Is Your Business Ready for a Digital Future?

Successfully incorporating today’s digital technologies requires companies to operate in new ways. However, many employees are not impressed with how their companies are responding to digital trends.

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Digital Leadership

As organizations rely increasingly on digital technologies, how should they cultivate opportunities and address taking risks in a fast-moving digital market environment?
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For the 2015 Super Bowl football game, McDonald’s Corp. hatched an ambitious marketing plan — to give away an item related to every commercial airing during the game. The catch was that McDonald’s managers didn’t know what products were going to be advertised during the game. Some were surely going to be big-ticket items, such as automobiles, while others — like alcohol — would be illegal to give away as part of a contest.

Pulling off this feat required the company to assemble a digital newsroom where McDonald’s employees from marketing and legal teams, representatives from the company’s various advertising agencies, as well as employees from the company’s enterprise social technology provider, New York-based Sprinklr, could engage with the environment as it unfolded. McDonald’s ambitious marketing goal required real-time reactions and monitoring and analysis of social media trends, as well as on-the-spot decision making to produce the best spending decisions about which products to give away to maximize exposure cost-effectively. The project brought together employees from various departments and business partners to work together during the most expensive and high-profile advertising hours of the year in the United States. The effort was largely successful, drawing 1.2 million retweets, including some from high-profile celebrities such as Taylor Swift, and becoming a globally trending topic on Twitter.

In reflection, Lainey Garcia, manager of brand reputation and public relations at McDonald’s, noted of the effort: “I think for me, the biggest takeaway was the power of integration. You can accomplish amazing things when you have all those pieces working together collectively in a holistic way, and when you’re putting all of your resources together. I really think it’s almost what Ray Kroc, our founder, would always say, ‘None of us is as good as all of us together,’1 and I think it really brought that to light.”

To achieve this level of integration, McDonald’s had to employ multiple digital technologies and reconfigure its internal communication and operational processes, as well as its relationship with business partners. While this one-time, real-time event could be managed from a temporary digital newsroom, McDonald’s successful Super Bowl initiative wasn’t accomplished only on Super Bowl night.


Digital Leadership

As organizations rely increasingly on digital technologies, how should they cultivate opportunities and address taking risks in a fast-moving digital market environment?
More in this series


1. P.S. Harris, “None of Us Is as Good as All of Us: How McDonald’s Prospers by Embracing Inclusion and Diversity” (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2009).

2. J. Maze, “McDonald’s Service Push Includes Big Digital Spending,” Nation’s Restaurant News, December 12, 2014,

3. As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Services LP, which are separate subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

4. G.C. Kane, “Are You Ready for the Certainty of the Unknown?” March 10, 2015,

5. K.S. Nash, “Tech Spin-off From Spice Maker McCormick Puts CIO in the CEO Seat,” The Wall Street Journal CIO Journal, April 1, 2015,

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Comments (3)
Mark Lozada
It's not just companies that needs to be ready for digital future.  Our government also needs to be ready for the switch.

What are they doing?

What the White House Digital Strategy Is Doing for You:
Rob Llewellyn
Many companies are already making the same mistakes with Digital as they did in the ERP era. Too much focus on technology - and not enough on people and business and business value.

The Digital Capability Framework (DCF) helps medium to large companies understand what they require before they can hope to successfully become a digital enterprise.

Without sufficiently mature "Digital Enablers" i. Innovation Capability, ii. Transformation Capability and ii. IT Excellence, the road with be a troubled and costly one.

Within 'Transformation Capability' alone there are 9 management disciplines that the C-suite should ensure are sufficiently mature before embarking on their transformation. These are the same disciplines that have caused the majority of large scale transformations to stumble and fail.

Digital Capability Framework (DCF):

Business Transformation Management Methodology (BTM²):
Did your research contrast what the companies say with the companies do?. A lot of companies say they are terrific on.... but they are very bad on some topics.