Ready to make room in the C-Suite for a Digital CMO? If you’re looking to compete in today’s marketplace and don’t yet have a Digital CMO in your ranks, you could be missing out.
That’s because, no matter what your industry, there’s no denying that technology has become an inextricable part of how we do business. What might not be so obvious, though, is why there’s still a noticeable digital disconnect in many of the C-suites across the country.
But the answer to that question won’t be found at the executive level.
Like others before it, the digital marketing revolution didn’t originate at the top of Corporate America. Instead, it grew from the level of the rank and file and was spearheaded by twenty- and thirty-somethings who live and breathe digital (and who can’t imagine a time before push-button technology).
Small wonder, then, that integration of the digital culture at the executive level still leaves something to be desired.
Why such much resistance in the C-suite to incorporating digital strategies with other, more familiar branding efforts? Often, it’s simply that many executives are unfamiliar with (or even afraid of) new technology, and not sure about what digital marketing means for their brand.
From the looks of things, that’s set to change. In fact, Gartner, Inc. reports that today, 70 percent of marketing organizations have a Chief Technologist on payroll reporting to the CMO. And within the next 18 months, an estimated 25 percent of companies will have added the role of Chief Digital Officer to their C-suite.
5 Steps to Bridging the Digital Disconnect
If you’re ready to make digital marketing a driving force behind brand interaction with current and potential customers, it’s time to toss out the old playbook. Because now more than ever, creating new digital experiences and revenue streams that engage your target audience in both the physical and digital worlds and offers a sufficient return on your company’s investment is the first order of business.
Following are five ways to do just that:
- Make smart, digital, tech-savvy employees the focus of your new-hire strategy. Incorporating digital marketing into your company’s overall strategy for success doesn’t have to be difficult. By bringing employees who embrace digital into the company and empowering them to take on the challenges your brand currently faces with digital-oriented solutions, you’ll find resistance from among the executive ranks begins to fade even as your digital footprint begins to expand.
- Forge partnerships with out-of-the-box thinkers. Tech-savvy talent within a company is a must-have in today’s digital world, but don’t overlook the benefits that come from an outside perspective. If you’re open to forging partnerships with forward-thinking agencies, do your homework. A partner that is steeped in digital and is a complement to the team you already have in place will go a long way towards ensuring you get a good return on your investment.
- Think beyond your company’s current way of doing things. Once you begin exploring how digital marketing fits into your brand’s overall strategy for success, you prepare the soil from which new, ingenious ideas can grow. In time, as more and more digital possibilities unfold, adopting new strategies will become a logical next step.
- Adopt a beginner’s mind. While new media marketing isn’t exactly “new” anymore, when it comes to understanding how to best use social, mobile and other channels to target an audience, we’ve only just begun. Adopting a beginner’s mind will help you see just how wide open the digital marketing frontier is and will naturally open the door to more brainstorming on how to make the most of the opportunities it presents.
- Use metrics to illuminate results. Measuring the impact of a campaign using traditional media metrics is imprecise at best. But that’s the beauty of digital, in which every initiative is measurable, every result traceable to its source. What’s more, with digital metrics, you’re able to make real-time adjustments to any campaign to ensure you get the results you’re looking for. Track, monitor and measure each digital initiative, no matter how small, and your efforts will be rewarded.
Claiming Your Place on the Digital Marketing Frontier
In no other time in the history of marketing have CMOs had the kinds of opportunities to reach and engage with consumers and draw them into a more intimate relationship with their brand than they do with digital marketing. That’s because, just as many successful brands (like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix, just to name a few) have done in the past few years, digital marketing is changing the way a brand defines how value is created — and delivered — in the marketplace.
If you’re one of the many C-suite executives for whom the digital disconnect is still a reality, following the steps outlined above will go a long way towards helping to bridge that divide. The result? More profound engagement on a consumer level, and a more favorable impact on your bottom line.