Full Screen

Characteristics of Digital Leadership

More Free Lessons in

Digital Management and Leadership View All →

Get cutting-edge digital marketing skills, know-how and strategy

This micro lesson is from one of our globally recognized digital marketing courses.

Start a FREE Course Preview Start a FREE Course Preview
Global Authority

The Global Authority

12 years delivering excellence


245,000+ Members

Join a global community


Associate Certification

Globally recognised


Membership Included

Toolkits, content & more

Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Defining digital leadership

What is Digital leadership? Digital leadership is the discipline of navigating an organization towards digital transformation in order to stay competitive and agile in a rapidly evolving digital and social media landscape.

Digital transformation needs to be a part of your organizational culture. If it’s something that you’re trying to tag on, or if it’s something that you’re putting a 20-year-old intern in charge of, then it won’t be properly embedded or understood within your company.

The role of a digital leader

As a digital leader, you will:

  • Set the vision
  • Influence executives and stakeholders
  • Create sustainable digital programs
  • Hire A-players
  • Define processes for digital excellence
  • Track impact
  • Optimize and continually improve

Characteristics of an effective digital leader

An effective digital leader is someone who:

  • Leads
  • Inspires
  • Educates
  • Enables
  • Empowers
  • Fosters partnerships
  • Is accountable

Case study: Burberry

Burberry in 2006 was an organization that was markedly underperforming against its peer group. It brought in a visionary digital leader, Angela Ahrendts, to help recover the group and she did so through the use of digital transformation. In particular, she implemented the following changes:

  • Re-aligned Burberry to target the millennial audience. This enabled digital to play a much larger role.
  • Re-launched the brand in a digitally savvy way based on what consumers wanted.
  • Brought out the essence of the brand through digital and music.
  • Re-designed the online and offline journey to be seamless. The in-store experience was like walking into their website.
  • Set the pace and vision that digital was a way of life at Burberry.
Back to Top
Kristin Shine

Kristin Shine is Founder and General Manager of Shine Healthcare and Science Consulting. She advises clients in the healthcare space on digital strategy development, business development, strategic communications, and commercial partnerships.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Digital Leadership
    Kristin Shine
    Skills Expert

    This module probes the critical areas of digital leadership, digital strategy, and digital transformation. It is aimed at all marketers willing to establish personal leadership and shows how you can become a digital leader by learning from best practice. It covers topics on executive sponsorship, digital adoption, building effective digital teams and training, facilitating collaboration, and digital centers of excellence. It also covers processes for bringing a digital strategy into a mainstream market and how to manage a digital strategy to maturity. It concludes with topics focused on evaluating and reporting on a digital strategy, including metrics to track, stakeholder reporting, and establishing an executive digital footprint.