Wave Of Certainty

Much has been made of the rapid advancements in digital maturity in the last few months. Are there lessons and opportunities here for marketing leaders? What about pitfalls? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Maybe you’ve seen this impressive chart from McKinsey.
  • Or heard Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talk about two years of digital transformation happening in just two months.
  • Or seen Twilio’s new Digital Engagement Report, which found that COVID-19 has accelerated companies’ digital communications strategies by an average of 6 years.
  • What should we make of all this? Back in 2013, Scott Brinker introduced “Martec’s Law”, which illustrates the gap between the speed of organizational change and pace of technological change.
  • There’s some truth here. In our experience, big visions for a better future definitely have a way of bumping up against the complexities and slow pace of organizational change.
  • Brinker recently updated his chart to recognize the burst of digital growth since the pandemic hit.
  • Brinker sees the progress of the last few months as proof that rapid organizational shifts are more possible than we used to think. It’s a nice sentiment. And we don’t entirely disagree.
  • But is there more to the story? Let’s not forget—these are times of great uncertainty.
  • The only thing most of us are sure about is that online life is more important than ever. This gives digital investments tremendous appeal. They feel certain when not much else does.
  • So is this spike in digital investment happening because it’s truly important? Or because it feels safe when nothing else does? Is our focus on digital helping us write the next chapter? Or distracting us from more pressing issues that feel more daunting?
  • The answers will vary, of course. But one thing is certain—it’s worth pausing and reflecting on these questions before you decide to ride this alluring wave of certainty.
Issue #101
Sep 7, 2020

Further Reading