Insight: Chief Digital Officers Becoming The Norm- Omar Janabi, Mapp

Omar Janabi, senior director of marketing, Mapp, discusses what role he thinks the chief digital officer (CDO) will play in the marketing world in 2017.

With data becoming increasingly central to successful digital marketing, the chief digital officer (CDO) will become a more popular role.

Working to bridge the gap between marketing and IT departments, the CDO will become commonplace, and essential, by the end of 2017, providing welcome relief to marketers who perceive data and analytics as essential additions to their already strained to-do lists.

In the digital age, CDOs understand the role that email, social, mobile, web and marketing technologies play in a brand’s customer engagement journey. They understand what the marketing department wants to achieve, and what the IT department is trying to deliver. Flexible IT deployments, cost-savings, data sensitivity and a growing regulatory environment are all concerns for IT directors, but this must not smother marketing creativity, or prevent the use of sophisticated, technologically-driven marketing techniques.

Although the usefulness of digital tools and software cannot be disputed in terms of their capacity to collect information and help identify trends, their emergence has also had a stifling influence on an industry that is built around creativity and originality. The relief provided by the CDO will see marketers spend less time analysing data dashboards, or getting to grips with the latest trending software, and allow them to concentrate on simply being marketers again.

Brought about as a by-product of wider trends in digital transformation, and the organisational need to have specialist digital expertise, the CDO will combine marketing and management experience with technical know-how, providing a strategic vision to align and improve operations across the organisation.”


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