On February 28th, executives from leading B2B enterprises gathered at SAP’s headquarters outside Philadelphia for a Jam Session with ISBM. The theme of the conference was certainly cautionary, if not foreboding: “Disrupt or Be Disrupted.” But there were plenty of hopeful insights on brand disruption to glean from the day’s workshop, especially in the keynote address from Vivaldi’s own founder and CEO Erich Joachimsthaler. Below are the essential takeaways from his talk on Why Digital Connectivity Matters to B2B Companies:
- In the last 50 years, technological advances led to two big shifts in business: automation and global connectivity. But these mainly optimized the linear pipeline value chain – an outdated business model for our modern world.
- Today’s explosive growth opportunities no longer reside in the pipeline and its obsession with products, features and messaging, but in the creation of a platform, on which stakeholders interact, exchange data and participate in value creation.
- This new model radically transforms the role of marketing – instead of being relegated to communicating a value proposition at the end of the linear pipeline value chain, modern marketing now creates the interchange, decides what represents value to customers and which products and services will attract customers and maximize the value created on the platform. Not only does this mean marketing influences product design long before offerings hit the market, but marketing is now at the center of value creation and revenue growth.
- John Deere provides a perfect example of a forward-thinking business that’s evolved to embrace this new model. The farm equipment manufacturer started its digital transformation by introducing high-tech machinery incorporating sensors and processors that connected tractor operators to remote farm managers and coordinated work in the fields, but the company quickly recognized that this was not sufficient to truly create value. They opened up their digital platform to others, including software companies, seed and fertilizer manufacturers and university researchers, to facilitate interaction between parties on the platform and create value on top of the technology. This has resulted in big data applications such as weather forecasting, plant genomics and agronomic progress. Now, instead of coming to the historic brand only for its machinery, customers benefit from John Deere’s larger vision of being committed to all those linked to the land.
- Erich also touched on Philips’ connected care platform that supports patients and healthcare systems by enabling integrated care, real-time analytics and better outcomes along the entire health continuum. The key to success here is the network effect that happens by providing value to all parties involved.
- And finally, the GoPro’s community of users illustrates how the value of the platform is multiplied exponentially through social media’s sharing and engagement capabilities.
Is your business ready to embrace this new model of digital transformation? When building your platform, be sure to ask yourself these key questions:
1 . What are you solving for? How are you creating exponential value in your customers’ lives?
2. How will you configure the platform? What implications does this have for the culture, business mode, processes, leadership, infrastructure and customer experience?
3. What is the role of the B2B marketer in value creation for all parties in the ecosystem?
See the presentation in its entirety here.
Meet The Expert
Erich Joachimsthaler, Ph.D.
CEO & Founder