Digital Disruptors by James McQuivey #MRA_National #MRX

… Live blogging from Disney Orlando, any errors are my own…

The Digitally Disrupted Consumer: Researching an Accelerating Target

James McQuivey, Ph.D., Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research


  • The end of research as we know it has arrived. Are you ready?
  • Think of the world of banking. They make us wait in line to access our own money. Bankers hours were always frustrating.
  • A machine disrupted the process in the 70s and was cheaper than running a whole bank branch. Though it was ridiculously expensive.
  • In the good ol’ days, how will we move to online banking if we couldn’t use an ATM? There are always barriers to adoption.
  • Now, we take a photo of a cheque and it is in our bank account instantly. The bank didn’t have to pay for the phone so maybe it cost them a few pennies to develop the app that was used.
  • They didn’t teach us how to use the app or take a picture. We know how to now.
  • “People will never do that.” Well, they will. That’s not a good excuse anymore.
  • “It will cost too much to do.” Nope, not anymore.
  • What do consumers REALLY want, not what do consumers want within the constraints that we have to work with? Minimum satisfaction is no longer sufficient.
  • How quickly/cheaply can we give it to them?
  • Don’t adopt technology, rather internalize technology – find distruptive ways to do things.
  • Learn to think like Mark Zuckerberg [create another facebook? no 🙂 ]
  • Think about Expensify, a new way to do your expenses
  • Dilemma for research – finding disruptive, new ways to achieve insight, and exploiuting digital tools to do it cheaper, faster
  • Adoption is the old way of doing things, it’s not enough.
  • Digital disrupters are building the tools that we need and want to use to make things better, strong, faster
  • Old disruption – Only a few people had sufficient money to be able to do something important, can take decades and billions of dollars, replacing landlines with cellphones for example
  • Digital disruption – Many people can participate, lower cost per idea, many many more ideas are coming to market, anyone’s basement will work, somewhere in all those ideas is a huge idea
  • 10X the number of innovators, 1/10th the cost – multiply it out is 100X the power
  • It’s not just change or management, it’s disruption. It will break what we’ve already done.
  • Consumers are already auto-disrupting – we do our shopping in the cab and the product is at our door in two days
  • Digital bridges to consumers – tablets, phones, kinect. Just a decade ago, it took two years to sell 1 million ipods.
  • Digital disruptors meet consumer needs more fully by innovating the adjacent possible.
  • Old days, marketers were required to build barriers to switching, loyalty was massively important.
  • Ask yourself what is outside your circle, what is the next thing your consumers will need, what should I seek to satisfy. Now “what is the future of X” but rather “what does my consumer want that is outside my circle”
  • What is the next thing people trying to lose weight need? Weight watchers will try to do all of these things. A newbie can’t afford to do all of them, just the one next thing – ability to track their calories. A company created “Lose It!” After calories, they added an exercise component, and it reads what exercise you did. Didn’t raise capital for 4 years.
  • Find the next thing people want and if they use it, great. Otherwise, lesson learned.
  • The Magic Mirror – A girl standing in front of her mirror already knows how to use your products. But what if she has an app that let’s her see what she looks like with different hair, different make up, and those companies advise her on what would work for her. There are so many things that she needs next that you could build/market to her.
  • Media has the content to help you do this – fashion magazines. Retailers who sell the product. Manufacturers who want the customer loyalty. Platforms want to enable it. Who will seize the opportunity first.
  • Not every company can do this, particularly in health care. Actually, yes you can.
  • Are executives ready? People see it coming but they aren’t ready for it.38% believe people in their company have the skills to adapt to the changes that digital brings. 32% believe their policies will enable them to adapt to the changes that digital brings.
  • Methodology has gotten us this far. Now is time to go beyond them. Think big data [yawn], mobile metrics, cloud data analytics. These could generate insights 24/7. Don’t built a fridge with a TV. Build a fridge that knows when to be colder and warmer at what time.
  • We selected the market research position because we like order, but we need to bend and enjoy chaos. Be creative when no one is looking.
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