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Adapting to a digital economy seems so easy, but it’s not. For years, the same errors have been made and traps fallen into. Perhaps it’s not surprising given the ever-shifting landscape, but here is my list of the top 5 digital pitfalls and how companies can avoid them:

Success should not slow innovation
Investments in digital are not a box to tick, or a one-time project to be completed.

As a company becomes more digitally mature and successful, the pressing need for continuous innovation only increases. The company is now competing with more digital elites as well as weathering the unpredictable tides of digital disruption. Creating a culture of digital innovation and self-disruption is necessary to remain successful in the long term.

Simply put, the more you innovate, the more you must innovate.

Don’t get tunnel vision
Companies must fire on all cylinders. Finding a business balance is the surest way to facilitate long-lasting success. Stand-alone success in any single area is often fleeting. Take the case of a company with an extremely effective social media strategy but an inept eCommerce or mCommerce strategy. What’s the point of effectively leveraging social to gain leads if the eCommerce platform fails at turning leads into conversions?

Success in any narrow part of the digital economy must be leveraged and balanced if it is to lead to sustained digital gains.

Keep customers close
Digitally successful companies often falter with mushy-headed or meandering strategies. The reason why? Success can lead to a disconnect between a company and its customers. Adopting a truly customer-centric ideology is the best way to ensure continued success. Digital advances and trends quickly alter customer behavior, so understanding the, “direct correlation between listening to customers and achieving better business outcomes” is essential.

Don’t ignore startups
Digital has partially leveled the playing field, so corporate momentum and prior successes count for less than they used to. The digital economy’s low-barrier of entry is one of the keys to its dynamism. It also guarantees that start-ups will contest nearly every area of the market a company is able to control. Successful companies must acknowledge start-up ankle biters as significant threats, and make efforts to understand competing start-up business models.

Adapt or die
Success in the digital economy requires a new type of organizational DNA; thriving digital native companies are not traditional hierarchies. There is no business as usual.

Take a look at Spotify’s unique engineering culture. Spotify endows a tremendous amount of autonomy to its workers, seeking to foster their creativity and agility.More than ever, digital success relies upon a fluid organizational DNA geared toward creativity.

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