The Decoupling Debate — Move or Be Disrupted?, by Vijay Verghis

Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” We see that advice being taken up today in spades: Netflix vs. Redbox. Amazon vs. Borders. Smartphones vs. Kodak. These new “born digital” companies designed new business models that obsoleted existing ones.

A key contributor to their success was understanding how to exceed the expectations of their global market. The short answer? They decoupled.

Decoupling with Digital

What is decoupling? It is the separating of the creative part of marketing from the technology implementation and localization design.

In other words, it allows the core brand, production, creative, digital teams to break down and dissect each of the core processes of a product or service. This approach also enables the teams to focus on the art and science of how a brand connects with their markets, suppliers, and partners globally.

Especially for companies that are not born digital, this is hard to do. So, naturally, here are some ways to get started:

  1. Evolve operating models — Build an agile operating model that can evolve with the marketing process. Agility and adaptability to change in the current market’s needs are critical.
  2. Improve customer experience with partners — Simplify the process and make it easier for you to collaborate with agencies and digital production partners. Ensure easier approval mechanisms with a strong program governance.
  3. Optimize costs — Build a product and campaign based pricing methodology and real-time bidding process across vendors and partners.
  4. Drive faster market penetration — Quick adoption of the marketing content across geographies by adhering to strong SLAs for each campaign types.
  5. Design a strong workflow — Develop an integrated workflow that interacts with different stakeholders to interact with each other during the various stages of the decoupled process. Check out this video to hear more.
  6. Create central asset repositories — Digital Asset Management, a content management solution to manage digital assets, can efficiently organize, manage and distribute digital assets to end consumers one-to-one, across multi-markets and multi-channels.
  7. Leverage satellite studios — Expanding internationally? Use studios to aid in developing key growth markets by studying consumer behavior and adapting the brand conversations into those local markets.
  8. Design a training plan — Develop a robust training plan that focuses on onboarding agencies, brands, technology partners. The key is driving scale and consistency quickly and develop best practices and continuous training of resources.
  9. Develop a change management program for large digital transformations that will enable employees, agencies, and project teams to adapt and align over time.
  • It’s A Start. One of Many.
  1. Certainly “one size does not fit all” organizations, but there are many things to learn from leading brands who either are disrupting or moving the market to change. Decoupling is one approach that enables an organization to optimize their strategy, connect with new channels in new ways and elevate their customer experience. The aim is to visualize what it is like to charter diverse markets, improve time to market, reduce costs and measure real success.
  2. What strategies will you consider to decouple your organization? Let’s chat.

Opinions expressed in this blog are of the author and may not represent Cognizant’s point of view.

Vijay Verghis

Vijay is a Digital Marketing & Design consultant with over 14 years of global industry experience in account management and consulting. He…

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Originally published at on January 29, 2016.