Category Archives: Digital Transformation

The Talent Gap: 90% of Companies Lack Digital Skills!

While digital is the main driver of business transformation, it is unfortunate that most companies go slow to lead the change. Most of the current human resources models obviously do not apply when it comes to digital. But the questions are so simple: Who will lead companies in their journey of digital transformation? Who will generate a digital-savvy culture within the company? Who will play a change agent role in this transformation? Who will build core digital competencies and strategies for this digital transformation?

These questions trigger the absence and necessity of digital mindsets in business world. Yes, there is a serious human capital shortage in digital out there. The world urgently needs talents, competencies and leaders to play key role in digital transformation of business and companies.  How will you acquire talents and constantly nurture them in ever changing digitalised business models? What does your company do to overcome this clear shortage?

The crystal clear fact is that companies are not ready for it. Some of them try to overcome digital transformation through consulting, outsourcing or transferring people from digital companies. But this is not a solution. For being a truly digital savvy organisation you have make it in an authentic way, part of your own DNA and culture. So what you need is examining into current organisational models, company culture and all human resources models. Make a commitment. Go for it whatever it takes.

Moreover companies can also invest in: Incubation programs, new recruitment models, employee-exchange programs, partnerships with internet companies and acquisition of new business model companies. For example P&G started an employee-exchange program with Google to leverage its digital skills and capabilities. And other giant companies are watching talents from Silicon Valley or familiar digital talents.

Looking into HR models, it is obvious that companies need new ways and programs to build a digital vision. It is not about those typical/boring in class trainings. It is about to inject the core competencies into the organisation. Roles, positions, teams, leaders, all of them should be in a harmony to build that culture. And of course this is not just an HR initiative. All disciplines, departments and most importantly company leaders must drive this digital transformation and be volunteer to get out of their comfort zone.

Your giant companies are getting old. Those old good days are gone. You should keep it quick to stay in the game.



The Epic Bullshit: Traditional vs Digital

The easiest and superficial way to solve complex problems is to label them. Because labelling is easy, and it is like sweeping issues under the carpet. It does not require deep insight or intellectual effort.

When internet and digital media evolves, marketing industry quickly labeled the new advertising world: The distinction was clear (al least for them): Traditional advertising vs digital advertising. To me this was a hopeless and futureless distinction to overcome the complexity of tremendously changing landscape.

Coming to present, It is crystal clear that this kind of distinction is useless and it is just for lazy marketers and advertisers who are willing to survive by doing mediocre business. Now it is time to take the challenge and build a real holistic approach to marketing ecosystem. And this new era is about digital, screens, experiences and of course creativity.

Since we live in digital, and consume media through screens, it is pointless to name it as digital. It is just advertising. It is digital by default. Don’t even bother to name the obvious.

Media consumption has fundamentally changed. Today 90% of media interactions occur through screens. In a new multi-screen and connected world there are different devices, platforms, channels. So both media and advertising is about living in digital and screens.

By the way, TV also became digital via evolving device complexities, hardware technologies and user behavior. TV can also be interactive through user interface and user experience. For instance we watch Apple TV with a user experience with it. We can choose which content to view, when to view, in which device to view, etc. Other example is Netflix. We watch content on TV as an on demand media with internet streaming. We can interact with content, interface, or even play games within TV. The difference between PC mouse and TV remote is narrowing! I call TV the largest screen.

On the contrary, only 10% of media interactions are non-screen, which are mainly radio, outdoor and print. That means people should stop the debate of traditional vs digital. Rather than that, we have to focus on building stories and experiences which can Iive among multiple screens and change human behavior. We have to solve not only “business problems” of our clients but also “experience problems.”

This is what advertising stands for in this era. It is not traditional nor digital. It is what it is. 







10 Tips for Millennials To Rock in Workplace

In my latest blog post I pointed the big picture about millennials in workplace. Now I want to share some friendly advices for the new generation of talents. Here are some tips from me to you guys:

1. Please make sure that you have a deep and objective understanding of your skills.  Do your personal SWOT analysis. 

2. Look for career aspirations. But you can not get promoted within every 2 years. So, also plan your life carefully.

3. Performance and added value is important. So, carry on to keep up the good work. Focus on your concrede contribution.

4. The workplace is about accountability. So, be there to take full responsibility.

5. You may want everything to be super fast. But please consider that the great things take time in life.

6. You can not know everything. Period. But you can have a development plan. So, keep going on improving your skills.

7. Success requires a level of commitment. So don’t underestimate the power of staying and learning. Try to prove yourself sometimes.

8. Voice what you want from your company. But also consider what you are expected to give the company.

9. Continue to believe yourself! But also believe some others and make use of wisdom and experience.

10. They may call you “millennial” or “Gen Y”. Don’t care too much about labels and generalizations. Know yourself, develop your skills and perform at your best.

The future depends on you. The world is what you will make of it.

Good luck!


Branded Communities: The New Center Of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Brands used to build their social marketing ecosystem around big global social networks mainly Facebook and Twitter. So far brands could not ignore the huge reach, impression and engagement potential of these sites. However things started change. Since giant networks turned to be always on media spending channels, brands started to re-think if this is the right communication center for their social efforts.

And now there is an alternative approach in this context. We call it “branded communities”. It means brand’s owned digital assets, mainly interactive community websites where brands and its advocates get together. Branded community sites are a social hub for the brand where it curates original content with social content, create conversation and event get likes or subscribers. It also curate other contents from traditional social network channels like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

There is dialogue, feedback, customer experience within branded communities. And people will not be there for building friendship. If they are seeking to meet with their friends they can meet with their real friends on Facebook, Twitter or something. On the contrary, branded communities are based around brands not friends. They will be there to receive a basic value from the brand he/she likes, cares or wonders. That value may be a exclusive content, a solution, a promotion code, an information or a special experience.

Another important aspect of branded communities is the fact that you owned all user data, behavior and activations within the platform: A real oppurtunity to build relations with your community through re-marketing or loyalty programs. A chance to constantly optimize your engagement with the audience.

Realities: Building a platform is not easy! It is painful with lots of on the go learnings. However if you build it in rights hands then it is the next stage of online community management. It requires strong design perspective, user interface/experience solutions, right context and always-on editorial effort.

Some aspects of  such branded community sites are:

  • They are open to dialogue, feedback, customer experience and any user generated content.
  • Branded communities are build around the brand and its advocates.
  • It is based on the assumption that your advocates will search and find you on internet. Not necessarily on Facebook or Twitter.
  • It is not for social networking. And don’t try to create a one.
  • Branded community website requires dedication and commitment.
  • Exclusive and authentic content is the fuel of these community websites.
  • Digital media plans should be centered around this social hub since it is an always on owned media asset.
  • Not every brand necessarily have one, it depends on your brand’s advocacy power and its audience.

I want to give a strong example for such website. is the social hub of PS4 created by Playstation. Check it out to have a deeper understanding of branded community sites behaviors. According to Playstation this social hub gathers 4.5 million page views, 3.3 million pieces of content curated within site and 75,000 fans featured on the site. Amazing scores for a brand owned platform.

Here are some features of the platform:



Organic Reach Is Over. What About Now?

You thought you have fans and your earned media so far. Sorry but it is not working that way anymore. They are only reachable through advertising.

Marketers put effort and energy on social networks mainly for reach. But now organic reach is over. Paid posts are necessary for reach. Unpaid posts are out. Facebook already announced that organic reach will continue to significantly decrease.  As Facebook officially stated in June 2014, then in November 2014, newsfeed is a very competitive place. And right community management and robust ad planning is essential. According to Ogilvy report for instance, large pages has reached only 2% of their fans organically in February 2014.

This is so nature of Facebook business. As I always say; Facebook is a huge media company with a great consumer data to be sold to marketers.  Do brands really think they use these social networks for free and engage with their fans as they wish?  Or believe that Facebook is here only for building more open and transparent communication opportunity with the vision of more connected world. This was quite an utopia. Shareholders and investors put great pressure on Facebook executives for growth and ad revenues.

How to adapt to these changes?

So what to do now? Let me summarize how brands can utilize their strategies on Facebook under these new circumstances. I put down 7 watch-outs:

1- Organic reach is over, orient yourself. Adapt your relationship marketing efforts.

2- The fans you thought you have are not yours. Admit it. They are users of social networks with all user data. Look for alternatives.

3- It is not about “publishing” any more. Stop posting a lot of contents. Facebook doesn’t want to be a publisher. Do not think that people will always see what you post.

4- Focus on creativity. Avoid overwhelming and pointless ordinary content work. Content managers are overload to prepare hundreds of contents which are reaching 1% of your audience. This is not right. Give them space to craft less but more creative, quality and relevant content or various content projects.

5- Allocate “always on” media budget and optimize. Don’t make unpaid posts. It is waste of time, energy and effort. Use relevant Facebook ads and optimize them real-time. Observe community preferences and behaviors and adjust your contents & ad plan accordingly.

6- Brand advocates will find you. It is still very important to have your brand presence in Facebook. The real dynamo of your brand’s voice, the advocates, will remain to search you. Find you on Facebook. Make sure your page is always on and engaging.

7- Build customer services on Facebook. It is not about pointless publishing. But it is always about customer services, added value services and online presence. So prepare widgets, apps or functions on Facebook for your customers. Integrate your business needs into it. They will come and engage with it.

To conclude, online community management efforts are not about posting any more. It is more complicated. Get used to the new dynamics of social networking sites and adapt your social strategies.

What is next?

Lots of brands put these social networks, mainly Facebook, as the center of their online community efforts. However I must say this is going to change. Brands need to put efforts to create a value around relationship marketing in a way it can control data, behavior, reach and experience. And this is only possible to move to the stage of brand owned platforms: branded communities.

This is an alternative approach for building online communites comparing to social networking sites. I will write about it in a next blog post. 

Take care.

Digital Is Coming In Many Different Forms

This year there are 41 different sub-categories under digital in Cannes Lions. Only this by itself, is a great evidence of how digital landscape is diversed and extended. As I always mention, creativity comes in many different forms and shapes in today’s advertising world. Be it an illustration, a motion graphic, a social platform, an integrated campaing, storytelling, use of video or a branded game. There are countless oppurtunities and connections. Below you can see the Cyber sub-categories.

Oral Tradition Is Back: Storytelling

Storytelling is the new “buzzword” among creative industry. But why? Let me give a quick wrap-up about that. Since the beginning of history people spread ideas through stories in an oral tradition. Ideas used to spread, change, evolve among people for years. Up until golden advertising age of 1950s where messages drived by broadcasting. In broadcasting era, people became consumers of ideas, there was only one-way dialogue, no oral tradition.

With digital revolution broadcasting era use over. Audiences again get the charge of ideas through spreading, sharing, curating them all over the world. It is the “digitally empowered version of oral tradition” In this new landscape what kind of ideas can survive, of course STORIES!

In my next post I will give some tips for good storytelling based on Joseph Campbell’s iconic work Hero’s Journey. The video above also covers the fundamentals.

Agencies Need Both “Generalists” & “Specialists”

Agencies need both generalists and specialists. These two expression is my favorite in order to have a better understanding of the people and talents in the agency.

Generalists are the people who need to know a little about a lot of things! They need to be fluent in marketing, advertising world, new trends, technologies and creative process. These are the client-facing people and generally are senior and higher representatives of the agency. A generalist will be an effective advisor for the clients and capable of creating, evaluating and recommending creative & strategic approach in the complex digital landscape.

Speialists are the people who know a lot about a little! Their talent and execution is the power of the work being done in the agency. Especially in digital agencies there roles are very important to build an innovative approach, technology mastering and visual quality.

Data And Technology Is Useless Without Creativity And Storytellers

Technology and new media landscape shapes the advertising industry. Digital era transforms the way of doing advertising. However, in United States the biggest ad spendings is still TV with 66 billion USD in 2013, followed by online advertising spendings around 42 billion USD!

Obviously it is not just about online advertising. The agencies, clients, technology companies are becoming more data savvy day by day. These data can be derived from web habits, social media activites, credit card histories of each online individual. And the both marketers and agencies try to find out the way of doing more personalized advertising practices through these data.

So far, it is still difficult to build a crystal clear advertising solutions based on online data. But both agencies and brands started to invest on that. Some global brands like Coke, Nike, Burberry established marketing software departments. Ad agencies acquire technology companies focuses on this. And huge technology giants build services specifically addressing this issue for brands.

However, in order to create a change & impact in indivuals’s lifes and perceptions with an effective advertising, it is not enough just to command the data and technology. Brands need creative minds and storytellers to merge insights with new technologies & data.