Summary: This article is inspired by a recent conversation with a leadership member of an insurance company. We talked about Digital Transformation and the challenges deriving from new business models and industrial disruption. He had one angle on the subject that kind of dumbstruck me and I felt silly to have never thought about it myself: the disruption through the inability to reach out to potential target groups in the attempt to get to the first A in AIDA: attention. Here’s my reflection on the conversation to share it with you.
The importance to get “attention”.
We live in a world of accelerating change and a substantial shift in generations and values. I don’t want to go down the route of Digital Natives and Millenials here. However, I suppose it’s obvious that attitude and values of the upcoming generations differ quite substantially from the one that’s kind of “in charge” at the moment.
If a company’s offering addresses more “classic” or even conservative values (e.g. retirement provision) it might be the case that the subject is definitely not top of mind anymore. Actively prompted the new generations might develop a momentary awareness but when it comes to “life determining” influencers, the conservative angles aren’t necessarily in the top position.
This means that you have to excel in getting to the first A in the good old AIDA model (of course it is impossible to leave out the “social” extension in 2016…):
Only if a message gets past the attention barrier there is a change to convey the essence, build a relationship and maybe even initiation (inter)action.
When I used to work in marketing and advertising (before the internet) it was already a big thing that the amount of messages that were hammering on consumers created a challenge to marketers. The fight over creativity and exceptionally crazy ideas was built on that circumstance.
The times for communicators have changed. Substantially. Irreversibly.
The Share of Voice Disruption
The simplest analogy for “share of voice disruption” is definitely if someone steps on the hose when you’re trying to water the garden…
That’s what media companies, brands, TV series, game consoles and more or less the ENTIRE internet do to you if you are trying to convey a message that cannot remotely compete with the attractiveness of the “distraction”.
Like I said in the introduction: it really really bugs me that this hasn’t crossed my mind or that I didn’t pick up on it earlier. Simply because it’s so damn obvious!
Disrupting Share of Voice in inside facing channels
Since I spend the majority of my times advising on the Digital Workplace I realised that this model (or angle) applies there as well. The amount of messages and distraction keeps increasing and the “low value” messages (aka leader talk, policies & regulations) hardly make it on the top of the list of the required recipients.
The new “Competitive Advantage”
So in addition to re-thinking business models, value proposition, ecosystem and supply chain the communicators get a new role. It will be about intelligent and resonating communications. To some extend it could be a complementary dimension to McKinsey’s model used in the most recent publication on “The economic essentials of digital strategy” (McKinsey Quarterly, 2016).
(c) 2016 McKinsey & Company
For everyone interested in the subject I can only recommend the article. One of the best compact publications on the subject I’ve recently come across.