I get a significant amount of natural search visitor traffic [a.k.a. Google] against two key phrases — “digital strategy job description” and “resigning from IBM“. Since I resigned from IBM six years ago, I thought I’d offer a quick update on the role a digital strategist plays in today’s advertising industry.
At first consideration, people may think that the bulk of a digital strategist’s time is spent writing digital strategies. But alas – that is only a small part of the role today.
Being in the position to write a digital strategy assumes that you or your client clearly understands where you have been and where you want to go. Afterall, a digital strategy & plan is just the careful articulation of how to address a gap to a future digital vision.
But indeed, with the advent of social media and with emerging technology – some organizations do not have clear picture on what the digital future should hold. So today’s digital strategist must be able to help clients develop a future perspective. Among future opportunities – and there will be several – a strategist needs to help the client/brand prioritize the opportunities down to a few that will make the most substantive different (based on earlier identified organizational & brand goals). Then as social media/digital has so many owners, a digital strategist also helps with alignment within an organization. These are great consulting muscles to flex!
Given this, the top five desired skill sets for today’s digital strategist include
- facilitation experience. Ability to work with many cross functional groups to create alignment on objectives and plans
- influence & negotiation. Ability to properly articulate the benefits & risks associated with digital opportunities.
- analytics. Ability to conduct or source research to identify the insights that will contribute to a balanced, thoughtful review of a business. Ability to distill intelligence from data.
- project management. Ability to estimate the scope of efforts required, time & materials and clearly articulate the best project approach to achieve the desired outcomes.
- synthesis. [a rare skill] Ability to synthesize activity, client needs or discussions to distill to the most salient facts.