Media & Entertainment Providers Must Innovate Quickly | Vlocity - Industry Cloud Apps

Media & Entertainment Providers Must Innovate As Quickly as the Market

Companies that succeed will act like disruptors, fearlessly advancing solutions that embrace connected technologies alongside a comprehensive strategy for generating innovation. And this last part can’t be taken for granted.

May 20, 2020 by Christopher S. Dean
VP / GM Media & Entertainment
5 minute read in Media & Entertainment
Media & Entertainment Providers Must Innovate Quickly

The rapid evolution of digital tools and digitally enhanced product lifecycle management (PLM) methods has accelerated the pace of innovation, and new, digitally connected solution offerings have significantly altered customer expectations of value and performance.

Let’s focus on just a few areas of digital Product & Service Innovation that are creating dramatic changes in how companies perceive products and services, and how they create faster enhancements to meet rapidly changing customer demands.

  1. “Smart” Offerings

  2. The Pace of Innovation

  3. Offering Optimization

The rapid rise of digitally connected objects in the physical world (Internet of Things / IoT) is transforming how companies think about products and services, leveraging opportunities created by new levels of connectivity to create “smart” offerings. Enterprises can no longer consider physical products complete without first thinking about additional features enabled by sensors, data streams and ubiquitous wireless networks. For example, Media & Entertainment stakeholders need to consider how the design of their interface relates to voice-activated devices and what level of engagement subscribers expect from the exchange. Is basic on/off functionality on a Smart TV or Alexa enough? Or, in the near future, will subscribers be making service changes and maybe even responding to special offers?  

The pace of innovation in the digital age is another critical topic to discuss. Innovators, by definition, get to the marketplace first; ergo, speed matters. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that extended development cycles were the most-cited obstacle to generating positive returns on innovation, and companies considered to be “fast” innovators were almost 20 times more likely to be disruptive to an industry compared to their slower counterparts.

Increasing the pace of innovation provides a range of business benefits including the following:

  1. Maximize revenue by capturing greater market share faster

  2. Increase margins by minimizing pricing pressure early in a product or service’s life cycle

  3. Create more barriers to entry by being first-to-market with foundational, disruptive capabilities that become difficult to match or leapfrog

  4. Reduce the cost of failure by avoiding overinvestment in lengthy development cycles that ultimately do not pan out (i.e., fail fast!)

The backbone of speed is a modern data and process management platform that interconnects all innovation-related functions and supports rapid deployment of new business processes. Cloud-based technologies offer dramatic opportunities to accelerate innovation by avoiding or minimizing lengthy (and costly) IT development activities such as business rules definition, custom code development and regression testing. Vlocity, built natively on the Salesforce Cloud platform, takes the concept of speed even further with industry-specific cloud software designed to be rapidly configured and deploy new business processes across multiple channels. What used to take years can now be delivered in weeks. For example, a Brazilian Pay TV incumbent partnered with Vlocity to launch a streaming offering in just four months, replacing their legacy infrastructure.

While the latest digital technologies will get new products and service functions to market faster, nothing can replace the value of rapid marketplace response and adaptation, which is why offering optimization is so critical to successful innovation. Savvy digital leaders know how to harness market feedback on a real-time basis to continuously enhance their offerings to meet ever-changing market conditions. Successful innovators are less concerned with acknowledged imperfections in new offerings than gaining that indispensable preliminary insight and feedback that fuels innovation. For example, companies can employ a wide array of rapid “A/B” testing of different product and service bundles to determine which ones yield the greatest customer response.

As product and service recommendations become increasingly personalized, it is also important to ensure that bundles and pricing can be adjusted in real time. Many marketing teams today are constrained by outdated or overly customized technology and have become unable to respond to rapidly changing market conditions or offer customers the solutions they really want. Modern digital solutions today provide robust tools for product configuration, pricing and quoting (CPQ) that can be used by marketers without the need for new system customization. 

Companies that succeed will act like disruptors, fearlessly advancing solutions that embrace connected technologies alongside a comprehensive strategy for generating innovation. And this last part can’t be taken for granted.

The cornerstones of achieving new Product & Service innovation in the digital age include the following:

  1. Conceiving new data-driven, connected offerings

  2. Rapidly bringing innovations to market

  3. Quickly adjusting to changing market conditions

Many marketing teams today are constrained by outdated or overly customized technology and have become unable to respond to rapidly changing market conditions or offer customers the solutions they really want.

Underlying each of these requirements is an agile, modern data and process management platform as well as a cultural mindset to “lead with speed.” Companies that succeed will act like disruptors, fearlessly advancing solutions that embrace connected technologies alongside a comprehensive strategy for generating innovation. And this last part cannot be taken for granted.

As much as industry watchers understandably emphasize emerging technologies and their appealing promises of amazing speed and connectivity, it is ultimately the people within a given enterprise who will incubate, test and advance Product & Service Innovation.

This mission begins with leadership giving its employees practice in “innovation thinking,” developing ways to harness cutting-edge ideas, challenging orthodoxies (and lengthy decision-making processes) and ultimately aligning this newly cultivated mindset of innovation with a company’s products and services to create more value for the customer. In the digital economy, true innovation effectively deployed within a business model is always a harbinger of customer value and, ultimately, company success.

Download the Media & Entertainment guidebook here, to learn more and dig deeper into these best practices. 

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