Disruption. Are you prepared for change?

By jseevers · PUBLISHED January 06, 2016 · UPDATED January 06, 2016

This week is #CES2016. I’ve always loved watching the solutions that come out of this conference that create disruption. Being a digital native that grew up with technology, I've always believed that it could help us accomplish great things. So to place all these incredible innovations in one place? Well, I’m as giddy as a kid on the last day of school before summer break.

This year, one of the conference tracks in the "Marketing Reinvented" category is titled, "If It Looks and Sounds Like TV...Is It TV?”. Having worked in the video/TV industry before, it got me thinking about all the change that has occurred.

I used to sell all kinds of video equipment; cameras, routers, tape decks, character generators and more. It was during the mid-80’s when there was a lot of industry disruption. Jurassic Park had become a box office hit. It was a thrilling blend of digital video and 3D animation. More post production facilities and television stations were taking notice, wanting their shows to standout in the same way. Digital video was becoming the new normal, leading to disruption...and change.

The traditional video and digital video industries were on a collision course. Many industry experts claimed that traditional Hi8 tape was better quality, and that viewers would be able to tell the difference and reject digital video altogether. Well, we all know how that story ends. Can you say #netflixeverywhere?

Today, almost all video is digital. Although there are a few holdouts (Star Wars Episode VII was shot on Kodak film), it isn't for the reasons you might think. So what does this disruption have to do with marketing automation?

I’m glad you asked.

Some marketing experts would have you believe that marketing can't be automated. We agree. Marketing is about playing the long game. It is not a finite activity. It has been, and always will be, about communication. It's about the sharing needs and challenges, then ultimately listening and understanding them. We are all seeking solutions to our problems. If you’re like me, you probably solve your problem this way;

  • Your toilet breaks.
  • You search Google and enter the problem statement; “toilet keeps running after flushed"
  • You scan search results to find an answer/solution/video that seems to resolve the problem.
  • You then view the content to confirm the problem and proposed solution.
  • You might purchase a product/service to assist in fixing the toilet.

Have you ever solved a problem this way? I’m guessing 9 out of 10 of you have. This disruption is the modern day "digital video". We aren't calling the local handyman to assist us in solving our problem. We are going online.

For many supporters of marketing automation, this represents a huge opportunity. It provides us with the ability to make a connection and learn more about our customers around the world. Automation seeks to understand and connect customers to solutions in a manner that is efficient and user friendly. Some wonder if placing more technology between the customer and the product/service is harmful to the buying process, ultimately disrupting customer relationship development. These individuals think marketing is about the short game. You know, the same folks that thought Hi8 was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Many have gathered at CES this week to see the latest products in consumer electronics. They are seeking new solutions to problems and needs that exist in the marketplace today. Just as Mautic has created disruption in our industry, we look forward to seeing all the other disruptive products that provide simplicity, accessibility and convenience to consumers.