Creative destruction is accelerating innovation in 2021
At the beginning of 2020, life seemed to be steadily moving forward. While many business leaders were still easing into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), no one expected that a global pandemic would catapult the world into it a few months later.
As everyone went into lockdown, industries scrambled to adapt to a new way of operating. The changes not only meant a massive shift forward in innovation, technology, and a transition to a digital economy, it also required businesses to rethink how they engage with their customers.
In its truest form, what the world has experienced is creative destruction. Coined in 1911 by Joseph Schumpeter, the concept explains the dismantling of long-standing practices to make way for innovation. This isn’t new… the bubonic plague brought about a remodeling of global politics and the Renaissance, just as the Great Depression collapsed certain industries only for new ones to emerge in their place. In 2021, we are seeing this happen again.
In a report published by Deloitte earlier this year, it found that sectors like pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, tech manufacturing, home goods, renewables, fintech, and digital entertainment outperformed pre-Covid industry benchmarks. In turn, it also noted that some retailers, office property, fossil fuels, travel, entertainment, accommodation, and food services have suffered.
Ultimately, the pandemic has served to accelerate existing trends, compressing years of change into a few months.
While the pandemic is temporary, it has forced us to reconsider our working routines and consumption patterns permanently. It continues to creatively destroy traditional systems and processes, leaving little option for businesses and brands to adapt and innovate.
A central part of this will require business leaders to reconsider what they thought they knew about what customers want and need. The shifts in working habits and lifestyle demands mean that business and marketing models will need to change.
Strong management teams and supporting business consultants will be vital for companies to make an accurate assessment of where they are today; what has changed in their respective markets, supply chains, and most importantly customer demand.
For marketers and communications specialists, acquiring a centralised view of all communication channels, whether digital or traditional, across the entire customer journey will be fundamental to gaining a controlled perspective of omnichannel strategies.
From shopper insights and brand positioning to e-commerce and crisis communications, evolved marketing strategies will need to tap into innovative technologies to reach customers.
With digitally-driven experiences and data playing a bigger role in marketing strategies, having a consolidated view of existing customer data provides a critical understanding of their unique behaviours and preferences at each stage in the customer journey.
While we are already seeing significant changes, new technology and innovation can take time to permeate the economy and effect major change. But to ensure that brands remain relevant and sustainable, rethinking the way that they do things and how they engage with their customers is paramount.