Lyubomir Atanasov is the CEO at IMG – Internet Media Group and managing partner at digital agency Tendrik Europe. Through the years, he has actively grown several brands, one of them being IMG IT Academy.
He has a lot of experience in the digital marketing field, strategic marketing, and advertising. He is the founder of Digital4 Foundation, as well as an organizer of DiTech Expo, Bulgarian Digital Week, and all conferences in digital technologies, having the project name Digital4Bulgaria, which takes place in the biggest cities in Bulgaria.
Why does the digitalization of the business matter?
The digital transformation of the business is a process that every company will have to go through sooner or later. As we know, people spend a big part of their time on the Internet nowadays, looking for information, communication, shopping.
We already live in two parallel universes – the real one and the virtual one. We can’t just pass by the virtual, that why is good to use it for seeking progress of our business. This has been proven very clearly after the pandemic and the realignment of the massive count of companies in the online space.
The companies have to be where their clients are. The tools of digital marketing allow companies to advertise, collect and analyze valuable data in real-time. Digitalization is also connected to the automation of internal processes of the company, the goal is to become more efficient, lower expenses, and increase sales. Using platforms for communication is part of our daily life.
Sadly, the process of using digital benefits is still in its beginning. For example, 80 of the top 100 companies in the Plovdiv region aren’t taking the possibilities that digital marketing offers. I hope this will change soon. Personally, I see a lot of positive indications that we’re striving towards changing the general business model to business digitalization. Business is changing and there’s no going back.
Is it important for all businesses to build an online appearance?
Every business, no matter its field or how big it is, can gain real benefits from building an online appearance. A big part of potential clients will search for information on the Internet before making the decision of where to buy from. If a certain business is not actively online, the customers will choose to buy from somewhere else. Even when it comes to B2B companies, their online appearance can play a key role when closing serious deals and helping the process of finding new prospects.
Furthermore, if business owners effectively take the opportunities of digital technologies, they can easily reach a bigger circle of clients, increase sales and profits.
Does a universal strategy exist in the digital world?
Maybe a lot of people wish to be strategy like this and thing to be easy. Unfortunately, there are no universal decisions. The individual method which will reach the wanted results depends on the business, its needs, and the set goals.
However, one big part is general. It is like reading twenty books on marketing and entrepreneurship. Eventually, you will understand that the core of every book is the same in combination with a lot of practice. There are massive online resources that can give us the proper answers. Theory in practice is the key for most businesses. There is foundation, creativity, testing, optimizing, and if it’s not working, trying another strategy.
What are your observations, does the Bulgarian companies taking the possibilities of digital marketing?
What I see is that the Bulgarian companies more actively use the options for digitalization of their business and digital services like online marketing and advertising, web developments, cloud systems, etc. Some because they really realize the gains and benefits. Others are more at the beginning of this realization but see that their competitors’ progress tremendously which makes them take action too.
What do you think is going to happen after we go through the crisis COVID-19?
I think the European Union will be very active on the subject “Digitalization of the business” right away after the crisis. In concrete directions related to electronic healthcare, digital education, electronic government, management, and data sharing.
The business, on the other hand, will be acting in this direction and we personally get a lot of calls on that subject to help with our expertise. As a matter of fact, no one expected that offline businesses will only have income from their online channels for a period of time. Whoever had them has been working on them, whoever hasn’t, it is time to seriously consider that.