Katie Stocking is the founder and President at Happy Medium LLC.
I recently attended Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland. In just five years, Web Summit has grown to be one of the largest tech conferences in the world. This year, more than 20,000 people gathered together from all around the world, turning Dublin into the international tech capital for three days.
Speakers included Dropbox founder, Drew Houston; Tinder Founder & CEO, Sean Rad; Evernote CEO, Phil Libin; former Apple CEO, John Sculley; Cisco Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Padmasree Warrior; Eva Longoria and many more. Women in tech, the future of media and digital advertising, and the Internet of things were hot topics amongst speakers and attendees.
One presentation that stuck out to me the most was a quick, ten-minute talk called “Digital Marketing is Dead”. The title alone got me in the room and riled up to hear what this crank had to say about my livelihood. The “crank’ was Cillian Kieran, founder & CEO at CKSK, and he was incredibly inspiring. What he meant by “Digital Marketing is Dead” is that digital should not be confined to just marketing, we should all be focused on becoming digital businesses.
So how do we become digital businesses? Primarily, we must stop thinking in silos. Digital permeates and transforms everything including manufacturing, logistics, distribution, IT, sales and, of course, marketing. We must develop digital technology horizontally across all business units and it starts at the very top of the organization.
Kieran provided seven observations for digital transformation, all of which are extremely important:
- Never fear failure. Be willing to break with your industry’s best practices.
- Assume nothing. Remember to question everything around you.
- Forget about consumers. Instead, remember real people.
- Solve a problem. Remember to be an engineer and make truly useful things.
- User experience is like fairy dust. Liberally sprinkle it on everything.
- Test and learn. Fast. Think of it as rinse, wash, repeat.
- Take (small) smart risks. Take 10 percent of your budget for agile experimentation.
Challenge yourself to go digital in your entire business, including marketing, and tweet me your thoughts @klstocking.