Digital transformation represents the third great wave of business disruption, following on from the big changes delivered by front- and back-office systems over the last two decades.
That’s the key message from the keynote of Brad Rencher, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Marketing Business Unit at Adobe Systems at the company’s Summit in Las Vegas.
ERP and CRM — the touchstones of the first two waves — are now table stakes rather than drivers of competitive advantage, according to Rencher. “The third wave is different. The previous two waves were about us. They helped us do our jobs more efficiently. But this wave is not about us — it’s not even about what we sell. It is about the consumer and the experience we provide them.”
The goal for companies — and marketers specifically — is to do their jobs so well that the consumers don’t know we exist, he said. “We are closing the gap between people, and the things they do, and the people they want to be with,” Rencher told the more than 10,000 Adobe customers and partners at the event.
“Today everyone from the CEO down is a steward of the customer experience. It’s about surprising and delighting customers. Surprise at what you do and delight at what you don’t do.”
Furthermore, Rencher suggested that what he called The Experience Business was inevitable from the moment early digital disruption began. “This is the new competitive battle ground. The first to adapt and evolve will be wildly successful.”
Those who fall behind will hear about it from customers as they swing the exit door behind them and they won’t be quiet about it on the way out, he suggested. “Everyone has a voice and boy do they use it.”
Rencher identified four characteristics of the consumer’s relationship with an Experience Business:
- Know me and respect me. Brands will anticipate, predict and deliver. And they will consider and respect privacy.
- Companies speak to me in one voice and always in context.
- Technology will be transparent. The medium is not the message, the experience is.
- An experience business will delight me at every turn.
“Moore’s Law said that processors will double in speed every 18 months. The law of experience now says my expectations of your brand will double every eighteen months,” he said.