Thinking Digitally Still Isn't A Separate Job Function

from the wasted-executive-offices dept

Last year, in discussing the troubles that MTV has had in adapting to the internet generation, we noted that the company had hired someone to be their Chief Digital Officer, a position that lasted less than a year. As we mentioned at the time, this tells you a lot about why the network was struggling. “Digital” doesn’t require a separate executive, or a separate department. These days, it needs to permeate across all job functions if a content company is going to figure out how to really embrace what digital content allows. That’s why it’s disappointing to see yet another network go down the same path, as TV network Bravo has now appointed a “Digital VP.” Thinking digitally isn’t a separate job function. It needs to be a part of the strategic thinking across all aspects of the brand. Otherwise, it ends up as a disconnected silo fighting for attention from the rest of the brand — which isn’t exactly the best way to put in place a true digital strategy.

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Comments on “Thinking Digitally Still Isn't A Separate Job Function”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, the idea has legitimacy. In these large corporations, no one at the top really has any understanding of the new technology and culture of the internet. It takes one leader who is an expert to act as cheerleader, coach and cattle prod to stand in every meeting and ask “what is this group and company doing to focus on the internet? how can I help, what do you need…”etc
To rely on the same people who have been doing business in the same way for years and expect them to change never works. What these companies really need to do is hire a bunch of kids to run this department and give them full access. Hell, even tom hanks in “Big” knew this!!!

Jon L (user link) says:

Digital execs.

I’m a**-deep in this conundrum right now in my business.

Problem is, most of the execs who have been making film or television for the last 20 years see the internet and “digital” as one of two things:
1. An “added value” marketing platform for their traditional media programming or
2. A massive threat to their job security so they’ll do everything in their (underground) power they can to make sure the “digital” folks don’t do things that might be better/faster/cheaper or just plain cooler than they can do them.

In a lot of cases, it’s both of those things.

I have yet to meet an exec who REALLY knows story development and/or physical production (both of which take a lot of knowledge and experience) AND have a really good grasp on the potential, the opportunities, and the global changes the web is bringing to the content business…

Diorist says:

Who's up for it?

At least it’s a cry for help–that’s more than a lot of companies have managed. Apparently, someone at Bravo has identified the InterWebs as a known unknown and wants to hire someone to decipher it for them.

Of course it’s a temporary position. Doomed as a dodo for all the reasons mentioned above. If the new veep is ineffective, he’ll be fired for incompetence. If s/he’s effective, he’ll be fired for disruption. Whoever takes the job should consider it resume candy, enjoy the ride, and soak it for all it’s worth.

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