Spikes Asia 2019: Why Most Transformations Fail

Spikes Asia 2019: Why Most Transformations Fail
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Day two of Spikes Asia 2019, began with Justin Peyton, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer APAC for Wunderman Thompson saying “Transformation is the buzzword on every marketer’s lips, and the objective of what feels like every brand’s strategy. Why then do around 70 per cent of transformation programs seem to fail.”

In order to secure their future, Peyton believes agencies need to look at transformation through three lenses: what is driving it from a consumer and cultural perspective, how brands are reacting and focusing their internal transformation agendas and how agencies are working to simultaneously transform themselves in order to better serve these emerging needs.

Peyton said transformation projects are flawed because they are focussed on technology in the belief it will solve their business problems. Peyton went on to say that technology is winning for three reasons:

  1. Technology owns the promise of transformation and drives the agenda.
  2. Products have clear unique selling propositions making them easy to buy, and
  3. Software as a Service model provides recurring revenue.

Peyton said “rather than approaching transformation projects from a technology-first point of view, what you want is virality within your business, that means putting people with that vision at the heart of that change.”

Successful transformation accelerators are the results of:

  1. Rapidly shared successes and lessons learned.
  2. Aligning incentives to drive cross-functional work and collaboration.
  3. Setting a powerful and actionable ambition.
  4. Aligning talent systems in the service of transformation, and
  5. Recognising and rewarding progress, not just outcomes.

Peyton talked about the success of luxury brand Louis Vuitton and their remarkable transformation. Louis Vuitton used to spend six months of their time building one collection, planning for their shows and getting their product to the consumer. Now that the world has transformed to digital and ecommerce they have moved to a model where they released twice a year, to almost every single day. Peyton said the way Louis Vuitton achieved this was “they looked at their data, what people were buying, and they have moved their development supply chain from one which was six to eight months long to on which is eight weeks long.”

Peyton said “Agencies need to be more pragmatic and have conversations with their clients on what problems they have in their business. This isn’t about finding proactive work, this is about proactive work that changes a business’s bottom line”.

Agencies need to move from being process-driven, and being much more agile, from briefs to problems, from stories to experiences, from short term thinking to big picture, and from promise to growth and how to make a brand truly meaningful or face the risk of  “becoming obsolete”.

Relentless change is happening today and the world will never be this slow again. Agencies need to adapt to this change “otherwise the risk is we move to a world where we only talk about technology, personalisation that isn’t personalisation but gets to the lowest common denominator and losing the creative ideas that drive this. We wind up with less differentiated work and as an industry we become more and more obsolete. That doesn’t sound like a world where brands are really going to stand out. The challenge for us is to look at all this transformation as an opportunity, and how creativity can guide this” he said.

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Spikes Asia 2019 Wunderman Thompson

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