The recipe for failing industries threatened by online

... is not what you think

I have had an A-HA moment…

http://kevinmartineau.ca/

http://kevinmartineau.ca/

The reason why so many industries/ professions are in trouble is not because of changing technology. The industries/professions that are struggling to reinvent themselves are the ones that were structured to achieve profit and prominence AGAINST human nature.

All that has happened now is that technology has ENABLED consumers/users to wrestle back the power and force the change in that industry/profession to REVERT to the natural state.

In practice what happened is that industries built business models where the source of revenue was separated from the actual value sought by the consumer.

Let’s consider three examples:

1. Journalism/ Newspapers: everything free online

People want to know what they want to know. People don’t like to be bullshitted. People don’t want to be used and treated as eyeballs.

Newspapers have traditionally used journalism (relevant, true) to attract, but made their money by exposing the reader to other things where they (the industry) can make money.

The revenue source has no relationship with the consumer value.

People still want all those things like truth, information etc. And now they can get it mostly directly from each other. Technology allows them to curate and filter based on what they have always wanted.

The original opportunity for this sector remains in real journalism that is worth paying for. (The economics may be different, but that is the only sustainable response to the fundamental human need.)

2. Education: access to information and knowledge universal and free

Dropping out of college has become a badge of honour amongst entrepreneurs.

Academic institutions are considered out of date and most curricula are both irrelevant to the context of the current market, and irrelevant to the learner’s specific needs.

People can now find online all information they need to do anything and even better, someone who will help them and train them often for free or for a fraction of university costs. People will learn what they need to and may be motivated by an intrinsic desire or by force of circumstance and don’t typically see the value of being taught within an institution.

People want to learn what they are interested in learning when they want to do so, AND the test of relevance and competence is the real world, not a classroom quiz or exam.

Most people will recognise that familiar refrain: I went to university to get a piece of paper. What they wanted was the ‘accreditation’ or certification of their ability, not lecture hours.

The revenue source has no relationship with the consumer value.

Universities are losing their monopoly gradually at present, but in 10 or so years they will start approaching a tipping point towards complete oblivion – unless they can pivot.

Some professions (law/medicine etc.) are artificially maintaining a closed shop with the assistance of governments, as are the governments themselves by mandating secondary education within their system. Not for long.

The original opportunity for this sector remains in objective assessment of knowledge and skills.

Marketing/ Retail: unlimited choice, instant determination of true value

This profession has thrived in the past because it controlled so many elements of the offer that it dictated all terms in the relationship with the consumer. This has led to a sales orientation. Even Theodore Levitt’s seminal insight in 1963 did not change that because the so-called marketing orientation was simply a re-phrasing of the activities that existed in order to sell more stuff.

Consumers don’t want to be sold to.

They don’t want you to sell them by ‘serving’ them. They don’t want you to sell them with a USP.

ANYTHING you do that will help you sell stuff has always been resented, but now technology has provided them with an alternative that is easy, cheap and powerful.

The remaining opportunity for this sector remains in finding ways to help the consumer to buy.

What consumers/users want is to buy stuff that,,.

Your challenge is to complete that sentence with YOUR product/service.

It is a completely different mindset to selling stuff. You must become a meaningful part of the customers’ lives without ending up like the annoying uncle at the family BBQ who wants to sell insurance to everyone.

The recipe for any industry being challenged by the transformative effects of online/ e-commerce and the connected world is pretty simple.

Find out what it is that consumers really want (and wanted all along) and attach value to that and charge for that value fairly.

Oh, wait. That isn't a recipe. It is just marketing.

Dennis @ Ganador

Customer Acquisition, Retention & Engagement by turning your Organisational IP into Marketing IQ.