How can business match the Speed of Consumer?

By October 1, 2013Uncategorized

While marketing buzz goes on about Big Data, Accelerated Review, Multi-channel marketing, a more nettlesome trend is emerging: the growing acceleration of Society and Technology and whether companies can keep up. 

Some can. Pharma? 

People have always moved faster in their habits, behaviors, styles, shopping, choice-making — faster than companies can react. But in the old days, let's say 30 years ago, most companies and media produced and sold on a seasonal cycle. So, the speed of the Customer was somewhat kept at the speed of the manufacturing and holiday cycle. 

Now we have all adopted the multi-screen world. We all know we now watch other screens more than TV. (Even my 80+ mom has her iPad facing her TV).

We have all adopted the insanity of a computer in our hand still called a phone (but not) — which some reports say we look at the screen an average of 150 times a day. First thing you grab in the morning, last thing you put down at night. 

My daughter never goes in a store without going online and shopping the local area for the same item first.

I used my iPhone Sunday in a Barnes&Noble to compare a book to a Kindle version for my iPad. 

I was shopping in the GAP last week (yes, people still do) and the girl at the check-out pointed to the counter where multiple"calls-to-action" were glued to the white counter: 20% additional savings if I "Liked" them on Facebook RIGHT NOW or 20% off if I used the QR code next to the Facebook logo. 

The fact is, given the adoption and acceleration of technology, the line between shopping and health is blurring. Soon we will all be Health Shoppers. Just looks at how Deloitte in 2012 captured different age groups decision-making:

Screenshot_1236 behaviors Deliotte

Multiple trusted sources accessed by multiple trusted devices. Creating the Health Shopper – where the crossover off our normal shopping behavior into health impacts how we approach our medications. 

Imagine a world where as you check out of the pharmacy, they had the same thing. And if you use the QR code to sign up for their loyalty program, you can schedule a free pharmacist consult on your phone. 

Imagine a world where as you were leaving your doctor's office, and they had the same thing: Like him on Facebook, write him a good review on Angie's List, or Sign Up for a free mobile adherence program..and if you do any or all, you get a free eye exam. 

First, one has to accept that there is no large organizations — especially in the regulated industries of financial services and pharmaceutical/biotech — that can ever re-shape themselves to match the needs in time for their Customers. But playing catch-up is a lot better than rolling over and giving up! That is not a choice. 

As I have always said, once the tipping point occurs that a Customer starts viewing your Brand not just by the efficacy of what it does but by the efficacy of your support, true Transformation will occur.

Perhaps when all the elements of Transformation are in place — real-time Social monitoring, ubiquitous Social Media, action-oriented mobile-media, Multi-channel coordination and measurement, then the companies will have a chance at playing catch me if you can.