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Digital Marketing Interview Series with Deloitte Canada's Director of Research

Duncan Stewart is the Director of Research at Deloitte Canada - here are his thoughts on digital marketing:


  1. What do you see as the biggest challenges for marketing professionals over the next year?

    The biggest challenge will remain device diversity. Marketing to smartphones (across multiple operating systems and network speeds) and to tablets and to PCs remains tough: there is no perfect solution that hits 100% of the audience at minimal cost and maximum effectiveness. You will need to pick (and bet) on your winners. 
  2. How did you get the background and skills necessary?

    The good kind of diversity! I switched majors a few times in school, so I know a bit about science, a bit about business, and bit about history. You get the idea! Next, I have deliberately worked in very different jobs, switching whenever I felt I need to stay fresh.
  3. What advice would you give to young people who want to do [your job] some day?

    Read a lot, and stay flexible. Serendipity will always be your single biggest friend…much more than having a defined goal. I had no idea when I was 20 that the sort of job I do now even existed. And that is because it didn’t: Deloitte CREATED this job to suit the skills I had built over 20 years.
  4. How has social media impacted your clients’ businesses?

    Social media is already huge, and getting bigger. My analogy is that it is like the PC in 1993. Not everyone uses it, and the productivity or business case benefits are not always clear yet. But by 2003 (let alone 2014!) almost 100% of people used computers (or smartphones or tablets) and understood the business benefits. You don’t HAVE to do social media today – but if you don’t, you are letting someone else get skilled at something that will be inevitable within the decade.
  5. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in marketing teams in recent years compared to ten years ago?

    Higher technological sophistication. Ten years ago there were tons of marketing professionals who were neither knowledgeable nor comfortable with most technologies. There are still a few of those left, but only a few – and fewer every passing year.
  6. What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days?

    Writing well. At the end of the day, marketing needs to be about words, and I am always startled when I see how badly some of them write. It’s like hockey or water polo: if you can’t skate or swim, you’re unlikely to be very good at the game!



Duncan Stewart is an engaging, energetic speaker and visionary, an advocate for trends that provide companies with the insight they need to plan for the future. Part of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) executive team, Duncan co-authors one of Deloitte’s premier publications: TMT Predictions.