The great digital transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution we are seeing in large companies around the world is no longer confined to just mega-corporations and conglomerates. In Chile, many companies—both large and small—are in the midst of this great change.

At the moment, Chile is experiencing large-scale penetration in mobile devices (71%, leading in Latin America), which will allow companies to better know their users and customers, providing greater amounts of data to make high-level decisions and design new products. Although right now only 30% of consumer and retail executives are using data for strategic purposes, according to KPMG’s 2016 Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind Survey, that number is expected to double to 59% over the next two years, while predictive analytics double from 24% to 49% in the same period.

In this digital age, technology has a great impact on people’s lives, and every day it’s increasing, changing behaviors and practices, such as buying trends on new platforms, which allow us to make purchases with greater convenience and options. We can also now communicate with companies in a natural and spontaneous way, expressing our opinions and generating valuable information, so the brands can better know their clients. KPMG’s CEO Outlook Survey showed that CEOs in Latin America are more aware than in the past of the need for business leaders to expand their skills to tackle emerging technologies; 71% believe technological disruptions represent more of an opportunity than a threat.

Yet according to another report from KPMG, The Paradox of Digital Disruption, despite the fact that institutions and organizations in Chile are aware of the necessary adoption of digital solutions and know the high potential for them, the vast majority of companies are slow in this process. The results of the study indicate that, for more than 30% of the respondents, the main barrier to technological change is lack of strategic vision, associated with the culture of the company.

The development of digital strategies in companies will certainly bring benefits. A clear example is with e-commerce, where through web platforms without physical stores, brands can reach rural consumers for the first time. With or without a physical store, the internet has become a great platform for companies, and it is here that we can help them as communicational advisors, guiding them in the messages to be transmitted, the way of doing it, and who to target with those messages. We have to be able to capture that information, work it and know how to report it, to achieve the goals that companies have set.

Nowadays everything is analyzed and valued. Users have greater available tools to extol a brand, but also to criticize it, and potentially destroy it. To avoid this unfortunate outcome, and to make good use of this Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must immerse ourselves in it, practice, continually review cases of success and failure, share experiences with collaborators and colleagues, and, above all, be creative and innovative.

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