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5 Questions with Iliyana Stareva - Digital Leaders

[fa icon="calendar"] 26-Sep-2019 09:00:12 / by Iliyana Stareva

digitalk interview with iliyana starevaI was a speaker at a fantastic event called DigitalK earlier this year in Sofia that was all about digital and digital transformation

As I'm starting a new job at Cisco next week and because Cisco is all about digital transformation, I wanted to look at various things I've written and participated in about and around digital so I remembered this interview I did prior to the conference in Sofia. 

Take a look at what digital means to me and how I see it impacting the business world. 

5 Questions About Digital

How do you see the world in 5 years?

In 5 years, consumers will have even more power over brands through all the technology and expanding use of social networks. If businesses are not acting customer-first in the way they design and market products, they won't exist for long. The customer experience will gain even more in importance so that companies will have to focus a lot more on what happens post-purchase and how they engage with customers. In addition, AI will have automated a lot of cumbersome tasks but businesses will still be struggling with complete digital and AI transformation.

How much “digital” is there in your daily life?

Digital is everywhere and I use it all the time in my day-to-day. To be able to do my job, I only need a laptop and an internet connection and I can do it from anywhere. I'm constantly connected with people from around the world through my phone. I have an Alexa at home that informs me about a lot of things or keeps me entertained. I'm a digital native and love digital but I believe it's still important to detox from time to time, for example, no technology is allowed in my bedroom and my phone is not the first thing I deal with when I wake up as it used it be a few years ago. Digital can be an addiction but we need to remember that the human interaction and connection face-to-face is far more important and rewarding.  

Is “digital” a threat or an opportunity? Why?

Digital can be either or depending on how you approach it. It can be a threat if people use it to abuse power, e.g. fake news, or lose their ability to engage with people in real life. However, to me digital has always been an opportunity because it has opened so many new doors for us as individuals, professionals and businesses to engage with the world and be more human. 

Where does the digital transformation for a company begin?

It begins with the CEO. If the leader of the company is not bought into digital transformation, the rest of the company can try and adopt it but it will never work properly unless the leader pushes the effort and inspires the rest of the organisation to adopt digital. 

What do you plan to transform at DigitalK Conference 2019?

My goal as a speaker at DigitalK is to open people's eyes to how important human and personalised interaction is with anybody we deal it. My talk will specifically focus on buyers and media people as stakeholders but the principles of inbound to pull people in with content that truly interests them rather than push boring company messages at them applies to any stakeholder. I want attendees to see how they should always be thinking about their stakeholder's perspective first rather than their business first.


Originally published on the DigitalK news blog


Topics: Technology, Leadership

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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