In Pursuit of Digital Leadership


If they hope to flourish, marketing organisations need to adopt the same set of cultural practices that enable the world’s top digital companies to command our technology-led world. These practices are centred around facilitating digital leadership and should be at the core of organisational strategy.

The lay of the land

But a recent study by Facebook and Deloitte found that marketing organizations today are “doing”—not “being”—digital. Being digital isn’t just about technology, it’s about weaving the digital thread into business, operating, and customer models. This finding is consistent regardless of company size, industry or geography.

Nine digital practices are particularly important for marketing. Within six of these, marketing organisations are generally still in their nascency – ‘doing digital’ – leveraging digital technologies to extend their capabilities, but relying largely on traditional business models. In the other three however – ‘being digital’ – they’re far more developed.

‘Doing Digital’

Dynamic skill requirements

Today, skill requirements are constantly changing. To be effective, organisations need teams with multifoliate skills that can be used in a variety of ways to tackle new challenges. This requires more advance training programs.


Maturing digital organizations need the heightened awareness and flexibility to quickly adapt to unexpected changes in the marketplace. This requires tools, processes and policies that make it easy to work in a rapidly changing environment.


Fluidity is the ability to move with ease from one situation to the next. It is closely related to agility, but centers more around anticipated changes.

Constant disruption

In technology, disruption is a constant; however, some disruptions are significant while others are noise. Marketing organisations must be able to tell the difference and then have the capabilities to respond appropriately.

Real-time and on-demand

The ability to make changes in real time based on feedback from customers and stakeholders, providing information and services on demand—whenever and wherever people need them.

Fail early, fail fast, learn faster

Maturing digital organisations aren’t afraid to fail; they crank out solutions as quickly as possible, make improvements through rapid iteration and actively learn from their mistakes.


'Being Digital’

Continuous ecosystem disruption

In a digital world, organisations operate as ecosystems—not self-contained entities—enabling them to quickly and constantly reconfigure themselves in response to ongoing societal, technological and market shifts.

Increased customer involvement

Maturing digital organisations actively engage with customers, capturing feedback on products and services and gathering real-time data on every interaction.

Intentionally collaborative

In the current business environment, collaboration is key—creating alignment across the ecosystem and helping to deliver an improved experience for customers and employees alike. According to the study, this is the area where marketing organizations have made the most progress toward being digital.

Digital Leadership

Marketing organisations ought not to pursue each goal simultaneously. Rather, they should think about the immediate need to stay competitive and the long game for sustainability. As it relates to these challenges, a review of current governance structures and tweaks to the decision-making process could remove some formal barriers to agility.

In order to sow the seeds of digital growth, marketing organizations need to become more agile. According to the study, nearly half (46%) don’t believe they currently have the ability to manage unplanned change without it slowing them down. Training is another key issue, with 48% of study participants saying they don’t believe their digital skills training is effective.

Organisation structure is also a significant barrier, with more than half of marketing organisations (51%) still constrained by traditional hierarchies that revolve around formal roles and levels.

At a more operational level, implementing new functions in your marketing operation can be a challenge. There’s a significant cost (time and money) to learning to do new things, and building an in-house solution to successfully handle needs which flex significantly over time can be a high risk strategy.

At Space66, we have designed a new way to work with our clients that helps to mitigate this risk, providing you significant advantages over doing things under your own steam.

Our colocated model has proven to be successful across a wide range of clients, skills and projects, from delivering additional software engineering capabilities to an estate agency industry disruptor, brand identity and website development for an ecommerce technology unicorn and content production for one of the world’s best loved makeup brands.

Want to work with us?

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Want to work with us?

We'd love to talk to you.