Many Australian businesses are still far behind what their customers expect and demand.

This leaves the door open for more agile start-ups to simply take their business and customers away from them.

It’s not that they aren’t using digital tools; it’s that their mindset and corporate culture are simply outdated.

Australian businesses still view digital as a way to enhance and protect their existing business rather than create new products and services.

A recent article in Adtech unwittingly highlighted one of the main problems with Australian business’s attitude towards digital transformation.

This one quote says it all

“understanding how to innovate while not disrupting existing revenue sources is top of mind”

The quote reveals so many problems with that way of thinking it’s worth detailing them as a roadmap of where the traps and opportunities are.

Innovation Is Disruptive

Firstly, innovation is disruptive. That’s the whole point. Not only will it disrupt existing revenue streams it will completely replace them. That’s what innovation does.

By trying to protect their cash cows they are effectively saying: “We want to innovate without innovating.”

Their marketing mindset and their corporate mindset are completely out of synch with what their customers expect.

They want to preserve the status quo, maintain business as usual, and somehow use digital tools to improve the current business model.

That’s not going to work. The consumer expects much more than a tarted up version of yesterday’s service.

The belief is dangerously naive however well intentioned.

Disrupt Yourself, or Somebody Else Will

You either disrupt your own business or somebody else will.

We’ve seen this happen so many times now in so many industries, it’s disturbing how many companies still don’t get it.

They operate as if they are somehow immune from digital disruption.

Well, you are until you’re not; and then of course it’s too late.

Stop Thinking Short Term

The quote also reveals a short term focus. They are only thinking about how they can preserve or improve their cash cows in the short term, and keep their jobs.

They are not thinking long term about what services and products the business needs to create to grow and prosper.

The rest of this report makes for frustrating reading. On the one hand they understand well what’s going on in the market and that their industries need a cultural shift, but on the other they completely miss what needs to change in order to achieve that.

Marketing is Not the Centre of the Universe

The other problem with this report is that it is marketing centric. It focuses on what the marketing department needs to do to meet customer expectations.

That too is a dangerous midset. The real issue is what the whole business needs to do.

Digital disruption affects the whole business. Unless the whole business changes then enhancing the customer experience will make little difference.

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