February 24, 2016

You’ve heard of a CEO, CTO, COO, and CMO. What about “Chief Digital Officer”? The CDO role hasn’t been around for long, but the fast-changing panorama of business has created a demand for someone who understands the digital world, how it affects their company, and how to shift it into a digital-centric organization. Its purpose is to accelerate digital transformation and to be the connector between the CMO and CIO.

Whoa, can’t a CMO just do that?

For many years, that’s exactly what they’ve done. Just two years ago, Josie Allchin of Marketing Week argued against the existence of a CDO, citing that C-level executives should be well-versed enough in the digital landscape to be able to deploy digital solutions for their company. This is a nice idea, but it’s unrealistic – especially when you consider the generational gap between the people who currently occupy C-level positions in big companies and the ones who are positioned to be there in the next 10 years.

With that in mind, the CDO isn’t just a CMO who posts to your company Facebook, but a position you may need sooner rather than later.

Let’s look at Nike

“But Nike makes sports apparel,” you say. For some time now, Nike has been a technology company that happens to also make stuff you wear to exercise. Did you see it coming? Probably not. But Nike did.

According to their press release, “Nike views digital as a vital accelerator, not just in connecting athletes with knowledge and services, but in everything it does.” What they also saw coming was a tendency to get in the way of their own growth and evolution if they played the stubborn card and refused to get with the times. While this may seem like a bold, even revolutionary move to some, a strong digital strategy is no longer a commodity. It’s a necessity. Even Girl Scouts are selling cookies online!

This isn’t to say that everyone should run out and hire a CDO right now. But it does highlight the fact that digital presence has become, in certain size companies and businesses, bigger than just a part of marketing. However, let’s be real: the move toward a CDO represents more than a spiffy website or offering an app for your business. It’s a loud-and-clear acknowledgement that the way consumers choose to interact with our brands is very different from what it used to be even 10 years ago. It should also shift the idea of how you allocate your budget—digital strategy and digital solutions are no longer nice-to-haves. They are musts.

What does this mean for your business?

Well, that depends on the problem you’re faced with and that’s why there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. Heck, maybe you know you have a problem but you can’t figure out what it is. Different pain points require different ideas and skilled people who can come up with solutions custom-tailored to you.

That’s what we do. At Four Kitchens, we use open source technology to custom-build solutions that work for you. We’re a skilled team of Web Chefs with 10 years of experience in UX design, web development, and digital strategy under our belts. We’re ready to help your business make the digital shift.

Shoot us a line and tell us what you need.

Lucy Weinmeister is the Communications Manager at Four Kitchens. She loves to share all the new and exciting things the Web Chefs are cooking up at 4K. She is forever reading a book.

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