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Infographic: How to tell when your CEO has stopped being digitally ignorant

Does your CEO mope around with paper and pencil scribbling indecipherable action items that no one can execute? Does that same CEO have a wall full of charts but no way to monitor activity online? He may be suffering from a bad case of Digital-Itis. This not-so-rare condition affects executives who haven’t yet embraced technology, and aren’t benefitting from the measurable business insights that digital resources, metrics and analytics have to offer. Here are 11 signs that your CEO has beat the Digital-Itis and is embracing the digitized world.

In the old world (before 2012), corporate experience trumped knowledge. In the new world (post 2012), digital knowledge trumps corporate experience. Just take a look at who’s at the top of the list of richest and most inspiring CEOs, and you will find younger faces, barely 40 or under, like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank, Google’s CEO Larry Page, Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason, and the list continues.

What do they all share in common? They think like DIGITAL CEOS. Without “experience” they have managed to apply digital knowledge to their branding, marketing, advertising in an innovative and disruptive way that leap-frogged what entire boardrooms were barely able to accomplish in 12-48 months of traditional corporate ideation cultures.

Contrary to common belief, Digital CEOs aren’t just creating “digital businesses,” they apply their knowledge acquisition and entrepreneurial zeal using digital techniques that help their brick & mortar businesses grow. Just look at non-digital companies like Virgin, Under Armour, Generac and Tesla Motors. Simply put, these CEOs aren’t exclusively online companies, yet they are very much digitally inclined.

Will your business survive if it remains non-digital? Will your company survive if your CEO doesn’t become a DIGITAL CEO?

In my experience, as a strategic branding professional, I can identify a company’s level of innovation by using some of the following DNA Markers to make observations. Are they shallow? Could they be misleading? YES. But so is the suit and tie from a high-end boutique and the Bentley. Culture is driven by behavior of leadership. What is it like in your organization?

So if your CEO isn’t a Digital CEO by these DNA markers, and you’re in marketing management, it is YOUR JOB to help him/her become the Digital leader your company needs in order to grow and thrive. Unless, of course, you want to be Blockbuster Video in the age of Netflix.

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