what is digital first?

I quite often ask Marketing Academy mentors for their perspective on my transformation work and many zoned in on the phrase ‘digital first’. It’s also cropped up during the recent progress review at work, and in other contexts like talking to people with Gov career histories.
There are a few interpretations and uses:
  • Digital first is a mantra that has helped focus organisations on early change journeys.
  • Digital first in marketing terms is about integration of channels and consumer journeys.
  • Digital first in business terms is about innovation and new business processes, models & products built on the backbone of new technology and new behaviours.
  • Digital first is not digital only. It is digital by default i.e. Digital as the first execution of an idea / process.
  • Digital first is audience first in a world where most audiences are digital by default.
What’s consistent is that the phrase can cause confusion at times, and at its worst it can scare technology sensitive individuals and can stop their change journey as suddenly as a brick wall.

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