I love my day job running the digital organization for a large and well respected brand, Accenture. Often I’m asked about the changing role of the CMO and the rise of the new kid on the C-suite block, the Chief Digital Officer or CDO. This usually leads to a conversation on what skills make up a good digital organization. Today, you need a very different set of talent versus a few years ago.. You need a mix of generations, of men and women, of different life experiences and languages. You need people who see the world from any number of different points of view and who wake up every day curious as to what the world can and will do next. Beyond that, for a great digital team you need:
The Creative Mastermind: People who can dream up all kinds of ideas, but mostly who can dream up amazing and engaging experiences. Whether you are reaching consumers or businesses is irrelevant – you’re reaching people. These folks don’t just think outside the box, they won’t be bound by even the existence of the box.
The Data Guru: These people are happiest living in the big sand box of big data. Nothing gets them more jazzed than terabytes of data to elegantly organize in agile, fast databases accessed through the romance language of data, the query.
The Foundational Analyst: They are the data guru’s best friends. These people who don’t just see a bunch of numbers, but rather see trends, see spots where there should be trends but aren’t. They are always asking “what would happen if we sliced the data like this…”
The Integration Maven: If the creative mastermind dreams up amazing possibilities, the integration mavens sew together these dreams into pragmatic, compelling real world experiences. They artfully create ways to surround an audience with information, conversation and a reason to continually engage.
The Amplification Ninja: They are the day-traders of data, the ones who can see the small and large opportunities flying by in the world of real-time analytics and immediately engage to grow your results. They are very good at amplification plans, but don’t expect them to only go by the plan. Their secret sauce is knowing when and how to tweak plans in real time; to look for the opportunities and go for it.
The Big Thinker: These individuals have the gift of making the seemingly impossible possible. They live out on the edge of what will be next, shaping new ideas, programs, channels, experiences, partnerships, you name it. Big Thinkers are your masterminds of market differentiation.
The Conversationalist: The human voice of your brand, the emotional connectors, the story-tellers, the empathizers… conversationalists bring to life the story of your company, products, customers and employees and most importantly they share these stories and look for new ones as well.
The Travel Guide: Able to create multitudes of unique journeys in a single campaign, your travel guides let your customers feel like they are getting unique, personally relevant engagement without breaking the marketing bank. They know how to build, scale and tailor programs and campaigns to deliver on results that feed the big data beast.
If you lead a marketing organization and especially if your mix is heavily digital, you need a new blend of creative and quantitative skills – you need the mad-men plus math-men dream team. If you can find these skills mixed with the other characteristics mentioned above you’ll not only create fantastic results, you’re guaranteed to learn a lot and have a bunch of fun along the way.