The ’11th’ And ’12th’ Tip For Finding Love In The Time Of Digital Disruption

The ’11th’ And ’12th’ Tip For Finding Love In The Time Of Digital Disruption
SHARE
THIS



Partnering in order to survive digital disruption is a must.The old chairman iterate’s here on his 10 tips for partnering by adding tips 11 and 12. They’re pearlers.

 TIP 11 :  If you can’t afford consultants et al, then ‘partner’ like a start-up

If you  don’t have the advice and cash on hand that the big companies like Woolworths and Coles do then you need to get creative and partner like a start-up does.

Typically start-ups look to do deals with their suppliers which trade off things like early access to technology for the things they need but can’t afford. If you trade with your brand and other assets such partnerships can be very fruitful.

When Three Drunk Monkey’s (today ‘The Monkeys’ – don’t ask) , an innovative start-up creative agency started quite a few years back they needed a client to experiment on and someone who would be a good reference client. U-Bank, also starting up, had very little money. U-Bank were a NAB incubation so there was a great reference point there, and a U-Bank really wanted to do left field. It was a neat partnership. A meeting of needs of two creative groups, both with small bank accounts but big aspirations.

Incumbent companies need to rethink partnering. But it isn’t easy. All those rules and maybe a board that thinks you’ll be giving away secret recipes or who don’t think the value exchange is ever good enough. Classically, a typical board member might say to you  “your brand value is way to high to be working with something so small and risky”. A more astute board member would ask “how risky is it for you to not be making the odd bet on these strange creative types” , ” what’s the risk of doing nothing” and “we have to take risk , how do we make sure we do it in a way that doesn’t take the whole company out”.

horse

Don’t bet the company on one horse and you’ll be fine

A good way to start in this sort of partnering activity is to throw all your suppliers on the table and think how you can exchange stuff with them and not buy from them with cash anymore….or buy their stuff with less cash at least. You will probably land a few interesting deals and the practice will be perfect for moving  onto the partners who can help you with innovation.

This is  harder. Give up the idea that you make the money and therefore that gives you the upper hand. Just get out there , do a bit of research and pick a few which seem to fit your mould. You will have a ton to offer them…brand, people with experiences, problems to solve, maybe a little money. They will have a ton to offer you…unencumbered thinking, loose, wild and creative. A match made in heaven. Until it isn’t. Then move on to someone else. You haven’t got much time.

If you think that partnering is just for the small end of town, look no further than Telstra, who have made an art form of it in the past few years as they shed their crusty image and gather a bit of innovation momentum. You may not have noticed but Telstra does lots of interesting partnering. They partnered with Lithium very early when they were just a small start up. It was a great match. Telstra needed to expedite innovation in its call centres and customer service and Lithium, born of a particularly smart founder who was trying to  solve the problem of poor call centre experience in his video gaming business, had the perfect emerging technology. As a founding partner Telstra were a great global reference and a partner that was up for experimenting. Fast forward to today and Lithium is a major emerging force in customer crowd servicing platforms and  data automation and their technology is saving Telstra lots (not sure how much lots is but we think it could be getting to the $100m mark and over).

So give true ‘partnering’ a think and get someone on it quick.

 TIP 12 : Don’t keep secrets

Keeping secrets is a  sign that you haven’t worked things out, no matter how big you are and how much expensive advice you are getting. You may  ultimately  be sewing a ‘seed of doom by insulation’ if you keep it up.

What secret do you have really that someone else hasn’t already developed somewhere else? Almost certainly someone has. Almost certainly everyone here knows about it as well. The secret, which isn’t secret, is commercial execution using your unique assets and people.

There is a Daze of Disruption rule – not yet published – about Great Chefs. It says you need to act like a  great chef because great chef’s are loved everywhere and everyone uses their recipes. But can anyone really cook like them?….usually not. That’s what being a great chef is – execution! And swearing lots.

Rule27

Openness is at the heart of ‘partnering’. When you truly partner, you’re creating through the process of sharing your ideas openly. If you keep secrets and the eco-system comes to think of you as ‘secretive’ then  lots of great potential partners are likely to pass you by. And not just because they don’t realise you’re there because you’re being so careful  hiding in a corner with your ‘precious’ ideas. They  won’t want to work with you because people don’t like or trust people who are secretive.

Some of the very big companies in town think that they are ‘partnering’ and arguably they aren’t. They’ve got some great consultants assisting who have recommended that they form ‘partnerships’ with other big and powerful groups. Often  these ‘partnerships’ are based on mutual data sharing that will create a sort of ‘rule the marketing world’ scenario.

Woolies possibly thinks its pretty cool to have a ‘partnership’ with a big bank and with a big airline  (with lots of frequent flyer data) and with a big social media company . That would be a knockout  data set if combined! Which it is. But to the world, its not partnering. Its a club. And not the sort of club that we like because most everyone else is not allowed in. It feels a bit like an old boys club or the Masons.

Is this Woolies just acting  like that big bad ol’ Woolies that cornered distribution through the 2000s so well they could lean on everyone in the supply chain and send half of them broke if they didn’t bend to their will. Now they are just going to corner customer data and do the same thing but in a digital fashion. This feels even more sinister than last time.  Btw, farmers are at the end of the Woolies supply chain and doing farmers in is not a good look.

This isn’t  ‘true partnering’. They are just doing what they used to do except they are now doing it on digital steroids using some of the ‘smartest help around’ and ‘great tech’.  So points all around for use of tech and ideas I guess and using their money and market power to keep themselves in front. Its going to work for a while. And they are doing really interesting stuff – not that I’d actually know because most of it is secret right.

But ask them to share some of their learnings  and the walls come up like the old security screens in a bank when someone pulls a gun. Its a pity because  if they were a little bit more open they could help lots of other companies in Australia get out of their funk and even help the economy along. Rising tides …. bigger ponds. Companies like Woolies should take responsibility for helping the business sector in this way.

Acting secret like this is  very ‘old world board motivated paranoia’.  Its tough being big. You can’t be seen to be big and powerful anymore. You have to do some good.  Real good. Which means more than hiring a great director of social responsibility and running the office on a low carbon footprint. Being ‘good’ would be helping other companies, even competitors, and growing the economy overall so everyone benefits.

If Woolies, Coles Qantas and the big banks keep acting in this way, they are going to succeed spectacularly…. in taking more control of what is effectively an extremely ‘small pond’ – Australia. The problem with that is that digital is a global distribution game. The only real route to survival for local players – big or small – is to make the pond bigger and bigger. The only way to do this is to collaborate, partner and ‘go wide’ – global.

Im sure a manager from one of these brands might argue something different here: that they a  their plan of  owning more of the pond is ‘good’ for everyone. So if we were once just a supermarket brand, lets now become a bank,  an insurance firm, a media buyer,  a chemist and so on. We could do that if we ‘own enough data’ because we can service customers better than anyone else, right?  Its efficient?  Good for everyone? Deja vu.

shark

Big fish small pond only has a limited strategic life. Digital is a global game so Australian companies need to think a lot bigger, even if they think they are big already.

A neat example unfolding before our eyes which these guys should take note of is video streaming. Seven, Nine, Foxtel, Fairfax, Quickflix, Ten and all the other local media players had one chance before Netflix ably assisted by Google and a few others came in – partner. But  somehow they all  ended upretreating to their corner after a bit of early chit chat and put a plan together that was going to see their play come out as the winner.

What we have developing now is what is commonly termed by experts in the  business as  ‘a bigger than average  cluster fx8k’. Maybe there will be a local winner – doubtful as you suspect Netflix can wipe them out if they put their resources and mind to it. But if any Australian players do survive  they will be so depleted by the local  “battle of the midgets” that they will have well and truly missed any chance  to ‘go-wide’ and create real value for their shareholders and Australia.

No one can own all the data. All the big companies who are vying to own the datasphere in Australia are going to run into each other pretty soon. They are already starting to overlap in all sorts of areas. Lines are getting blurred. Boardrooms are getting tense.

There is no question that if Australian companies, especially some of the really big ones, don’t stop acting parochial and start partnering properly  – including at times,  but not limited to,  their most vile of longstanding enemies – then they are toast. Not today maybe, but soon.

Telstra, which was once in my top 3 most hated Australian Iconic brands (NRMA and Qantas were the other two), has an interesting approach to secrecy. They pretty much don’t keep anything that secret anymore. “Why bother”, says Gerd Schenkel, who is the enigmatic head of their digital group. “There are  hardly any real secrets developed here and the its not the tech or the idea that’s the problem – these ideas and technologies are everywhere. Its getting them into a viable commercial package that is the really hard part, and to do that even we need to get good partners. We can’t do everything”.

No one can.

Telstra is a very interesting example of a company  that was so ‘gone for all money’ a couple of years back and has actually transformed itself to the  point where it stands a chance of surviving the gathering storms of disruption – at least for a few years. I once viscerally hated them, and nearly everyone else did as well. I still remember that ‘Mexican bloke’  telling me ‘how good we had it’ and trying to get my net connection fixed for about 2 days each time it went down – which was often.

That something so big and monstrously stuffed only a few years back can transform in that time should provide hope to everyone in business, big and small.

Telstra still have a ton of warts. But they’ve definitely changed. Just hang out in the cafe at the bottom of Liverpool St in Sydney where their marketing and digital offices are . You’ll get run down by the young (natives) and the old (converts) getting stuff done around you. You will literally get knocked over and its noisy. They’re intense and interested in things.

I remember visiting the Telstra offices at 400 George St  4 years ago a few times and sitting in the Cafe downstairs  with a lot of slow motion cardigan wearers who were obviously miserable.What happened?

So big or small you can change. Telstra might not make it. Schenkel reckons it’s probably touch and go. “We wake up most morning’s pretty worried about the stuff we have to get done that day to stay in front of things….you can’t take a break and success actually causes more problems….you need to be paranoid.”

But the staff don’t look paranoid. They look pretty engaged. I never thought I’d say Telstra was an interesting story. They fixed my internet recently, at 3am in the morning….really quickly and politely. Stuff like that can make you change your mind about things. Schenkel says that being successful is first base.

” If you’re not successful now,  you’re probably dead already”.

That might be taking things a bit far. Even I hang onto hope for companies still stuck in their old ways. Everyone can change. Telstra did.

Schenkel is one of about 65 local and overseas speakers who will be talking about this stuff at Daze of Disruption, May 18-19, Belvior St Theatre, Sydney. Click Here for more information.

 

 Get the  other 10 Tips by clicking here:

 

 

Daze_mrec_7_Sensible-2

03-27_DazeofDisruption (1)-page-001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Freeview Recognised At International HbbTV Awards
  • Marketing
  • Media

Freeview Recognised At International HbbTV Awards

Freeview Australia has been awarded Best Marketing or Promotion of an HbbTV Based Service at the inaugural HbbTV Awards, announced last week in Rome. Run by the HbbTV Association, the global awards attracted 71 entries from 17 countries and recognise the best adoption of HbbTV (hybrid broadcast broadband TV), technical excellence and commercial advantage. Freeview […]

D’Marge Partners With Virgin For New Edition Of ‘Shut Up & Take My Money’ Mag
  • Media

D’Marge Partners With Virgin For New Edition Of ‘Shut Up & Take My Money’ Mag

After its debut attempt at print, Aussie publisher D’Marge has rolled the dice again on its first ever print product. Shut Up & Take My Money flagrantly celebrates materialism and the good life, with the new edition seeing the magazine’s editorial team travel to Apple’s futuristic new headquarters in Cupertino, California for the launch of the iPhone […]

New Conference To Reveal Purchasing Power Of Aussie Mums
  • Marketing

New Conference To Reveal Purchasing Power Of Aussie Mums

Australian mums are a powerful, highly educated, cashed-up and discerning group that are using the power of the internet and social media to make – or break – brands. Mums don’t just buy a brand because of its price or availability – they use the power of online reviews, their knowledge about brand’s ethical behaviour […]

How The AFL Won The Social Media Grand Final (But The NRL Scored With Macklemore)
  • Marketing
  • Media

How The AFL Won The Social Media Grand Final (But The NRL Scored With Macklemore)

As AFL’s Richmond Tigers and NRL’s Melbourne Storm bask in the glory of their Premiership victories, another war was waging across social media. Sports social content platform 20FOUR today revealed the winner in the battle of the footy codes, declaring the AFL victorious over the NRL in audience engagement during this year’s grand final. Just over 3.5 million people tuned in to watch the […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Female Industry Leaders To Help Launch Unique Walking Tribe In Melbourne
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Female Industry Leaders To Help Launch Unique Walking Tribe In Melbourne

After successfully launching in Sydney and Brisbane in the past year, Mentor Walks has announced it is expanding to Melbourne with the help of some female industry leaders. How Mentor Walks works is through a small group of senior female executive leaders who agree that, when they are available, will be part of a monthly […]

The Core Agency Wins Key Pharmaceuticals Creative Account
  • Advertising

The Core Agency Wins Key Pharmaceuticals Creative Account

Key Pharmaceuticals has announced it has selected The Core Agency to manage strategy and creative duties for its stable of brands, following a competitive creative pitch. The Sydney independent agency will become the lead agency for all Key Pharmaceuticals brands across Australia and New Zealand, which include Blistex and Hamilton. A spokesperson for Key Pharmaceuticals […]

App Annie Announces New Managing Director For APAC
  • Technology

App Annie Announces New Managing Director For APAC

App market data and analytics company App Annie has announced the appointment of Cindy Deng as its new managing director for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Deng joins App Annie with more than 18 years’ experience in enterprise IT, digital advertising, data analytics, and data management. In her most recent role at Turn, she was responsible […]

New Editor For GQ Australia
  • Media

New Editor For GQ Australia

Unfortunately, it's no more Lowes or Roger David for Michael Christensen after being named fashion organ's top tamale.

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’

QMS Media continues to expand its digital portfolio across Western Australia, switching on an iconic billboard in the heart of Perth. Following the launch of two new digital billboards in the major WA regional centres of Bunbury and Kalgoorlie in recent months, ‘The Leeder’ further delivers on QMS’ digital expansion strategy out west. Positioned at […]

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC
  • Marketing

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC

Global marketing communications agency Text100 has announced it been appointed by data management company NetApp to drive its brand transformation effort across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Following local competitive pitches conducted across the region, Text100 has been appointed as the APAC lead agency out of Singapore, and as the local agency of record in Australia, […]

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

B&T once again donned the tux, applied the Brut, and primed the liver for last night's MFA Awards in Sydney.

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant
  • Media
  • Technology

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant

Digital publisher Concrete Playground has unveiled a new app that helps Millennials plan their night out using voice control – the first of its kind to become available in Australia. Concrete Playground’s Guide to Tonight now works with Google Assistant, making it available on a range of Google devices and helping people to decide what […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]