Many brands are still “not ready for the digital era” as their marketing departments lack the skillsets necessary to thrive in the connected age, a leading executive has argued.
Speaking at the 2014 Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Digital & Social Media Conference, Bob Liodice, the organisation’s president/ceo, asserted that technology was a “critical enabler” for brands.
But exploiting the opportunities currently available – from formulating one-to-one conversations to driving innovation and pursuing purpose-driven branding – will require a significant shift in skillsets.
“We need to build skills,” Liodice said. (For more, including insights from senior marketers from Unilever, Ford and more, read Warc’s exclusive report: ANA’s Liodice outlines challenges (and opportunities) for the digital age.)
At present, he continued, the majority of organisations do not have the requisite talent in place to move ahead at the desired speed.
“Survey after survey suggests that we’re not ready for the digital era,” Liodice said.
“We found, in one survey, that only 25% of marketers said that they have the skillset necessary to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that are now afforded to them.”
Taking the next step, he reported, would demand a transition in mindset away from the existing marketing model towards a genuinely integrated approach.
“We essentially need to make a change from digital marketing to marketing in a digital age,” the ANA’s president/ceo asserted.
Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s global brand building officer, has put forward a similar theory, as he reflected that traditional ideas of digital marketing were almost “dead”.
Liodice drew attention to other marketers who had elaborated on such themes, like Joe Tripodi, evp/chief marketing and commercial officer at soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, who has called on brands to “embrace the values of millennials”.
Antonio Lucio, global chief brand officer at financial services group Visa, has further asserted that millennials are the most “equipped” to drive change, adding that “digital natives will rule the world”.
Yusuf Medhi, chief marketing and strategy officer for the XBOX games console at Microsoft, has equally encouraged marketers to “consume new technology – use it, spend time with it and learn from people it has benefitted”.