Reinvention is a Journey
It was a philosophical sort of day on stage during Day 2 of Adobe Summit 2015. Stories of people –famous people, resilient people, change agents, little people (Girl Scouts) – all moved the 7,000+ audience who realized these stories reflected exactly what they themselves are going through as they keep pace with the digital transformation, and the ever-increasing demands of consumers in their experiences with brands.
The lineup of speakers and their stories was inspiring to marketers in the room – the heartwarming story of Girl Scouts of the USA coming from Sarah Gormley, its Chief Marketing Officer; the venturesome narrative of Rob Roy, Group VP, eCommerce and Interactive Marketing, Time Warner Cable Inc.; the reinvention tale of Michael Keaton, Hollywood actor and more.
Here are the 5 top take-aways from this very pacy keynote session:
- Every brand’s ultimate litmus test is its ability to provide a “continuous and consistent” customer experience. The extent of customer touch points being enabled by digital is expanding rapidly, and the ability of brands to measure each of these along with analogue touches, and use it as an input for continuous improvement in the customer experience journey, is the nirvana that brands are seeking. And so, organizations are changing how they function.
- Brands are struggling to keep up with the agility of this digital world and organizations are reinventing themselves, bringing in smaller “sprint teams” across the organization. Structures are becoming more matrixed than ever, and cross-functional teams comprising marketing, digital, experience, technology and so on are working together.
- “Mindset” is taking precedence over “skillset”. Brands increasingly look to employ generalists who can wear multiple hats; in a single day, being a marketer, an innovator, a customer experience expert and so on. The focus is on finding the right people who may not be in the traditional mold and giving them freedom within the organizational framework to get things done.
- Organizations are putting less focus on presentations and business justifications for new initiatives. Whether it is product or marketing or any other division within the organization, there’s more prototyping and real-time customer response measurement happening today than ever before.
- Nobody can question the importance of analytics. Certainly not Nate Silver, the statistician and pioneer of data journalism, who was on stage for Day 2. Nate believes if you cannot measure it, it’s not important – it’s that simple. But passion defies data, statistics and logic for people like Steve Young, professional footballer who said he doesn’t want to be trapped by data and predictive technology. What’s common between the two is the concept of “reinvention” – with or without data.
“It’s good to know that you’re not alone in the journey”, said the famous Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell, professional climbers, who conquered one of the toughest rock-climbs ever – the Dawn Wall, on El Capitan, Yosemite, and who were also on stage during the day-2 keynote. And as Steve Young puts it; football is for young people. You get kicked out early. Marketers can go on!