We had the pleasure of talking digital marketing with IT & Digital Marketing Consultant and noted public speaker Roland Abi Najem (Digital Marketing Consultant, Ministry of Information - Kuwait). In this interview, he shares with us the key to digital marketing success, the top challenges marketers face and much more..
Q1. From your experience, what do you think is the key to digital marketing success?
The key to digital marketing success can be summarized by the below points:
- Understand the mentality of different social media platform and how you can use them
- Define your target market and know which social media platform they are using
- Content is King! Prepare your content especially the visuals and video and make sure people engage with your content.
- Plan your marketing strategy very well (including Budgeting, Target Audience, Message to be delivered etc)
- Set measurable goals
- Create your ads with Call to Action messages
- Do Social Media Monitoring (Monitor your performance and compare it to the competitors and best practice)
- Do Social Media Listening (Listen to what people are talking about your brand and about your competitors)
Q2. As the digital marketplace gets noisier, what are the top challenges marketers face in running truly engaging digital campaigns?
The top challenges are as following:
- Identifying the right audience (age, gender, interest etc)
- Identifying the right platform to target
- Knowing what the audience wants and speaking their language
- Using the latest updates and features each social media platform provides
Q3. How has social media brought the Government closer to the public, and what can we expect in the future?
Social Media broke the ice between the Government and the public and made them closer since before traditional media (TV, Radio, Newspapers... etc) was one way communication, while social media created the two way communication especially between government and public and we started to have influencers from social media affecting the government decisions.
Q4. Do you believe digital marketing adoption requires a culture change in the organization?
Indeed, digital marketing requires lots of culture change in the organization since for example most of organizations have CRM (customer relation management) where they usually ask their customers if they are satisfied or no and get their feedback. Now we have what we call social CRM where customers don't wait organizations if they are satisfied or no, they will automatically write their feedback on Social Media and organizations have to follow up these feedback and do what we call sentiment analysis to analyse what people are saying and try to make their feedback more positive.
Q5. How does digital marketing in the Middle East compare to the rest of the world?
I guess digital marketing in the middle east is booming also same as the for the rest of the world but we have to take into considerations the following:
- Different cultures use different social media platforms (for example in Lebanon they mainly use Facebook while in Kuwait they mainly use Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat even though both countries are in the Middle East)
- Internet speed is crucial. We still have some countries in the middle east where they have slow internet connection so mainly companies can't use too much videos in their advertisements.
- Type of advertisements. For example, lots of European countries use sexuality (like for example sexy ladies) in their ads and videos while this is not recommended in Arab countries.
Q6. What is your advice to organizations looking at prioritizing digital marketing growth?
We totally understand that nowadays lots of companies have financial difficulties and they cannot add more budget to their marketing budget so they actually have to divide their total marketing budget into traditional marketing and digital marketing.
My advice is to make the digital marketing budget higher since they can always have bigger exposure and they can calculate their ROI live on digital marketing where this option is not available for traditional marketing or at least it is available but not accurate.
Roland Abi Najem will be speaking on Social Media for Ministries and Government bodies in Gulf at Outreach 16. To get the complete program line-up, download the agenda below: