“If you can transform your business to be relevant in a world that is entirely digital, then you have a future. If you don’t, you go the way so many companies who people thought were invincible do… where’s Kodak? Where’s Nokia?” asked Publicis Sapient global CEO Nigel Vaz.
He continued: “A company like Kodak could have said: ‘Hey, we’re going to build Instagram, or we’re going to host all your photos in the Cloud.'”
Yet as we know, they didn’t. And so they were ultimately left trailing behind.
Then, of course, there are businesses who have navigated this brilliantly well, like Netflix.
Vaz said: “They were a mail-order DVD business. And they disrupted Blockbuster. They thought: what if you put the DVD in the mail? And then they disrupted themselves to move from mail order to streaming the videos themselves, and then they disrupted themselves again to produce content.”
The point? Disruption is going to happen to your business. And, if you don’t prepare, you’ll be the next Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster or one of the countless other brands that ultimately failed to digitally transform itself and therefore failed to succeed in business.
“Digital transformation is the ability to get on a grip on [the inevitability of disruption], and then do something about it,” said Vaz.
According to Vaz, Publicis Sapient pioneered the first generation of digital business transformation 30 years ago, just when companies were grasping the internet.
Fast forward to digital transformation today and Vaz said it’s almost like “generation three” where it went from building internet-enabled businesses, to now “building businesses that are fundamentally reimagining everything you can think of in the context of digital.”
How can businesses prepare for disruption? Vaz said one of the most important aspects of digital transformation is creating value and experience for the customer, with a big focusing on engineering.
“If you are not able to engineer technology that is complex, you can never deliver on the experience, and therefore you can never create the value for the customer.”
He also believes traditionally, businesses “straight-jacketed” people into doing things only one way. What digital enables businesses to do is to allow consumers to engage with them in the ways the consumer want. Take online banking for example.
“Online banking is the result of humans taking something that is perfectly natural and saying, ‘hey, I want to bank my money, but I want to do it from home.’ That to me is the power of what digital is enabling. Traditional ways have always been quite rigid because there was a very specific way that companies wanted customers to deal with them. And oftentimes, I think it represented their dysfunction, as opposed to their focus on the customer.”
On the brand of the future, Vaz said it’s less about brands saying something, and more about brands you can experience. He said the brands we will remember are the ones that do, rather than just say.
“I think one of the biggest challenges we have with brands today is as people we’re seeing brand proliferation everywhere, and thousands of brands are trying to get our attention. The ones that actually stick in our minds more and more will be brands that simply don’t tell us how amazing they are, but allow us to experience how amazing they are and actually make you believe they’re amazing.”
Vaz looked to Apple as an example.
“If you think about Apple commercials, they don’t really tell you much, because everyone knows Apple. So their ads are actually product demos because they’re like, ‘look, if you try this product, you’ll understand why people love our phone. It’s not because we make great ads’.”
Vaz also believes if a brand is to be successful, it needs to have a purpose, yet shouldn’t forget they are not a charity or a government organisation.
“Ultimately, [brands] have a commercial interest. So I think if a company ever got confused about that, I think that would be a problem. Where you suddenly try to be entirely about social good.
“But I also don’t think that today’s consumers will forgive a brand that is solely focused on its interest or to the detriment of society or the world at large,” said Vaz.
Brands need to have a very clear head about what it is that they’re trying to sell, but also make sure that what they’re selling isn’t necessarily going to create a negative impact for the other things that people care about, like the environment or social responsibility.
“If you can create a balance between those two things, I think you have a winning formula,” he concluded.
Dentsu international’s digital and customer experience agency, Isobar, has won the Adobe 2021 Digital Experience Partner of the Year award. As Adobe’s most prestigious award, the Digital Experience Partner of the Year honours the companies that have made leading contributions to Adobe’s business and have had a significant impact on customer success. Steve Knowles, dentsu’s […]
Apple users would have been delighted with a bunch of new products announced overnight, including a new purple iPhone and the long-awaited AirTags. But the headline device was arguably the new iPad Pro, which is powered by Apple’s superpowerful M1 Chip that has been used previously to power new versions of MacBooks. To help launch […]
The holding companies appear to be coming out of their COVID slumps with Omnicom the latest to post promising results. Reporting on its Q1 numbers from January to the end of March, the New York-based agency reported revenues were down 1.8 per cent year over year, although it was a vast improvement from the 9.6 […]
The AFR BOSS Best Places to Work awards honoured the agency as the best place to work in Australia’s media and marketing world. According to AFR, the awards are determined by two sets of criteria, a staff survey and a written submission. Mark Jarrett, PHD’s CEO (pictured), told AFR that their top placement was “a reflection […]
Woolworths has increased its stake in Quantium to take a majority stake in the data and analytics business. Announcing the move yesterday, Woolies said it had increased its shareholding from 47 per cent to 75 per cent with the purchase price of $233 million. Quantium’s founders and team members will retain the remaining 25 per […]
The federal government has dumped a widely condemned consent education video that compared sex to milkshakes and put a woman as the perpetrator, a day after publicly defending the video. The video formed part of ‘Respect Matters’, a new government campaign that aims to teach children about sexual consent through education resources for schools. The […]
The Big Ideas Store, Powered by Nine, will return for its fourth year on Tuesday 11th May – and this year, they’re taking attendees sky high! Taking over the panoramic 22nd floor of Nine’s brand new HQ at 1 Denison St North Sydney, The Big Ideas Store will offer two weeks of big thinkers, big ideas, and dig deep into the big issues challenging marketers right now. More than 8,000 people […]
To demonstrate the power of your voice with Alexa – Pompeii is the latest film in the “A voice is all you need” campaign via Droga5 London. The work shows how Alexa enabled devices can help you do almost anything with your voice and continues to playfully bring this to life by colliding two contrasting […]
A resolution was passed at Coca-Cola’s annual shareholder meeting, held online, calling on the brand to increase their transparency about the role of their products in fuelling health issues among people of colour. Coke, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was also criticised for drawing back its initial support for voting rights. Nsé Ufot, Executive […]
Iconic fuel brand Ampol has returned to the nation’s roadside launching ‘Far and Wide’ a wide scale, integrated campaign that celebrates the distance Australians travel, great and small, day-in and day-out. Created by Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and iProspect, the campaign idea centres on Australia’s sheer vastness and how it’s part of our country’s identity […]
Klarna has announced the launch of CO2 insights for all shopping purchases as part of its one per cent pledge, involving the donation of $10 million to initiatives supporting planet health. The new feature aims to democratise access to unbiased climate impact information for consumers at no cost or judgement, as a first step to […]
Nine News came out on top last night with 1,034,000 viewers according to OzTAM’s metro data, as both Lego Masters and Masterchef saw reductions in viewership after their premieres. Lego Masters had a decrease of 56,000 after Monday’s premiere while Masterchef’s audience dropped by 88,000. The shows received 782,000 and 582,000 viewers respectively. Second in the ratings […]
In his latest guest post, B&T regular Robert Strohfeldt skewers marketers’ latest buzzword – purpose… I used to flick through the various newspapers cartoons each day – reckon it would be tough trying to create a cartoon each day, based on a major news story, that is both funny and insightful. Since the PC mob […]
MILO Cereal has launched its first major marketing campaign for its newly launched Protein cereal, via independent creative communications agency Connecting Plots. Building on MILO’s brand message of fuelling active kids, the new campaign platform, ‘Beast Mode – Activated’, evolves the master brand’s focus on team sports. This aims to celebrate how MILO Protein helps […]
Flight Centre has unveiled a new look and a global brand campaign that poses a tongue-in-cheek challenge to Aussie travellers. The launch also marks the brand’s first global campaign across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and South Africa, highlighting Flight Centre’s collective travel expertise. Created by Flight Centre Australia’s in-house creative team, ‘There’s Nowhere […]