To fully understand business “disruption,” according to Y&R Global CEO David Sable, it pays to revisit the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogue—circa 1894. Because if you read the mail order company’s pioneering business manifesto—the best goods from around the world at great prices—it’s exactly the same as modern-day disrupter Amazon.
“Literally word for word,” he says in an interview with Beet.TV. “It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy.”
After Sears, Roebuck, “Everything else since then has been actually evolution not necessarily disruption,” observes Sable, whose marketing perspective dates to 1976, when he joined Y&R as a trainee.
So when he returns to DEMEXCO 2016 this month for the second time as a keynote presenter, Sable will bring a “very long-term view” of market forces to help determine who is really causing and experiencing disruption. The customer experience will be front and center.
“I think that maybe the most important thing is that if you think of people first and not disruption first, you get to a much more powerful place,” Sable says.
One of the most heartening developments he sees in advertising and media is the return to great story telling. “To us creativity is the story. That piece will never change,” Sable says, citing such varied works as Shakespeare and Harry Potter. “The story is the first layer. Then comes innovation. To us, innovation is distribution of the story,” followed by layer number 3: technology.
“When you put the three together, the story, innovation in the way you distribute it and technology in the way you interact with it, it’s a very powerful combination,” he says.
Sable believes we’re in a “golden age” when consumer-generated imagery has taken a back seat to on-location production, a la Game of Thrones.
“The screen is irrelevant to me,” he says. “Screens are as you need them or use them. Whether it’s Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or YouTube, the quality of production is unbelievable.”
This video is part of “The Road to DMEXCO ’16,” a lead-up series with key influencers on the topics and trends to be addressed at DMEXCO. This series is presented by YuMe. Please visit this page for additional segments.