Heroes and Villains: Why Deflategate Is Good for the NFL

January 26th, 2015 by ddeal

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Photo source: Wikipedia

NFL CMO Dawn Hudson should be pinching herself right now because the “deflategate” controversy is a godsend for the league. Allegations that the New England Patriots knowingly provided underinflated footballs for the AFC championship game have created more conversation about the upcoming Super Bowl XLIX than the NFL could have ever dared to manufacture with its own marketing and PR. Deflategate has also elevated Super Bowl XLIX to a battle between good and evil, injecting an element of much-needed drama on the field at a time when the league has reeled from off-the-field controversy. Casual fans who have zero loyalty to New England or Seattle may now be motivated to watch the game in order to see whether the Guardians of the Galaxy from Seattle have what it takes to defeat Darth Vader and his New England minions.

The 2014 Super Bowl was the most-watched television event in history. But between then and now, a number of ugly incidents involving NFL players have damaged the league’s image. (According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, consumer perception of the NFL has dropped by half in one year’s time.) Obviously, fans of the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are going to watch Super Bowl XLIX February 1, anyway, as will die-hard NFL fans. But the game needs to attract casual fans to match or exceed the 2014 TV-viewing numbers, and the shaky public perception is a cause for worry — which is where deflategate could play an important role.

Casual sports fans might not appreciate the finer points of an NFL game, but they do appreciate drama and spectacle, especially battles between good and evil. Hence, movies as strikingly different as Saving Private Ryan and Raiders of the Lost Ark do great box office by catering to our desire to see the good guys defeat the bad guys (especially World War II era villains who are so cleanly drawn). Sports are no different. For instance: Read more »




One Stadium to Rule Them All

January 25th, 2015 by ddeal

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Even the most successful NFL teams cannot control the quality of their product on the field. And in an era of free agency, it’s harder for teams to develop fan loyalty toward their best players. So more teams, even successful ones, have turned their stadiums into memorable experiences, where a team has more control over its own brand. In 2009, the Dallas Cowboys wowed fans with a new stadium that features the world’s largest column-free interior and (at the time) the biggest high-definition video screen in the world. In 2014, the San Francisco 49ers opened Levi’s Stadium, which features high-tech amenities such an app that allows you to order food from your seat. But the Atlanta Falcons are preparing to open one stadium to rule them all in 2017: a state-of-the-art extravaganza that may change the way we experience live sports.

In the 49-year existence of the Atlanta Falcons, the team has compiled a decidedly subpar record of 316 wins, 414 losses, and six ties. The team has won no Super Bowls and has fielded zero Most Valuable Players. The Falcons have been wildly inconsistent, capable of an impressive 13-win/3-loss season followed by a horrid 4-win/12-loss season, as was the case in 2012-13. But there is more to football than winning (and I don’t care how many ex-jocks in the broadcast booth say otherwise). Football teams want fans to have fun, and the New Atlanta Stadium (whose title will certainly change when a corporate sponsor is found) is designed to provide fun in spades.

For starters, the new building is going to be an architectural marvel that Atlanta visitors and residents will visit and tour in the off-season. Most football stadiums, however well designed, look like, well, football stadiums. You always know one when you see one. But New Atlanta Stadium isn’t any ordinary football stadium. New Atlanta Stadium is designed to be a visually stunning building where football games happen to be played.

The dramatic glass-and-steel exterior, which as been described as a gigantic metal origami, evokes the creations of Frank Gehry and Jørn Utzon (who designed the Sydney Opera House). Lead designer is Bill Johnson, a principal at Kansas City-based 360 Architecture (recently acquired by HOK), designed eight ocular shaped panels on the roof as an homage to the Roman Pantheon. According to 360 Architecture, the roof will “open and close like a camera aperture.” Moreover, the shape of the roof panels are will emulate the wing-like Atlanta Falcons team logo.

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The retractable roof and overall stadium design have already caught the eye of publications such as Architecture News Daily and DesignBoom, which raved about the “striking structure.” Now, let me ask you: when is the last time a retractable roof generated this kind of reaction? I predict that the  look of the stadium alone will inspire other architects to rethink the design of football stadiums, just as Oriole Park at Camden Yards reimagined the look of Major League Baseball Parks in the 1990s. Read more »




How an Album Cover Expressed Peter Gabriel’s Dark Creation

January 18th, 2015 by ddeal

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An intruder, an assassin, and an amnesiac: they are among the fractured souls who inhabit the ghostly landscape of Peter Gabriel’s third album, Peter Gabriel. Released in 1980, Peter Gabriel was the sound of a daring artist finding inspiration from some dark place on the fringes of society. And the album cover art complemented the music with a grotesque image of Gabriel’s melting face, suggesting the decay of Ivan Le Lorraine Albright’s painting The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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We remember Peter Gabriel for its penetrating lyrics and propulsive sound, brimming with inventive drums, distorted guitar, and Gabriel’s emotional, sometimes off-kilter vocals. The cover art visualized the music like few other album covers have.

The Backstory

When Gabriel recorded the album in 1979-80, his success as a solo artist was anything but certain. His first two albums, released in 1977 and 1978 (and also entitled Peter Gabriel), had been well received critically, but they achieved unremarkable commercial success. His choice of adventurous material, with sometimes quirky instrumental arrangements, suggested that Gabriel, following his departure from progressive rock band Genesis, was destined to become a critics’ favorite with a cult following.

Nothing prepared his fans or critics for what followed on his third album, released in May 1980. Peter Gabriel distilled all the experimentation of his first two albums into a still adventurous but more cohesive work musically and thematically — and a very disturbing one at that. The opening track, “Intruder,” set the tone for the entire album. Describing a home invasion from the point of view of the intruder, the song featured chants, distorted scratching sounds, and a tribal beat lacking any cymbals (in fact, Gabriel had prohibited the use of cymbals on the entire album).

“I know something about opening windows and doors,” sneered Gabriel on the opening track. “I know how to move quietly to creep across creaky wooden floors . . . I like you lying awake, your bated breath charging the air/I like the touch and the smell of all the pretty dresses you wear.”

The rest of the album did not let up. “I Don’t Remember,” “No Self Control,” and “Lead a Normal Life” were among the bleakest explorations of inner turmoil and mental surrender anyone had dared to record since Pink Floyd’s ascendance.

The album was so disturbing that Gabriel’s label, Atlantic, refused to release it. Fortunately, Mercury Records agreed to distribute the album in the United States.

The Cover

To depict his distorted world on the album cover, Gabriel turned to Hipgnosis, whose founders, Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell, had become legends for the album covers Hipgnosis had created with super groups such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Allegedly, the idea of depicting Gabriel with a melted face arose from a dream that Thorgerson had about a dripping face. Mick Jagger or Bryan Ferry would have scoffed at the idea. But Gabriel was inspired; after all, Gabriel had willingly manipulated his own appearance on the covers of his first two albums.

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To create the album cover, Hipgnosis took a color Polaroid of Gabriel, re-photographed the photo Read more »




Content Marketing: There Is No Try

January 5th, 2015 by ddeal

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Pity the CMO. She is responsible for growing a business and ensuring that her company’s brand remains relevant even as constantly changing market forces and technologies make her life one steep learning curve. And it seems everyone wants to tell her how to do her job. She’s supposed to get closer to the customer. She has to forge a deeper relationship with the CIO and carve out time to learn the nuances of big data. Oh, and don’t forget: become a digital ninja or die. Well, now I have piled on with some advice of my own: lead your company’s charge into content marketing.

My recently published CMO.com column, “10 Content Marketing Tips for the CMO,” addresses content marketing’s increasingly prominent role on the CMO’s agenda brand-building agenda. As a consultant who specializes in helping companies support their business goals with content marketing, I am encouraged CMOs are investing into branded content. To help CMOs be more effective with content marketing, my post offers advice such as the importance of developing a documented content-marketing strategy. But the most important tip in my column is this: set the example. Content marketing isn’t someone else’s job. It’s yours.

Content marketing is a reflection of your company’s ideas, personalities, and culture — starting at the top. Go ahead and dip your toes into the content marketing waters. Doing so might seem awkward at first. But I assure you, if you take the time to write emails at work or occasionally snap a photo with your smart phone, you’re already employing some of the mechanical tools of content marketing: writing and visual storytelling. All you need is a strategy, commitment, and guidance to hone your content-marketing skills.

Being a content marketer will help you become more empathetic to the needs of your employees and more sensitive to how your brand can and should reflect your culture. And as my post points out, being a content marketer doesn’t have to mean committing yourself to writing a litany of blog posts and white papers. More importantly, setting the example is the first step to creating a culture of content.

As a wise character from a certain classic blockbuster movie once said: Do. Or do not. There is no try.




Memorable Album Covers of 2014: The Self-Portraits

December 20th, 2014 by ddeal

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In 2014, musicians once again demonstrated that album cover art still matters — even as album sales continue to drop. The album cover remains a powerful way for artists to visualize their music and their personalities. According to analyst Mary Meeker, we upload and share 1.8 billion images a day. To get our attention in a world cluttered with pictures, artists need to stand out with strong, compelling visual stories that grab our attention and don’t let go. And album cover art needs to represent the artist across a variety of online and offline touch points, ranging from concert merchandise to Twitter wallpaper. So it’s no wonder that in 2014, we witnessed a plethora of artists using album covers to literally sell themselves to potential music buyers. Pharrell’s face on the cover of Girl is more than an album cover: it’s a billboard that sells the artist behind the music, repeated on his website, Facebook page, and everywhere else you find Pharrell. Even someone as popular as Pharrell has only a split second to convince you to pay attention to him. So he make the most of his moment to keep the focus of your attention on him. But as my new SlideShare, Memorable Album Covers of 2014: The Self-Portraits, shows, artist portraits can be evocative, alluring, and anything but bland.

For instance, Flying Lotus’s You’re Dead!, designed by Japanese artist Shintaro Kago, is a mystical piece that is practically a graphic novel on an album cover. And Lykkie Li’s cover of I Never Learn is a dark, textured portrait that conveys a mysterious sensuality. Especially as artists continue to struggle to monetize their music, you can expect album cover art to continue to evolve and excite. Popular music has, and always will be, a visual medium as well as aural one. Even as the music industry continues to change, you can take that assumption to the bank.




Local Search: “The Next Digital Battleground for Brands”

December 15th, 2014 by ddeal

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If you had to choose the next battleground for digital marketing, what would you nominate? Gamification? Mobile? Content marketing? Well, how about local search? According to a new Forrester Consulting study commissioned by local search automation company SIM Partners (a client of mine), brands with local search strategies are enjoying crucial benefits such as improved leads and brand lift. SIM Partners CEO Jon Schepke says local is “the next digital battleground for brands.” But why? Two words: mobile and context.

First, big brands with multiple locations have made local a priority as mobile adoption increases. According to eMarketer, the global base of mobile phone users was expected to reach 4.55 billion in 2014, and by 2017, nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will own a mobile phone. And mobile phones facilitate commerce: 80 percent of local searches conducted on mobile phones lead to purchase, according to a study conducted by comScore. But local businesses (such as your local pizza parlor) and outlets of national franchises (e.g., Sonic Drive-in; Holiday Inn) aren’t going to get any of that commerce unless users can find them. Hence, search marketing retains the largest share of digital spend according to the Forrester Research US Digital Marketing Forecast, 2014 to 2019 (released in November 2014), with mobile accounting for 66 percent of the growth in interactive spend over the next five years. I don’t think the strength of spending on both areas is a coincidence, and neither does Forrester — the company identifies the mobile savviness of a brand’s customers as a key determinant of how urgent a brand should embrace local.

But something else is going on, too: the rise of contextual marketing. With contextual marketing, brands create more personal experiences based on the context of your behavior, such as where you are located. According to Forrester, contextual marketing is the new marketing remit. Customers, empowered with location- and context-aware devices, expect marketers to customize content accordingly instead of relying on generic messaging that is the same regardless of whether you are in New York or Seattle.

SIM Partners CMO Tari Haro recently noted that according to Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Shar VanBoskirk, contextual marketing will “steal media dollars” to fund “customer-obsessed contextual experiences.” And VanBoskirk suggests that to become better contextual marketers, companies need to adopt a number of strategies, including going local. She recommends that brands have global business stories, but make them local in order to be more context-aware. U.S. Bank, for instance, works with SIM Partners to improve its local presence via social media, mobile, and search.

But the new Forrester Consulting report, Uncovering the Benefits of Local Search Marketing, also notes that many brands have not yet fully embraced local search. Limited resources and lack of expertise are hampering marketers’ efforts with local search. To me, the answer is to develop a strategy that links local to context, especially since Forrester Consulting agrees that brands with local strategies are realizing strong benefits. Local search may very well become a battleground, all right — with strategy separating the winners from the losers.

 




Pink Floyd’s “The Endless River”: Revenge of the Dinosaurs

November 19th, 2014 by ddeal

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Pink Floyd’s new (and final) album, The Endless River, had every reason to fail on its release November 10. At a time when album sales are in a free fall, the Floyd released an unabashed 53-minute artifact of the era of album-oriented rock. The Endless River consists mostly of ambient instrumentals (culled from the group’s 1994 album The Division Bell) and no Spotify-friendly singles. Lead guitarist David Gilmour cautioned that The Endless River as “not for the iTunes, downloading-individual-tracks generation” (a comment that most certainly horrified the Floyd’s Columbia Record Label). And yet, The Endless River is succeeding, at least by today’s standards: the album was the most pre-ordered ever on Amazon U.K., is Number 1 in the United Kingdom, and is already the top-selling album of 2014. I believe The Endless River‘s success is a testament to the power of branding and staying true to yourself.

The Power of Branding

Pink Floyd had not released an album in 20 years and only four since 1983. Of its founding members — Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright — only Mason remained with the Floyd in 2014, along with virtuoso guitarist David Gilmour, who joined the band in late 1967. Barrett had been kicked out of the band decades ago, Waters had left amid great acrimony, and Wright had succumbed to cancer in 2008. But the Floyd has always been both a band and a successful brand — one that that encompasses a memorable name, successful music, multi-media, merchandise, and striking visual iconography.

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Going back to 1967, Pink Floyd created enduring albums that transcended the progressive rock genre and resonated with generations of listeners (including me). And its partnership with art design group Hipgnosis resulted in the creation of album cover designs and artwork that fascinated fans in the 1970s (during the band’s glory years) and remain relevant in today’s era of visual storytelling. Even when the band was not producing music after The Division Bell, Pink Floyd remained in the Read more »




6 Predictions for Music Streaming

November 14th, 2014 by ddeal

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Forget Taylor Swift’s futile Spotify boycott. The real news emerging from the music industry this week was the launch of YouTube’s streaming service. The new service consists of YouTube with streaming functionality (as opposed to being a new product with a different name, thus benefitting from YouTube’s brand reach). On November 17, YouTube is also launching (in beta form) YouTube Music Key, a paid streaming option offering ad-free online and offline listening for $9.99. YouTube now enters an increasingly crowded streaming industry that ranges from all-purpose services such as Pandora and Spotify to specialty offerings such as Muzooka (which matches emerging artists with both fans and members of the music industry). And YouTube, owned by the world’s most valuable brand, has more power to disrupt the game than anyone. In the aftermath of YouTube’s entry to the streaming field, I predict six possible directions for the streaming business:

1. We will see a shakeout among major streaming platforms. The survivors, faced with fewer competitors, will call the shots on artist compensation even more so than they do today.

2. We may see the emergence of a few more specialty streaming services, such as Muzooka, to act as the intriguing alternatives to big players. For instance, we could see an alternative boutique streaming service by an artist consortia (involving someone like Jay Z, whose brand transcends music). We also may see the launch of private-label services from music-savvy brands such as Pepsi. A house service by an American Express, offered exclusively to its customers, could act as an effective music discovery platform as well as a customer acquisition and retention tool. (Moreover, in a combination of the artist-owned and corporate private label approaches, we could see a a corporate service launched in association with a star like Jay Z acting as investor, brand partner, curator, or any combination of those roles.)

3. The conversation about fair artist compensation that Taylor Swift reignited with her Spotify boycott will subside without effecting any change in artist compensation, just as the debate eventually petered out after Thom Yorke and the Black Keys boycotted Spotify. Another artist may make the topic trend again with a well-publicized boycott, but the conversation will remain contained to pundits who won’t move the needle.

4. The have-not artists — the vast majority of artists who are not superstars — will keep their content on streaming services and continue to be compensated as they are now. Why? Because they lack the choices that Taylor Swift has.

5. Savvy artists will learn how to use streaming as a promotional platform together with other digital platforms. They will rely on their recorded content to support touring, merchandising, song licensing revenue, and co-brands with businesses.

6. Finally, and most importantly: fans will continue to stream music, legally or illegally (as they are doing with Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989). When it comes to music streaming, fans are loyal to songs, not artists. Fans don’t care about boycotts. And fans are no longer willing to risk money on an entire album’s worth of songs from artists they do not know. Fans don’t necessarily take time to write Wall Street Journal editorials about fair compensation or blog posts about the future of streaming. Fans simply shape the future of music with their listening and buying habits. Album sales continue to slide, and Apple’s iTunes business is slumping. As Adele’s manager, Jonathan Dickins, says, “Streaming is the future.” Why? Because fans make it so.

Oh, and here’s one more related prediction you can take to the bank: Taylor Swift will continue to build her empire from touring, brand deals, and merchandising sales. Any revenue lost from boycotting Spotify will have little impact on her success. The release of the album 1989 in 2014 is all about priming the pump for the 1989 World Tour, which kicks off in May 2015 — which is where the real money is going to be made. (Her Red tour, which concluded in 2014, grossed $150 million.) Taylor Swift’s approach to building her career — writing her own songs, creating music that crosses genres, building a fan base through touring, and honoring her fans in person and on social media — is the blueprint for aspiring artists to emulate. And artists will need to include streaming in the process.

What are your predictions?




The CMO Is Changing — Are You?

October 28th, 2014 by ddeal

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Chief marketing officers are becoming business leaders with operational expertise in order to gain the respect of their C-suite peers. Tomorrow’s CMOs will need to master analytics, technology, and innovation. Those are some of the key take-aways of Your CMO Is Changing, a presentation by Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Sheryl Pattek. She delivered her remarks October 28, 2014, at the Forrester Forum for eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals.

The theme of the 2014 eBusiness Forum, attended by Fortune 1000 organizations, is “Map Your Path to Digital Mastery.” The purpose of the 2014 Forum is to help business leaders understand how to embrace digital as a way of doing business. Pattek helped eBusiness professionals in the audience understand how they need to change in order to prosper on their way to becoming CMOs.

Pattek set the stage by outlining a familiar challenge facing CMOs today. They’re facing an exploding world of marketing channels and customers whose attention span is about 8 seconds — meaning CMOs have 8 seconds or less to engage potential customers before they turn their attention elsewhere. Just as the customer touch points have increased, so has the CMO’s remit: from branding and promotional efforts to a wide range of responsibilities such as eCommerce and customer loyalty.

CMOs are responding to their expanding roles by taking control even as their worlds seem less controllable. They are doing so in a number of ways: linking marketing to business results, tackling broader organizational roles, building influence among the C-suite, and using technology and data to enhance customer engagement.

“CMOs are meeting business metrics like increasing shareholder value and meeting revenue targets, not just building brand awareness,” she said.

Tackling broader organizational roles is not only essential for CMO survival but also for CMOs to deepen their influence among their C-suite peers — a reason why CMOs are investing more time in the strategies that define the operations beyond marketing (59 percent of CMOS are growing their influence in general business strategy).

“CMOs are looking to evolve to the next level in the C-suite,” she said. “Hence, they are expanding their role in strategy and general management. They are developing line management and operational responsibility. Seldom do they make the jump from CMO to CEO. They need to get operational experience first.”

Those broader organizational roles are manifested in four ways:

  • Product development: for instance, the CMO of Quiznos is involved in developing new Quiznos sandwiches. “The CMO has the voice of the customer and can see what’s on the horizon,” Pattek said. “And can feed that insight into a test-and-learn approach.”
  • Profit/loss management: the CMO of Wrigley manages a line operation (Latin America). “Getting general business experience is essential to growing,” she said.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: the CMO of Land O’Lakes is involved in driving strategy for M&A.
  • Innovation: taking the business to the next level, which is the role of the CMOs at General Electric and Open Text.

With the expanding roles comes anxiety — specifically about the role of technology to support the business. According to Pattek, CMOs generally believe technology has business impact, but their involvement in marketing technology decisions lags. (To wit: 45 percent of CMOs view technology is essential, but only 25 percent are leading cross-functional teams to develop a process for selecting the right technology vendors.)

“Solving the customer data quagmire remains Job 1 for the CMO,” she said. “Only 41 percent of CMOs use big data to make marketing decisions. They feel hampered by their ability to harness the data.”

In fact, mastering technology will be essential for tomorrow’s CMOs to succeed — and technology mastery is but one essential ingredient for future success. Pattek outlined these seven necessities for CMOs to thrive tomorrow:

  • Have a customer orientation, not a brand orientation.
  • Have an analytic mindset.
  • Be a savvy technologist.
  • Possess digital know-how.
  • Be fanatical about innovation.
  • Be a broad business leader.
  • Be a relationship builder.

“Today’s eBusiness expert is well positioned to be tomorrow’s CMO,” she added. “eBusiness professionals possess the broad set of skills required.” Many eBusiness leaders are blazing the trail to be CMO, Sona Chawla, CMO of Walgreens (who is a retail digital pioneer) and Julie Bornstein, CMO of Sephora.

“Sona Chawla and Julie Borstein are people who understand cross-channel marketing and have a keen insight into digital,” she said.

Finally, if you consider yourself to be a candidate to be a successful CMO of tomorrow, here is what you can do now:

  • Help the organization move beyond digital marketing to make all marketing digital.
  • Bring a digital perspective to align consistent engagement across the entire buying journey.
  • Leverage your technology know-how to build the marketing technology infrastructure.
  • Use your customer insights to help CMOs understand what’s happening in your world and with customer behavior in general.

eBusiness leaders who complement their know-how with confidence, a curiosity for new insights, a strong business orientation, and an ability to anticipate and react quickly to change just might be ready to become CMOs of the future. Are you?




Why Winning with Digital Is Like Making a Movie

October 28th, 2014 by ddeal

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Mastering digital business is a lot like making a movie: you need to assemble a network of experts instead of trying to do it all yourself. Embracing an ecosystem to create customer value was the main take-away of Level Up: The Next Challenge in Digital Mastery, a presentation by Bill Doyle, vice president, principal analyst, Forrester Research. Doyle delivered his remarks October 28, 2014, at the Forrester Forum for eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals.

The theme of the 2014 eBusiness Forum, attended by Fortune 1000 organizations, is “Map Your Path to Digital Mastery.” The purpose of the 2014 Forum is to help business leaders understand how to embrace digital as a way of doing business.

“Digital mastery is a lot bigger than buffing up your website,” Doyle said. “Your competitors are creating new ecosystems to create better products at a lower cost than you can.”

The alternative to mastering digital is to allow digital to disrupt your business. According to Doyle, 93 percent of business executives say digital technology will disrupt their business within the next 12 months, but only 34 percent say they are ready. “A lot of industries are vulnerable right now, ranging from telecom to media,” he said. “It’s not just a matter of if you will be disrupted, but when.”

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He compared the evolution of digital to the transformation of the motion picture industry. Decades ago, Hollywood studios used to own the entire process of creating and distributing movies via a vertically oriented system. But anti-trust legislation and, more importantly, the rise of TV, disrupted Hollywood, creating a massive decline in movie attendance.

“The power in Hollywood shifted to agile, independent producers,” he said. “The result was better products: fewer, better movies. Movies today are made via an ecosystem of specialists who come together for the purpose of creating a movie: they disband when done.”

He indicated that thanks to digital, the modern way of making movies is being adopted by many industries across the customer lifecycle. Disruptors such as Uber to Wealthfront are “relying on networks of partners to come together to create better products than vertically oriented firms can.”

For instance, Wealthfront is a “robo-advisor” that provides automated wealth management services. Founded in 2011, Wealthfront relies on a network of partners to provide wealth management, ranging from Xignite for market data to Apex Clearing for accounting opening, funding, and trading. Wealthfront hit $1 billion in asset value twice as fast as it took Charles Schwab to do so. And Wealthfront employs only 50 people, most of whom are developers.

“Wealthfront can offer services at much less cost than traditional assets managers,” he said.

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Meantime, Uber famously relies on an ecosystem of drivers, technology affiliates, technology providers, and other partners to upend the transportation industry with surge pricing. Moreover, Uber shares its software with any firm that wants to embed agile, Uber-like capabilities in their own apps.

“When you mess with pricing as Uber is doing, all hell breaks loose,” Doyle added.

According to Doyle, mastering digital is not the province of the smaller start-ups, however. Any business that continuously uses technology to create new sources of value for customers and to increase operational agility in service of customers can succeed as Uber and Wealthfront are doing. In fact, Bank of America, 3M, and Walgreens (all appearing at the 2014 Forum) have done so.

“Established businesses need to accelerate their transition as Bank of America, 3M, and Walgreens are doing,” he added. “Walgreens is undergoing a cultural transformation. Bank of America is riding a storm surge of empowered customers. 3M has a long tradition of customer-centric innovation, which is driving the company’s embrace of digital.”

And the key to winning with digital is the same for big companies as it is for smaller start-ups: move quickly and open up your business to an ecosystem. Act like a modern-day filmmaker and look outside the four walls of your business to find the right talent for the time.