Vladimer Botsvadze is a globally recognized digital transformation and marketing influencer, thought leader, futurist, and start-up mentor renowned for initiating change, driving growth, and positioning brands as market leaders in their respective industries. With a stellar career in technology, he has been recognized as the №1 Global Marketing Thought Leader by Thinkers360 and featured in prestigious publications including Forbes, Business Insider, and Bloomberg. As an Advisory Board Member of the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute and having been interviewed as a thought leader by the American Marketing Association, his expertise is unparalleled. Vladimer’s impact extends through mentorship at Techstars Founder Catalyst and judging at the Webby Awards. He is an associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Vladimer has recently been acknowledged among the World’s Top 21 Artificial Intelligence Speakers in 2024.
Recently, in an exclusive interview with CXO Outlook Magazine, Vladimer shared his professional trajectory, insights on the most important trends currently shaping the digital marketing industry in 2024, the cornerstone of his success, personal source of inspiration, future plans, words of wisdom, and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.
Hi Vladimer. Please tell us about your career path and areas of interest. How did you get to becoming a futurist and digital transformation and social media influencer?
My career path has been a culmination of relentless dedication, a passion for innovation, and a commitment to excellence. It’s been an incredible journey marked by diverse experiences and milestones that have shaped me into a futurist, digital transformation expert, and social media influencer I’m today.
My journey began with a deep dive into social media channels for professional purposes. I recognized the potential of these platforms early on and seized the opportunity to create valuable content, foster meaningful connections, and engage authentically with my audience. By prioritizing gratitude and empathy, I established a personal brand in a corporate landscape where such distinction is rare.
Through unwavering dedication and hard work, I steadily built a reputation as a trailblazer in digital transformation and marketing. Over the span of 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of working on a global scale, collaborating with top brands, startups, and thought leaders to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape.
My commitment to excellence has been recognized through various accolades and achievements, including being ranked as the №1 Global Marketing Thought Leader by Thinkers360 and being named one of the Top Digital Transformation Thought Leaders by Google. Additionally, I’ve had the honor of serving on advisory boards for prestigious institutions such as the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute, the United States Data Science Institute, and the United States Cybersecurity Institute.
I’ve been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Wired, Yahoo Finance, and Irish Tech News, further solidifying my position as a thought leader in my field. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at renowned events such as the Global Marketing Summit where I’m listed alongside Professor Philip Kotler, and my insights have been featured in podcasts and interviews hosted by industry luminaries.
With a strong presence on social media platforms, I’ve cultivated a dedicated following of over 130,000 individuals who look to me for inspiration and guidance. Whether it’s through keynote speeches, mentoring sessions, or consultancy projects, I remain committed to empowering my clients to thrive in the digital age.
In essence, my career journey has been defined by a relentless pursuit of excellence, a commitment to innovation, and a passion for empowering others. As a futurist and digital transformation expert, I’m focused on shaping the future of technology and helping organizations navigate the complexities of the digital landscape. As a social media influencer, I strive to inspire and educate others, leveraging the power of storytelling to drive meaningful change.
In your opinion, what are some of the most important trends currently shaping the digital marketing industry in 2024?
Absolutely, these are indeed some of the most significant trends shaping the digital marketing landscape in 2024:
- The Rise of Personal Branding: With increasing skepticism towards traditional advertising and the prevalence of ad blockers, consumers are gravitating towards brands that exhibit authenticity and human connection. Entrepreneurs and marketers who directly engage with their audience on social media platforms, akin to Elon Musk’s approach with Tesla, are witnessing substantial success.
- Content Creation: Consistent and high-quality content remains paramount in digital marketing strategies. Brands must continuously produce engaging content to capture and retain audience attention amidst the competitive online landscape.
- Building Emotional Connections: Brands that foster emotional connections with their audience, like Harley Davidson’s community Harley Owners Group, are able to inspire loyalty and advocacy. Creating communities around shared values and experiences can significantly enhance brand engagement.
- Video Marketing Dominance: The popularity of short-form and vertical videos continues to rise, making video content an indispensable component of digital marketing strategies. Brands must leverage video formats to effectively communicate their messages and capture audience interest.
- Social Commerce Boom: Social media platforms are increasingly integrating e-commerce features, allowing brands to directly sell products to consumers. Social commerce presents significant opportunities for brands to engage with consumers in a more seamless and convenient manner.
- Personalization and Hyper-segmentation: Tailoring marketing messages to individual preferences and behaviors through advanced data analytics and segmentation techniques enables brands to deliver more relevant and personalized experiences to their audience.
- The Art of Storytelling: Storytelling remains a powerful tool for brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level. Compelling narratives that resonate with audiences can help differentiate brands and foster stronger brand affinity.
- Voice Search Optimization: With the increasing prevalence of voice-enabled devices, optimizing content for voice search is becoming essential for maintaining visibility in search engine results and meeting the evolving needs of consumers.
- The Rise of Generative AI: Generative AI technologies are transforming content creation and personalization capabilities, enabling brands to create dynamic and tailored experiences at scale.
- Podcasting: Podcasting continues to gain momentum as a powerful medium for brand communication and audience engagement. Brands can establish themselves as authoritative voices within their industry by producing insightful and entertaining podcast content that resonates with their target audience.
In summary, staying abreast of these trends and adapting digital marketing strategies accordingly will be crucial for brands seeking to maintain relevance and competitiveness in 2024 and beyond.
You have been a part of the digital marketing landscape for many years. What do you feel are some of the biggest mistakes companies make regarding their marketing efforts?
One of the most prevalent mistakes companies make is obsessing over short-term return on investment (ROI) at the expense of long-term brand-building efforts. While it’s important to demonstrate immediate results, focusing solely on short-term gains can undermine strategic initiatives aimed at fostering lasting brand loyalty and engagement.
Many companies fall into the trap of adopting transactional approaches to marketing, prioritizing sales conversions over building meaningful relationships with their audience. Instead of solely focusing on driving transactions, companies should prioritize customer-centric strategies that prioritize value creation and long-term customer satisfaction.
Storytelling and content creation are powerful tools for engaging and resonating with audiences, yet many companies neglect these aspects of marketing. Failure to invest in compelling storytelling and relevant content diminishes the brand’s ability to connect authentically with consumers and differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace.
Some brands remain disconnected from their consumers, relying on outdated and backward-looking advertising tactics that don’t resonate with today’s empowered consumers. Companies must prioritize understanding their audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors to deliver relevant and personalized experiences that foster genuine connections and brand loyalty.
By addressing these common pitfalls and shifting towards more strategic and consumer-centric marketing approaches, companies can position themselves for sustained success in today’s dynamic digital landscape.
What has been your superpower, the most important skill that made you a self-made influencer?
The most important skill that has propelled me to become a self-made influencer is undoubtedly long-term thinking. It’s the cornerstone of my success, distinguishing me in a competitive landscape.
I’ve adhered to a strategic mindset focused on the future, consistently reinvesting every resource into my growth and development. Whether it’s financial investments, time or effort, I’ve prioritized long-term gains over short-term wins.
Building a robust personal brand didn’t happen overnight; it required dedication and perseverance, often putting in 16-hour workdays to refine my craft and engage with my audience authentically.
Moreover, my commitment to lifelong learning has been unwavering. I’ve cultivated a curiosity that drives me to constantly seek knowledge, adapt to changes, and stay ahead of industry trends.
This long-term thinking has been transformative, allowing me to achieve feats that may have seemed impossible at first glance. It’s not just about immediate results, but about laying the groundwork for sustained success and making an enduring impact in my field.
What new, modern tactics, tools, or aspects of marketing should marketers pay more attention to?
Building a personal brand is undeniably crucial. It has been instrumental in my journey as an influencer, thought leader, and mentor. By prioritizing trust-building, value provision, and community engagement across social media platforms, I’ve been able to establish a strong presence and foster meaningful connections with my audience. This emphasis on personal branding continues to be the cornerstone of successful marketing endeavors in the digital age.
Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are?
My parents have been an indispensable source of support and guidance throughout my journey. Their unwavering belief in me, encouragement, and sacrifices have been fundamental in shaping my path to where I’m today. I’m profoundly grateful for their wisdom and unwavering support.
What does the term ‘’authentic leadership’’ mean to you?
It embodies a deeply ingrained commitment to transparency, integrity, and genuineness in all aspects of leadership. It’s about being true to oneself, aligning actions with values, and fostering genuine connections with others. Authentic leaders lead with empathy and humility. They prioritize building trust and fostering a culture of openness and inclusivity within their teams. Authentic leadership is about embracing one’s unique identity and leading with integrity and purpose.
What is it that motivates and inspires you in your everyday life?
It’s a relentless drive to improve, innovate, and make a positive impact. I’m fueled by a passion for continuous growth, both personally and professionally, pushing myself to achieve new heights and surpass my own expectations. I find inspiration in telling my unique story, connecting with audiences, and sharing insights that can inspire positive change. The opportunity to speak at events, engage with diverse audiences, and contribute to making the world a better place is what keeps me energized and motivated each day.
What are you particularly proud of in your career?
I take immense pride in the milestones and accomplishments I’ve achieved throughout my career. These accolades serve as testaments to the dedication, expertise, and impact I’ve made in the field of marketing and beyond.
Being recognized as the №1 Global Marketing Thought Leader by Thinkers360 is a significant honor that highlights the depth of my insights and contributions to the marketing industry. This recognition underscores my commitment to thought leadership and innovation in driving impactful marketing strategies on a global scale.
Furthermore, being acknowledged as one of the top digital transformation thought leaders by Google speaks to my expertise in navigating the digital landscape and guiding organizations through transformative change. It reflects my ability to anticipate trends, leverage emerging technologies, and drive digital innovation.
Being included among the World’s Official Top 21 Artificial Intelligence Speakers in 2024 by the AI Speakers Agency underscores my proficiency in bridging the gap between technology and marketing, harnessing the power of AI to drive strategic initiatives and deliver tangible results.
Serving on the advisory board of the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute is a testament to my thought leadership and expertise in the field of AI. It provides me with a platform to shape the future of AI and contribute to groundbreaking advancements in the industry.
Having served as a judge at the Gartner Marketing and Communications Awards is a privilege that highlights my role in recognizing excellence and innovation in marketing practices. It underscores my commitment to upholding industry standards and promoting best practices.
Being interviewed as a thought leader by the American Marketing Association Boston showcases my thought leadership and expertise in marketing strategy and innovation. It provides me with a platform to share insights and perspectives that shape industry discourse and inspire change.
Mentoring at Techstars Founders Catalyst allows me to leverage my experience and expertise to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and startups. It’s a rewarding opportunity to pay it forward and contribute to the growth and success of the next generation of innovators.
Having spoken at the Global Marketing Summit enabled me to share my insights and expertise with a diverse audience of marketing professionals and industry leaders. It was an opportunity to inspire and educate others.
Serving as a judge at the Webby Awards and being an associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences underscores my role in recognizing excellence and innovation in digital media and marketing. It highlights my commitment to promoting creativity and pushing the boundaries of digital innovation.
Recognition as a Top 10 Inspiring Business Leader to Follow 2023 by Tycoon Success Magazine and Top 10 Inspiring Business Leaders Making a Difference in 2022 by Insights Success Magazine is a testament to my impact and influence as a thought leader and change-maker in the business world. It reflects my ability to inspire others and drive positive change through my work.
Being named the №13 Most Influential CX Influencer by Engati and recognized as one of the Top 25 Digital Transformation Influencers by Sparity underscores my expertise and influence in shaping customer experience and driving digital transformation initiatives. It highlights my commitment to driving impactful change and innovation in the industry.
Recognition as one of the Top Global Retail Influencers by RETHINK Retail in 2022 and Top 100 Marketing Speakers by ENGAGE showcases my expertise and influence in shaping retail trends and driving impactful marketing strategies. It underscores my role in shaping industry discourse and driving innovation in the retail sector.
Being recognized as one of the Top Voices in the EMEA Region by Thinkers360 and one of the Top 100 Dynamic Leaders of 2023 by Exeleon Magazine highlights my impact and influence as a thought leader and change-maker in the EMEA region. It reflects my commitment to driving meaningful change and innovation in the region.
Overall, each of these accomplishments reflects my dedication, expertise, and impact in the field of marketing and beyond. They serve as a testament to my commitment to driving meaningful change, shaping industry discourse, and inspiring others to achieve excellence.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
My plans for the future are deeply rooted in my relentless drive for growth, exploration, and lifelong learning. Over the next five years, I envision myself continuing to push the boundaries of my achievements and expanding my impact in various areas.
Driven by a relentless pursuit of results, I aim to further elevate my profile as a sought-after speaker, sharing insights and expertise at more prestigious events globally. Additionally, I aspire to leverage my experiences and knowledge to publish best-selling books that resonate with audiences and inspire positive change.
Furthermore, I’m passionate about education and sharing knowledge. In the next five years, I see myself delivering lectures at esteemed business schools, imparting wisdom and guiding the next generation of leaders.
As a strategic advisor, I aim to broaden my scope by advising more boards and leveraging my expertise to drive transformative change and strategic decision-making across diverse industries.
Additionally, I’m deeply committed to nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation. Over the coming years, I aspire to mentor more startups, providing guidance, support, and mentorship to emerging entrepreneurs as they navigate the complexities of building successful ventures.
Finally, I envision myself taking on the role of Entrepreneur-in-Residence, where I can lend my expertise and insights to organizations seeking to drive innovation and growth.
Overall, my future aspirations are centered around driving results, exploring new opportunities, and making a meaningful impact in the world. With a spirit of curiosity and a commitment to lifelong learning, I’m excited to see where the journey takes me in the next five years and beyond.
What is your advice for newbies who are looking at building a career in the Digital Marketing industry?
First and foremost, focus on building your personal brand and telling your unique story. Authenticity and differentiation are key in a crowded marketplace. Reinvest every resource — financial, time, and energy — into your growth. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and your investments will pay off in the long run.
While formal education is valuable, don’t solely rely on it. Embrace self-education and commit to lifelong learning. Read voraciously, absorb knowledge from diverse sources, and never stop exploring new ideas and innovations. Surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you, and seek out mentors who can offer guidance and support on your journey.
In addition to technical skills, cultivate essential soft skills such as resilience, flexibility, agility, and empathy. Stay motivated, detail-oriented, and continuously strive to enhance your social influence. Remember to take ownership of your future — don’t rely on others to pave the way for you.
Above all, remain adaptable and open-minded, as the Digital Marketing landscape is constantly evolving. By embracing these principles and committing to personal and professional growth, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the dynamic and ever-changing world of Digital Marketing.