Brands are constantly shifting and evolving trying to catch up with today’s increasingly digital world that demands new strategies and techniques to stay relevant in the game. The Brandberries has exclusively interviewed Tarek Amin, CEO of Digital at Adline Media Network, to get his insights on what does digital transformation mean for brands.


BB: The term “digital transformation” has been commonly used to describe anything that operates within the horizon of social media, mobile and web. What does “digital transformation” mean for brands?

Tarek Amin

TA: For brands, digital transformation requires numerous layers of technology adoption and change management. It involves the implementation of a user-centric approach through a merged digital framework that, defines how a brand manages interactions with its customers, how it operates internal tools and manages the dissemination of information and employee collaborations to better serve the desired customer base.

BB: How can it change the face of a brand ?

TA: Already we are seeing how proper collection and analysis of data through social listening tools like crowd analyzer, inbound emails, and chats to name a few are changing the face of brands.
Every industry is being disrupted by emerging technologies, like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and bots. It is expected that by 2020, 25 billion objects will be connected to the Internet. This is poised to impact and improve many aspects of consumers daily lives. How brands further gather and utilize this data, evolve in an agile environment and use it to engage with their customer base with continue to drive the change.

BB: One of the most important tips of digital transformation is ‘make it personal’.
How can brands leverage digital transformation to become more consumer-centric?

TA: Through the advancement of technology, brands can gain a deeper, more accurate understanding of their customers. When properly implemented and embedded in the corporate culture, digital transformation allows for a user-centric personalized customer experience helping the entire organization put the customer first.

BB: While brands are able to reach consumers throughout many moments in their lives, competition for their attention is becoming stiffer. How can digital transformation help brands stay competitive?

TA: In the age of the attention economy, it is important to clearly understand that digital transformation is not about adopting new technologies, but rather in adopting a holistic change regarding how brands leverage innovative technology, that is customized and integrated into all aspects of a company, to continuously improve the ways to provide better products and services to customers.

Engaging with the vibrant startup community in our region through Incubators like in5, accelerators like Flat6Labs, Techstars, and Startup Bootcamp to name a few or connecting and integrating with startup companies like Elves, Task Spotting, Wimo, Cognitev, Zbooni, Shortpoint, TPS Engage, and Loyyal is a positive first step to understanding potential technology integrations, and how to drive an agile, innovative, data-driven, customer-centric company.

BB: Digital, and especially mobile, has fundamentally changed the way people consume media, develop brand preferences and choose products.  Can you elaborate on how digital transformation has an impact on empowering consumers?

TA: With the rise of mobile devices, consumers expect an immediate response to customer service requests, are more empowered than ever to search for what they want, buy with one click and get it delivered quickly. Brand adoption of digital transformation are instrumental to having the right tech infrastructure through mobility and cloud, automated processes, AI, along with the required suite of applications and integrations to provide an on-demand, convenient, frictionless customer experience.

BB: Digital transformation is the act of investing in people, technology, systems and processes to upgrade how businesses work in this digital economy.  In your opinion, what are the key challenges that face brands when developing a digital transformation strategy?

TA: Let’s start with the positives, while they continue to be challenging, company leadership are gaining knowledge on digital transformation best practice, and there is an overall reduction in employee push back. One of the observed challenges is the financial burden digital transformation puts on the company when not broken down into phases with clear success measures in place. Technology and identifying the right talent continue to be at the heart of digital transformation challenges, while cultural and organizational changes continue to be the hardest to overcome.

In order to take a positive step forward infusing teams and culture with strategic thinkers, with a drive to embrace change coupled with a focus on organizational transformation and engaging with the startup community is key to face the challenges ahead.