In recent years, massive doors have been opened for marketing transformation projects – but the corridors of implementation behind them are getting longer and longer. The following experiences show which three main factors are responsible for this and why it can also be successful to meet the challenges of change a little more slowly.
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Paralysed by uncertainty
That is the first human fact that is and remains set in stone. After all, the brave new marketing technology world comes along with a whole bouquet of questions in its luggage: What will become of the established processes? What will be my new role? Will I be able to keep up? Will this overwhelm my digital skills? And which job description will secure my future professional existence or will I be replaced or rationalised away by digital technology?
These fears and uncertainties are not only understandable, but also quite beneficial. After all, digital transformation that is too fast and therefore sometimes mindless only leads to a countable contribution to results in the rarest of cases. A certain degree of scepticism is known to protect against overconfidence. Finding the right balance between speed, courage and overzealousness is therefore the real challenge in the digital transformation of marketing and sales. Those who approach it in a structured, methodical and sustainable way are on the right track, because the fast ones do not always eat the slow ones. At the latest when our marketing engineers are called in to get existing, paid but still unused marketing technology tools up and running, you can feel the reverberating pressure for digitalisation on the necks of the responsible marketing and sales managers. The wheels of change then don’t want to swing in time and external help from specialists is needed.
Even more paralysed by backfire
The second major stumbling block is the “backfire” that is burgeoning in many sectors after Corona. After two years in social isolation, for example, the holiday hunger is huge. Bookings are being made for all they’re worth – and that with rising prices and a growing willingness to buy. Many sectors are experiencing such a circumstance, using the tourism industry as an example, and are of course drowning in allocation pressure. The burgeoning demand in combination with reduced personnel resources must first be satisfied. So everyone has their hands full and any thought of transformation, optimisation or even innovation shifts in the Eisenhower Matrix from the “urgent”-“important”-sector to the “not important”-“not urgent”-sector. So, from this point of view, growth prevents change, which is inevitable in the long run.
Power does not paralyse – power prevents!
Last but not least, in many industries and in even more value chains, it is a matter of urgently maintaining the status quo. The power of disruption simply overwhelms the maximum possible human perspective. For example, it has been predicted for decades that blockchain technology will completely replace the business of banks with monetised trust. And yes – theoretically this is completely correct, the arguments are completely in favour of it and the technology is also available. But this step has not happened so far. Because the power of the financial lobby is simply too strong to allow the entire industry to “go out” any time soon.
The same is true of the many other examples of the disruptive potential of blockchain. Of the many intermediaries in value chains – specifically media agencies, real estate agents or even tourism organisers – the blockchain has inevitably been threatening the physical existence of every single one for years. And yet some of the aforementioned and supposed “palliative patients” are enjoying the best of economic health. Because the power of the instinct for self-preservation applies to companies in a magnified form. Everything is done to keep things going as they always have been. “To have comes from to hold” is the much-quoted advice of successful entrepreneurial icons.
Admittedly, denying unavoidable change will not always work, and even deliberately delaying transformation out of uncertainty or even perceived irrelevance will not protect against a creeping loss of competitiveness. It is still important to keep an eye on this and to choose the right time as well as rhythm and speed when introducing marketing and sales technology.