Tips on how to excel in your marketing career from OMD Australia’s Chief Digital Officer

I'm Sian Whitnall. I'm the Chief Digital Officer
for OMD Australia. A day in the life of a
Chief Digital Officer, thankfully is
really varied. I have to be responsible
for the agency product, Helping clients navigate 
their marketing, But also i have a
team to run, internally. so multiple hats which
means no day the same which is the beauty of it. So at OMD we have a
large range of clients. We're really lucky
to work with some of Australia's most loved
and best-known brands. From Open Colleges 
through to Coles, Suncorp,
Telstra, McDonalds, just to name a few. So my role at OMD is really 
about collaboration.

Unlike other chief digital officers
I don't have a huge team of 100, purely because the way that
we think about digital OMD is about being
omnichannel. So it's integrated into
everything that we do. So we don't think of
digital as a specialism, rather than the capability sits 
and exists within the team. My view on learning is
the fact that it's an art. you have to really
lean in to learning because nobody is
a finished article. In my role, I'm a generalist,
I'm not a specialist, So I need to have the skills to be
able to ask the right question to get the information
I really need. And you have to look
at every opportunity, or every meeting
that you go into, or everything that's happening,
as a learning experience So I've continued learning by thinking 
that it needs to be a constant evolution. I need to always be
upskilling myself. And the way that I do that varies
depending on the task. So there are some tasks where you
have to go back to the textbooks because that's the
best place to start. but there are other times where you tap 
into your network of peers and specialists.

I really value the network of people
that I surround myself with and the opportunity to dig into problems
with specialists that you work with. And for them, it's all about
asking the right question. And that's how
you learn. through digging in and drawing in
their specialist expertise. So when I'm hiring staff
or looking to hire staff, there are two key
things that I look for. Firstly, because digital
is complex, I look for people with great
communication skills. Because digital is all
about the simplicity, you need to people who can
convey the complex simply. The other thing that I don't
think you can underestimate is having a
natural curiosity. And while that isn't
a formal skill set, it does talk to a
personality type and certain people
lean into that because if you're in an environment
where you have to constantly learn, you need people who
are eager to do that. For people starting
out in the industry, I've got a couple of
pieces of advice.

pexels photo 6483629

So firstly, it's listen. Listen to what is going
on in the market. Listen to the challenges
that businesses are facing and also the
opportunities because you can really get a quick
feel for where the opportunity is by just simply understanding where
the market's at and where it's going. But also i think the biggest asset you can
have is the relationships that you build. We work in a
relationship-based industry and it's not about
who you know but it's about spending time
speaking to people and building some
connectivity. Because people in this industry,
they are talkers! They love to talk and
they love to give advice So thinking about where you can get advice
from and mentorship would be key.

So when digital marketing
is at its best is when it's not thought
of as digital marketing and it's just thought
of as 'marketing' because actually our belief at
OMD, and my personal belief, is that digital is just one part
of the marketing ecosystem and everything has
to work together to get the best output
and outcome. So some future trends to
look out for in marketing is that technology will
continue to be an enabler and i think the biggest
'watch out for me' is that consumers do
not think by channel and so for us in marketing, we can't be defined or pigeon-holed
into a channel either. so there's going to be a bigger
shift to kind of holistic thinking and technology is going to be
a massive enabler of that..

As found on YouTube

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