At the Intersect (Series)

A disproportionate amount of innovation today seems to be happening at the intersection of traditional industries such as healthcare, financial services, retail, and technology. That’s also where we’re seeing a disproportionate amount of disruptive competition.

In late 2015, a study from the IBM Institute for Business Value reported that “industry convergence” – i.e., the erosion of traditional industry boundaries and structure – topped the C-suite’s list of disruptive trends to watch, outpacing “cyber-risk” and the “anywhere workplace.” It also asserted that twice almost twice as many CXOs expect future competition to come from adjacent industries rather than their own.

Since then, we’ve seen car companies partner with technology brands; technology companies move into insurance and wealth management; telecommunications companies merge with media companies; retail brands become non-bank deposit-takers; and data companies rewrite the rules of engagement in healthcare. According to Alison Kay of Ernst & Young: “The first wave of convergence hit telecoms and media. Next up are health care, mobility and insurance.”

At Bliss, we’ve had front-row seats to the convergence economy. Our client work is concentrated in two of Kay’s “next wave” industries – financial services and healthcare – as well as in the professional services sector (i.e., consulting, accounting, law, talent, compliance), which helps companies in numerous industries navigate change.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen many of our clients transform from well-established industry players (with clearly defined audiences and distribution channels) into more agile organizations with new rules for delivering value to customers.

As our clients’ businesses change, what they need from an agency partner has changed too. Today, clients need agency teams who understand their business as well as the trends reshaping it. They need help building relationships with new audiences, partners, and influencers. Most important, they need trusted advisors who think broadly, adapt quickly, work collaboratively, and know how to reposition organizations for success in and across traditional industry boundaries.

Over the next six months, this blog series will examine the organizations and trends making news at the intersect. In early July, we’ll focus on the financial services sector. In September and November, we’ll zero in on healthcare and professional services.

In the meantime, here are some questions that every marketing communications team should be asking themselves:

  1. What do we do better than anyone else? How can we both strengthen our core and extend our brand through new partnerships, distribution channels, and service offerings – or to new end-audiences?
  2. What are our traditional competitors doing? Who are our emerging competitors?
  3. How can we begin to shift external marketing/communications to position our organization to deliver more value?

Increasingly, differentiation and value creation are happening at the intersect. What is your organization doing to stay one step ahead?


Connect with Meg
Twitter: @megwildrick
LinkedIn: Meg Wildrick

Photo Credit: Peter Nguyen, Unsplash