Like all successful businesses, MoreThanDigital.info was also founded in response to a market deficiency. Benjamin Talin was inspired to start his journey in this industry as he observed gaps and issues in it. He realized the importance of digitalization in his 20’s, started advising governments and ministries about SME challenges and other educational needs.
With years of experience as a businessman, publisher, and international guest lecturer Benjamin established himself as a digital expert. He had already begun his journey when he started his first business at the age of 13. Not a boy but more a man he lived in the United States for a short period and settled back to Europe to study Business and Economics in Zurich.
Benjamin sought out challenges and even did not wait for challenges to confront them. This behavior distracted his attention from study and he became famous for never being at the university. Rather he chose to build more businesses without caring about failures. He even failed his first two start-ups in Switzerland and landed doing over a dozen of internships.
Now, here is the catch, nothing goes in vain — he created his agency that turned into a company group including a consultancy company and other start-up projects. He did not stop there and opted to do a bachelor’s degree at Zurich University. With gained knowledge, he started teaching at different universities about entrepreneurship, new business models, and digitalization. The days got shiny when all these led to having lots of publications, keynotes, and guest lectures internationally.
Inception And Challenges
The first brick for MoreThanDigital was founded in 2017 when it started as a blog out of frustration. Now it has grown to the leading digital initiative in Europe and is spreading arms across the world. Before formalizing strategies, the company provides yearly 2 Mio executives access to knowledge that is easy to understand and which is free for everyone. Being customer-obsessed fanatics they are winning the world with business knowledge services.
While interviewing Benjamin he explained the current scenario of the businesses. According to him, within the last few years especially the last decade, there was an overwhelming flood of new technologies, new business models, and new challenges occurring in the market. Many entrepreneurs could not hold up with the speed and the dependence on good consultants, external freelancers, and partners. However, these uncertainties opened doors for lots of marketing and BS within the business world which were exploited because of ignorance. These opportunities changed customer preferences too for good.
Benjamin believes that the Covid-19 pandemic was not too bad for them. He and his team kept their focus on things with optimism and hope attached. At a time when many businesses were trying to survive, the need for neutral information accelerated MoreThanDigital’s business and its platform. Although it was hard and many of the partners and supporters were struggling as well, personal objectives were able to change the inner circle. They needed to develop big projects like the MoreThanDigital Insights platform in these difficult times.
Engage, Just Not Sell
MoreThanDigital refrains from believing that everyone is a target. This behavior of attempting to appeal to everyone results in failing to connect with true potential customers. The company has a different approach, they engage their customer base and communicate the company’s central “why.” Working against the mainstream with limited resources is always hard for them because the circumstances put a lot of pressure on the team, partners, and everyone involved.
The company’s common vision and mission statement #bethechange prove to be a cornerstone that dictates the important part of who they are and why people love to work with them. This helps to deal with challenges on daily basis but it hits hard to go where nobody has gone before. Constantly evaluating the path – where it needs to go to and what new decisions have to be made – is very important. Criticism plays a valuable factor and part in this evaluation. It is prevalent every single day and there are a lot of disagreements as they do not follow the rituals. Staying true to the ideology is crucial, indeed, but the result makes it worth investing time and energy.
Identifying Customer Needs
Taking a broad view of customer satisfaction benefits a business. Being at the center, the company always tries to communicate as much as possible with the members of their community. The most effective way is having 1on1 meetings including getting feedback from partners, members, and of course “haters”. They constantly align with the needs but always try to differentiate between the “greater good” they want to achieve and single biased views who only want to take advantage.
The marketing model behind MoreThanDigital is quite unique and a totally different approach and focuses only on the customer needs. Adapting this principle as the backbone, MoreThanDigital helps its members and readers to deal better or easier with the future. So they keep trying to expand the platform for better information sharing. The company intends to soon launch the so-called MoreThanDigital Insights platform. It’s a new powerful toolset for companies to detect and identify their weaknesses. Furthermore, TechValley and Academy are planned for the future. They will be a promising cornerstone for the company and will help it to grow to a digital ecosystem and this will, in turn, give more people access to a better future.
No strategy would ever work without good marketing. Platforms and especially digital ecosystems are tough and indeed demanding. When someone wants to build multi-sided platforms and especially an ecosystem then they should brace themselves for a long ramp-up phase. They are one of the most difficult business models out there to manage and build. Solving the “chicken-egg problem” and aligning several stakeholders’ needs play a big role in building platforms and ecosystems.
Benjamin has a message for entrepreneurs seeking careers in the industry. “Starting with your own funds, bracing for years of hard work and little income, and also try to build the platform from point to point without sacrificing your values. Many outsell their vision and values for some investors and are then surprised that it didn’t work out. Sometimes staying true to your vision is tougher than many think, fast money can then lead to wrong turns and finally could kill your idea.”