Monday, May 4, 2015

CMOs: 3 Ways to Succeed by Becoming Digital to the Core

As a CMO, you know digital has radically changed the way we develop, curate and distribute content. It is no longer a supplement but it is the essential center of every program, campaign and product. As an undergraduate in the Northwestern Medill IMC program with an interest in digital media, I am constantly reading articles about how companies can take initiatives in the digital world. I have found two articles on digital you will find interesting.

     The first article, “You Don’t Need a Digital Strategy, You Need a Digitally Transformed Company” by Tom Goodwin, gives a lot of insight into how you can succeed by utilizing digital. Goodwin discusses how you do not need a digital or mobile strategy; you need a business strategy for the modern world. The digital transformation does not have to do with digital departments or steps, but with the whole process starting at the beginning. In order to accomplish this, you need to bring digital thinking to the heart of your company and not just place it on the side. Goodwin explains how you must ignore existing companies in the marketplace, reevaluate your company, and use new technology and market dynamics to prosper.

In the second article, “The Seven Traits of Effective Digital Enterprises” by Tunde OlanrewajuKate Smaje and PaulWillmott, authors from McKinsey & Company discuss how the age of digital experimentation is over. According to the article, you must transform your company into a complete digital business. The authors explain how you need to research where digital is going and then be the first to take your company in that direction. You should hire for digital skills, challenge the status quo, and constantly look to improve the customer’s digital experience. In addition, you need to rely on big data analytics so teams can quickly identify issues and improve strategies.

After reading these two articles and based on my undergraduate studies in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, I have placed three action items you should consider in the graphic above. In a short review, they are:

  • Hire for skills over experience: Digital skills are becoming more valuable. Hire people who are innovative and looking to explore the digital marketplace.
  • Break from the field's norms: Try asking questions that a new start-up in your field might ask. Always look for ways to redefine yourself digitally by seeking out digital innovation and searching for new digital partners.
  • Focus on customer's experience: Constantly look for ways to use digital channels to improve the client's overall experience.

     Many companies are hesitant to incorporate digital into their traditional ways, or they end up placing digital strategies on the side. These articles explain how that is not the way to go – you must prioritize digital and make it the center of your company and its processes. Utilize the digital tools that already exist (and mobile) and find innovative ways to bring them to the next level.

Nicole Kreizel is currently a senior undergraduate student in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications, majoring in journalism and the Integrated Marketing Certificate program. She has interned at Seventeen Magazine and Mode Media within the past year. Nicole is active in the world of digital media and is also a dedicated writer. Feel free to comment and repost.
Twitter: (@nkreizel_nu)

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