Iliyana's Blog

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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If You Are Not Doing Video Marketing, You Need to Start Now. Here's How.

[fa icon="calendar'] 22-Jan-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing

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Video is no longer an awareness play, left to big businesses with big agencies and big budgets. 

Video is now everywhere and anyone with a smartphone can play. 

Many brands are jumping on video marketing as they recognise the need for it but are still struggling to create the type of engaging videos that their audience can connect to or be interested in watching until the end. 

Social networks too are placing video at the very front - Facebook launched a whole section that surfaces personalised videos to your interests and past activity, Instagram Live is booming, YouTube is at an all-time high when it comes to usage. 

But creating videos that are personalised and authentic is hard. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. And everyone has a different opinion.

Take the latest Gillette ad campaign "We Believe" - it sparked a lot of controversy, some loved it, others really hated it

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How to Create a Unique Value Proposition [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 27-Nov-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Marketing, Brands and Business

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I often get asked two questions: 

  • How did you manage to build your own brand? 
  • What makes companies stand out in a blue ocean? 

To both of these questions, the answer in its simplest form is value

I began blogging in 2012 while I was still a student with a couple of important goals in mind: learn how to write better as I wanted to pursue a career in PR but was studying International Business, and share all the knowledge I was gathering with the world so that I can help others and by doing so, build an audience. 

Over time, I developed a pretty good readership, expanded my social networks, made tremendous connections and eventually became recognised as the person who invented Inbound PR that led to a book and a ton of speaking engagements. 

I did this by recognising the unique value I could provide to the market that was somehow not there - contributing my inbound marketing knowledge to the public relations practice. 

As for companies, I spent years in consulting

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Imagining It Forward: Innovation, Change and Leadership in Business

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-Oct-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing, Brands and Business, Leadership

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"People can’t just be told change is coming and be expected to spring into action. They have to work through it."

I quite agree with this quote. It comes from Beth Comstock's book Imagine It Forward that I just finished reading.

Beth Comstock was the Vice Chair of General Electric and throughout her decades-long career she has gathered a ton of experience in marketing, innovation and change for business growth. 

The book is classified as a business and leadership book, however, for me it was more of a memoir or the GE story through Beth's eyes and experiences from the last couple of decades in a chronological order, detailing meetings, corporate issues and decision-making challenges. 

As impressive and at times difficult Beth's journey has been, I found it hard to identify the practical tips and a clear plan of action to make change happen while reading the book. Maybe that wasn't its purpose but rather to tell a personal autobiography. 

Nonetheless, there were some nice nuggets and important learnings that I noted on my kindle. I want to share these with you today. I've structured them based on some of the key topics I picked up: innovation, change and leadership. 

Innovation

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Understanding Conversational Marketing: Live Chat, Messenger & Bots

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Oct-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing

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Bots, live chat, Facebook Messenger for business... All this conversational marketing stuff is overwhelming, isn't it?  

What's conversational marketing you ask? 

At HubSpot, we define conversational marketing as a new dimension of inbound marketing that allows you to use modern technology like live chat, messenger and bots to connect with your prospects and customers in a human, non-disruptive, speedy way that enables you to exceed their expectations. 

And why do you need to jump on any of this? 

Simple. How people communicate and want to get information about your business is evolving. Consumers are more demanding than ever before. They expect you to be always on, always there, always knowing who they are and how to help them. 

Prospects and customers nowadays want to chat with you at their convenience and get immediate answers to their questions. And because you probably can't afford to hire a 24/7 workforce that's glued to a laptop all the time, you'll need to rely on technology such as bots. 

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