I asked Bob Barker – What is a Digital Mindset?

Bob Barker - A digital Mindset

Bob Barker -Digital Mindset

Bob Barker – Unlocking Digital Potential
Former VP of Corporate Marketing and Digital Engagement at Alterian responsible for marketing, brand and positioning strategy for Alterian Worldwide. Alterian as a social media and marketing software company, combined with 25 years in technology marketing, has allowed Bob to get an incredible insight on not only the potential of the digital economy but also the “how to” of unlocking digital and social media potential for both individuals and businesses. This is what this blog focused on.

Bob is a regular commentator on the transition of marketing to customer engagement on the Engaging Times blog (www.alterian.com/blog), he co-wrote the Digital Business Britain Manifesto and is the author of the very successful “Little Books of Marketing” series.
– Check Bob Barker out here www.Bob Barkers Blog.

I asked the first user and inventor of the phrase “Digital Mindset” What’s it all about Bob?

Digital Mindset

If you look at the age of the internet as the coming of the next industrial revolution, then having a “digital” mindset today would be similar to the “industrial engineering innovation” mindset that those great industrialists had in the 1800’s as they invented new industries and harnessed the power of the steam engine (computers and software/cloud) and mass production (the internet) to make Britain a global economic force.

I was reminded of this when watching the BBC’s ‘Who do you think you are’ series this week, where actress Emilia Fox discovered how her Great Grandfather Samson Fox became one the richest men in England by the time he was 40 with the innovation of a strengthened steam engine boiler flue sold in mass to train, factory and ship owners worldwide.

Digital business mindset

The ‘digital business mindset’ is about where one is thinking about how to achieve something in business, be that; marketing, selling, operations, partnering, financing, etc, you think about how to harness the power of digital technologies and the internet to get it done.

This will also probably have the double positive economic wammy of doing what one would have done in tradition way, in a lower cost/more efficient way and in a way that opens up global market opportunities for your business.

Industry changing examples of this would be looking at MP3 files and disk drive technology and coming up with the ipod/itunes, looking the coupon/discount industry and coming up with Groupon, or building the first killer app for cloud computing – Salesforce.com.

Day to day examples would be working out an inbound marketing strategy for your business to be found on page 1 of Google , using marketing automation software integrated to your website to take customers on a journey from initial web engagement to purchase, or using Listening technologies to find out what customers on social networks are saying about your brand, giving you true insight into what they are talking about and where they are having those conversations so you can more easily connect with them.

Personal digital mindset

At an individual level having a ‘digital mindset’ is again all about seeing the potential of how to levera the internet to connect, research, collaborate, socialize etc. As the Google Chrome advertising this weekend during the World Cup Rugby says “The Web is what you make of it” , or the Yahoo ad of a while go “The new INTERNET is under new management.

Yours. ”. Unlike the industrial revolution which was shaped by a brilliant few and definitely economically, the domain of a privileged few, the internet revolution is fueled by people globally on a mass basis, interacting online for friendship, communication, commerce, collaboration and indeed if we look at the middle east, real revolution. As the Facebook ad says “Its all about people.”.

Examples would be when we look for something/someone or want to find out how to do something we go straight to Google and type in our search, if we want to make a telephone call we think of Skype first, if we want to connect with someone in business we use the power of Linkedin, if we need help with something we ask the world on Twitter.

Stuck in the old mindset?

The challenge for many (including it would seem the UK Government) with the new digital world, is they are stuck doing jobs in the old world in the old way, which consume their time to the extent that they don’t have time to explore the new world, its not their fault but people really need to made aware of this.

According to Eric Schmidt the Chariman of Google, the UK is “lagging behind” in digital, with us currently now 26th in the World in terms of download speeds and we have no British person making it into the Global Digital top 100.

In order to highlight this issue earlier in the year I recently co-wrote the Digital Business Britain Manifesto with Penny Power (http://www.ecademy.com/module.php?mod=assist&aid=9704) which we hope will build awareness of and momentum in, getting businesses and individuals to have adopt a digital mindset to ensure we remain a global economic force.

About Mick Say

Mick Say is an Online Business Development and Online Marketing Consultant. Mick's goal is to help businesses to develop meaningful On-line Marketing Strategies via Websites designed to inform and sell.


  1. I thought that adopting a digital mindset was that we no longer searched for anything. It just naturally comes to us.

    • Hi Michael

      On this point I disagree for two reasons.

      1. Example: I recently decided that I needed an new Camera and I had a budget of £600.00 to spend on Camera, Tripod and Data card. Having made that decision I needed to decide which brand and model I would buy.

      If your statement was true I would already have the the answers to my questions; Which Brand and which model etc. Following about 1 hour research online reading reviews and looking at specifications I had decided that I wanted an Olympus SZ-30MR. But even then I decided I wanted to speak to a professional in person so searched Google again for my nearest stockist and walked into the store for a consultation of my needs. I bought the camera and I am very happy with it.

      2. Adopting a Digital Mindset (in my opinion) is about embracing and then setting out to understand digital technology. Non of us, not even the very young are born with a digital mindset, we humans have not yet evolved to that stage.

      In order for stuff, people, products etc, to find us we need to be fully engaged in the subject. You and I found each other in the social networks we did not search for each other we just found each other by virtue of our similar interests. Importantly you and I both have a digital mindset, and thus the arrival of information in our life is natural.

      Finally – I am in agreement that some stuff naturally comes to us – and the strategy which all businesses need to adopt is to Develop-a-Digital-MIndset so that they can learn how to populate the web with content and information – through their websites, blogs and social networks, which begins the process of creating the desire for the consumer to buy, read or take some sort of action in our favour.

      The truth is that the majority of people who are responsible for marketing do not have a Digital Mindset and do not engage or immerse them selves or their businesses in the web deep enough for this phenomenon to occur.

      Thanks a million Michael….