Building Digital Capability – Part 1, Understanding Business Engagement

Posted by IAB Australia On July 01, 2014

IG’s Head of Online, Jason Stidworthy, is bringing his 15+ years experience in digital to the Big Tent blog with a 4-part series on “Building Digital Capability” – here’s part one: Understanding Business Engagement.

A former colleague, a highly experienced marketer with some digital experience, recently asked for my advice on how to build the digital capability of a business. For the cost of a good bottle of wine and a 3 course meal, I was happy to share my experience with my colleague and now, you.

The following is the first of a series of blogs entitled ‘Building your digital capability.’

For me this is an interesting topic, and something I’m very passionate about. I intend to help you build in your mind what I call a ‘digital foundation’ which will influence how you develop and implement your digital strategy.

Understanding Business Engagement

Engagement is a word I hear repeatedly in the marketing and digital world and it refers to how engaged customers are with your brand, your products or services. Engagement is also relative when understanding the depth of knowledge and experience of digital in your business.

Below are three key business engagement categories.

1. C level engagement – CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO or whatever the executive structure, it is essential to understand their engagement and commitment to digital.

There will always be the need to utilise an agency, however I strongly believe there is more value in keeping the digital intellectual property within the business rather than paying an agency or consultancy. I delve into more detail in the next blog in this series.

2. IT engagement – In a previous blog I listed 10 reasons why it is essential to partner with IT I’m still completely committed to this view.

Just as you need a good CMO, you need equally as good a CIO. Let’s then throw the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) into the mix. Is this role really needed if your CIO and CMO are talking and fully embracing digital?

Either way, it’s important to understand your CIO’s perception and commitment to digital.

Expect that the CIO will have their own view on whether to build internally or to outsource. Be prepared, you may need to influence the CIO to support digital internally.

To ensure success and cohesion, it is imperative to work with the CIO in developing digital processes that ensure IT governance, agility with technology selection and implementation, and allows room for ongoing development.

In short, the IT relationship is essential and needs to work really well.

3. Stakeholder engagement – I generally see 3 challenges with stakeholders. No two stakeholders are the same and depending on their digital experience and knowledge they will influence their team’s involvement and support. For this reason it is important to:

  • Understand the depth of their digital experience and knowledge.
  • Determine the level of involvement each stakeholder requires
  • Understand how digital can help their business. Challenges come when digital cannibalises traditional sales channels and stakeholders see this as a threat.

Next in the series: Building your Digital Capability – Part 2: Business Partners – level of agency engagement

Watch this space!

IAB Australia

IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia. As one of over 43 IAB offices globally and with a rapidly growing membership, the role of the IAB is to support sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising across all platforms in Australia.