As consumers we live in a fascinating world, one where answers are a touch (or voice command) away, where the physical reality is being enhanced by bits & bytes of content, where geography is non existent, where we can change the world with 140 characters. Never has there been a time in history that has provided the opportunities that we have now.

As marketers, we’re screwed.

As marketers, we’re screwed. Digital / mobile / social is creating more channels to communicate, driving towards an extremely fragmented environment. But all we have to do is put our ads across these channels and we’re fine, right? Not really. Simply “selling” a message on these new channels will get you and your brand banished quicker than you can imagine. A very scary world for those of us product and service peddlers… But with each challenge comes great opportunity and Leadership.

We live at the amazing intersection of public consumer behaviors & the very intrinsic value of consumption / collection / curation. This microcosm of lifestyle provides an opportunity for us marketers to become empathetically, human. We can see what is important to our consumers, to see how they interact, how they consume, and what their aspirations are. The greatest part is we can become a part of this journey and literally provide opportunities for these individuals to achieve their aspiration.

But, we can’t get there with a simple advertisement. We have to have a pulse, we have to be human, we have to have restraint and we have to lead. This leadership is manifested at the real time transactional level through engagement, understanding, reaction, empathy, and inspiration. A lot of this we know as individuals being a part of the human race, but now we must shift our focus towards the brands that we represent then utilize what we have in front of us to the fullest extent.

As companies & brands, we stand [or should stand] for something, something bigger than what we offer. We stand for something that adds value to this world, which provides something better for all of us. This fundamental component of our story can come through in our actions, reactions, and empathy. The message that we develop through content or messaging coupled with the way that we distribute this content and engage with our consumer tells that story. The stand we take against human issues, the technologies that we use, the websites we develop, the videos we make, the messages we share provides that opportunity to add that layer of human; the layer that drives aspiration.

That’s truly the role of Digital Leadership.

Unhinge the behaviors, drive for aspiration, and communicate brand & product messaging in a way that builds or facilitates this lifestyle.

Once we wrap our heads around this, the conversation on which platforms to use, whether we need a mobile site or mobile app, whether Vine is right for our brand, or what the next iteration of the next website needs to look like will all fall into place. Driving towards the higher order of leadership provides for easier paths to pave with the proper knowledge and direction.

Digital Leadership, starts with the leadership first, and the digital to support it. 

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