Build a Marketing Team of Digital Natives Now, Laugh at Others Scrambling to Do It Next Year

CMO executive search peers

Can you imagine hiring a direct marketer that didn’t understand the basic principles of branding? Or an advertising expert that couldn’t make use of basic analytics results?

There are basic skills every competent marketer needs to have to succeed. Even when that marketer has a very specific specialty or niche, there are certain things you just need to know to be a competitive marketer today.

In the very near future, one of them will be digital fluency. When that time comes, will you already have the right talent in place to hit the ground running? Or will you be one of the people scrambling to find the people you need at all levels to be effective in the digital age?

What Does it Mean to be a Digital Native?

To many people, much of the digital world is powered by mysterious electric magic. From smartphones to search engines to MP3’s and cloud technology, our society heavily relies on digital hardware and systems every single day—yet most users have only the vaguest idea of how any of it works.

Digital natives go a step beyond that. They understand the basic principles of how the internet works, how data is shared from one, how basic lines of code accumulate to become elaborate web pages and complex video games.

Digital natives don’t have to be experts. They don’t need to know how to build a website from scratch using HTML and JavaScript or modify a standard photo into a work of art with advanced graphics software. They don’t need to know every detail of how Google’s bots scour the web to determine search engine rankings, or completely understand the server infrastructure necessary to support a major social network. And despite what others might say, they don’t have to exclusively be part of a younger generation that has grown up surrounded by modern technology.

But an elementary comprehension of all these aspects–and how they’re coming together to build the digital world we live in—is vital for adeptly sharing your message with connected consumers. Digital speakers can comfortably navigate the web and deftly use software on any screen, quickly learn to use new technology and communicate coherently both with advanced digital experts and your grandmother that still struggles to log in to her email account.

Gathering Digital Natives

If you don’t already have a team of digital speakers, there’s good news. Most other organizations are still catching up to this trend, too. But soon we will be at a point where any company fielding marketers without this basic digital understanding will be at a huge disadvantage and will have to act quickly to avoid falling too far behind their competition.

More On Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

Clip from Capgemini Group

Don’t wait until the day comes when you realize you have to make drastic changes to stay relevant. Start the transition now to build a competitive edge today and avoid a crisis tomorrow. (TWEET THIS).


One way to get the digital expertise you need is to grow it in-house. Mandate or incentivize digital training of your current marketing staff by bringing in subject matter experts to teach them or turn to third party resources online or at a nearby school. Remember, you’re not turning them into software engineers; just digital natives.


With all your marketing recruitment and hiring decisions from here out, digital fluency needs to be one of the top priorities in all your candidate evaluations. Avoid talent that lacks basic digital know-how in their field and snap up digital natives of any age to whom it is second nature. Consider digital staffing to supplement areas where you’re lacking and get an immediate boost of expertise.

Not sure how to identify digital speakers on your own? Partner with a digital staffing and recruitment expert that deals with them on a daily basis!

Enhancing Every Facet of Your Marketing

There is no part of marketing that is not made better by a digitally competent staff. From planning to executing campaigns to testing and analyzing results, digital speakers in your full time employment and digital staffing will see opportunities, anticipate problems, find valuable insights and improve ROI. And it’s equally important for an entry-level digital staffing position as it is for a CMO. Here are a few of the ways a team of digital speakers has a distinct edge over the alternative.

  • Understand the capabilities and limitations of the available media, technologies and channels to stay innovative but realistic with their plans.
  • Better communicate their needs and vision to web developer and programmer coworkers and any third parties they work with.
  • Stay on the cutting edge, forecasting and adapting quickly to digital trends.
  • Make minor edits and modifications to your web properties quickly and safely, increasing your reactivity and nimbleness while reducing the load on developer bottlenecks.
  • Better understand the mindset of the modern digital consumer.
  • Identify, troubleshoot and fix minor problems in web pages, apps and more.

Even if the majority of your marketing is traditional, you probably still rely on digital tools and assets to compliment it and make strategic decisions. If you’re not using analytics software to drive your direct mail targeting or fail to give viewers a website to visit after hearing your radio ad, you’re missing out on tremendous opportunities. A marketing team with a strong discipline in digital will identify and make the most of those opportunities, while a team with little digital competence will get left behind.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment