The theme for this year’s IBTM World is “New Business, New Tech, New World”. The sessions will be headed by three keynote speakers from outside the industry, one of whom is Alba del Villar Olano, an expert in digitization and internationalization, whose session is titled ‘Taking the Fear Out of Digitalisation’. She has founded digital projects such as the mobile application Thingeer-The App (C2C), the marketplaces Thingeer-Prime (B2C) and the strategic consultancy OlanoDigital (B2B).
IBTM has caught up with Alba to learn about the latest trends and how organisers can apply them.
Q1: How would you say the e-commerce landscape and customer buying behaviour have changed since the pandemic?
Digitalization has been accelerated enormously since the Covid outbreak. Lockdowns and social distancing forced end-consumers and producers to make use of online channels to keep their operations alive. On the one hand, this rapid transformation has had heterogeneous effects on different sectors. While the food and beverage industry’s online consumption increased by 34%, travel services declined by 44%. On the other hand, consumer awareness and user experience have increased their influence on online purchasing behaviour.
Further, promptness in decision-making also appears to play an increasingly important role in online buying. Think about this, the amount of time spent by consumers in the digital world has exploded, and this should reduce the acquisition cost per user, which increases the room for improvement for new and small businesses.
Q2: You prefer to take a scientific and data-driven approach to any business decision. How has this approach impacted the development and business growth of your businesses?
We take a data-driven approach from the very beginning of each project. It affects the product design, the technical requirements, and the go-to-market strategy. While most businesses make decisions based on intuition, I prefer to create a framework that allows the team to evaluate decisions based on facts and not personal opinions. It is a circular rather than a linear approach, where the client and user feedback are essential to optimise product development and marketing strategies.
Q3: What are some of the supporting tools/aps and technologies that you can’t live without and that are making your teams’ day-to-day activity more effective?
There are plenty of interesting digital tools to improve the effectiveness of teamwork. In my case, I use Trello to organize the different tasks for each role in a dynamic dashboard. It is synchronized with Google Drive so documentation can be shared across the team very easily. I really like Slack as the main channel of team written communication and Zoom for online meetings.
Q4: How could event organizers best make use of data and analytics to grow the reach and impact of their events in a post-pandemic world?
The event industry has suffered tremendously during the covid pandemic. Not only are organisers somehow “lost”, but also attendants and clients are uncertain about the future of events. Data is useless if you do not know what you can do with it. Thus, the first step is to understand how to validate business hypotheses using data, and we should start by analysing the demand and user behaviour. Only when we fully understand the demand’s main pain points and needs, can we start thinking about adapting the way of organising an event. It is about analysing the problem, so the solution will naturally come.