Explaining how marketers should not shy away from failure, he said, “We fail all the time and one of the things that people are scared of is trying something new. Do not be afraid that it will not work. Do it fast and experiment with it.  This is how you will innovate.

  • Data is your friend.

Jakubowski added that while data is in abundance, one needs to find the right kind of data and build on it. He stresses on the importance of constantly updating one's knowledge by grasping data from different platforms. By doing this, he explains, weaving an effective marketing strategy becomes easy.

“I have been learning to find the right pieces of data and focus in on building on that being able to look for the right pieces of data and focus on building on that. Data at the end of the day is your friend," he added.

  • Be the champion.

In the digital world, things become obsolete in six months or less, therefore it becomes important for marketers to formalise streaming. He explained that digital marketing requires one to be adaptive to be change. It is therefore important for marketers to be updated with the latest trends.

Jakubowski explained that marketers need to keep up with the competition in the digital front.

You need to keep up with the pace of innovation otherwise somebody else will. If you don’t keep up and innovate, you’ll be taken over.