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Thought leadership

Heads of digital in large organisations are becoming increasingly frustrated with their company’s culture towards digital, which is holding back their ability to execute on digital strategies effectively, research by Acquia reveals.

Half of heads of digital believe they lack digital strategy support from team members and those in other departments, and, worryingly, more than one in three (37%) say they lack support from their own board.

The exposé by Acquia, which highlights a chasm between digital strategy and digital execution, finds that culture is a bigger barrier to digital success than other factors like lack of skills or budget — only 36% state lack of skills as a barrier, and 21% say lack of budget is a problem.

Acquia VP of EMEA marketing Sylvia Jensen said: “Clearly digital has a people problem in today’s business world. Businesses have the money and the skills to execute on digital properly, but the unwillingness of the business as a whole to pull together is holding back progress.

“One of the possible reasons for the culture being a problem is that the legacy technology businesses have in place make executing a joined up digital experience difficult — especially on a global level. If it’s too difficult, I can see why many lose interest, and continue with the old way of doing things.”

The culture problem is having a profound effect on most organisations’ ability to jump on modern trends like personalisation and multi-channel marketing. Nearly half of heads of digital (48%) say that the main reason they can’t personalise properly is because they don’t know enough about their website visitors. And the biggest challenge with multi-channel marketing is not being able to keep content up to date (say 47%).

Both issues stem from a lack of the right technology, argues Acquia. A sleek, modern digital setup that makes managing a brand on a global level much simpler is key to encouraging employees to start thinking digital first, rather than digital as a bolt on.

Jensen continued: “Not being able to execute on digital strategy is very much a download spiral. Dabbling in digital that fails ultimately dissatisfies the board, which means less budget towards it and a disbelief in its ability. But when done properly, digital execution has shown time and time again to be a huge revenue generator for business. Getting it right, therefore, is hugely important.”

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