Faaez Samadi
May 31, 2016

AMES 2016: Unified ecosystems the key to true disruption

An underappreciated difference between innovation and disruption took centre stage as the 2016 Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy (AMES) conference kicked off this morning in Singapore.

L-R: Sumanta Ganguly, Vikas Mehta
L-R: Sumanta Ganguly, Vikas Mehta

SINGAPORE - Innovations are new and exciting, but to be truly disruptive, businesses need to have created a paradigm shift at the back-end as well as the front, according to two senior MullenLowe Lintas executives.

Creating a unified platform ecosystem at the core of your business is the most crucial part of engendering disruption, not just creating a new innovative product, said Vikas Mehta and Sumanta Ganguly.

Kicking off this year’s Asian Marketing Effectiveness & Strategy conference in Singapore, Mehta, the company's group CMO and president of marketing services, said a line needs to be drawn between disruption and innovation, terms which are used too interchangeably.

“It’s very likely that underlying every disruption is an innovation that is the public face of it,” he said.“But disruption is not just a device, or concept. It is the whole ecosystem underneath that has the ability to change industry paradigms.”


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Pointing to the iPod, a quintessential example of disruption, Mehta said the device was merely the innovation. The game-changing disruption was the creation of iTunes, a new ecosystem for downloading and purchasing music that has changed the industry forever.

Ganguly, executive vice president of LinTeractive, said it is this model of unifying ecosystem that is allowing new brands to strongly challenge large, established Fortune 500 companies.

“Established companies are usually playing off competitive cues and reacting to the market,” he explained. “Their value delivery happens at every point along the pipe, in silos.

“But these disruptors are offering value delivery at a platform scale, putting everything along the pipe together on one ecosystem—producers, investors, consumers. Everyone collaborates to create value.”

He said the new digital economy requires a “mindset shift” for established brands to move from a siloed, pipeline model to a platform or unified ecosystem scale.

“Large businesses find it hard to act like one company chasing a unified agenda," Mehta said. "So they chase digital, but there are gaps. "The pace at which innovation needs to be driven means your structures slow you down.”

By having a unified platform or ecosystem, consumers and creators can work together to create value, and it allows brands to draw from all aspects of their business to produce content or drive disruption.

“Consolidate all your user data, and use that to build out your content engine," Ganguly said. "Then you have the platform play.”

Mehta added: “Look at each of your functions—HR, finance, marketing, production—as subject matter experts, and bring them into the content engine and creation process.”

Ganguly said Tumblr’s terms of service was a striking example of this, in which the so-called ‘legalese’ of a commonly tedious document was stripped away and repackaged with help from the whole Tumblr ecosystem, to set a new benchmark for terms of service.

 

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