Mars CDO: We're only halfway through the digital journey

Mars Australia chief digital officer, Chris Riddell, outlines how digital is set to further change the way organisations operate and bring in new levels of sharing and collaboration internally and externally

Digital and technology may have already triggered bucket loads of change within our organisations and transformed our interactions as consumers, but Mars Australia’s chief digital officer claims we’re only halfway into the digital journey.

Speaking at the CeBIT WebForward conference in Sydney, Chris Riddell told attendees that the first half of the digital journey was about becoming digital-led, whereas the second half will be about better utilisation of technology for collaboration, product innovation and inspiration both inside and outside the organisation.

He highlighted various examples of how digital is transforming the way people within organisations communicate and interact, as well as outlined a range of areas and outcomes businesses must focus on if they want to keep on top of the digital curve. Riddell oversees all digital strategy for Mars’ brands including Wrigley, Mars, Maltesers, MasterFoods and Dolmio and was formerly head of IT for Mars Chocolate.

One area being transformed by digital is staffing and talent management. Riddell pointed out that while generation Y were the generation that faced digital disruption and presented a challenge in terms of staff management, the digitally native Z generation coming out of university is rewriting the rules all over again.

“These guys are highly connected and highly social, and this is very much determining the landscape of the business we operate in now,” he commented. “Their view of the world is very different to ours.

“Acquiring talent in this new world is really challenging as well. You can no longer talk about those classic things like superannuation or leave – you have to look at how you are empowering digital and social strategy as an organisation both internally and externally.”

Riddell also predicted the death of email within the next few years in its current format, adding that the power of the crowd and community thanks to digital engagement will become the dominant drivers for communication and corporate intelligence. Leveraging data is how organisations will be able to shift into the new “digital style”, he continued.

“Digital isn’t changing what we have done before, but it’s allowing us to connect in more ways than ever before,” Riddell said. “It’s about doing old things in new ways.

“Email is overloading us right now… we are going to get to a more collaborative world where you’re opting in and opting out of conversations, and joining social groups and platforms like Yammer in your organisation. This is how to get a social business on the inside.

“We’re also moving away from having stuff and owning these things, and moving into a world where you’re bringing in and subscribing to these experiences.”

Related: Why Mars and Qantas are investing into in-house digital skills

According to Riddell, organisations and leaders must become comfortable with volatility, ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity if they want to continue being responsive in the digital economy.

“As organisations, you need to check if your internal and external clocks are going at the same pace,” he said. “If they aren’t, are you keeping up with the changes occurring outside your organisation, and what can you do to match them?”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

I feel bad for them. It's a shame they are closed now. What do you think about it?

Lisa Deleon

Dick Smith stores set to all close by 30 April

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in