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The Digital Talent Landscape

Everyone's talking about digital transformation. But how do you achieve it?

First you need to ensure you have the right talent to design and execute that transformation.

Here we detail everything you need to know about the digital talent landscape in 2019.

Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

The Digital Talent Map

Now more than ever, brands need digital professionals that are agile enough to shift with the times and utilise their critical skills for commercial gain. Whether it’s applying specialist skills or implementing digital transformation projects you need the right people for the job.

But where do you start? And how do you know what you need?

Job Roles

Firstly, I should acknowledge that a large number of digital jobs are not full time. Many growing brands are successfully using agencies and freelance talent to establish or advance their digital footprint.

However, established brands, who are serious about keeping up with changing shopping habits and digital disruptors, can’t afford not to hire an army of digital experts.

Here are just a few examples we’ve come across in our searches that play a key strategic role in digital transformation….

C-Suite & Senior Management:

  1. CEO (CEO) – Increasingly focused on digital transformation, technology and innovation, CEOs make key decisions that drive the digital strategy.

  2. Chief Customer Officer (CCO) – COOs design new programs and systems to improve the customer experience and define the brand culture.

  3. Chief Operating Officer (COO) – This crucial role supports brands on their digital journey, advising on new tech developments, efficiency gains and cost savings. They also invest in new tech solutions and sign off on strategic digital hires.

  4. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – The CTO creates new tech to sell to customers. They are the ‘bridge builder’ between the strictly technical components of a transformation strategy and how they can apply to people and process in the context of the brand.

  5. Chief Information Officer (CIO) – The CIO manages the new IT strategy, infrastructure and systems required for business operations.

  6. Chief Digital Officer (CDO) – These are change agents and the interface between management and the tech world. They’re strong communicators rather than technical experts. They help convert traditional brands into digital ones.

  7. Chief AI Officer (CAIO) – The tech involved is complex and few executives understand it. The CAIO’s role is to deploy the brand’s new AI strategy and research department.

  8. Chief Data Officer (CDO) – They manage and exploit information using data management, systems and services, business intelligence and advantaged analytics and data mining. They’re also responsible for data governance.

  9. Chief Experience Officer (CXO) – The CXO provides corporate leadership in UX strategy at the C-level, bringing holistic experience design to the boardroom.

  10. GM eCommerce – They bring together cross-functional stakeholders (e.g. Store Operations, Order Fulfilment, Inventory, Marketing and IT) to assist in all aspects of the digital and ecommerce business including business planning, content strategy and development, promotional campaigns, online marketing, product merchandising, website design, customer service, web analytics, and web technologies.

  11. SVP eCommerce & Digital Transformation – Their aim is to foster a new dynamic in order to accelerate the transformation of the brand’s digital capacities. They develop and deliver a growth strategy that produces agreed targets through retail sales, ecommerce and digital platforms globally.

  12. VP Digital – Establishing, leading, and growing a new set of service offerings, this VP is responsible for high performance and high traffic digital commerce verticals in relevant channels, such as web, mobile, and social.

  13. VP Digital Commerce & Marketing – Leads digital strategy and execution across owned and 3rd party channels/platforms, user experience, digital marketing, web merchandising and the overall operation of the e-commerce brand channel. They also direct the development of online business strategy by working cross functionally to create annual operating plans and longer-term plans that are aligned with brand direction.

  14. Global eCommerce Director – Responsible for implementing the brand’s ecommerce strategy, they have a track record of setting up and executing e-commerce platforms in a number of regions, delivering significant revenue growth through strategic planning and brand partnerships

  15. Global Digital Director – Responsible for all digital acquisition/social channels. They normally have a strong strategic content/editorial/digital marketing and performance background.

  16. Global Director of Digital Product & UX – Providing product & UX strategy and delivery across UK and International digital web, app and in-store customer experience. They might manage a team of product managers/owners, UX architect/designers and web/app engineers.

  17. Global Digital Customer Experience Director – These subject matter experts enable brand growth via efficient digital and customer experience (CX) in global markets through customer led innovation.

  18. Global Marketing Director – This role covers all marketing activities excluding digital. They need to have a data driven approach to managing experimental strategies such as popup retail, as well as established event strategies.

  19. Global Digital & Performance Marketing Director – These Directors manage digital marketing strategies across all performance channels.

  20. Global Talent Acquisition Director – Hiring the right people, with the right skills, at the right time, is their ultimate role. The global digital space is constantly changing so job design and sourcing strategies need to be regularly revised.

Clearly not all organisations will have all roles. Job title semantics and level may change, and smaller brands will have management positions that encompass large chunks of these. But whatever the role, the ability to work with all parts of the business and for senior management to talk the same tech and digital language is key.

And, at the junior end, Growth Hackers and Data Scientists are playing an increasingly critical role as the war for data hots up.

Are there any digital roles you’re struggling to fill? What digital transformation is your brand undergoing? We’d love to hear from you.

Email us your thoughts.


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