Modify your Business Model & Master Digital Transformation
In almost every business, it is imperative that you move with the times. And there’s no exception with the concept of digital transformation. The digital world can open up an abundance of opportunities but many business owners are holding themselves back. Some companies do this by focusing on their problems and not moving forward with the world progresses. This is a big mistake, as they are ignoring the needs of their customers when they do this. The bottom line is, in order to master digital transformation, it’s important to realise that the customers will be the ones who keep your business afloat and so, it’s important to listen to their needs. In this blog, we demonstrate the importance of digital transformation by detailing a real life business scenario.
In order to demonstrate this concept, let’s look at Gus Balbontin, former executive director of Lonely Planet. He has recently shared some advice on how to be successful at digital transformation. Lonely Planet is a travel guide publisher founded in 1972. The company created its website in 1996. By 2002, Balbontin said it was clear that the company was ahead of TripAdvisor. Of course, in 2021, there is no comparison between the two. TripAdvisor is worth more than $11 billion, while Lonely Planet sold for $75 million.
How your Decision-Making Leads to Different Consequences
So what went wrong here? Balbontin insists it boils down to the decision-makers at Lonely Planet allowing their problems to get in the way of digital growth. Balbontin says the company didn’t adjust when people stopped buying books. With the Internet starting to catch fire, many people were using their computers to read up on the latest news as well as download and print travel guides. For the longest time, books were the bread and butter of Lonely Planet. Instead of taking that business model into the online world, the company wanted to solve its issues.
Change with an Ever-Changing World
Balbontin compared it to a music store that only wanted to sell cassettes when CDs were taking over. Balbontin expressed his belief that Kodak ran into the same situation that Lonely Planet did and never fared any better. He believes Kodak fell into the trap of continuing to look for a way to sell film instead of making incredible moments that have been captured. He believes Kodak should’ve been the first version of Instagram but instead, missed the boat due to being more concerned with how to sell film.
In the end, Balbontin believes that TripAdvisor hit a home run from the very beginning. He credits this with the company never losing sight of what the customer wanted. TripAdvisor never stopped caring about the customer to find solutions to an issue that simply needed to be left alone.
Build Team Awareness on What Works for your Clients
In conclusion, in order to master digital transformation, there are several key components you need to keep firmly in mind. Move with the times. There’s no denying that our world is changing at a considerable pace these days and businesses are part of that process. A lot of companies are now basing themselves online, working remotely and relying on digital technology more than ever. It is essential that your business evolves with these trends in order to survive.
Be aware of your past mistakes and learn from them. As was the case with Balbontin, Lonely Planet did not adjust their business model once there were changes in how their clients were accessing their data. Unfortunately, this lead to the demise of the company, as they were so focused on doing things the old way. And last, but certainly not least, listen to your clients needs. Don’t tell them what they need in order for their business to succeed, as them where their grey areas are and help them work on them,
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