It started as a longer tagline: “The Digital World Is Scary. Bring Friends”. It was all about this: most brand marketers still don’t know what to do with the Internet. And it worries them. A lot. So they need people they trust who can help them along the way.
A recent study by Adobe, published on CMO.com, bears this out. At the highest levels of organizations, digital is challenging traditional ways, and revolutionizing industries. And most companies aren’t set up to address its implications, nor do they have partner agencies who can help. Ergo, sleep is being lost.
Digital can be daunting. It worries the front-line marketing manager who’s faced with ironing out a company’s biggest existential questions just to execute a small website project. And it worries the CMO who, deep down, knows digital’s not just another channel to be delegated, but a seismic shift that makes or breaks entire industries, let alone their own company. It means harnessing dozens of tactics, hundreds of channels, thousands of tools, and infinite content. All for one customer.
The toughest thing is that digital breaks down traditional roles, inside and outside of companies. Marketers have to be technologists. IT needs to know brand. CEOs have to be UX experts. Every employee is an advocate or detractor. On and on. A recent Harvard Business Review article lists some of the foundational ways the role of the CMO is changing with digital.
Similarly, your most trusted agencies have to specialize a bit, and yet provide the connective tissue to connect dots that today’s digital consumers will otherwise see right through. Amid the chaos of digital options, partners can’t be the kind of company that’s hawking one solution; they have to be the kind of company you trust to keep you focused on things that matter most. The kind that is willing to ask foundational, brand questions about the full customer experience. The kind that gives you the confidence to step boldly into the glowing-screen light of the digital age.
So yes, if you’re not a little bit scared, you’re probably not doing digital right. But there’s one thing that’s always been said of times of great threat and opportunity – you find out who your friends are.