Digital has Changed Everything (Part 1)

Digital has Changed Everything (Part 1)

The Need for Collaboration; 2014 Accenture Interactive CMO Insights survey.

The marketing world is changing fast and digital opportunities are leading the charge. While most marketers have already embraced digital channels with fervor, it’s no secret that they’ll need to do a lot more in order be successful in this new environment. To delight customers and drive business, collaboration among Internal and external partners will be essential to success.

In fact, I see CMO’s leading collaboration as one of the key findings from this ‘must read’, the 2014 Accenture Interactive CMO Insights survey of nearly 600 senior marketing executives from 11 countries and 10 industries.

The major message from experts has been that the next five years are going to look nothing like the past five years, and things are going to get more disruptive than ever before.

Fully three-quarters of respondents (78%) to Accenture’s research believe that marketing is undergoing a fundamental change. [A great infographic recently appeared in AdWeek – click the image below.] Also not surprising: of the top three changes cited, analytics, digital and mobile are the key drivers. It’s no longer about how to be more effective with the advertising budget, but about how a brand will transform itself (and its people) from a business, into a digital business.

2014 Accenture Interactive CMO Insights survey, Source: AdWeek


CMO’s are now wondering how to transform. They’re wondering how to move from an advertising-driven model to a business solutions-solving model.

Although this transformation will not be without its challenges where many brands are looking for integrated ad agency partners, I see a lot of opportunity for our Canadian shops to lead the brand relationship. As I have mentioned in the past, I am bullish on our well developed collaborative nature and the state of integrated services offered by leading Canadian agencies.

A strong integrated agency can help guide a brand. They can provide digital products and services that enable a brand to become a digital business and can build frameworks for success. They can help bold marketers sidestep the confines of traditional marketing to deliver a relevant and integrated customer experience across the business.

But this is only half the story. Becoming digitally-native requires true change management inside brands – as all parts of a brand, separately, have business objectives that need to be supported in digital. Operating a business in digital – the whole business – needs to become a core business skill; not an edge or emerging trend.

It is already widely believed that CMOs are buying more technology than most CTOs, at the same time Agencies are often thought of as competitors to internal technology resources. This gap between the current capabilities offered by a brand’s technologists, and the marketer’s hopes and dreams of personalization, nurturing, immersion, adaptability and intelligence will need to close.

In the meantime, Canadian agencies and their strategic partners will rise to the challenge to be digital-business savvy, plan integrated brand behaviors, and patiently support brands in this shift.

It’s now not a one-off project or initiative. It’s a change.

Next week: Digital has Changed Everything Part 2: Matching Expectations (Econsultancy survey of Digital Marketers and Agencies, 2014 SoDA Report).

Mike Fyshe is a partner with Reynolds & Fyshe, the leading, independent marketing consultant in Canada, specialized in increasing the value delivery of marketing communications through related services such as MarCom services evaluation, agency compensation negotiation, relationship management & performance evaluation, and ad agency search & selection. Reynolds & Fyshe adheres to best practices published by the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA). See more at: