Our ‘Leadership & Digital Culture’ webcast episode opened up the discussion around the state of digital maturity of both companies and the leadership. Our Advisory Group speakers did not get a chance to answer the questions submitted by the live audience.
Emine, was kind enough to answer these questions afterwards from Stockholm, Sweden.
Question: Which big digital marketing trends do you see coming up in the next years? We had a relatively long phase of Facebook being a dominant player in the online advertising market, but in my view their role for advertising to millennials and younger target audiences is declining and I wonder how you think the online advertising landscape will be in a few years.
Hi Sarah, thank you so much for your question. It’s quite hard to predict the development when companies are still struggling with the long term vision being in the contingency planning conditions.
Covid-19 crisis boosted the existing trend very much. I believe new approaches and technologies will arise and develop much faster than many experts could expect it to happen due to the massive change in the life style and human behaviour patterns.
There are a few trends I see coming forward specifically strong. Traditional media is not as relevant anymore, it will keep losing efficiency. Audio, and especially video content is going to develop its popularity. Woke Marketing is getting more relevant for the younger generations. UGC and interactive content are other areas which are going to gain popularity and show efficiency in promoting products and services. Technologies and platforms are going to develop to support these changes and get advantage in user centricity thanks to the boosted volume of online interactions and new aspects of data analysis. AI, IoT and VR / AR will get a more natural and prominent place in this game. In terms of content it will be crucial to offer a consistent and unifying marketing experience to users, to understand user behaviour much deeper than we do today and shift even more toward customer-centric evaluation. I also see the opportunity for a more powerful emotional connection with the customers and a deeper understanding of the consumer psychology.
We are all eager to create a digital culture (behaviour) and we usually manage well to translate our commercial strategy into digitally related capabilities. However, the big challenge is translating those capabilities into tangible behaviour. Please share a few thoughts on that.
Hi Mia! Thank you for the great question. I understand your concerns and I see that this question itself could be the first steady step toward a stronger digital leadership culture for many leaders and companies.
Speaking about digitally related capabilities – I see certain risk with investing into this part and introducing advanced solutions without making sure that the human factor is well aligned around the coming digital initiatives. On the one hand, I believe that the education among the stakeholders and a clear strategy and processes are a big part of this puzzle. On the other hand, there is still a strong silo effect and lack of expertise for recognising, attracting and retaining bright talented people in many organisations.
Ideally, managers should get more education in a new format of transformational leadership, where the pieces of personal development, professional development and alignment around vision, mission and values would be included and reviewed in a more sustainable and structured way. In addition, human engagement through experience sharing and storytelling with EQ in place can boost the processes of establishment of digital culture in the organisation.
Do you confront resistance when presenting to Boards? Is the new digital religion well understood?
Peter Hocking CEO – EGN Aus/NZ
Hi Peter, thank you for a very relevant question! My answer will be based mostly on the indirect contact with the Board level.
From my perspective, the digital approach is not well understood by many in the Board and even on the C-Level and around. Data, analytics and actionable insights boosted by the latest innovations and Martech solutions are enabling businesses to grow and exceed their business goals, by minimizing risks, shortening time to the conversion, automating processes etc and – what is the most important – meeting the customer expectations in the products or/and services on a new level.
However, often this new approach is challenging the traditional status quo, the way of evaluating the development strategy, when expertise, experience and gut feeling were used as the most powerful tools. In this case, the data-driven customer-centric approach takes away some freedom from the decision makers and forces on a new layer of requirements around the digital savviness in the new era of digital transformation. It might cause confrontation and resistance on different levels in the organisation, and the Board level needs time to adjust to the change, as well as many other stakeholders on different levels in any organisation. That is why it is important to keep in mind that the organisational development is described by a logarithmic curve, while development of technologies is exponential.
In addition, this gap is getting bigger over time, which might require a deep review of the organisation. Therefore, in order to choose the right business growth and transformation strategy it’s very important to understand the organisation and the changes, challenges and opportunities in the digital space and be aware of what will fit or not into your organisation.