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Digital transformation is for all, says PDI CEO

/ 01:16 AM October 13, 2016
IMMAP 2016

CEOs in the age of digital disruption. TV host RJ Ledesma (left) moderates a panel discussion at the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association’s Digital Congress with CEOs (from left) Kenneth Yang of McDonald’s, Fred Uytengsu of Alaska, Sandy Prieto-Romualdez of the Inquirer and Nix Nolledo of Xurpas. COURTESY IMMAP

From the young at heart to the old and gray, digital transformation is here.

Philippine Daily Inquirer president/CEO Sandy Prieto-Romualdez told this year’s Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines’ Digital Congress that innovation was not reserved only for millennials, but was also for baby boomers and, yes, even septuagenarians.

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“What’s important is that you’re open-minded. You have to have a constant mindset on how you can deepen your relationship with your customers,” she said.

In Wednesday’s forum on “Managing Digital Transformation,” Romualdez, along with other CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the Philippines (including Kenneth Yang of McDonald’s Philippines, Fred Uytengsu of Alaska Milk and Nix Nolledo of Xurpas), shared how they managed to create the recipe for perfect “digital disruption.”

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It is breaking away from the status quo that has made these companies stand out and rise above the traditional way of advertising and marketing.

Media quintet

In the beginning, the CEOs looked back on the old days of 30-second commercials, the newspaper industry and “phone-only” McDeliveries, and how the age of the media quintet, online deliveries and mobile apps blossomed.

“Digital has transformed from the dial-up days to having everything in an instant. You have to think ahead because the consumers are catching up,” said Romualdez, head of this 30-year-old newspaper company that has transformed itself into a multiplatform media organization.

Coined #MyINQUIRER, the brand’s transformation has led to the complete overhaul of its different platforms in terms of layout and content, thereby creating the most engaging Inquirer yet in print, smartwatch, laptop, tablet and mobile.

“For a newspaper brand to talk in a digital convention is proof that we have evolved.

We feel very blessed,” Romualdez said.

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Uytengsu, whose company was the first in the Philippine Basketball Association to provide an app for its fans, emphasized the importance of communicating with consumers.

“If someone talks about us online, we need to be able to respond to that,” he said.

Keeping open mind

Uytengsu admitted he still couldn’t wrap his head around the famous chat app Snapchat, but it is also the reason, he said, it is important to keep an open mind to new people and ideas.

Nolledo agreed. The man behind the fast-growing technology solutions company Xurpas believes that technology allows better communication with customers, and companies should take advantage of that.

“At the end of the day, our core product is innovation itself,” he said.

Nolledo, who was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year, finds inspiration in Tesla founder Elon Musk, who continues to build automobiles with only 24 moving parts, in contrast to other automobile companies that still use thousands.

According to the Xurpas founder, it is this huge advantage that makes a company rise above the rest.

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As for Yang, it’s important to invest in the people behind the success and growth of the company.

The fast food giant is proud of its 40,000 millennial employees, who continue to make the brand more relatable and engaging.

Romualdez said that in deciding to go through a transformation, it was crucial to create a positive relationship among members of the company.

“No amount of training or workshops will help your employee take a leap of faith. There needs to be respect and trust. To be a catalyst of change, you need to be meaningful to these people,” she said.

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TAGS: infotech, Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines’ Digital Congress, Media, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine news updates, Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Xurpas
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