Digital transformation – Miguel Ángel Trabado

With more than thirty years of experience as a trainer in marketing and digital transformation, Miguel Ángel Trabado occupies the position five in the “Top 50 Global Marketing Professors on Twitter.” And, also, has been included in the Top 20 of marketing influencers. He shares his experience in marketing, a profession he decided to devote to when there were not even Google or search engines, in international conferences and practical training for companies, and he is also a professor in various Business Schools and Universities training professionals in Digital Strategy, Networks Social and Personal Brand.

Miguel Ángel shares with us his experience on the changes that the way of teaching marketing and the demands of the students have experienced. And it deeply values ​​all the concepts that surround the digitalization of companies and the digital world, paying special attention to digital transformation, a subject in which it specializes. We talk about all the factors that influence to carry out the digital transformation, from the size of the company and the sectors that are most interested to their personal and individual level; going through a series of tips to carry it out effectively

How did you decide to dedicate yourself to marketing? And to the formation?

When there were not even Google or other search engines and the greatest source of knowledge came from libraries, sniffing through one of them I found a book about professions with more future. Gemology, Criminology and Marketing were in the top 3 and the third option seemed much more interesting than the first two. At that time I was very young but I had already made the decision, I would study Marketing and that’s what I did. The subject of training is much more vocational, my first job as a scholar was already a teacher’s assistant and I was only 20 years old. I am currently a trainer and I enjoy it every day of my life.


You have spent almost thirty years dedicating yourself to training, how have the needs of your students changed?

During the first 5 years of my professional career I taught vocational training students so the vast majority were teenagers and today in some business schools I am training managers with many years of experience so the needs of both are very different . What has changed is the way I teach my sessions, today I can adapt to the needs of the student according to their profile and plan a class in masterclass or workshop format, with a practical section, using resources and tools that can Make the class more dynamic and make the participants learn by doing. The evolution must be done by the trainer more than the student.


In that same context, how has the way marketing is taught evolved?

First, we currently have tools and resources that did not exist in the past. Power point or Keynote are wonderful tools that in the hands of a good professional facilitate the educational process. Video is a great resource and well used can be a great tool. On the other hand, Marketing has been one of the first disciplines to undergo the process of digital transformation and therefore the Marketing that should be taught today is very different from that of 10 years ago. I continue to use resources from Porter, Aaker, McCarthy, Kotler among others, but they have to be combined with digital evolution.


What do you say about professionals under the age of 30, do we need that training or do we already come with our “serial” digital brand?

There is a big difference between knowing how to use a smartphone or working well on social networks and making a marketing plan for a company. In business schools we have many students under 30 years of age and we develop future digital leaders. Having less than 30 is an advantage because those under 30 are digital natives and those of us who are older are digital immigrants, but both need to be trained.

“At the beginning, it seemed that digitalisation only affected Marketing, then HR, Sales and Operations departments got into the car and it is increasingly clear to everyone that there is no choice. come to stay. ”
Miguel Ángel Trabado

In this context, who are more reluctant to participate in digital tools workshops for the elderly or young people?

Some older people get vertigo, not to say fear. Some feel that they are late but it is not true, there is always room to learn. In fact everything evolves so fast that now it is essential to be in constant training so as not to lose the digital train.


We currently live in an extremely competitive work environment, do you think that digital skills are the trick we can offer younger professionals? If so, how can we empower them?

All companies need digital talent and it is not easy to find profiles that combine digital knowledge and a great experience, which gives a greater number of opportunities to young people, something that makes me very happy.


Can you recommend a book about digital transformation?

There are some very good ones but today I’m going to choose “Reinventar las organizaciones” by Frederic Laloux.


Why is digital transformation important? Who should carry it out?

The digital transformation is important in the first place to survive and in the background to generate new business opportunities and I must say that such a profound change can only begin in the executive floor of the company, starting with the CEO.


What is the personal profile of a person who is interested in its digital transformation?

Having a good strategic vision, being open to change and being flexible, with that base we can start working and achieve any goal that we set ourselves.


Transferred to companies, what kind of sectors are more interested in digitization? And what less?

On the basis that all departments must do the digital transformation it is quite evident that the marketing departments are the ones that have taken the first step. At first it seemed that digitization only affected Marketing. Subsequently, the departments of HR, Sales, Operations were uploaded to the car and it is increasingly clear to everyone that there is no choice. Digitization is a reality and it is here to stay.

Does the size of a company influence its digital transformation? Who has it easier?

The startups have it easier because they are smaller and therefore more agile. On the other hand, a large multinational has more resources and the challenge is more in time, since the process of change is longer. The medium company does not have too many resources or is very agile, which is why the companies that suffer the most are SMEs.


What advice would you give to a company that is looking to digitize? Where should I start?

The first step is to want to make the change and be very clear that it is an investment. From this point it is worth looking for external help, professionals who accompany the company in the new strategic definition.


Give us a trick to explain to a board of directors a marketing plan without them dying in the attempt.

Managers understand quite well the marketing plan, not to say that very well, the problem appears when marketing bread is digital. There are many new concepts and terms and some are lost, which sometimes causes them to close. The secret to be bought is to show them profitability, not with words but with numbers.


Do neighborhood stores have a place in digital environments? What is your future?

The great advantage of a physical store lies in the shopping experience, something that is very difficult to match in an e-commerce. A small merchant that provides unique shopping experiences to its customers will not only remain but will be successful. In this sense, there are many digital tools that can allow them to create good experiences: VR, AR, omnichannel, local retargeting and a long etc.


Do you think that society is truly digital or are we still starting?

More than in a digital society we live in a digital world. The process began at the beginning of the 90s with the arrival of the Internet, it was accentuated in 2000 with the fever of the websites, it suffered an explosion starting in 2004 with the appearance of social networks and continues to evolve with the new technologies: AI, IoT, BigData … Digitization evolves at a vertigo speed and we are still very far from the tip of the iceberg. This has only started. To make a simile, I would say that we are still in the paleolithic of the digital age.


In what we wrong the marketing agencies?

Honestly, I have not the faintest idea. There are so many agencies and they are so different. We are all wrong, but I do not think there is a common mistake to all of them. The important thing is to learn from mistakes, that is the main advantage that gives the experience.


Do you honestly believe that Google will be Google in 20 years?

Google is an impressive company, in fact we could say that with Google everything started. They have changed the way of doing business and have turned the user into a product and the company into a customer in a B2B business model that is absolutely revolutionary for its time. In terms of brand value Google ranks number one in the world ranking but is still far from that first position in billing. In my opinion, in the next 20 years will reach that position and they will have to spend significantly more years to decline.