Get your HR officers to drive digital change

CEO, CMO or chief digital officer are often seen as the heroes pushing digital transformation in a company. However, another person organisations should be looking to involve in this process is the chief human resources officers (CHRO)

This view was held by Mohamad Ario Adimas, vice president of marketing, Loket, Go-Jek, during a panel at a Digital Marketing Indonesia conference held on 29-30 November 2017. He explained that CHROs needed to be involved because digital transformation is a challenge related to culture. He added:

When it comes to changing the business, brands need to start with the people first.

“Start with the people in the company if culture is something you want to change. The problem is not everyone believes in digital so it is best to first get your chief human resources officer on board,” Ario said. This would lead to the younger generation of hires being digitally savvy.

He added that having a digital presence online should not be something which is limited to CEOs. All staff members in an organisation need to be a brand ambassador for the company – online and offline.

Juliana Cen, CMO (Central Marketing Organisation) lead, Microsoft Indonesia added that while marketers are often responsible for being a change agent, they cannot do so without the support of the board and other departments in the organisation.

Danny Yuanda, head of affiliate, Lazada Indonesia, added that size of the organisation is also something to be considered when it comes to driving digital change.

“The benefit of start-ups lie in its flat structure. This helps the people leading the change save a lot of layers of escalation to ensure that digital change strategies can be adopted in organisations,” Yuanda said.

Localising a global mandate

Another challenge many local entities face is getting more support from global HQs to localise brand campaigns. To combat this, Cen said that building good content is the first step. The next step is to incorporate more of the customer experience strategy into content. Marketers then needed to convince various headquarters and stakeholders to agree to run the content in their local market.

Marketers looking to gain more support with localised campaigns also need to think about how the campaign will draw new customers to the company. This includes setting the right KPIs and deciding how much customers the company wants to be acquiring. She added that the ability to adapt to change also needs to be accompanied with the continued willingness to learn when it comes to digital marketing.

“Use your network, incorporate the media and cooperate with estates which are willing to help you at little to no cost. Do that and have a discussion with the relevant heads in your organisation before execution to decide if this is something which can work for your brand,” Cen explained.

To sieve out the digital trends worth investing in, Go-Jek’s Ario said to choose the trend which can give you the most relevant results. Marketers also need to be aware of when to place them in the observation phase, unless they have a good case study on hand for reference. Speaking from personal experience, he said that he always sets aside 10% of the digital marketing budget for experimentation and trying new initiatives.

“If it is not something I am currently using, I try to invite the companies pushing the new technology in for a presentation to learn more about it,” Ario explained. To be an effective digital marketer today, he said that marketers also need be equipped with skills such as data analysis.

“Everyone in marketing now has to be junior data scientist. They need to be able to read the data and make decisions based on the data insights they have gathered,” Ario added.

For Yuanda, marketers also need to keep their eyes open and be agile enough to recognise the changes happening within their industries. In the case of Lazada, some digital trends currently exciting Yuanda as a marketer include video and influencer marketing.

“Videos are starting to get a lot of traction, garnering different reactions from consumers, as opposed to the more pictorial approach the company used to take. Videos help to give a softer sell on a product or service, excluding unique value propositions,” Yuanda explained. As such, Lazada recently worked with Viu to create mini short videos about Lazada with soft selling parts which in turn generates a lot of traction for us as well.

Vivienne Tay

Marketing Magazine Singapore
Armed with a fire for the latest marketing trends and weakness for puns, Vivienne spends most of her time hunting for the next viral marketing stunt and getting to know the faces of the industry. When not testing out the latest products in the beauty industry, she can be seen inhaling a bowl of her favourite beancurd or kicking back at the theatre getting inspired.

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