In Digital Brand Discussion series I discuss topics around Brands and Digital. Implications and challenges imposed by the Digital rEvolution. My belief is that maintenance of Brand Identity has never been harder. Abrupt changes in marketing environment mean that Brand and Branding practices had to change, but in effect are really slow to adapt.
In this article I will discuss and showcase a volume and / or capacity disbalance between the changes in marketing environment - The Rise of Digital Touchpoints and (lack of) changes in internal capacities of Brand HQs in terms of people and processes.
If you're working for a global Brand and working in an HQ you've probably already experienced or are experiencing something I call "Corporate Digital Anxiety". If you're a Brand Manager or Brand Director turning to a Digital Brand Manager and Digital Brand Director, your environment and skillsets requirement changed in a blink of an eye. You might have adapted and changed, and most of people did - improving their own digital skills directly (learning, trainings etc), or indirectly by being a consumer themselves in digital world we live in. However, you've probably experienced that you're overwhelmed by operational issues, especially evolving around operational management and day-to-day operations regarding branding / marketing. Does it feel like you're micromanaging production and putting execution-induced fires instead of brand strategic management? Well, if it does, it's a shared pain we see in many Brand HQs.
Digital Brand Managers and Digital Brand Directors are feeling the squeeze of the Digital Tidal Wave. Some have gone under, some are struggling, very few are riding it smoothly without getting burned out, putting in extra hours and working weekends. The Reasons for the squeeze are multidimensional and I can divide them in couple of points:
1) Digital Touchpoints exponentially Outnumbered People
Ballooning number of digital touchpoints exponentially outnumbered people. So on the left side you have a change in marketing environment of 100-500 digital touchpoints and on the right side, companies haven't beefed up number of people. The headcount I believe increased but not exponentially. Thus, fewer people manage and handle exponentially more brand touchpoints than a couple of years ago.
(Without right tools, processes and resources your leverage will never be on your side)
2) Organisational Design and Workflows became Outdated
Organisational design and organisation of work - how people work, collaborate, communicate across teams - was and is set up for much slower pace of work. Type of work changed, so now you as a Digital Brand Manager require Technical Knowledge that needs continuously to be updated. Moreover, if you're one of those who's using Excel sheets to keep track of your brand execution, customer journeys, assets, dimensions, copy, you definitely are digitally disabled and set up to fail. You might be muscling it up, but sooner or later you'll be overwhelmed by the quantitative increase of tasks, projects that are linked with Digital Brand Execution in multi-layer multi-department multi-geographies HQ environment. In the end, you most probably depend on execution, not just on yourself, so if you're chasing assets across departments, people for approval, and you're constantly late or on the brink of deadlines for execution - you have this problem.
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