Take a punt on your digital future

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One hopes Apple CEO Steve Jobs makes a full and speedy recovery as soon as possible. We’re entering a digitally dominated era that will require more leaders with such clear strategic vision, the ability to articulate it and the strength of conviction to persuade doubtful employees and shareholders alike.

Business leaders everywhere are taking an informed punt on what the digital future looks like. Then they’re working frantically to ensure their businesses are well placed to exploit that vision.

On Tuesday I visited Adobe’s London offices where I spent the morning with Ann Lewnes, the software giant’s senior vice-president of global marketing. Keep your eyes peeled for the resulting interview in which Lewnes describes, among other things, what she thinks the growing use of apps will do to the web and why smartphone use in the US is only now beginning to grow in line with its speedy take-up in markets like the UK.

One thing Lewnes did point out is that Adobe’s marketing has transformed itself in recent years, primarily by shifting 75% of its marketing budget online. Lewnes, who was responsible for the Intel Inside campaign when she was top marketer at that hi-tech brand, was candid about the level of experimentation digital success requires and why you must be ready to learn from mistakes.

Look out too for next week’s industry profile with Google’s UK managing director Matt Brittin, who paints an equally compelling picture of the elements he believes will define our digital existence. Ask Brittin if 2011 will be the “year of the mobile” and he’ll argue that we haven’t yet had “the year of the internet”.

In the meantime, I would direct you towards our news stories where you can read some strong views on how the media landscape will play out this year. There’s a warning to marketers to note the growth of devices running on Google’s Android OS and not to bet the whole farm on apps for the iPhone and iPad. There’s a view from Deloitte (slightly echoing Mark Ritson’s piece from last week) that social networks will soon run out of gas and that TV will consolidate its position as “super-media”. Interesting stuff and there to be picked apart if you disagree.

If you still want more, our Digital Strategy section is full of great reads, starting with a brilliant piece from New Media Age’s Will Cooper about allocating value to each part of the customer journey.

Mark Choueke, Editor

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