This article applies to all industries, especially those consolidating or declining. Spending nearly thirty years in the Print Equipment and Services Industry; an industry known as the Document Imaging Channel. I have seen the glory days, and obviously, now I am witnessing its most challenging time ever. Today as print equipment, customers' continue in their digital transformations. They are reducing the need for printed paper.
As the market shifts and consolidates, I am also witnessing and observing first hand the competitive landscape is not only changing it is straining relationships. We see the industry's needed conversations silenced by sponsorships, larger legacy organizations being challenged by outsiders with new approaches. The ways of marketing are also going through Digital Transformation, creating more opportunities, and causing more pain to the way things used to be.
Here are some thoughts on what I call Digital Upmanship.
Frenemies challenge each other, Enemies fight each other.
As the innovative world pressures, the old way's world, the inhabitants from both those worlds will test their ability to remain frenemies or cross over and become enemies.
Remember when we had frenemies and Competitors who were agreeable to disagree while respecting each other's disagreements — a time when debates were more popular then threaten lawsuits or corporate bullying.
Businesses can communicate their competitive advantages in ways unimagined just a decade ago. Organizations once relied on a mail piece, local television commercial, and of course, talking face to face in the physical world. Now even the smallest or the newest unknown competitor can challenge the old way in a global platform. These global social platforms have created the ability to spread your business messages instantly to a massive market. The ability to find and communicate with new prospects and new competitors is changing the game.
The digital world has expanded the competitive battlefield and can transition an old way to an innovative new way at speeds once incomprehensible. What I describe as "Digital Upmanship." is quickly becoming the measurement of marketing success.
The caution is not to let Digital Upmanship become Digital fistfights.
We all have frenemies in business, let’s not become enemies just because the competitiveness increases. Especially in industries which are constricting or, consolidating as they attempt to transition for continued relevance. During transitions and consolidations what was once a collaborator may indeed become a new competitor.
Let's all remember that we all have good intentions, and during disruptive times, one's good intentions can easily be translated as an act of war. In most cases, it's just a position or stand which completely disagrees with someone else's. In business, it's OK to disagree and have frenemies; frenemies will professionally challenge each other's status quo, but becoming enemies blocks our ability to consider what in-fact might need to be considered.
“Status Quo Is The Killer Of All That Will Be Invented.”
I look forward to speaking at the Remax Summit in Zhuhai China on Oct 18th https://www.rtmworld.com/events/remaxworld-summit-2019/ and again at BTA West Capture the Magic November 4th 5th http://www.bta.org/BTACoronado
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