Weaning OFF the Bolt-ON

Do you see "Digital" in the above value chain? Neh.

The vast majority of Fortune 500s scaled to success without any help from Digital.  Sure, they invested in IT overhauls every 5 years, but those were tedious, required employee adoption (often unsuccessful) and were usually avoided like the plague.  So, when new technology began altering market landscapes, from consumer behavior on down, they just continued operating in their historically successful fashions.  To speak to the hot topic of "Digital," they decided to focus any enhancements on the sore thumb -- Marketing, where the shifts were too loud to be ignored.

This meant that agencies (Marketing, Advertising, Promotions, etc.) were immediately hit with urgent requests to become overnight experts in disciplines they'd yet to study, work in, or test.  Reactively, rather than responsively, they had to become Low Hanging Fruit Wizards, just to keep their own businesses healthy.

Outside of the traditional agencies, countless opportunists seized the pandaemonium and opened their own boutique firms in SEO/SEM, Social Media Management, Display Advertising, Affiliate Ad Sales, Email Marketing, App Production, and Mobile App Production.  Since the demand was so high and the need so dire, the overwhelming influx of services made sense.  Pretty soon, everyone on LinkedIn who worked anywhere near Media began referring to themselves as a "Digital Strategist." 

The fundamental error was that the services they developed and sold only treated symptoms identified in the Marketing process.  Now, new companies, and companies born within the last 5-7 years, have a radical advantage of being Digitally Native, and are using their holistically Digital structures, and innovative systems to literally take down industries, one at a time.  

In short, the first departments to be tasked with the burden of digital, were the ones least capable of handling true Transformation.

For KIMBA, this time is so exciting because as a collective conscience (businesses and agencies) we can no longer deny the need for drastic revision.  We can no longer deny the need for Digital Transformation.

For CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and CMOs, the areas in need of immediate evaluation are the areas in which you've invested in "Digital" or in the illusion of "Digital."  And what all C-levels should mind, is that the CMOs and their departments are not to blame.  They have been in reaction mode throughout the market changes and have been backed into a heat sandwich, between consumers and their companies who are looking to build efficiency on ancient (and broken) foundations.

We love Forrester.  We love them most because once they say something, it's branded as fact.  They embark on tireless research to prove our observations and intuitions.  So now, in their latest (March 2014) reports, they've said what people like Bud Caddell, Faris Yakob, and ourselves have been saying for quite some time in regards to the need for deep rooted business transformation.

A few weeks ago, Forrester published a handy "Six Steps to Become a Digital Business." 

In this report, Forrester isolates, as promised, 6 business areas in need of drastic revision.  They offer concepts for change and a synopsis against each business area identified.  However, what the article doesn't indicate is that each of the 6 areas is its own Pandora's box.   It's like saying to companies, 'hey companies, there's only 1 thing you need to change: Everything.'

KIMBA works with clients in the weeds of these areas because we know each needs its own set of objective attention and expert guidance.  We know this work takes time and our methods make use of that time in a way that no previous consulting method could.  We know this because the proper insights, lessons, and tools have not been available until now.