Iliyana's Blog

Are Global Businesses Putting Their Customers First? Not Really

[fa icon="calendar'] 20-Jun-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Technology, Customer Experience

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One of the most popular buzzwords nowadays is customer-first or putting your customer at the centre of every business decision and activity.

I stand behind it. The Inbound PR methodology preaches this customer or as I call it persona-first thinking and in fact doesn't really work without it. 

Far too many businesses are still putting their products and services first when it comes to their marketing, sales and communications decisions even though they say they're customer-centric. 

In fact, over 80% of businesses are talking about the benefits of a customer-first approach, but few of these are turning talk into action. 

This stat comes from Optimizely - a leader in customer experimentation technology that did research earlier this year around the digital experience economy. 

I dug into it and I want to share some key findings and learnings: 

8 Key Problems for Customer-First:

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5 Key Takeaways for Getting Start-ups Off the Ground

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Jun-2019 09:00:00 / by Liuda Nebozhak posted in Public Relations, Marketing, Brands and Business

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This is a guest post by Liuda Nebozhak from Crello.

Every start-up undergoes some trial and error in its first 1-2 years. Those are probably some of the most difficult and crucial learnings of any new business. 

There's a ton start-ups need to figure out, including their own PR and marketing. PR especially plays a key role because as a start-up nobody knows you and you need to get the word out about your existence, your products and the new value that you add in the market. 

Our company Crello - which offers a design tool specifically for marketers and bloggers - has gone through multiple trials and errors but we've learned a lot.

We recently announced and celebrated reaching the major milestone of 1 million users over the course of just 20 months.  However, it took us some time to find our product-market fit and we are continuing to tweak it to this day. Along the way, we are leveraging our product development with the help of PR, brand ambassadors, and market research, amongst others.

Below are my 5 key takeaways for getting your start-up off the ground.

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PR, Publishing Books and Building a Personal Brand

[fa icon="calendar'] 26-Feb-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Brands and Business, Writing, Inbound PR

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I consider myself very lucky to have some super intelligent and talented friends. 

Kareem and his brother Aamen are among them. Kareem worked with me at HubSpot and Aamen was at Google. After gathering some great experience at those software companies they both set out to start their own business around content and are doing a terrific job at it. 

I was honoured when they invited me to participate in their sparerooms talk show. 

We chatted about:

  • public relations,
  • my Inbound PR book and how small business and entrepreneurs can take on some of the tips,
  • the writing and publishing processes while working full-time and how others can do it too,
  • building a personal brand online and offline, 
  • and building a partner program for smaller companies.

Check out the video for the full conversation, there are some fun moments as well!

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The State of Digital Transformation

[fa icon="calendar'] 19-Feb-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing, Brands and Business, Technology

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Digital is an enterprise-wide strategic priority that cannot be isolated to just the marketing or IT department. Everybody in the organisation has a role to play. 

I've just finished reading the 2018-2019 State of Digital Transformation report which clearly illustrates how disruptive technologies continue to impact organisations and markets and how digital transformation as responsibility is moving beyond IT and is maturing into an enterprise-wide movement but there's still a lot of work to be done. 

As the report describes, digital transformation means modernising how companies work and compete and helping them effectively adapt and grow in an evolving digital economy where customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and organisational culture are the clear drivers that empower and accelerate change, growth, and innovation.

Let's take a look at some of the key findings that stood out to me while reading the report.

The Top 4 Learnings about the State of Digital Transformation

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"My Employer" As The Most Trusted Institution in 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-Jan-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Sustainability, Brands and Business

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I cover Edelman's Trust Barometer every year. 

This year's results came out last week and they did surprise me. Positively.

Trust has changed profoundly in the past year. People have been losing faith in traditional authority figures and institutions to help them navigate a turbulent world and more recently, they are losing confidence in the social platforms that fostered peer-to-peer trust because of fake news or false information being used as a weapon

We have shifted our trust to the relationships within our control and most notably our employers. 

People are now bringing their call for change to the workplace where they have a trusted relationship.

Employees are ready and willing to trust their employers, but the trust must be earned through more than “business as usual" and not simply operational excellence or decisions that would impact jobs. An organisation’s contributions to society, its values and its vision for the future all outweigh operational decisions in terms of earning trust.

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