Digital Digest 4

Should we all have a Chief Digital Officer, do you need to be a specialist and is Amazon really about to land on Australian turf?

It’s been a pretty busy month in my world of digital recruitment here at Six Degrees in Sydney. Last week I ran an event in partnership with General Assembly around what the digital landscape will look like in 2020. This sparked an ongoing conversation around how digital is being integrated into organisations, or in some cases, not integrated into organisations.

Are digital professionals valued?

I hear several times a day that digital professionals feel like they are not valued by organisations and that the businesses don’t understand how to translate traditional methodologies into an increasingly online world. This is leading to a lot of movement within an already unstable industry.

My favourite story being, a CEO of a well-known retailer here in Sydney will not implement click-and-collect. The reason being it will mean that there will be people instore who won’t buy anything.

I strongly believe that we need a more top-down approach to digital within the Australian market. There needs to be senior professionals with an extensive history in driving transformation and change in positions such as Chief Digital Officer. This is a job title that is prevalent in Europe and the US and could be here.

The generalist versus specialist debate

The second topic that is gaining momentum is the generalist versus specialist debate. Reading the market at the moment, I would assess that agencies in Australia are still providing the specialist skills such as SEO, SEM and email marketing. Client-side organisations (my specialisation) are still actively looking for generalists within digital who can bring a holistic approach to the strategy.

It’s okay to be one or the other, and if you look to more advanced markets e.g the UK, you will find client-side teams have individuals specialising in each area. Maybe that's where we will get to in Australia, or maybe we will see a rise in T-shaped talent profiles. This talent is appealing to businesses as they have a basic understanding of multiple digital disciplines, while at the same time being a clear specialist in one or two key areas.

Amazon to land in Oz?

The final topic that has been hot in November is Amazon. There have been whispers, in dark corners, (Kogan say they are ok with it) that they are finally coming to Australia. There is no certainty around how much they will be able to provide, or if we will ever be able to have one hour delivery in the cities, but there must be a huge number of retailers and local businesses that are hugely concerned about this news. As a consumer who has used and loved Amazon and sorely misses it, I am welcoming their arrival.

Maybe this will mark a step change in Australian retail and really raise the bar for the competition.

Maybe in 12 months when I ask people where they would love to work, I won’t hear CommBank at the top of the list.

And maybe, just maybe I will be able to utter the words ‘one click ordering’ again and not be looked at like I have two heads!


For further industry insights, get in touch with Jo Krause 03 8613 3500.