In the past, when companies witnessed rising levels of uncertainty and volatility in their industry, a perfectly rational strategic response was to observe for a little while, letting others incur the costs of experimentation and then moving as the dust settled. Such an approach represented a bet on the company’s ability to “outexecute” competitors. In digital scrums, though, it is first movers and very fast followers that gain a huge advantage over their competitors. The reward? Three-year revenue growth (of over 12 percent), twice that of companies playing it safe with average reactions to digital competition.
First movers and the fastest followers develop a learning advantage. They relentlessly test and learn, launch early prototypes, and refine results in real time—cutting down the development time in some sectors from several months to a few days. They also scale up platforms and generate information networks powered by artificial intelligence at a pace that far outstrips the capabilities of lower-pulsed organizations.
What does this mean for marketers and brands?
1ne: You can’t play it safe and “wait to see what happens”. You need to be bold and experiment.
2wo: Have a company process set up to review and learn from missteps. This is especially true in organizations that have a high turnover of emarketing people.
3hree: You can never “stand pat” with digital because it’s always evolving. You may be on top of current trends now, but in a couple of weeks you could be toast.
4our: Analytics should never just be about numbers, it should tell a story as well as identify opportunities.