O ur Senior Growth Expert, John Eriksson, talks about why digital teams are the most common reason why sales do not take off.

In my daily work, I often meet with marketing and sales teams in order to find John Erikssonopportunities for growth. Every so often, I can quickly identify the reasons why sales are slow and the brand is losing strength. “How many are you in your digital team?” “It is I and the CIO who have the login details to Google Analytics, so I guess we are the digital team”, was one answer I received recently while talking to a person in charge of four multinational e-commerce sites. There was clearly an imbalance in the organisation: the growth potential was there, but the digital business skills had definitely been neglected.

Weak digital teams are by far the most common challenge for the businesses we meet. Usually this is due to too high expectations for the IT department or external consultants or agencies to manage the digitalisation efforts. Without digital business abilities, it is difficult to develop and expand your business. Digital capability can obviously vary from case to case, but no matter what your organisation looks like, we find that the businesses that have the below competences are more capable of achieving their business goals.

  • Chief Data Officer– Responsible for helping the organisation make the most informed decisions. Refines the value chain for decision making data from business systems to visualisation in for example Tableau or Google Data Studio. In the case of an exclusively digital business model, a web analyst can go very far, but usually not all the way.
  • Traffic Acquisition Manager – Responsible for the user’s journey off-site. A master when it comes to optimising touch points in media and social flows in order to maximise short term and long-term results (performance vs. brand).
  • User Experience Manager – Responsible for the user experience on-site. Few things can generate measurable growth as fast as UX and Conversion Optimisation. We are finding that businesses that provide a well-developed User Experience can increase their revenue by 5-10 % and lower their costs by 15-20 %.
  • Product Owner– Responsible for structuring and prioritising orders to IT. Invaluable when marketing and sales projects are basically IT projects. Somewhat of a project manager and a key player in agile teams.

What these abilities have in common is that they all thrive in an agile environment. The digital shift puts pressure on the market and it is no longer enough to work in a campaign oriented fashion with yearly media plans. An agile marketing team works with short cycles in order to make rapid progress when it comes to innovation, learning and ongoing optimisation of digital touch points. Basically, an effective alternative to the heavy decision-making procedures common to large businesses.
Recruiting digital competence and implementing an agile way of working is a demanding procedure. However, we clearly find that the ones who are successful in building their digital teams steadily take market shares from the ones who fail to do so.