Connecting with Bill Sobel

David Rogers is a globally recognized leader on digital strategy and brands, known for his pioneering model of customer networks. Based at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, he is the faculty director of the school's Executive Education programs on Digital Marketing Strategy.

He is also the founder and host of the Center on Global Brand Leadership's BRITE conference, which brings together leaders from media and business to discuss the ways innovation and technology are transforming the ways we build great brands.

His recent research has focused on in-store mobile shoppers, digital marketing ROI and big data. He is the author of three books on brands and digital strategy, most recently, The Network Is Your Customer: 5 Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age. His next book will focus on how businesses adapt and survive in an era of constant digital disruption.

Teaching, Speaking and Making Music

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So let's see what he has to say…

Sobel: Tell a bit about yourself. You teach at Columbia Business School, but you’re also an author and globetrotting speaker on digital strategy and marketing. Where do you see the field going?

Rogers: Well, I think we are shifting away from “digital marketing” as something we had to define and acquire basic skills to something more strategic.  For a few years, most companies were grappling with the technology basics, such as “How can I leverage a Facebook brand page?” or “How do I build an app my customers will care about?” By now, many companies are thinking much more strategically.  They recognize the digital revolution is not just a bunch of new “channels” for messages to be managed by your media planner. It really requires a fundamentally new way of thinking about your customer strategy.  And this applies to any business, no matter the size or category. My last book introduced the paradigm of “customer networks” and provided a strategic planning framework for creating value with and for customers in the digital age.

Sobel: What about your teaching. Do your students get it?