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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett


Tips for Surviving the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Everywhere computers, sensors, and robots perform jobs that humans used to perform. Many experts say we are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. How should your company respond to the changes that result from this revolution?

The First Industrial Revolution brought the steam engine and "mechanical production." The Second Industrial Revolution century brought mass production, and the Third Industrial Revolution brought the computer revolution, reports Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming "entire systems" in nearly all industries, Schwab says. One obvious example is Uber, which has permanently altered local ground transportation.

Changes in How You Do Business

  • New distribution modalities-- you can purchase almost any product or service without leaving your home or office.
  • More do it yourself-- you can manage more of your business and personal affairs without expert assistance because of tax filing software, free online survey platforms, and online templates for wills and contracts.
  • You have more competitors because of lower barriers to entry. Vendors can sell clothing and other items without a physical presence and without even taking possession of the goods they sell.
  • Changes in regulations and ways of conducting business. Technology has given rise to HIPAA and other regulations that govern how we secure and transmit information.
  • Increases in foreign competition. We regularly receive proposals from foreign market research companies that found our website.
  • More substitute services-- peer-to-peer on demand services/platforms, such as Uber. People can more easily set up businesses and provide everything from plumbing to web design services.

How To Respond

  • Identify and accept new developments and new trends.
  • Abandon assumptions that people will always need your current products and services.
  • Differentiate. Making just minor differences matters, says marketing expert Marcia Yudkin.
  • Identify niches with special needs that you can address. The aging population has created new, unaddressed needs. Develop new and/or better services and products.

Business success means responding to the ever-changing business environment. Don't be trapped by current success, "lead with conviction," and seek the "'right'" diversity, advises Karl Schwab

We can help you respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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their customers and markets

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