Our ‘Leadership & Digital Culture’ webcast episode opened up the discussion around the state of digital maturity of both companies and the leadership. This topic could fill multiple episodes, and we didn’t get a chance to address questions from our live viewers.
Anders Lykke, one of the featured speakers from the webcast was kind enough to answer these questions afterwards.
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 for the questions and perspective. One should not underestimate Facebook’s ability to adapt, acquire (and/or copy – ‘Reels’ is a good, recent example) their way to successfully cater to most age groups, so I would not disregard Facebook (the wider platform) as one of the most important platforms in years to come. But you are right in that Snap and TikTok have had a lot of momentum recently and certainly help define what everyone else should be doing.
However, in terms of big digital marketing trends in the next years, I think the two main themes will be privacy and creative: Privacy, because it is time for the industry at large to actually put users first – also from a data and privacy perspective. With the added political and legislative scrutiny in this area, it is no longer just a question of doing what is ‘right’, but also about compliance. Most companies and platforms have a long way to go.
A renewed focus on the importance for Creative is very much related to that. Whatever the industry comes up with in terms of alternative tracking solutions, there will be less 3rd and 2nd party data to optimise for and with. This could be a good thing, because the ability to measure everything perfectly, often leads to companies optimising for short term results (sales) over building relationships. Therefore, Creative and storytelling will inevitably become front and center of everything related to digital marketing. If you are not willing to invest in producing meaningful content that can capture the interests and engage your target audience, you should not invest in digital marketing in the first place.
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.
Good question, Mia. If we want to instil behavioural changes, I think these changes have to be actively and visibly supported by management. If you want everyone to set aside time for personal development and training in new technologies to keep up, you also have to do that yourself. If you’re looking to implement a new agile work methodology across your different departments, you also have to work in a more agile and transparent way at management level. Walk the talk. I am by no means a perfect example as I have been slow to adapt my own workflows to SCRUM despite actively pushing it across all other areas of the organisation. Getting there, though!
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 contributing. As I also mentioned during the webinar we (Precis) are often brought in by the board or PE investor to assess the digital maturity of a company and actively asked to provide suggestions in regards to efficiency gains, hiring needs and the like. Needless to say, these board members do listen and typically act according to our recommendations. I also think they generally do a really good job at getting management on board.
However, generally speaking, I do not think the “digital religion” is well understood at board level. It continues to surprise me how reluctant companies at large are when it comes to investing into their digital infrastructure and hiring analytical talent that can help them ‘translate’ what digital transformation, AI and ML hold in terms of potential to their particular business..
Not saying the two things are necessarily correlated, but according to the numbers I’ve been able to get a hold of, the average age of board members in Denmark ranges from 55-60 (and up). While decades of experience is certainly needed at board level, I don’t understand why more talented people from my network in their thirties and forties are not being asked to join boards at larger organisations.