CMOs and CDOs – there’s a new breed of consumers in the marketplace and it’s time you learn how to reach this group of elusive, discerning, distracted and proudly narcissistic digital consumers. Reaching and engaging these connected consumers will require being in the right place, at the right time and on their terms.

Knowing where/when/how to create such experiences will require a significant investment in strategy, technology, expertise and business models; that are shaped and informed by data, insights and empathy. As marketing technology advances to meet the demands of mobile, social and real-time interactions, marketers and technologists are scrambling to understand and employ the latest, hottest advancements in customer engagements.

While it’s a core focus area, technology alone isn’t the answer. Digital transformation requires the realignment of, or new investment in technology, business models, and processes to create new value for stakeholders and to more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.

Where do you begin? A solid place to drive change is with the new 4-Ps of business: People, Purpose, Promise and Partnerships.

Generation C: Connected Customers Bound By Active Digital Lifestyles

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Connected consumers are more informed, empowered and demanding and have noticeably different behavior, preferences and standards. How they discover brands, how they make decisions, how they influence one another and what they value is also evolving.

How executives respond to connected consumers sets the stage for “Digital Darwinism,” the evolution of business and markets as society and technology advance. Companies either adapt or they don’t. The extent to which C-Suite marshals adapt will determine their competitiveness, long-term relevance and success. It’s time for executives, whether CMOs, CDOs, CIOs or a combination thereof, to accelerate digital transformation efforts.

As part of my ongoing research in digital transformation, I’ve assembled a series of best practices as informed by those leading transformation in companies such as Discover, GM, Harvard, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nestlé, Sephora, Starbucks, among many others. The result is a new framework and report, “Eight Success Factors of Digital Transformation: How Businesses are Taking an O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E. Approach to Business as Usual.”

The framework offers insights and a new understanding of technology, data and the digital customer. By learning from these companies and following the OPPOSITE approach, digital transformation becomes identifiable, approachable and attainable for organizations.


There is a disruption event on the horizon for every business. You can see the impact this had on Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders, taxis, the music industry, etc. It’s what executives do about it today, to what extent, how quickly and how these efforts ripple across the organization that will determine your business’ fate. Disruption is a choice. It either happens to you or because of you.

For similar posts on igniting digital transformation, follow Brian Solis’ column in Forbes or see his latest report, “The Six Stages of Digital Transformation.”