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CDOs at the top table

08 November 2013 | 03:17 am

The increase of digital marketing throughout the business sector has led to a real need for experienced and enlightened employees with an understanding of growing a business in the digital age. This experience does not only include marketing experience, but also having a good understanding of compliance and associated risks. And, of course, the ability to roll-out digital across organisations. Companies that don’t recognise this need will find themselves losing pace with their competitors and it will inevitably lead to loss of business opportunities.

Creating and developing new business strategies is crucial and more and more companies are employing chief digital officers to define their business plans and drive change across the organisation.

Traditionally, digital was part of the marketing department’s remit, however this is changing and CDOs are taking a place at the top table along with the CEO and CFO.

More than 200 million iPhone and Android smartphones now being used and this number is growing daily. Social networking and uploading of apps are still on an upwards trajectory. It is estimated that over 41 million apps are uploaded every day. Consumers are savvy in their approach and take time to compare prices and specifications to get the best deal.

For many companies digital is the fastest-growing revenue stream, and a chief digital officer is extremely important in driving that growth. In some sectors, such as traditional media, the CDO often will have been hired to help transform the company as its products evolve digitally.

Companies now have the challenge of where to find the people with the talents necessary to fulfil these roles. Should they promote the person within the digital team? Though this person may not have very much experience of managing and developing strategies.  Or should they bring people in who have experience of developing and rolling out strategies but do not have such an indepth grasp of digital and what can be achieved? Of course the optimum choice would be the person who has both talents, and these people will be able to demand a premium.

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