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 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Red Agency YouGov Galaxy Report, February 2019 Predictors Study. https://redagency.com.au/re...

Vanessa Skye Mitchell

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

RIP holden

Max Polding

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in