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PR Smith: “Digital is just the transformation agent, not the transformation itself!”

On Thursday November 24th, 2016 is PR Smith one of the keynote speakers at 'Digital Marketing & Social Strategy in 1 Day' . He is the founder of SOSTAC® Planning, author, adviser and international speaker. At this event about the digital transition in Spant in Bussum he will talk about the digital transition, including Internet of Things, marketing automation, intelligent bots, virtual world, big data and campaign automation technology. This is part one of an exclusive interview.

Can you give us a sneak preview of your keynote during ‘Digital Marketing & Social Strategy in 1 Day’ on November, 24th?

“I’m addressing 4 questions on November, 24th:

1. Digital Transformation Overview

Here I’ll talk about how digital is not what digital transformation is about! Digital is just the transformation agent, not the transformation itself. One of my favourite writers, Gerry McGovern, tells the story about when electricity was invented. Some architects heard about this new invention and they thought: ‘How do I add an electrical system into the buildings I’m designing?’ Other architects thought: ‘How does electricity change the nature of the buildings I’m designing?’ The second type of architect invented the skyscraper, courtesy of the electric lift.

2. Advantages & Disadvantages of Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is forcing businesses to think longer term and with a Customer Experience focus and now lifetime CX focus, exploring new ways of adding value to the CX – often using data. Whilst hypercompetition, new security risks and overtargeting will cause problems. Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and automation (see ‘Here come the clever bots’) will wipe out many jobs. This will, in turn, affect many markets in many ways.

3. Issues Arising

Controlling the data hub created by Internet of Things will be an issue (see IoT is Here). Security will also become a bigger problem as the weakest link in the IoT chain will allow unwanted 3rd parties to watch and listen to you, whether governments, terrorists, hackers, vandals or even brands – see previous Samsung’s Smart TV privacy statement. Meanwhile estimates suggest 70% of IoT devices are insecure. So beware, your kettle can take over your kitchen, your house, your network. Accelerated hypercompetition will come from enlightened companies that embrace Kaizen principles and exploit Moore’s Law of even more powerful, smaller chips.

4. How To Manage Digital Transition

I will use SOSTAC® model to help plan the steps and the approaches for each step. Here’s a summary of it: I will spend most of our time on ‘How To Manage Digital Transformation’ and I’ll use the SOSTAC® Planning System to take the audience through each step.”

PR Smith

You are well known by your SOSTAC® marketing planning model. Can you describe this model briefly? And how we can use this model nowadays in this fast changing world?

SOSTAC® was voted in the top 3 business models in the world by the Chartered Institute Marketing’s Centenary Poll, and since then it’s been adopted by KPMG (digital marketing global HQ) and LinkedIn as their planning model. It’s logic, simple and crystal clear:

Situation Analysis: where are we now?

Objectives: where do you want to go?

Strategy: how will you get there?

Tactics: details of strategy – usually the marketing mix and in this case the range of Digital Tools

Action: the details of Tactics – how you ensure your plan is executed with excellence – internal marketing: communication, training , motivation

Control: how do we know we are getting there?) – measurement & metrics – what do you measure, how often, by whom, how much does it cost, how long does it take and most importantly, what do you do with a blip when you see one?

Add in the 3Ms – the 3 key resources: men (men & women/HR), money (budgets) and minutes (timescales) and you have got a good structure for a logical plan. Nota bene, strategy must drive tactics. You can see all of this this on a 4 minute video www.SOSTAC.org.”


We talk a lot about digital marketing. But isn’t digital marketing becoming more and more mobile marketing now the smartphone is becoming the preferred device?

“No. Although mobiles are very important right now, they are just the preferred device at this time. Soon we’ll be fully hands-free with the results projected on walls, windscreens, briefcases, fridges and also simply spoken to us et cetera (see IoT is here).”

What should be the focus of human beings in this digitalized world? Is human creativity making the difference?

“Perhaps for a period. We’ll eventually be good pets for our robot owners! No seriously, I don’t actually know whether human creativity will prevail. IBM’s AI, Watson, recently created the trailer for a science fiction movie. There are apps that create music, create art, convert photos to filtered images and animate them for us already. Years ago Facebook’s ‘Museum Of Me’ created your own exhibition of your life. Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, suggests robots will reach human levels of intelligence by 2029, purportedly leaving us about 14 years to reign supreme. I feel that our focus should be the relentless search to create better CX’s. How can data add value. Watch Uber use data brilliantly to add value. We also need to be able to interrogate data, or simply ask questions of data. Push it. Ask it. Somebody else will do the maths. In fact, many Mad Men (USA series about advertisers) are already becoming Maths Men, writing algorithms – leaving the stockbrokers and joining ad agencies. Your ability to ask great questions may be what separates us in my opinion.”

You can find the second part of this interview here.

PR Smith verzorgt een keynote tijdens 'Digital Marketing & Social Strategy in 1 Day'. Dit bijzondere evenement op het gebied van de digitale transitie vindt op donderdag 24 november 2016 plaats in ’t Spant in Bussum. Tal van toonaangevende sprekers uit verscheidene landen en sectoren wijzen jou die dag aan de hand van praktijkvoorbeelden de weg naar succes in een voortdurend veranderende maatschappij.

Op vrijdag 25 november 2016 geeft hij een unieke masterclass 'The guide to your perfect digital marketing plan' bij Beeckestijn Business School rondom het SOSTAC®-model. Dit is wereldwijd een populair marketingmodel dat je eenvoudig kunt gebruiken om verschillende activiteiten op het terrein van digitale marketing te plannen en structureren. Bij zowel het maken van overall strategieën als bij het optimaliseren van verschillende digitale middelen zoals SEO en e-mailmarketing kun je het model eenvoudig en doeltreffend inzetten.

Bron: CustomerTalk
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