Follow your digital leader: how you can profit from a disruptor

Written by Michael Smith on the 7th of March, 2017

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Following this cab may be the key to digital reinvention

We were always taught at school that their was no crime more heinous that copying someone else’s work and handing it in as your own. Yet, having read McKinsey’s white paper entitled ‘‘The Case for Digital Reinvention”, I reached the conclusion that their recommendation to organisations impacted by disruptors such as an AirBnB or an Uber is to do just that and follow the digital leader.

And why wouldn’t it be thus? Let’s face it, these businesses have enjoyed phenomenal growth. And we all want to communicate, browse, shop and manage ourselves on a smart device, so it’s unlikely we are going to stick with a brand that still can’t distinguish who we are and what we want.

The simple fact of life for a disruptor is that their proposition has been built to exploit the modern economy, on greenfield SaaS technology without the requirement to fight internally against an incumbent legacy business that retains critical mass and pays everyone's salaries

Which is why the article might be better entitled “The Case for Disruption”, as most organisations still cannot cope with today’s customers’ digital needs. More importantly, the seeds already sown in digital have not been strategically cultivated to transform and create ‘disruptive, strategic posture’.

Customer Experience is now the focus of organisations seeking to build value and retain rather than acquire. This should put omni-channel service and support and a single-view of the customer at the top of a CEO’s wish-list.

Achieving this is not just a matter of buying the same technology but deploying it in the right way. Omni-channel requires external consolidation and choice of consumer channels and also integration of other internal tools such as CRM, finance etc to create that all-important ‘single view’.

We are already seeing this in the form of a ‘second coming’ of digital as organisations start to ask us to remove the silos that create fragmented views of customers by integrating cross-functional applications into Zendesk to create this single view of the customer.

On top of this, giving the customer a smoother journey and the choice to self-manage or communicate makes it a lot easier for them to reach out to you the way they want.

So McKinsey’s message is pretty straightforward. Don’t worry about copying, In fact, carefully monitor the disruptors and simply replicate what they do on a bigger scale.

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