Does your company have a Chief Digital Officer? According to a study by Gartner, a predicted 25% of businesses will have created and filled the Chief Digital Officer title by 2015. David Mathison is in the hot seat this week as we explore the business imperative of the CDO. David Mathison is curator of the Chief Digital Officer Summit, and founder of the CDO Club. More than 65% of global CDOs are members. He is best known for his book, Be The Media. Please join us as we discuss how operating in the new digital landscape is integral to business growth.
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Welcome to innovation talk, I'm Leah Carey and good morning to you. We are starting off the week by interviewing author and digital trailblazer, David Mathison. David is the curator of the Chief Digital Officer and founder of the CDO Club. His book "Be The Media" was featured in the New York Times after he pre-sold over 5,000 copies in 11 days. He is also an international speaker and I guess I'm privileged to have caught him in between flights. Let me ask our listeners. Does your company have achieved digital officer? I know myself that I have had more than my share of CEOs tell me that their marketing department has hired summer interns to execute their social media strategies. Now, however, I do think we're starting to see an uptake and understanding of how central the CDO grow is to business growth and sustainability, especially with big data now in the equation. So, this show is going to be a fantastic show. If you would like to call and for Dave in the hot seat call (424) 675-6836. David, welcome to the show.
Well, thank you for having me Leah, it's a pleasure beyond.
I have been looking forward to this show, I think since it's in such... (Laughs) I really want to clarify what the CDO role is? So, before we start share with our listeners few things about yourself. I know the CDO community is growing and what I believe is unique about this community is the level of experience. So, what's your secret to gathering this very strong digital tribe, how did you do it?
Well, you know it's interesting, Leah, thanks again for having me on the show and for covering this topic. I think is free when we talk this position five years ago. There wouldn't really been much to talk about -- you know I'm really the only one who has been tracking the trend and really getting a deep, deep database into who exactly all these people are and if we were to have this conversation for example at the end of 2011 they were only chief, 75 Chief Digital Officers on the planet and at the end of 2012 that went up to about 300 and if we stay on track for this year this should be about 500 or 600 Chief Digital Officers -- at major organization. So, we're seeing the trend tick up quite significantly just over the last two or three years and we're at the point now were -- you know it's really getting exciting now that -- all, once the analyst start gathering around and -- you know making their forecast about the space we set everyone for Gartner to Deloitte to the MIT. Folks both at Sloane and the center for digital business to boost and Capgemini and Harvard and even McKenzie. So, they're starting to see the same thing that we had seen -- you know a couple of years back that this is a growing in an influential group and -- you know for anyone out there who is either a CDO or Chief Digital Officer now or hopes to be a Chief Digital Officer this is certainly a great way for VP or Senior VP to break into the sea suite in an important field.
You know, I think you're right one of the central, I guess focus for me has been education and how a Chief Digital Officer does differ to found the chief marketing officer and do you tend to get a lot of questions like what's the difference?
Yeah, sure. So, let's tackle education first and then move over to the different speech between the CDO and the CMO. You know, we had a Chief Digital Officers summit in February and one of the best panels you can actually find out more about all these if you just go to cdosummit.com or cdoclub.com and you can click on last years' event I should say February's event. We had a great panel on education were we had Chief Digital Officers from Harvard and my key Columbia and the Kaplan Test Prep and it was just a fascinating conversation about the MOOCs -- you know everyone of these industries is being disrupted it is not like 1999 all over again with the music industry were it's just -- you know a couple of industries being disrupted. Now the digital is pretty much disrupting every industry but the MOOCs in the higher red field had certainly been one of the most aggressive over the last year or so. MOOCs for anyone who does not know where -- you know just type in mooc into Google it's a massively open online courses and it's everything from -- you know Udacity to Coursera to -- you know Apple's iTunes University. They have really significantly disrupted the industry in just a short amount of the time. So, in EDU you'll find Chief Digital Officers that someone of the most important -- you know organizations in higher education institutions on the planet. And I see that that's only going to grow over time as well as institutions struggle with how they did offer online courses and stay relevant in this new age, but getting back to you question on the difference between chief marketing officers and Chief Digital Officers. You know I just finished a two and half year study of this space is what I called the Chief Digital Officer Talent Map, which looks into -- you know where these people coming from? What are their skills that's? What are their compensation structures? You know, what's their tenure, their age, their raise, their education and their gender and the surprising thing to me Leah out of the study was that this on people you have "technical skills" they do know a little bit about technical but that's not the core of their background.
Most of these people are coming from an entrepreneurial background. They are general managers, they are in charge to PNL. They are in charge to building businesses and so, we're seeing a little bit of overlap between the marketing and the digital function but to the large degree the chief marketing officers still in charge of outreach, so they still have the social piece in other words they are still doing Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and -- you know insights from mobile data for example whereas the Chief Digital Officer is really more focused on building a business, generating revenues -- you know they are in charge of creating mobile lapse for example or turning consumers of data on the website into actual purchasers or a long-term customers. So, it's a little bit of a difference between the two roles, but I would say -- having settle that the only real way to do this position just is to look it by sector and so when you do look at it, for example, the skills required at an adage for CDO are significantly different than the skills required at the Columbia or Harvard and they're significantly different than the skills required at the CPG or retail outlet. So, you may see some overlapping and you may see some CDOs doing CMO work at certain organizations.
That was absolutely fantastic. In fact, that's the first time I have heard so succinctly what is the CDO and to look at these characteristics and traits and focus by sector, so why do companies would you say -- why do they did need CDOs right now?
Yeah. There are some great quotes on why this is important right now and it's probably better for me to answer the question from an analyst perspective. For example, Booz and Company came out with the great article in the financial times saying that --in their view digitization strategies are integral to corporate strategy and they should really beyond by a C level executive. Gartner for example, Gartner predicted that by 2015 25% of the all organizations will have a CDO and that this will prove to be the most exciting strategic role in the coming decade and I could go on and on from the analyst, but you know why is it important right now? I can give you an answer to that from my own personal experience because I had a role similar to this way back -- on the way back machine -- if we go back a quarter of a century if this role is around then it would be a much more technical role, Leah because we're at the point now though were technology has become invisible. It's so easy to just pull out your credit card or use PayPal and get Amazon web services or for marketing person to go out and buy Salesforce or Radian6. You don't have to wait forever for the IT group to come back and give you a report. So, because technology has become invisible you don't need technologists anymore to run the digital group, what you need is a business person. So, what happen to Reuters when I was there 25 years ago -- you know I built like six or seven or eight products in a very, very short period of time and handed them over very quickly whereas traditionally in that organization like most I took between a year to five years to go from concept to consumer, building a product it took a five-year life cycle.
Well, in the internet age we don't have that kind of luxury of time. We need to build things quickly, but the problem with that is you get people like me who -- you know build this ad hoc things and then of course Germany wanted that same product and London wanted that same product and so they either use yours or they end up building at themselves and what you end up having is a whole bunch of disarray and lack of scale and expense in building these products in all these different sectors and having no sort of homogenous strategy. So, what's happen here we are 25 year later and we're starting to see that, that strategy need to change. We really need to have a strategic person who is in charge of these strategic initiatives. So, I think that's why you're seeing that this is important now and I also would say too overall the world has significantly changed. Mary Meeker rightly points out in her annual reports for Kleiner Perkins and before that from Morgan Stanley that everything is up and open to disruption now, thanks to digital and so I think that's why we're also seeing the increased importance of this role in just about every sector. It's no longer just in media and publishing and advertising it's in almost sector out there and we can go into some of those even some more of the surprising ones like the regulated industries. You're even seeing Chief Digital Officers that regulated industries like insurance agencies in banks and pharmaceuticals.
You know, I think you've also made just a huge case for it is okay to buy innovation it actually helps that speed the market getting over that curve. Well, one of the questions you had mentioned that you've done some research and have you been surprise that any of your fine days as if you look at the role of the CDO and its different sectors, what has been some of the things that has really may be affirmed, what you've been looking at or surprise to?
Yeah. Two really big things that were surprising to me but the former surprise -- the latter surprise won't be surprising when you understand the former (laughs). So, you know the first was as I was going through -- I went to, I did 100 of interviews and went to 100 of online profiles and resumes, so I think I have touched this every Chief Digital Officers (laughs) on the planet at this point. The most surprising thing for me when I first went into it about two and a half years ago I thought we'd find their skill sets to be very technical, very analytical and technical and more technical than sort of professional incorporate. What I found though was after looking at these resumes the majority of these people aren't -- well they are technical but they're more business people -- and you mentioned before the importance of may be acquiring this talent in. The CDOs are coming in from really one of two big categories one would be they are being hired into organizations from, for example someone who has been successful at digital out in division in Google likely -- you know at the French office of Google or maybe a division of PayPal or Google when it's finance and they have run -- they have been a general manager, they have been in charge to PNL and they end up becoming a Chief Digital Officer that sort of one track but the other track that you mentioned succinctly was the acquisition. I know quite a few CDOs had been acquired into the company and ended up taking on the CDO role at their company because they were external to the company and trying to disrupted to a technology. So, the one big surprise as I mentioned was that they're not really technical, their background are -- they had some technology in it but they are mostly business people and then second surprise to me was just how quickly these people are moving from CDO to CEO.
One of the things I predicted when I held the first CDO summit was that if these people are successful at transitioning an incumbent company from analogue to digital they are probably going to be running the show in three to five years. In fact, they didn't take three to five years it's happening already and I can give you numerous examples of people and a couple of different industries that have moved from Chief Digital Officer to chief executive officer. So, wasn't -- I should say those are my two big surprises. I wouldn't so surprise that the second one I kind of predicted it what is surprising to me is how quickly s are moving from CDO to CEO. Now, well I mentioned earlier that the former should not surprise you so much when you think about the latter that's exactly what I'm getting is that if I'd gone into this knowing what I know now that these are all sort of people who already are GMs or presidents then it's not so surprising that they use the CDO role as an interim slot to go back to you know running the show whether it is CEO, GM or president, as a matter of fact I can give you some examples of people who were president or you know CEO and moved down a notch to go to the CEOs to CDO slot and now are -- you know on the fast track back to becoming a CEO again. So, it's almost become -- almost like a badge of honor to be a CDO to actually move from a CEO to a CDO instead of the other way around it's kind a fascinating.
Fascinate, I think it's incredible I mean actually you answered my next question in a way because where the CEO find this talent that's out there and basically what you're saying look for those individuals who had experience in high performing teams, they're risks takers what else that say you, I mean where else do you find these folks?
Yeah risk takers, entrepreneurial -- you know PNO responsibility real strong domain expertise, so you know were -- it's very rare that you will find someone who makes a switch from one sector to another it's really that -- you know for example in the insurance if you want someone who is fantastic -- you know you're going to get somebody with deep sector expertise that may change over time and certainly I always kind of leave the advertising sector out when we talk about this because for example in advertising you may find that you will get people from the client's side. They are so busy helping device digital strategies for -- you know Coca-Cola one minute then the next minute they off to the American Express account, so they have good cross industry or cross sector experience. So, let's say people coming out into ad world are really good at becoming CDOs in other sector as long as they have experienced in those other sectors in their advertising practice, but you know the other place you find them we had famously Sri Srinivasan was the Chief Digital Officer at Gandhi University and spoke at our event the Chief Digital Officer Summit and he met the Metropolitan Museum of Art at that event is now CDO at the Metropolitan, so certainly what we try to do at the CDO Summit is to put the digital talent on stage and really bring the hiring managers into the audience and other senior digital executive, so they can have an intimate meet and greet. They can really meet each other and our next summit is in April 2014, so if anyone is interested that would be a great place to meet talent into honed your own skills. We right now got a discount of $1000 off that registration rate as people registered this week, so in case anyone is interested that's at cdosummit.com.
You know I suspect that that's one of the reasons why the summit has been so incredibly successful is that you're also surveying an economic need, you're introducing high level talent and as they -- it's like an audition in order words that that's what they're coming for, that's incredible.
Yeah and it's certainly is a place now where there is a tremendous amount of demand and very little supply and so -- you know we really need places were you can find these folks and the other point about that is to -- you know when you look at the skill sets just for your industry, the skills that's will differ, so although you and I discussed entrepreneurial and innovators and disruptive those are important by time. For example, let me give two core sectors the advertising sector when you're looking for someone in the ad world either in your own company or at your agency you'd want someone who has, for example, in a background digital strategy digital marketing brand awareness, strength and conversions and analytics and driving engagement, for example across Facebook, Twitter, the omni-channel approach across all channels, but there is a big difference between that and somebody for example in the medial world you know somebody working at HarperCollins or Simon and Schuster you rally want somebody there who can convert any analogue content that you might have into digital, that you know two words about in the ad space. In media, you might also want some overlaps, you might want someone who strong on the web and turning viewers into customers and engage customers. Someone who can increase digital revenues, so again just looking at two sectors alone advertising and media, there is a pretty wide variance of the skill sets that would be required and I'd go even further to say that, for example, in public sector like the municipal sector you know there is a Chief Digital Officer at the local town sitting in the state level in the United States right now.
There is one at the state of Rhode Island, there is one in the city of New York and the skills that's required there are completely different and everything that we just talk about. They are not worried about increasing revenues. They are more concerned about, for example, taking the friction out between the governed and the government, helping to allow people, citizens to interact more positively in the city environment. For example, more Wi-Fi public parks or you know routers in the subway systems, so that you can have connectivity when you are underground. Those are the kinds of things at the person in the municipal sector might be concern about as a CDO and not necessarily -- you know increasing revenues or decreasing cost. So, that's why similar to thread very carefully I think when you read most of the blogs out there that discussed Chief Digital Officers they tend to just trying to sum it all up in one sentence but the new on serious just so important to make sure that you don't hire and go on person or put the wrong person with the wrong skills in to the CDO role.
Well, I think you head on something too. I think this municipal role with city governments, particularly what we've seen in the last few years with all of the natural disasters or something as simple as it's letting government know or a city government know about an issue, a wider made break or a pothole that you know, buses or you know kids are flopping up and down in the bus (laughs) trying get to the school. These things a bit brought the strategic impact in being able to communicate is the -- I think it's just going to grow and we're going to look back in a few years and wonder how we got along without the 50-year-old role.
Yeah, I agree especially -- and that's why I think if you were to ask me where is the growth there's only so much growth you can have in this role at -- for example in media industry there is only somebody media companies less do to all the consolidation and most of those that need one or you have one but if you go along the same line is what you just mentioned I think you are absolutely right. I think it's knowing what we seen from Rachel Sterne Haot here in New York City as CDO and the things that she has done to again improve the communication between the governed and the government just so much and of course encouraging technology in the initiatives here in New York City was everything from Cornell to the Technion they are doing -- in Israel they are doing some incredible work and I would imagine if there is -- if I were to predict where the growth sectors would be I would absolutely include municipal and government. Right know we've got an open Chief Digital Officer position in Vancouver British Columbia. There is one in Sydney, Australia, you know some of the most beautiful places on earth right now are hiring CDOs, but you know Brisbane, Australia also hired a CDO last year and they created an entire digital initiative. In Europe, they've got a digital agenda for all of the European commission and they've also made a public announcement on saying that they want a CDO for every country in the EU. So you know it does make sense and the challenges how do you get the right person into the municipal world because as you know these positions are in high demand and so the salary -- for example the medium salary for someone who is a CDO in a media or publishing company in New York about 350,000. It's not going to be anywhere near that the city with the state level, so it really is a values-based position that you're asking for someone who fits the bill to come in and do that work, but for the last pay that they could get to do it with the public company. So, people like Rachel you know we can't live without them and we hope that there are more people out there who want to take those roles in the city and state level to help digitize and bring every city to the place where -- I think New York and Brisbane are having.
You know, I think that you have answered specifically the questions that are listeners want to turn into and I know that this is key to every company right now we're getting ready to go into the role in to fourth quarter how do we drive growth and sustainability and you really laid that out fantastically. Any more examples of specific companies that have seen the huge push towards the bottom line with the CDO?
Yeah definitely. There are some great examples that again if folks go to cdosummit.com and look at the panels that we had in February there was one panel called, for the publishing sector that had just incredible town at the CDO from Forbes and CDO for Simon and Schuster and for American Media and Wenner which does the Rolling Stone and others and everyone of those people had examples of how they had increased their digital revenues and just exactly how they did it and it's just fascinating to see that with the little push in it centralized strategy just how quickly you can grow these revenues not necessarily always had the expense of traditional but sometimes just brand new additional revenues. There is also I would say you know four things one is increasing revenues but the second would be just an important to improve the bottom line is decrease in cost, you know so there are a lots of examples of companies that have gone out and you know it decreased their cost by using digital fulfillment, digital distribution for example in the film and the TV world and digital creation of content such as e-books in the publishing world that really cut all the cost out of distribution and in the other two factors out of the four -- you know the first being increased revenues, number two decreased cost, the third would be how do we improve our ROI both on the web and with our mobile sites by using the analytics that we now have, and the fourth is how do we improve customers service and you will see examples of these all over the place everything from company using Twitter and social media and discuss to stay in touch with their clients and also to help improve customer service -- you know 24-hour customer service through Twitter some companies like Appleby's that are just doing phenomenal at this. So, there is a number of examples that I could give not just in increasing revenues but in the other three various as well which is just important on improving the bottom the line and improving customer engagement.
You know as I'm listening to you is definitely you have some innovator DNA in there (laughs). So, you know we will have some newbies out there listening to us. Why has been your personal career challenges, I mean right now you're creating this fantastic high profile community, it's new, you're attaching solid research to your findings. What would you say to new people out there seeing that this is a great career growth opportunity for them, what do you say to them?
Yeah, I guess two things you know one for me personally how do I ended up here and you know what is the opportunity and number two for anyone is looking to innovate. You know there has never been a better time to innovate than now and for example I will give -- three examples over the course of my career that may instruct how I've done it. Decades ago I was fortunate enough to be in the start up world really I kind got my start in a company called Ovid which did search like, for example, we did natural language search if you would type in age, we could not be when to acquire immunodeficiency syndrome, so you don't get at least falsities on hearing aids, nurses aids -- you know Band-Aids and that company got acquired really quickly now to build out that company, it took $10,000,000, you know in VC and then strategic investment and then I went to Reuters. Reuters I built again in 1995 and 1996, I built a number of products really quickly that cost millions of dollars to built. Well, you know next thing I know here we are, 20 years later and it doesn't even cost millions to build anything. I have to buy databases and database program whereas hosting services. The fortunate thing for innovators today is you know it's abiding that stuff you know just pull out your credit card to go on PayPal and host your stuff on Amazon web services or on Rackspace. So for an innovator today it -- the cost of entry has just been abolished. It's been significantly taken down practically to zero, so that you can start, you can innovate, you can disrupt (laughs) just throughout any industry if you've got a good idea and you have a little bit of time to get a website and an application together. So, for me with this Chief Digital Officer club is almost like -- if you've been around long enough you can see similar things play out.
So for example when CTO has came out and CIO has came out, entire industry spring up to support that title and by that I mean if you were a chief information officer you've probably gone through education, certification training. There is event that you can go too. There are documents and publications that you can subscribe to like Info Week and Computerworld. There is an entire ecosystem that springs up around the title to help support it and I'm just assuming that the same thing will spring up around the Chief Digital Officer space. And we hope to provide them from publications in a regional research like our Chief Digital Officer Talent Map to education and certification and to events in summits like the Chief Digital Officer Summit and executive search to help these stars be evolve as superstars. So, when we think of the ecosystem or space we see in a very holistic way and not just for example if I were to say, "Oh, we're just creating a summit you know to bring people together" or "we're just creating a talent map." We think all of these things interrelate and will help the CDOs evolve from stars to superstars.
Well, I think another thing that I can see had stranded over the years is that they sit (laughs) throughout their foot has never slapped during the entire course of his career (laughs). Have you always been on the profile in some things I mean have you always have that, that ability to see what's next?
I think intact yeah it's been a bane and it's a curse and a blessing but you know certainly was -- see like I've always been a couple of years ahead of the technology curve and certainly we're in that space here. I mean when I started looking into this there were between 50 and 75 CDOs and I just happen to mention it to a person who rammed this a club for executive search professionals, so anyone who is like a chief human resource officer belong to this group and I just happen to mention to it him in __30:15__ and he invited me to speak at the Harvard Club in November 2011 and at that club pretty much everyone there was shocked by my findings and they encouraged me to continue to do the research which was what enable me to create a club and to continue to build the summit. So, I think I just was lucky and that I kind of stumbled into it but with 20 years experience I've seen this type of story play out before. I think that was the real driver to say look let's not just create a summit or an inventor on this let's built a community and I should say we're not building a community you know the honest truth is you never built the community, the community is already there...
And what we were trying to do is find out you know what services can we provide this community to help them evolved?
You know and I think that's what differentiate truly successful people and visionaries is that they know how to leverage their ideas or what it is that they're seen and I think that, that's a very unique skill set and it's one that people want to emulate. I mean there will be whole courses now (laughs) to some of the schools about what is that just is sharing right now.
Right and I think a lot of it isn't necessarily related to digital it's relating to innovation or strategy for example and you know if I were to have my brothers I'm really glad that there is an uptake in hiring a Chief Digital Officers, but in fact these are really strategies you know a hands on strategy I should say people who can see where things are going. They see where the company needs to be and they innovate to get there and so digital just a latest disruption to sure but we are tracking the wider audience, so when I say the wider audience if you think of concentric circles with CDOs in the middle of the concentric circle they are wider and wider circles branching out that, for example the next concentric circle you could imagine would be people who hold a different title but had similar role, so for example a president digital at Barnes and Noble, there is senior VP of digital at Burson-Marsteller. These are all people that we want to include in this group and of course the widest concentric circle with the most people in it I think are those people who strive to become a Chief Digital Officer and break into that SEEsuite with what they know and this could be anyone from the BP of digital you know to a senior BP of interactive to you know a head of inside analytics all of these people I believe their career path is there -- looking . They all now have their capability with this new title, so we want to make sure that we're embracing the -- you know the core audience first but then also seen that there is a bigger audience out there.
That is an excellent summary of where I think companies individuals strategies need to be looking. So, Dave one of the things I ask all of my guest and this shows has just been great in cross pollination, we pull from innovators from all of the sectors but what would you say if I gave you $10 million in funding in health care transacts all of the sectors as well. There is not -- one person that's not involved and how am I going to take care of myself? How am I going to take care of my family? What would you do to trend some health care?
Yeah. The regulated industries are just most challenging and that I would include organizations like or sectors such as pharmaceutical, finance, insurance, banking and into a large degree of medical. There is so much opportunities right for disruption but because of there is so much regulation that is a real challenge and number one getting the talent in there because the talented people usually going to places were they can disrupt freely and now has to worry about all the nose (laughs). You know all the knows, but there are so many places were that sector is right for disruption but I think it's going to take quite a while. So, for example we only see I think two or three Chief Digital Officers in medical and one or two in pharmaceuticals there is only one that I know in insurance over nationwide. There is only a couple in banking, one at Simplicity Bank and you know one of the couple of others. The real big sectors right now is the ones that is furthest along, so if you think of the world or let's say for example 500 Chief Digital Officers on the planet 40% of those are in the advertising sector, 15% are in media, 15% are in publishing and then around 8% are in nonprofit, but because there is such a long tail there we bundled them into nonprofit education, nonprofit to performing arts and museums. So, that's a pretty big group to bundle into one but it otherwise you just you know be giving numbers of like six, seven or a handful. So the challenges still there for healthcare and I you know your chief digital and healthcare officer at innovation excellent what have you seen and also innovation deal with the strategies or these are what -- what are you seeing in this space that I might be missing or that I might be you know opportunistic for our listeners.
But does not mean mobile I think...
And I think what's the key is convenience and the gap with mobile right now is there is so many applications that I think that there is a tension between choice or there are too many applications. There is a gap between what's out there and what can really be used and there is another gap that what can be really used in the provider and caregiver as well. So, I think that's key out there we have a lot of organizations. I know Rick Lee, one of his focus. He is the CEO of Healthrageous. They really focus on what's the right application for you and I think the other trend is helping consumers navigate around the healthcare system and I guess there is a third trend I would say bigger companies fund in smaller companies that are wanting to innovate and give something out there. In other words, we had mentioned to clearly buy in that innovation so they can get to the market quicker. So, those are the things I would say.
That I'm hearing just from my guest as well. [Crosstalk]. Go ahead.
And the fascinating thing is they're nibbling at the corners like for example in health and exercise and nutrition and things like that. I mean how many apps are there right now in mobile. Where you can go, do calorie counting or you can go and map your fitness. Or you can go track your run or your bike ride or your swim and share it with your friends, or neighbors, or other people who you're competing with. All of these kinds of things are innovating at the edge and then you've got other apps for beyond nutrition and healthcare and things like that. There are other apps for checking everything from your heart rate to -- it's a very personal things but at the institutions themselves they are really slow to hire and slow to innovate. We've got someone at the American College and CDO to American College of Cardiology. We got another one at Scripts. There's the Chief Digital Officer Unit in the pharmaceutical world at CVS Caremark, who was actually head of digital for Staples. Again in Brian Tills or so there's plenty of opportunity, the question is you really gonna pick your battles and I think innovate where there won't be as much friction or you know too many no's. There'll be a lot of yes's and no real approval profits required but yeah this is a field that I think could dramatically increase their customer engagement and offerings by really focusing this with one person who is in charge of it.
Right, I think so and one of those trends that I'm finding is this just this huge interest. I mean I look at my age right now all of us, probably many in the CDO club, we have to stay competitive. What apps? What will help us be relevant and competitive as the kind goal into that baby boomer. We don't want to put up our work hat. I'm not anymore close to that and that's something I noticed said on my show, several folks have brought up -- so I think how do we as that those of us filling our 50s. I don't know if you are David or not but I certainly am. How do we stay competitive, healthy and relevant as we get older.
Yeah, you gotta think young, don't you? I mean really a lot of my inspiration comes from watching my nieces' and nephews'. There are now all kinds of social platforms for the 14 and younger that us as adults, we don't even look at like snap chat and things like that where they're just increasing their penetration significantly in the younger demographic and I think for me, when I look to innovation, yes I am in my 50's and I continue where we try to stay in touch with things like the launch conference. You know Jason Calacanis out on the West Coast. He does a launch conference where they encourage hackathons and they bring in people, all of these individuals for looking a big adventure capital funding. They come in and do a 2 or 3-minute pitch and so it gives you the opportunity to see a lot of deal phone. What is happening. I think the quote from Eric Schmidt ends on 60 seconds, the chairman of Google was, "Innovation doesn't happen within, it happens from without" making the case for innovators instead of the incumbent and certainly I should have started this whole conversation out by saying, you're generally gonna find Chief Digital Officers at the incumbency, you're not gonna find them at digital natives. So one thing a Chief Digital Officer is not, you're not gonna see them at Google or at Netflix or at Apple. They are native digital already and so it kinda like a chief radio officer at clear channel. You just not gonna find, they don't need it and that speaks to the possibility that maybe this title goes away. As the company innovates and as the sector innovates, is there a continued need for a Chief Digital Officer and from what I'm seeing if these CDOs are becoming CEOs of the company which they are, then it makes the case for one seized company go native digital. You might not need the CDO but you're still gonna need the responsibilities and maybe that then migrates up to the CEO as the CDO becomes CEO. If I were to say is the title going way. I am looking at these numbness every single day and even if everything stops tomorrow and they were no new hires which is highly unlikely since they're now hiring one new CDO every single day somewhere in the world but even if everything were to stop and you know that it takes a year to get someone on board and they've got a 3 to 5-year tenure on average in these positions I think that this role and the responsibilities will continue on for some time.
You have really shared some incredible insights. So as we're trying to close here actually we've been talking over half-hour now. How does one become involved in the Chief Digital Officer club and how do our listeners follow you?
Yeah, I'm an on old social media. You know the answer to your last question first. My Twitter address is betagmedia and most importantly is the CDO summit and the CDO club. Both of them can be found on the website www.cdoclub.com and that for Chief Digital Officer, you can get there by typing in CDO club or chief digitalofficer.com and then our event which is coming up in April. It is gonna be a two-day event this year and we've got just incredible panels on everything from -- we've got one panel on how CDOs become CEOs. Featuring in people who've done it. We've got a panel on digitally savage marketing officers. One on customer focus CIOs, we've got panels on everything from publishing to municipal, to broadcast, to adverting with CDOs in each of those fields and I've extended our discount. Our discount was gonna end over Labor Day but I knew we had this call today and just realized. Well, we've got 8 months to live and to might as well give a discount to your listeners if they want to sign up now and you can do that by going to CDO club or cdosummit.com and just clicking on the registration link for 2014 and we're giving a $1,000 discount also that regular price until next week.
Well that's fantastic, David. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time out at your lunch time and to talk about what videos are there impact in business and particularly and I've seen this fantastic opportunity to take advantage of this discount for the summit. I'm coming this year so I'll be a newbie there.
Yeah, well I'd love to have come. We're trying to make it more interactive this year and really grassroots. I'd love to do what eventually what Southwest does and have the people are participating, select the panels. For example, things like that to really make it more grassroots so whatever suggestions you have Leah, we're definitely interested in hearing them and I know you're gonna have a great time if you check out the endorsements on our CDO club and cdosummit.com. Everybody that was there had a great time and really we try to leave plenty of room for networking because we realize that a big reason that people come to these events is not just to listen to people on the panels and the podiums but really do interact with your peers. So we're gonna make sure that we have plenty of time for networking and interacting with your peers at that one.
Yeah, that actually is can be the mark of the greats, conference is that the area what I'm not picking up catching my flight or what out it's like, can I delay my flight because I wanna meet with X, Y and Z. So I'm sure that all of this is gonna be involved in your conference. Again, I want to thank all of our listeners for tuning in. David, safe with travel to you and I'm looking forward to having you again on the show some time.
Thank you so much, Leah. I appreciate and thanks everyone for listening. Hope to see you at the summit.
Thank you. Bye-bye everybody. Happy Monday!
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