Harley-Davidson is announcing that Jagdish Krishnan is joining the company in the newly created position of Chief Digital Officer (CDO).  According to a press release:

A holistic, forward-focused consumer experience will be central to Harley-Davidson’s long-term strategy. The new role of Chief Digital Officer is responsible for building relationships with existing and new consumers by providing best-in-class digital experiences connected to the Harley-Davidson brand.

The new role is part of Harley’s Rewire effort to overhaul its operating model.  The CDO is one of several roles and functions Harley has recently created or elevated.  The new role personnel will report directly to Harley’s Chairman, President, and CEO, Jochen Zeitz to help build desirability for Harley-Davidson’s products.

CDO Jagdish Krishnan Harley-Davidson

Jagdish Krishnan has become Harley-Davidson’s Chief Digital Officer.

Zeitz says that enhanced digital experiences are critical:

“Harley-Davidson is all about experiences, and an enhanced digital experience is absolutely critical for us to make our GIS and digital capabilities more customer-centric. We will take a completely different approach to applying digital technology across the company to fundamentally change how we operate and create value.

“To deliver on our objectives, we must have an innovative and high-performance IT function. We need to be a high-performing team with cutting edge leadership to move us forward. Jagdish is exactly the right leader and he will ensure we connect with our customers at all touch-points.”

Krishnan has more than 20 years of experience leading digital transformations.  Most recently, he served as Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Bose Corporation.  While there, was key in transforming the company’s business and operating models.

CDO and digital motorcycle marketing

Perhaps Krishnan’s hiring points to the motorcycle industry’s plan going forward.  With the impact of COVID-19 shuttering many moto shows, digital rollouts are becoming more prominent.   Recently, several manufacturers have rolled out new models and products in a digital-only format.

It will be interesting to see how digital marketing will work for not only Harley-Davidson but also the entire motorcycle industry.  Such marketing is likely cheaper and could potentially provide a more immediate and controlled flow of information.

But is a digital media rollout enough?  Will it be sufficient to drive riders into dealer’s showrooms?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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