Digitally Next

Four Key Essential Concerns of a Chief Digital Officer

The proverb, “Knowledge is power” is very much the driving fuel of the entire corporate sector that is rigged to thrive on data pooling in from all sides. In such a scenario, when data is the operative word, organizations depend largely on professionals who have the knack to play around with tricky data.

As a result, the trendiest C-suite role for the past few years has been that of the Chief Digital Officer, or the CDO. The number of CDOs has grown from a few hundred eight years ago to tens of thousands today.

As a matter of fact, research from PwC suggests 21% of large public firms now have a CDO.

Why is that?

This is because the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) brings a kaleidoscope of skill sets and perspectives to the table when the conversation is digital.


Their esoteric know-how is essential for success in a business environment that dances to the rhythm of a digital-driven regime.


Chief Digital Officers are given a digital mandate that has all the business objectives at the same time. So right from the ROI on the overall investment that the CDO needs to ensure, they are also tasked with taking care of the online brand management in the same digital budget that has been allocated to them while keeping a keen eye at the reputation side online.


In addition to this, CDOs have their fingers in every pie as they really need to ascertain if digital mediums can be used as extensions for service portfolio or if they can be leveraged to add to the convenience of the target segment.


As Chief Digital Officer (CDO) are entrusted with the responsibility of driving digital initiatives and achieving business objectives in the digital realm, from strategy to the real side of implementation. This task requires a clear understanding of the evolving marketing landscape and the ability to navigate through technical or the techno functional concepts of SEO, SMO or content curation, creation, segregation and other jargons can prove to be a bit challenging.


For instance, PPC is there, remarketing is there on top of search engine marketing. Also, there are budgets to be allocated for organic and inorganic. The team is to be built. The Key Result Areas (KRAS) are to be set. And not to forget, there are competitors to watch out for. Whether a CDO is working with jargons or on multiple teams, whether in B2B or B2C, the deliverables have to be met hitting all the cylinders in all the areas alike.


However, in order to simplify the tortuous journey of a Chief Digital Officer, here are the four key essential that can help them cut through the noise and become the Jack of all digital trades:


1. C-Suite Framework:

Establishing a solid C-suite framework is crucial for a successful digital transformation. This framework aligns the organization’s business objectives with its concomitant technology implementation.

The business pyramid consists of three layers:

  • The Business layer
  • The Functional layer, and
  • The Operational layer.

C suite framework ensures that the business layer is intact, supported by the functional layer and then complemented by a larger bottom of that pyramid of organization as operational layer. Hence, by ensuring a strong C-suite framework, a Chief Digital Officer can lay the foundation for effective digital strategies.


2. Strategy to Implementation (S2I) Documentation:

To meet the challenges of digital transformation, lead the team, and orchestrate the process, the highly resourceful position of Chief Digital Officer was created. Hence, it is indispensable for him to have an action plan in place to track the work in progress at all points.

This is important to find the head and tail of the devised marketing strategy. Having a well-defined S2I documentation/manifestation plan is essential to streamline and organize the digital marketing strategy in a coherent fashion.

This plan should include digital branding, lead generation plans, activity charts with defined timelines, and social media optimization (SMO) trackers. Proper documentation provides a structured approach to implement your strategies efficiently.


3. The Power of Five:

The Power of Five strategy encompasses five crucial components that optimizes digital success. These components are:

a) Hub of Presence: Establish a strong online presence through websites, portals, apps, and landing pages. Simply put, toot your own digital horn!

b) Marketing Content Management:Develop a comprehensive plan for content creation, curation, and segregation. Utilize various formats such as text, images, and videos to engage your audience effectively.

Go 360 degree with your content bank and repurpose your content assets.

c) Visual Impact Management: Enhance your brand’s visual appeal through storytelling, typography, and compelling visuals on social media platforms or blogging platforms.

Reports show that audiences are hooked more with your stories than statistics!

d) Performance Marketing and Digital PR:

Performance marketing is a data-driven marketing approach that aims to maximize return on investment (ROI) by driving measurable conversions such as clicks, sign-ups, downloads, or purchases.

Digital PR focuses on building brand awareness, enhancing reputation, and increasing visibility through various digital channels. It leverages online platforms and media outlets to generate positive publicity for a brand.

Performance marketing and digital PR are two distinct strategies used in the realm of digital marketing. While they have different focuses and goals, they can complement each other when implemented together.

e) Social Media Optimization (SMO): Leverage the power of social media by creating, publishing, and promoting engaging content. Focus on personal branding and execute strategies in three phases:

create, publish, and promote.


4. Automation, AI, and Analytics:

Embracing automation, Artificial Intelligence, and analytics is essential for digital success. In order to do that, CDO’s can identify operational areas that can be automated through algorithms or schedulers, aiming for a target of 20% transactional automation. Moreover, Artificial Intelligence can be incorporated to enhance digital transformation efforts.

Apart from this, analytics can be deconstructed to gain insights into return on investment (ROI), visibility, and credibility, both in terms of specific mediums and overall data analysis.


As a Chief Digital Officer, mastering these four key must-haves will help in navigating the digital landscape with confidence. Establishing a strong C-suite framework, implementing a well-documented S2I plan, embracing the Power of Five strategy, and leveraging automation, artificial intelligence, and analytics are the pillars for a CDO’s success. By focusing on these areas, the functionary will be well-equipped to drive digital transformation and achieve business objectives.

Stay curious, keep learning, and enjoy your journey as a Chief Digital Officer.