Digital IQ Digital eyeQ, the Myndset digital marketing and brand strategy

Developing your Digital eyeQ

If you went to school more than 10 years ago, it is highly likely that you were not taught to develop your digital IQ.  Trained to have a critical eye for reviewing traditional marketing issues — such as attractive merchandising, proper pricing, TV ad effectiveness, etc. — executives have not been accustomed or trained to apply that critical eye to digital issues.  I call this the Digital eyeQ.  When we look at the challenge for companies to onboard the digital transformation, one of the sticking points is just how much the top brass needs to “be” digital themselves.

Is digital an intellectual exercise?

Is digital something you can intellectually get?  Many executives, with multiple diplomas, will tend to believe yes.  They have read about it ad nauseum.  They see tweets streaming on the bottom of the screen on the 8 o’clock news.  Better yet, they have listened to their kids wax eloquently about the need to get the latest iPad for their birthday.  And, naturally, they are trumpeting that digital is strategically important for the company going forward.  However, I would tend to say: digital is something you can understand intellectually just as much as sex is something you can intellectually get.  {Please click to tweet!}  The misnomer with a digital IQ, per se, is that digital savviness is not, strictly speaking, a matter of intelligence.  It is a matter of mindset.  And until you are doing it yourself, it’s not possible to really understand it.  And, more importantly, by just reading and talking about it, it is definitely not possible to understand how the consumer is experiencing it.

Why does an executive need to start using digital tools and media?

There are three chief reasons why I militantly say to executives that they need to be using digital (i.e. buying online, surfing the net, on social media…).

“Mr or Mrs CEO, you need to start using digital tools yourself, because….

  1. if you don’t, you will make some big mistakes in your communication plans.
  2. you will have trouble attracting and retaining digitally savvy talent.
  3. in a world of overinformation, you need to master the right digital tools and media in order to stay up, if not ahead, with what’s going on.”

The percentage of companies that are using digital means purely as a cost cutting initiative is surely on its way down.  Even if I don’t see many P&L’s that have properly carved out the impact of digital within the company, very few consumer-facing companies are not taking digitally “seriously.” However, the decision making process, the editorial line and the execution of digital (especially in the retail space) is gravely hampered when the executives are just intellectually digital.  I put this down to executives — and management in general — not having developed an appropriate digital eyeQ.  Because management doesn’t know enough themselves about the surfing experience, the nature of bugs, nor the best options that exist, it is very difficult — not to say impossible — to make effective business decisions.

Increasing one’s Digital IQ passes in part by developing one’s digital critical eye, thus the digital eyeQ.  If you want another good read on the topic, check out Jeff Bullas’ post on the digital marketing IQ.

Your thoughts and reactions, please!!

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