Netflix & Chill…..The sexy & evolving world of digitalisation

Netflix & Chill…..The sexy & evolving world of digitalisation

Are you a Netflix… or are you a Blockbuster?

Have you ever sat back and thought just how much has changed since the dawn of the 21st century? As we said goodbye to the twentieth century and looked forward into the future, nobody could have guessed just how much technology would evolve and revolutionize our lives.

The reason I’m bringing up the subject is because last week I had the delight to meet with the CMO of one of the leading global digital marketing companies and in our discussion, we touched upon this subject as well as how technology will change the business landscape in the next few years. Digital marketing is evolving quicker than ever before and we’re now facing a world of increasing AI (artificial intelligence) and automation. The fact is, with such rapid change, if your business isn’t engaging with the latest innovations in marketing and technology, your competitors undoubtedly will, and your business could be left behind.

Netflix vs Blockbuster

Remember Blockbuster Video? Blockbuster was an American-based provider of home movie and video game rental services through video rental shops. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people across the world in more than 9000 stores and was an undoubted success story. But four years prior to this, it made a huge mistake which ultimately led to their demise.

In 2000, Reed Hastings, the founder of a fledgling company called Netflix, flew to Dallas to propose a partnership to Blockbuster CEO John Antioco and his team. The idea was that Netflix would run Blockbuster’s brand online and Antioco’s firm would promote Netflix in its stores. Hastings got laughed out of the room. At the time, Blockbuster had thousands of stores, millions of customers, efficient operations and huge marketing budgets and was the clear market leader. But what they weren’t doing was looking towards the future and engaging with it. And this was their big mistake.

At the same time, Netflix had its finger on the pulse of how society and tech was changing. It eschewed retail locations and was entirely online, thus lowering costs and could afford to offer its customers a greater variety of services and goods. Critically, instead of charging to rent movies, it offered a subscription service where customers could watch a movie for as long as they wanted or return it and get a new one. Over time, as technology improved, they moved from DVDs through the post to the on-demand model that is such a success today. As of April 2018, Netflix had 125 million total subscribers worldwide. And Blockbuster? Despite trying to engage with online and on-demand services, they were too slow to adapt, and the business went bankrupt in 2013.

This quote, often attributed to Charles Darwin sums it up nicely:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

We live in a world of ever evolving change and constant innovation. Are you and your business engaging with it? Are you a Netflix or a Blockbuster? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sandy Khara

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