Cutting Through the Noise: Can the CDO Help?

It’s so easy today to see a new piece of technology or the latest trend in social media and say, “Oh, we need to do that.” Brands have a plethora of options when it comes to finding ways to strategically reinvent or market a story or product. Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, wearable technology, big data; it all seems so overwhelming.

But as the final day of the Digital Innovation Strategy Summit came to a close in New York City, digital strategists and innovation leaders alike echoed similar sentiments: Don’t go to the shiny objects, go where your customers are.

“Don’t chase the noise,” said Bob Rinderle, global digital leader at GE Healthcare. “There is 2.5 quintillion bytes of data collected each day according to IBM and the biggest challenge digital marketers have is being able to know what to do with it all. Don’t chase new technologies down a rabbit hole, figure out what platforms your customers are most active on and what data supports that, and then move forward with a plan.”

Cutting through the noise was a common thread that each speaker and panelist commented on, particularly Niclas Hermansson, manager of digital at Volvo Trucks.

“Buying a large Volvo truck isn’t what many people want to do today, so we needed to find a way to go beyond the people that we usually market to and reach a broader audience,” he said. “We were thinking about who influences these decisions and they were family, friends and colleagues. Because of this, we decided to use YouTube and try to make a series of videos that were entertaining, but highlighted key components of our trucks.”

And they certainly cut through the noise and “truck-blasé,” featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme’s epic split between two Volvo trucks. Yes, it only took one take.

Whether through social media platforms, emerging technologies, or creatively finding ways to engage with an audience that wouldn’t have normally found your product, various brands today are hiring chief digital officers to figure this out. With this emerging role, companies are seeking ways to bring creativity, technology and business principles to their campaigns and brand strategies.

“Technology needs to meet human creativity and ingenuity to truly tell powerful, content-rich stories,” said Kristine Stebbins, the vice president of strategic services at Filter Digital. “You’re seeing people come into tech roles that were marketers or vice versa, but the idea is the same: people who understand that thinking as a digital innovator will be the ones who spearhead brand success.”

At the CDO Summit next month, I’ll report back on some brands that are currently doing this today.


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