Negosentro.com | Digital Transformation Expert and Consultant, Homer Nievera, revealed that the year 2020 is critical for Philippine companies in fully embracing digital transformation or else, begin their slow demise.
Not mincing words during an interview after his arrival from a Hong Kong business trip recently he said, “Many companies have been slow to transform their businesses into agile ones through the simplest digital and technology platforms such as having a functional website. This spells doom for them.”
Nievera noted that Philippine businesses have not yet realised the full potential of being connected through wi-fi and cellular technology such that traffic has become a perennial problem for employees. In Hong Kong, he said, business owners and employees have been able to cope with their current unpredictable predicament brought about by the street mass actions that have paralysed transportation.
“Despite the internal troubles that Hong Kong is going through lately, businesses did not completely halt because people are still able to work from home powered by their fast Internet service,” Nievera added.
He said that Filipino-run companies, big or small, must be able to adapt to changes ushered in by technology. Here are some digital transformation tips from Nievera that businesses need to adapt for 2020:
#1 Having a functional and mobile-friendly website
The company website is the most important digital asset that a company has and can exploit. Nievera emphasised that social media assets are only secondary in terms of importance in managing customers online or digitally.
“Remember, the company does not own Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. It only uses their services. Anytime, sometimes without warning, your social account may disappear. And you cannot do anything but make an appeal. But as for your website, you own it and control it. Command and control is important in any business,” stressed Nievera.
As one of the Philippines’ Internet pioneers and digital transformation experts, Nievera says that his being keen on having a functional website simply means that it has a mix of engaging content and means for customers to connect with them. By simply having a mobile-friendly interface, he says, a small company can leverage it to compete with bigger enterprises.
Nievera says, “The look and feel of a company’s website alone can spell the difference in gaining customers, especially if you are targeting the moneyed millennials and the upcoming centennials.”
#2 Content Marketing is still King
While companies value customers, Homer Nievera says that customers in turn, value content.
Content comes in any forms, from articles, video, podcasts, infographics and more. Exposure to various content means being able to capture the hearts and minds of your customers and would-be customers.
A study from Demand Generation Report in 2016 revealed that 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
“Visual content as stand alone or mixed with text or audio content works these days,”says Nievera.
He revealed that according to a study made by Hubspot in 2019, 51% of B2B marketers prioritise creating visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy. The importance of visual content is the same for B2C marketers, where 45% believe visual content is their most important type of content. (Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2017)
Digital transformation expert Homer Nievera, also manages a content writing organisation, and helps businesses create content strategies that positively affects their websites’ search engine optimisation or SEO. He said that his work in this organisation has allowed him to harness Filipino content writers who have mastery of the English language. In turn, he is able to up the writers’ income opportunities.
If you haven’t heard of SEO yet, then you are really behind schedule as far as basic digital transformation is all about. Basically, SEO means search engine optimization and this simply tells you that people use search engines like Google if they are looking for something online. So, if their search results do not include your products or services, then you are in trouble, so to speak.
In the Philippines, there are companies like Top Rank SEO Philippines that especially help small enterprises get ahead in the game with search.
Nievera says, “SEO allows your website to work harder and longer, more than what social media can do. This is because by optimising key words and key phrases onsite and offsite, people get to your website (or landing page) better.”
Since search engines use bots to crawl the worldwide web to help people with their queries, a good SEO strategy maximizes opportunities for you to be found. Small companies will benefit from this because it can beat big businesses by just being found faster. This is why a lot of startups hire people and companies to help them with SEO.
In the past 5 years, digital publications with high domain authority or high DA sites for business content like WorldExecutivesDigest.com, ExecutiveChronicles.com, TradeTravelJournal.com and Negosentro.com have surged in terms of demand for content and article postings and contribution. Companies — digital agencies and SEO companies — have used these high DA sites because of their credibility to search engines and thus, easily helps rank content.
“SEO is a long-tail marketing strategy that any company should be aware of and use to the hilt if they want to win in 2020,” adds Nievera.
#4 Artificial Intelligence or AI
During World War II, the mathematician Alan Turing was able to create the first computer that was a rather crude version of today’s artificial intelligence. What it did was to break the Nazi codes generated by a machine called Enigma.
Today, Artificial intelligence (or AI) is used in many facets and branches of computer science. It’s still concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks the typically require human intelligence. As an an interdisciplinary science, it’s use in machine learning and deep learning are creating a paradigm shift in virtually every sector of the tech industry.
A simple use that you may have encountered AI is through chat bots that are widely used in social media accounts and websites. But in some sectors such as BPOs or call centers, some functions formerly thought to be only done by humans is already being done by AI — with stunning results!
Functionality in areas such as handwriting recognition, speech recognition and face recognition is already in use. Smart personal assistants, such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now are known characterizations of AI.
“For me, AI can be best appreciated when used by any company for process automation and sales and business forecasting,” voiced Nievera.
Thus, looking into many AI uses for your company in 2020 is crucial. Competitiveness will be one of the major actors in considering artificial intelligence.
Blockchain technology, which was first recognised in Bitcoin, is a technology that can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data. Blockchains are secure databases by design. The concept was introduced in 2008 by someone named Satoshi Nakamoto It was later implemented for the first time in 2009 as part of the digital bitcoin currency. It served as the public ledger for all bitcoin transactions.
Therefore, in the case of financial transactions, blockchain reduces transaction costs as it allows peer-to-peer and business-to-business transactions to be completed without the need for a third party, such as in the case of a bank.
But blockchain may be used beyond the financial realm, since its technology can be used in decentralization, immutability, security, and transparency. Some sectors that use blockchain in various forms are: supply chain, smart appliance and IoT, insurance, asset management, mobile phones, and even music.
As a Philippine company, the year 2020 brings a lot of promise when digital transformation is made part of the overall strategy. There are still many more aspects to consider such as digital payments and banking, digital privacy, healthcare technology and more. The important thing is to act now, or be left behind.
Acknowledgement and Source
Homer Nievera is a digital evangelist and digital transformation expert based in the Philippines. He is a serial technopreneur, a digital publisher and a social influencer. He can be reached through his website HomerNievera.com. You can download for free the eBook ‘Digital Transformation for Dummies’ here.