What’s the Role of Client Side Digital Marketing Managers?

All clients know that they need to go digital and they usually start by hiring a “Digital Marketing Manager” or even a “Chief Digital Officer”. However the role of this position is usually vague and they end up being middlemen between brand managers and digital agencies. During the recent Google CMO Bootcamp panel, this question was raised once again albeit in a different way: what should digital organizations look like? Allow me to quickly share with you guys the highlights of my answer and some additional thoughts on the subject as well.

Digital as Business-as-Usual

Giving a quick talk on Digital Transformation during the Google CMO Bootcamp

Digital client-side simplified has two tracks. The first is what we will call “digital business-as-usual” or Digital BAU. It’s “business-as-usual” because the belief is that everyone in the organization should be doing digital because we live in the digital age, no exception. In essence Brand and Marketing Managers, by default, should be Digital Marketers. In this track the focus of the Digital Marketing Manager or Chief Digital Officer is capacity building and setting best-in-class standards. They should be going directly to platforms like Google and Facebook for internal workshops and training sessions to quickly level up the workforce.

Apart from the training, they should also be working closely with agency partners and the marketing teams to develop relevant standards, KPIs, and metrics. As much as possible these metrics should tie in to revenue or profitability.

Lastly, they should, in coordination with the CTO/CIO, develop a business technology roadmap. Serving customers, operating businesses, and marketing to consumers in the digital age is powered by technology. Companies need to adopt new systems like Salesforce, Microsoft Power BI, and other tools to help them know their customers better. Business technologies should either increase revenues or create efficiencies (lower costs) which leads to better profitability.

See Also: 5 Game-changing Lessons Filipino Companies Can Learn from Silicon Valley

Digital as Disruptive

Google CMO Bootcamp Class Picture!

The second track is all about creating new revenue streams for the company using Digital and Technology. This is the more disruptive and risky part of digital because it’s highly entrepreneurial. Projects that can fall under this track include scaling e-commerce operations, developing digital loyalty applications, or even completely new businesses that the company can invest in. What’s critical is that these projects should bring in new revenues and they shouldn’t be just another cost center.

There are two major challenges to this track. First is finding the right person to lead it. Senior digital talent is scarce in the Philippines and finding ones with the right mix of business acumen, technology knowledge, and digital marketing savvy is far more difficult. Second is breaking down politics and setting aside egos because digital transformation is something that everyone thinks that they can do but don’t so they end up being noisy backseat drivers. The key to success is collaboration and agility — both of which are at extremely low levels when politics in the organization is high.

Read Also: To Accelerate Digital Transformation Reduce Management Politics

Wrapping Up: Look to Digital for Revenue and Profit

Going digital doesn’t mean just coming up with “hugot” viral videos. The true power of digital, when unlocked, should deliver companies new revenues and better profitability. It should never be just a cost center because any digital initiative should always have a solid business objective supporting it.

This post is part of our Google CMO Bootcamp Learnings series. Click links below to read our other posts.

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of Unlocked.ph and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox (unbox.ph). Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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