In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our podcast conversation with German Ramirez, a digital pioneer and entrepreneurial mind with over 20 years of experience and a proven international track record of creating and building leading concepts, ideas, brands, and new products.

People buy a promise a brand and an experience.

Here Are The Biggest Takeaways

  • Milestones of a tech expert’s career – 03.10
  • The connection between e-Commerce and blockchain – 05.38
  • Will blockchain change the internet? – 08.03
  • The theory of a decentralized economy – 10.19
  • How technology is affecting humanity – 14.35
  • The reason companies fail – 17.55
  • Opportunities for growth in 2020 – 20.38

Welcome to Growth Interviews!

Welcome to  Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating, and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth. Our mission is to provide valuable insights from the eCommerce arena, and each episode is a fascinating quest into the best-kept business secrets and money-making strategies of an insightful world-class expert.

German Ramirez is a passionate, creative, and out-of-the-box thinker, who pioneers new business fields and markets, acting upon consumer insights and responding to market trends. He is a dedicated and inspirational leader who recruits, builds, and coaches international multifunctional high-performing teams. Book author and seasoned speaker in conferences and seminars, on topics like digital transformation and social media, German Ramirez is a marketing strategy wizard, completely dedicated to innovation in digital marketing and blockchain.

An expert with lots of experiences to share, German spoke to us about the latest trends in digital marketing fully disclosing his frameworks for developing and executing fully integrated marketing and communication strategies. You couldn’t wish for a bigger Christmas gift! 

Future Implications of Blockchain

Diagram showing future implications of Prev Hash in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, highlighting security, scalability, and interoperability.

Blockchain is fascinating the world and everyone in digital is thinking about the future implications of this technology. German Ramirez, one of the best blockchain experts in the world, told us in our last Growth Interviews podcast that blockchain is going to be a field in which everyone will have to be patient with the development. New applications will extensively utilize this technology in different areas and will eventually reduce the human implication at the low and middle levels of expertise in many fields and will accelerate transactions. 

Blockchain technology looks very promising. “At the end of the day, blockchain technology needs to be embedded into our everyday lives and provide benefits to people using it. And that is something that will take a long while.” – told us Ramirez continued that he considers most interesting in the context of this technology is that if the internet provided humanity with freedom of access to information blocking technology would pose an interesting challenge that allows people to be governed by collective intelligence, the networks being opposed by a centralized system. 

The Theory of the Decentralized Economy

Illustration depicting blockchain process: transaction initiation, network validation, block creation, and integration into blockchain.

The implications of blockchain technology could go very deep into the present societal organization. The ability of humans to self-organize and take over the responsibility and take the economy into their own hands is not possible shortly. Big economic players and giant companies will not disappear overnight and the vision of a completely decentralized society will not be possible very soon because society is not ready yet to take that step. Nevertheless, in Ramirez’s opinion “it’s a very interesting conversation and exercise to start thinking about, and maybe, to some extent will allow some playing field and provide more inclusion.

How Technology is Affecting Humanity

Illustration showing a person surrounded by various connected smart devices, representing the impact of technology on human life.

There are so many questions for which German Ramirez is trying to find the best answers. What are the most important trends that we are currently experiencing and how to deal with those trends? What is artificial intelligence and what might it mean for the industry? Why does personal branding become so important? Why should customer experience be at the core of what companies focus on, as opposed to product or service delivery?

The most important aspect in his opinion is that “companies sell products or services but people don’t buy products or services. People buy a promise, people buy a brand, people buy an experience. The focus should not be on the object but more on the value that the object provides you with. And that is an experiential value.”

Most companies are focusing on a purely traditional approach where everything begins with research and development and then continues with production marketing and packaging. Then the product is brought to the market and this entire process just takes the customer from the equation.  

By putting this entire process upside down, by putting the customer in the middle of the process with all that includes customer expectations, needs, beliefs, psycho-demographic information, and so on, only then companies will be able to re-engineer backward the whole process and start seeing what they are bringing into the market as an experience as opposed to a product.

The Reason Companies Fail

Illustration highlighting reasons for business failure: not satisfying a need, bad location, bad business plan, rapid expansion, lack of financing, and inflexibility.

Despite the many discussions in the digital landscape, there are not so many genuinely customer-driven companies out there. Most companies out there still today are structured in traditional value chain thinking despite the many proofs that the old systems are failing. Becoming customer-centric requires a profound transformation in the way of thinking and in all the structures any company has.

The Need for a Customer-Centric Transformation

Venn diagram illustrating customer centricity through understanding customers, designing the experience, empowering the front line, customer-focused leadership, feedback for continuous improvement, and metrics that matter.

A new mentality dictates profound change and a completely new set of daily functions dedicated to excellence in customer service, no matter which department we are talking about. To succeed, companies should adopt the mentality where everyone is serving the client and facing the client.

We are witnessing a democratization of channels where the battle for the customer’s attention is getting harder and more expensive than ever without any guarantee that the advertised products will be remembered. Technology changed the paradigm and shifted the entire process. Brands are not imposing themselves anymore on customers through broadcasting but customers are imposing themselves on brands by the power of choice.

In German Ramirez’s view, together with the systemic transformation, companies must entirely review their communication so that everything offline to be correctly perceived in the digital environment, too. “That transformation means metamorphosis. If you stick wings on a caterpillar you’ll have not made a butterfly but that’s what we do very often. We take a process and transform it into a digital one or we deploy it on a digital channel but that is not a transformation. That’s the digital version of what you already had. That’s just digitalization.”

Three Opportunities for Growth in the e-Commerce World of 2024

Bar chart showing the projected e-commerce market size growth from 2022 ($14.14 trillion) to 2032 ($57.22 trillion).

Data is crucial for understanding the business, the customers, and most importantly, the relationship between the business and the customers. Collecting data is one important aspect any digital company, especially e-Commerce, should do daily but everything must be planned and made with intention.

Understanding and Utilizing Data Effectively

Diagram illustrating the benefits of data visualization: spotting trends and patterns, identifying relationships and correlations, simplifying complex data, and making data accessible and interactive.

During our talk, German Ramirez told us: “First of all, rather than just collecting data, try to understand the data you’re collecting and try to understand how your business is being experienced. We are still utilizing very typical profiles, we’re collecting all sorts of data, but we’re not putting it to use to explain our business logic and to transform our business logic. We’re just putting it very often in dashboards and reports.” More important than the data itself is the result of reading and utilizing that data with the purpose of change and improvement of the customer perception and experience.

Coordinating Communication Channels

Diagram illustrating communication and coordination steps: establish clear communication channels, provide regular updates, respond to queries promptly, and use technology.

A second growth opportunity not to be missed is the coordination and synchronization of all the channels of communication and customer touchpoints into one single coherent message. “Whether you’re a pure e-commerce player or a hybrid player of online and offline sales, you have your social channels, you have your brochure, whatever, all of your communication materials, everything contributes to your brand and product or service experience. Try to bring that into one major symphony.”

The third and maybe the most important growth advice German Ramirez has for anyone in business is to continuously change and adapt, trying to bring new and innovative ways of thinking and working into the organization. No matter how business leaders choose to understand and further communicate the core values of their companies, the most important is the willingness to change so that the entire organization, from top to bottom, understands and serves the client the way the client needs.

Customers are no longer just consumers. Customers are a company’s public, digital users, and visitors and they are more attentive and more demanding than ever judging through a very complex lens the company, its products, the brand, and its communication making them active participants of the change aspect that does require a profound transformation of the way companies approach their change and transformation.

“Start questioning things like your organizational diagram and the roles and functions that you have in your company, how you work and how you operate and try to become significantly more project versus role driven, more agile, more flexible, more experimental than you currently are and try to transform and enable a culture of learning-failing-standing up and continuing as opposed to what you are currently continuing to do. Focus on data from the inside, focus on consistent experiences from the outside, and in the meantime try to profoundly transform the way you operate a central organization to make yourself future-proof.”

Conclusion

In the big picture of what blockchain technology is and what are its implications, there is a very interesting and relevant discussion around value governance, inclusion, empowerment democratization, emancipation, and more. This is more an ethical and political one rather than a technological one, one that will start playing an important role in the whole conversation of blockchain technology adoption. We are all looking forward to it.

We hope you enjoyed our video interview with German Ramirez!
For more valuable insights, make sure you come back to check out our next Growth Interviews as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can small e-commerce businesses start incorporating blockchain technology?

Small e-commerce businesses can start with blockchain by exploring its applications in enhancing security and transparency. They can begin with blockchain-based payment systems to offer customers secure transactions. Additionally, they could use blockchain for supply chain transparency, ensuring that customers can trace the origin of products. Starting small and focusing on specific areas can help businesses gradually integrate this technology.

What are the initial steps to become a customer-centric company?

To become a customer-centric company, start by conducting thorough market research to understand customer needs and preferences. Implement feedback loops to continuously gather and act on customer feedback. Train employees across all departments to prioritize customer satisfaction. Redesign processes and policies to align with customer expectations. Use customer data to personalize experiences and improve service delivery.

How can e-commerce businesses effectively utilize data for growth?

E-commerce businesses can utilize data by collecting comprehensive information on customer behavior, preferences, and purchasing patterns. Analyze the data to identify trends and insights that can inform decision-making. Use data to personalize marketing efforts, tailoring messages to individual customers. Implement predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and optimize inventory. Continuously monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and adjust strategies accordingly.