Digital Disruption is no longer just a buzz word that describes the ascending age of technology and how it is disrupting the way business is done. Digital disruption is now a term that describes the environment in which today’s businesses function. It is not only about changing technology, but also about the pace at which technology is leaping forward and its impact on everything around it – from consumer behaviour to business strategy. It is now a reality that can become a business tool for growth, if leveraged strategically. One-third of the Australian economy faces imminent and substantial disruption by digital technologies and business models… .

This presents significant threats, as well as opportunities, for both business and government.” – Giam Swiegers (CEO, Deloitte Australia) Today’s digital world is all about being agile, accessible and flexible to achieve business success. Businesses’ that can change the fastest are small businesses unhampered by politics or red tape. However, Deloitte in 2013 reported that only 16% of all small businesses in Australia have a high level of digital engagement in comparison to 35% that either have very low digital engagement or none at all. New emerging competitors, like Born Global companies, have disruption in their business code. Further, small ethnic businesses, especially those from Asian heritages, are born with the digital code integrated into their business DNA. Australia’s multicultural environment boasts 60% of its small business ownerships being from ethnic backgrounds (first and second generation). These owners have adapted to and adopted Australia as a new home. These businesses know their audience, what they want and how to reach them. They are using online and social media platforms to engage with their potential consumer base in Australia and from their country of origin to create lasting relationships and brand loyalty across borders.

One-third of the Australian economy faces imminent and substantial disruption by digital technologies and business models… This presents significant threats, as well as opportunities, for both business and government.” – Giam Swiegers (CEO, Deloitte Australia). Today’s digital world is all about being agile, accessible and flexible to achieve business success. Businesses’ that can change the fastest are small businesses unhampered by politics or red tape. However, Deloitte in 2013 reported that only 16% of all small businesses in Australia have a high level of digital engagement in comparison to 35% that either have

Today’s digital world is all about being agile, accessible and flexible to achieve business success. Businesses’ that can change the fastest are small businesses unhampered by politics or red tape. However, Deloitte in 2013 reported that only 16% of all small businesses in Australia have a high level of digital engagement in comparison to 35% that either have very low digital engagement or none at all. New emerging competitors, like Born Global companies, have disruption in their business code. Further, small ethnic businesses, especially those from Asian heritages, are born with the digital code integrated into their business DNA. Australia’s multicultural environment boasts 60% of its small business ownerships being from ethnic backgrounds (first and second generation). These owners have adapted to and adopted Australia as a new home. These businesses know their audience, what they want and how to reach them. They are using online and social media platforms to engage with their potential consumer base in Australia and from their country of origin to create lasting relationships and brand loyalty across borders.

Australia’s multicultural environment boasts 60% of its small business ownerships being from ethnic backgrounds (first and second generation). These owners have adapted to and adopted Australia as a new home. These businesses know their audience, what they want and how to reach them. They are using online and social media platforms to engage with their potential consumer base in Australia and from their country of origin to create lasting relationships and brand loyalty across borders.

These multicultural audiences come from countries leading the way for e-commerce around the globe; for example, AliBaba (China), Flipkart (India), Gmarket (Korea) and Rakuten (Japan) to just name a few. Digital strategy is integrated into the business DNA of budding entrepreneurs from these and other Asian countries, which is great news for Australia’s future. These educated, fast-paced and tech savvy new audiences bring with them a thirst for success and a blueprint that will build in-roads into the still underdeveloped digitalization of the Australian small business segment.

MCX provides non-ethnic businesses the insights that make their products/services relevant to Australia’s multicultural audiences. MCX also partners with small businesses to help them create a strong and relevant digital strategy for multicultural Australia. A start-up mode of functioning and performance, based on a strong and flexible digital strategy, is the key to small businesses’ creating their own niche using digital disruption to their advantage. The first step to building a digital strategy is to recognize the need for such a strategy. Then, understand the “why” for creating and implementing a digital strategy. Most businesses’ today have created platforms on social media, but, without direction, these platforms are unable to engage with the most relevant and appropriate audiences. Businesses need to align their organizational strategy to their digital strategy and digital mode of operations to effectively meet business objectives and enhance company brand values.

Next, speak to the target audience in a language they understand, through a medium they engage with. In other words, if a business is speaking to first generation Chinese or Italian audiences in Australia then they need to make sure the audience understands their message – whether it is by creating an in-language microsite or culturally engaging creatives. Finally, stick to the budget, but stay flexible enough to change elements of the business operations model. The whole concept of succeeding through disruption is the ability to change as fast as the environment and audience preference is changing.

It is no secret that ethnic businesses, in terms of small business success, are leading the way. These new audiences will soon lead the way to create Australia’s new business story for the future. A new breed of ethnic business is on the rise; the question is – Is Australia Ready?

By Arpita Ray

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