If your organization is still wrestling with a difficult digital transformation, the veteran experience of an interim digital marketing leader could be what you need to finally make the change and pave a route to future success.
We live in an irreversibly digital society. Yet in a world of endless data, an ever-growing Internet of Things, unprecedented consumer mobility, and increasingly social communities, too many businesses remain stuck in a relative Stone Age and on a fast track to irrelevance.
At particular risk are very large companies in which widespread change is difficult to enact, and smaller businesses that lack the resources to stay on the (frequently expensive) cutting edge. But regardless of business size, few organizations will be able to survive (let alone thrive) in a digital environment if they haven’t evolved properly. A full 27% of senior marketers consider successful transformation a matter of life-or-death for their company.
Even though the idea of “digital transformation” has been a favorite business buzzword for well over a decade, many businesses haven’t even begun their transition in earnest. And of those who have attempted to do so, only about 30% succeed.
The reason for the stagnation is simple; most organizations don’t have the right recipe of leadership, information, and dedicated resources they need to tackle the tremendous undertaking. Altimeter Group breaks down the major obstacles into four major categories:
- Education – Without proper knowledge and education among staff at all levels and especially among executives, no company can successfully work its way towards digital transformation.
- Tunnel vision – Having a restricted or misdirected vision can also be an inhibitor to development and growth. All executives—especially the senior ones—need to have an expanded and forward-oriented perspective.
- Cause-effect – Most businesses do not have any dedicated resources for spending on technology, or those resources are fragmented throughout the organization without a strategic plan for acquisition and utilization. Without investing a good deal of time, capital, and talent on a change as big as digital transformation, a firm cannot expect to grow.
- Data paralysis – With the lack of data and insight on a number of matters, firms fail to work together as a collaborated effort and gather premier marketing analytics staffing talent. Actionable insight is needed along with a common vision across all levels of a business.
Any one of those hurdles is daunting enough on its own. Together they pose a tremendous challenge to even the most dynamic organizations to handle by themselves. When your company struggles with any of the four, you’ll often find it difficult to independently grow internal solutions.
But external expertise from an interim digital marketing executive can be just the boost of experience, expertise and intellectual horsepower your organization needs to finally make the transition into a modern business.
Why a Marketer?
Why tap senior talent with a marketing background, rather than IT or operations? To answer this question, you must keep in mind what the ultimate goal of a digital transformation is: to grow conversions and sales by better engaging an increasingly digital consumer. All aspects of transformation should be oriented to support this objective.
Primary transformation initiatives are usually related to increasing the effectiveness of businesses digital platforms, web and mobile sites/applications, social media, and customer-facing technology systems. All of these are intrinsically tied to marketing. With that perspective, a senior marketer is the obvious choice to be best equipped to connect with and motivate your audience through any channel, digital or otherwise.
Been There, Done That
When it comes to digital transformation, it doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel all on your own. You can learn from other organizations that have already undergone their own transformation, and use their experience to your advantage.
If you find an interim digital executive that has already managed a digital transformation, you can make use of their experience. You’ll be able to avoid key pitfalls and adopt the best practices that led to their success.
Jump the Tech Hurdle
More than half of senior business executives consider a lack of familiarity with new technology to be a major barrier to digital transformation. At the current rate of development for novel products and applications, it’s very common for even strong, successful and innovative leaders to fall behind the leading edge of technology.
A successful digital organization must be able to acquire the most efficient tools, maintain a strong foundation of hardware and software, and strategically make partnerships with technology innovators to stay on top.
If your firm relies on archaic systems and dated tech, a well-chosen interim digital marketing executive can stand in as your Chief Marketing Technologist to identify weaknesses that are holding you back, identify which tools you need most to move forward as an organization, and establish policies that optimize their use across all aspects of your business.
Create Flexible, Customizable Employment Arrangements
Every organization is unique in its current capabilities, the digital position it ultimately needs to reach, and the best path to join the two.
Perhaps you need an exceptional leader to stand in as an interim CMO of the entire marketing program and overhaul the organization from the ground up. Maybe you just need an experienced hands-on digital consultant to augment your current leadership team and support them as they do the heavy lifting, with no changing of the guard necessary.
Unlike a traditional full-time executive hire of indefinite length, with an interim marketing executive search you can achieve a customized arrangement appropriate for your needs.