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The characteristics of an effective digital leader – part 2

In our first blog in this two-part series, we looked at how to set a vision for digital change and how to integrate digital into not only the marketing team, but the wider organisation.

Below we’ll take a look further into how to implement change by looking at introducing agile working, collaboration, and experimentation into a strategy and how to get backing from the board on this new approach.

Embrace agile working and collaboration

By its very nature, agile working helps organisations to evolve solutions through the collaborative effort of cross-functional teams. It also advocates the division of tasks into short phases of work, with frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.

This is what marketers need to apply to digital campaigns, where speed of implementation and reactiveness to live data plus campaign results is key to success. As such, agile working should be strongly considered as a project management methodology for at least some digital campaigns, if not all (with the proviso that it’s always under the umbrella of a cohesive marketing strategy and end goal).

Get leadership support

Above all else, digital thinking requires a mindset of experimentation. Digital leaders need to be prepared to take calculated risks, adapt when problems or new challenges arise and learn from mistakes quickly. Ultimately, this should encourage the organisation to be more entrepreneurial as a whole, not just within the marketing function.

“Successful CMOs will adopt agile practices, but must make the case to the C-suite – specifically the CFO and CEO – with the promise of transparency, actionable KPIs, and an… approach designed to deliver ROI.” Benjamin Brancato, How to Prove Agile’s Advantages to the C-Suite (2014)

However, it would be very unwise to action any of this without first getting backing from the board. Make sure that the senior leadership team both understand and support the approach before their opinion of digital becomes tainted.

This is an especially important aspect for any B2B marketing leader to get right. But once everyone is on board, it will make the effective change management that underpins the road to digital much easier to achieve.

Download the Director’s Guide: The Making of a B2B Digital Leader to learn more about the characteristics of an effective digital leader and how to implement digital change.

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