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Digital Disruptors

Author: Ubrik Media and Dropkick Copy

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The Digital Disruptors Podcast brings you the latest in disruptive trends, tech, tools, and hacks in the digital marketing space.
All packaged in easy-to-digest episodes featuring unfiltered, no-holds-barred banter between old friends.
We'll also be featuring some of the growth-hackiest fresh-take-havers from the hottest businesses in Dubai.
We live and breathe digital marketing. And we've over 100 businesses in the U.A.E. along the way.
We are going to change the way Dubai does business. One episode at a time.
19 Episodes
Welcome to season 2 of the Digital Disruptors podcast! In this episode, I’m joined by food blogger, influencer, public speaker, and media personality Naomi D’Souza. (@naomidsouza) Naomi is a full-time digital strategy consultant at IBM while juggling her “side gig” as one of UAE’s top influencers. As you listen to the interview, though, you’ll realize it’s not a “side gig” - she’s got 2 full-time jobs pretty much. Naomi and I have one thing in common (other than being Indian and loving to eat.) We both studied engineering (she has a MSc in Mechanical Engineering) but our professions have nothing to do with our academic degrees. She’s spoken on a TEDx stage. She’s one of Ahlan!’s ‘Hot 100’ most influential Asians and influencers in UAE. She’s been featured in so many print and digital publications it’d take me several minutes to list them all. She has a black belt in Karate. Oh, and she’s only 25 years old. I sat down with Naomi to interrogate her on how she managed to accomplish so much and how she continues to do all the things she’s doing. To read the full show notes, and get links to the resources mentioned during the episode, visit our blog:
A lot of people in the U.A.E. love to talk about entrepreneurship and innovation. Very few have actually done it. Of the few who have done it, fewer still are in a position to speak about it with authority. Some "entrepreneurs" are just in the right place at the right time. Nassim Taleb talks about "Skin in the Game." That's how you figure out who's "Legit" (legitimate) and who's a fraud. Naaz Noor is LEGIT. U.A.E. born-and-raised. Lawyer by training. Private-banker for 10 years before starting her own business, a legal consultancy. From there, Aseel Consultancy grew into F&B consulting, a co-working space, business incorporation, startup incubation, business services, and more. For complete show notes, visit our website:
When I asked Karl Feilder what tips he can give me to run my business in a more sustainable, energy-conscious way, he didn't pull any punches. As it turns out, we're being incredibly wasteful and we didn't even know it! From the lights we had on unnecessarily, to the room being too cold, to not carpooling to work, Karl wasted no time rattling off what we could be doing better. And the funny thing is, these are such easy fixes to implement. That's the problem with the status quo. Nobody cares. It gets to a point where it doesn't even cross your mind there's a better way to do things. Karl is the founder and CEO of the Neutral Group. To put what they do in layman's terms, Karl and his team work with companies to make their entire supply chain eco-friendly and energy efficient. Since founding his first start-up in 1990, which was sold to Microsoft in 1995, Karl has overseen the growth of technology companies resulting in three personal trade sale exits, two trade sale exits on behalf of external investors, and the leadership and preparation of two companies for IPO. Karl has 20 years international experience of managing technology businesses and was recognized by the World Economic Forum in 2004, as a Technology Pioneer.” He was voted “Innovator of the Year 2011” by the Middle East LOG magazine. Karl holds an MBA from Henley Management College, a B.Eng.(Hons) Industrial Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire, and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. As far as "big business" experience goes, Karl is as credible and authoritative as they come. Which is why, when he talks about the impact businesses have on the environment and what we can do about it, people listen. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with him. And, in preparing for our chat, I was shocked at some of the facts and figures I came across. You'll have to watch the full interview to find out what they are. Read the full show notes:
Imagine a salesman who doesn't need to sleep, doesn't need to eat, and will work for you 24-7-365. This isn't a mythical creature, mind you. And it's entirely possible for you to employ this salesman. Want to know how? I'm joined by Nabeel Azeez, direct response copywriter and marketing consultant. He co-owns a boutique content marketing agency, Dropkick Copy, with his brother. And he's the author of a soon-to-be-published book on personal branding called, Dragon Energy: The Tao Of Personal Branding. (Links are at the bottom of this post.) Nabeel and I haven't known each other that long. My business partner - co-owner of Ubrik, Sheyaf Hashim - and him go way back. Here are a few interesting facts about Nabeel. He's been consulting full-time for just 2 years. And he's completely self-taught! Guess what he was doing before that? Procurement at a shipping company! The crazy thing is he doesn't just know how to write copy, even though that's his specialty. He has a working understanding of every branch of digital marketing! And he learned it all himself. I know several career marketers who've been doing this full-time for much longer than Nabeel but are nowhere near his level. Enjoy the show! For complete show notes and links to resources, visit our blog:
Dr. Corrie Block has an impressive resume. He's been a consultant and coach to business owners for nearly 20 years. MBA. PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies. Business School Professor. Published in media and academic journals. International speaker. But to me, here's the most impressive thing about him: He's joined the best of both Western and Middle Eastern business culture, to help his customers in a truly unique way. I honestly can't think of any other local consultant with his skillset, academic credentials, and vast experience. Dr. Corrie and I had a wide-ranging conversation at the Ubrik Media office recently. I had a bit of trouble coming up with a title for this episode. We covered so much ground. The best, and most important, insight I got was the importance of thinking of business in terms of human relationships. Employer and employee. Client and vendor. Board members. Tribes. When you start to think and behave this way, according to Corrie, you activate the brain chemicals of happiness, trust, and fulfillment. It turns out to be very profitable for you in the long-run. Enjoy the episode! For full show notes, visit our blog:
If you live in the UAE and you spend any time on Instagram at all, Briar Prestidge has shown up in your feed at some point. She's a PR strategist who's been successful in joining both old-school (traditional media) and new-school (digital media) techniques for her clients and for herself. What impressed me most is that she walks the talk. All marketers should, this is a given. But some of us tend to neglect our own marketing because we're so busy serving our clients. I sat down with Briar to discover what's new in PR, and to find out whether or not traditional PR is dead. Click here to read the full show notes:
Danish Farhan and I share very similar journeys. We’ve lived all our lives in the U.A.E. and have seen its transformation before our eyes. There’s a certain kind of understanding we share when I talk about this country to someone like Danish. One that doesn’t exist when I talk to an expat. Danish is a serial entrepreneur. Started his first business at 19. Had an exit that made him a millionaire overnight. Went bankrupt over the next year. Then built back up gradually to one of the most prominent businessmen in the U.A.E. His flagship business, Xische, started off as a marketing consultancy. Today, the Xische brand is an umbrella for a number of initiatives - marketing, strategy, innovation, education, entrepreneurship, and more - working together for a singular purpose. I sat down with Danish to find out what that purpose is. Here is our conversation. For complete show notes and links to any resources discussed during the episode, visit our blog:
With so many startup’s emerging from the UAE, it’s no easy affair to pick something that stands out. has done just that, and we were here to interview the digital disruptor behind it. In case you’re interested to make best of the local startup scene, Tenaz Disadji has a few takeaways to benefit from. Click through to read more. Insydo is a platform that helps Dubai residents make decisions easier. The website recently won for Best Design & User Experience at the Seamless Awards 2017. The project launched with a campaign aimed to differentiate itself. This was entitled ‘Save Steve’s Job’. Instead of focusing on what Insydo can do for the people, they decided to focus more on the team & the character behind the brand identity. The campaign was effective in terms of leaving online users curious to know more. The challenge after brand awareness was ‘how to get people to understand the brand’ + sell the benefits. Being in the UAE, one of the biggest challenges that startups face is recruitment. In case you’re looking for the best talent, shifting a person’s dream (to work in cities such as New York & London) all the way to Dubai… can be a challenge. “It is imperative to form a team that goes in line with the company's vision.” Although it might be a bit risky, the key is to bring in talent from anywhere across the globe. Never the less, Dubai has gained a name for itself so the city does attract. The website generates curated content that entices users to spend an ample amount of time in simple exploration. Although the team does have alternative content-based performance metrics (events, page views etc.), fortunately, their mission is not to make users buy anything. The goals: Make decision simpler Get to the right place Create the ‘best experience’ Unlike other listing websites, Insydo stands out by focusing on saving people’s time through curation. They consider different criteria (locations, price points etc.) to ensure their content is note-worthy. Their USP: Every business (listed) on Insydo is vetted physically & independently, way before businesses know who they are. Startup life is a learning curve. You cannot get to the fruit without making a few mistakes. One must be able to see the direction in which the company is heading. Although it’s only a while later that one realizes decisions that could have been better taken, what’s more important is how quickly one must react to mistakes. These are general issues in startup life anyway. Companies looking to hire talent from abroad must ensure that the UAE (or any other place) is not simply a transit place for the candidate. One of the biggest wins for Insydo was ‘finding its two founders’. These are individuals willing to share the possibilities, the excitement and the risk. i.e. People to share the experience with. “I would never recommend starting up a company by yourself.” In case you’re planning to launch a startup business, here are 3 tips: Create & focus on a business plan – You may have an awesome idea. And although your starting with assumptions, you have to start with something. This plan is used to build out something solid. For Insydo, ‘The business plan’ helped save a lot of time. Try not to build a tech team (or tech specs) while you havent yet focused on creating a minimum viable product - Once you’re ready, never understand what you need to achieve without testing it. Get it into the market, see people’s reactions and start tweaking. Simply Google to buy website template samples for cheap, test them and find out which works best. Get a feel and then begin investing. Find the right people to match your skill-sets - Think about how much knowledge and experience you have set about for that career. Tenaz had to spend her first six months trying to learn the basics, whereas this could have been better utilized through a resource is critical. In Dubai, licenses are easy to set up and there’s so much flexibility. Rent may be an issue, but then, there’s plenty of schemes and incubators around. Astrolabs in one such example. That would ready help in setting things up. Insydo had a solid business plan and therefore, had it’s own independent formation setup. However, in case you have a risky business model, an unknown market or a shortage of necessary funding needed, you’re better off avoiding the stand-alone route. Thanks for listening Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes. Never left a review before? Here’s how.
Branding 101

Branding 101


Our topic for this podcast is Branding. In the Middle East, people tend to think of 'logo design' when they hear the word branding. In a nutshell, Branding is strategy made visible through design. It is an enabler of 'your strategy' and 'how you must position your company'.   Branding has shifted over the decades. It's more 'inside-out' than the reverse. It comprises both sides of an entity. People often confuse branding with advertising. Advertising is tactical whereas branding is more strategic. Due to digital trends, in this day and time, a mere logo has changed into a living identity instead of being a static 'single form' restricted by rules. Thus, traditional marketing has come to terms with digital. [Vipul & Sheyaf exchange a few ideas & examples indicating this evolution] Next comes the Colors aspect. Vipul mentions how Careem & Meeras Holding set their identity apart in the UAE. Eventually, design keeps returning back to basics, ie. flat design. This is more or so because flat designs are easy to live across multiple mediums. Branding helps convey what a company gives priority to. And right after a great experience with any brand, it is the 'human feel' that ends up creating affinity & an ever-lasting connection. Sheyaf mentions how Apple inc. positioned itself as one of the world's biggest brands. He mentions how using a powerful brand leaves a higher level of satisfaction within a user. To add to this, Vipul mentions how Tesla has never needed to advertise due to it's strong branding foundations. Tesla is a fine example of how people believe in the mission and the vision of a brand that is ready to break the boundaries. Vipul mentions a tip for both business owners and startups: Bring 5 people in, don't let them talk to each other. Give them a piece of paper and let them write a single word mentioning what the word represents. The next task is to derive results from these. Additionally, Vipul mentions the success mantra for All employees are made to learn & embibe customer service processes. Although their logos do not connect anymore, they have created a culture which people identify themselves with, and this is mainly via their staff. Behind the scenes, there's has a deep connection with behavioral sciences. When recruiting, Zappos even pays attention to how their candidate behaves with a taxi driver. Thus, branding is not just something for the consumers but also for a company's internal employees... to guide them and let them know what they must aim for. A tip for well-established companies: The brand identity of your company is not engraved on stone. If a person can reconsider buying a new smartphone, companies should be open to re-branding if necessary. Unlike thinking where to position your name on a business card, true branding is an open way of conveying strategy. When it comes to design, remember the rule: Less is more. Instead of adding things to something, find out how you can take things out. A few authors who inspire branding ideas: - Armin Vit - Simon Sinek Vipul mentions how we must also take lessons from two of the richest personalities in the world: Warren buffet & Charlie Munger. They picked up stocks and businesses not only based on figurative values but based on the brand, and it's potential to influence a global populous. Lastly, Branding is the broadest field one can be in. If you can understand it well, you could be a very good value investor. Did you enjoy the episode? Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
Meet the Snapchat marketing superstar in UAE’s higher education scene: Osaid Azeem. A pivotal figure at Canadian University Dubai’s marketing & communications team. Originally taken from our interview notes on , here’s how Osaid has turned an informal app such as Snapchat into a Generation Z (the demographic cohort after the Millennials) crowd puller.   How did the Snapchat ‘story’ begin for CUD? I have to be honest, when Snapchat began gaining popularity, it did not appeal to me at first sight. I immediately compared it to Instagram and found the poorer image quality and limited text off-putting. I first really experienced Snapchat through 'CUDSnaps'. It all started when I was covering our graduation event; I noticed all the students with their phones out snapchatting the event live! It became obvious to me this was a gold mine. If Snapchat is what our target demographic wanted, Snapchat is what they would get!   Did you run any activity to announce the launch? Although we did announce the launch of CUDSnaps on most of our mainstream communication platforms, I found we never had to market it aggressively. Our following grew quickly and soon doubled; making CUDSnaps the most popular communication channel among students within the university.   What was your first experience on Snapchat like? First time I ever used Snapchat, I didn’t know where exactly to go to be honest. Visually, it didn’t appeal to me. Once I started using it a little bit more I came to appreciate that while it was very different from Instagram, it had it’s own quirky appeal. CUDSnaps started with me literally walking around campus and posting about campus life. Since most students don’t know who handles the social media posts for the university, I could hide in plain sight! The hype caught on quickly, and soon all the students had their eyes peeled for the CUD snaps guy!   Tell us more about the creative genius behind the CUD Snapchat account As the buzz around CUD’s Snapchat grew, so did student curiosity! I remember tons of students replying to our snaps saying “Who are you?”. I think the fact that I never featured on any of the snaps added to the mystery. Snapchat always had me where the action was, so there were rumors it was being run by a student! Today Snapchat is by far our most effective means of communication, emails and SMSs in my experience are far less effective with the students. Most of them make sure they check snaps at least once a day because if you don’t- Poof! The story is gone.   How has Snapchat affected the management & business communications? I’m proud of the fact that we were the first university in UAE to have an official Snapchat account. I noticed other universities in Canada launch their Snapchat accounts roughly 10 months after CUD snaps was launched.    Is there a best way to manage an official Snapchat account? At first, I ran the Snapchat account all on my own. As it gained popularity and the variety of events featured on the platform grew, I knew I couldn’t be in two places at once so I developed a team of students that I could count on, and had them ‘take over’ CUD Snapchat for a day. Having students run the account intermittently helped me manage my workload, switched it up and kept things fresh as well.  Snapchat is probably one of the more challenging social media platforms in terms of management since it involves a lot of “winging it”. I come up with most of the Snapchat content on the spot. If there are multiple events at the same time, it can also get tricky for one person to juggle coverage since multiple people cannot log in to the account at the same time.   What do you say is the best feature of Snapchat? Geo filters. It took me 6 months to get a geo filter for CUD and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be! First, you create a geofence. This designates the area where you want the filter to be available. Next, Snapchat's map tool is used to create the fence and finally, a PNG file is uploaded. If you go to CUD right now, turn on the filters, you will be able to swipe and see the Canadian University Dubai geo filter.   How have other universities in the UAE reacted from this? There are only a few other universities that have started using Snapchat since we launched CUD snaps. Their snaps however are more information oriented and in my opinion, that is not what Snapchat works best for. Like I said, it is a time-consuming platform to manage well, I think that may be why most universities may shy away from using it too much.   Do you see any threat coming in from Instagram & Facebook stories? Not actually. As long as the youth get their privacy unlike other apps, Snapchat is here to stay   Is there any secret formula to Snapchat success? Right place, Right time. Snapchat was developed for a generation with a tiny attention span – that’s why it is so dynamic, visual and each snap only lasts 10 seconds. I would recommend keeping stories short and posting six snaps or less per story. Since you can skip snaps with the touch of a thumb, posts have to stay creative and stay relevant. The last thing you want is followers skipping through after 3 seconds because you couldn’t grab their attention in time.   Did you enjoy the episode? Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
Marketers need to keep optimizing their search ads for max results. Since we’ve observed a lot of UAE-targeted search ads falling behind these simple best practices, here are 11 tips to take things to the next level. Why is it necessary to enhance your Search Ads? Improve your Click-Through Rate (CTR) Increase Quality Score (for higher Ad Raking) Lower your Cost per Click / Cost Per Action There's two ways how search marketers can go about this: Enhance campaign infrastructure. In this session, we focus more on ‘text ads’. Optimize your campaign towards ROI, setup conversion tracking (we will be covering this soon) With regards to text Ads, we recommend you to focus on using Ad Extensions along with additional best practices which we have picked up over the years. Ad extensions Ad extensions help by occupying more room within the search engine results page. Who wouldn't be excited if they were offered free additional real estate? Here are a few selected ad extensions for first timers to bank upon: 1. Location Extension Let’s you add a piece of your businesses address with directions. We expect location extensions to appear when a local-info-seeking search phrase is used. i.e. best lasagna around JBR. 2. Call Extension Ads a Click-to-call functionality on the mobile display. i.e. have your number displayed in a “clickable” format so a searcher can quickly connect with your business. Tip: Combine location & call extension within an ad group. Imagine someone searches for lunch buffet in Dubai Media City and notices your restaurant address to be pretty close by (from the location extension configured to appear in the search results), and then sees a call button right next to it. He could call your restaurant immediately and reserve a table. Why are these two extensions important? Because the volume of searches on mobile is much higher in the UAE. Mobile searches are usually connected to a user's intent to act immediately i.e. Inquire or order your product or service 3. Sitelinks Instead of having a user land upon your first landing page and then find out that he has to click elsewhere to know more about something more specific, Sitelinks allows you to showcase additional links to pages which are connected with your offering. For example: If your healthcare client is running an anniversary campaign to offer free checkups, and you've got a main landing page connected to sub-pages that mention details about diabetes, blood pressure, weight loss etc. Your main text ad could mention about the camp, below which you can add sitelinks to directly access the diabetes, BP or weight loss sections 4. Callout extension Use callout's to mention your business’ USP's or Direct Response phrases. Examples: Free delivery, Limited edition, Few seats left , Scholarships available. 5. Structured snippet extensions Decide what type of information potential customers will find most valuable when considering your products and services (i.e. if you are a university, then course names. And if you are an automobile brand, then the model names). You can then add specific, supporting details to create a supporting line of text that looks like - Brands: Sportage, Optima, Rio, Sorento, Cadenza We continue with a few tips to boost your text ads: 6. Use ' Keyword insertion' ad customizer to make your ads dynamic. 7. Include your most important message in the headline. Example: Hyundai DSF Offer - Extended to 31st April 8. Utilize your display URLs. Advertisers can now optionally add up to 2 fifteen-character path fields to append to their display URL. Although your final URL might be, you can now put it as 9. Impeccable wordplay. Use Call To Actions such as Get started, Reserve now, Get a quote, Coach me... for spontaneous results. Pay attention to your competitors advertising so you can out-do their wordplay 10. Indicate urgency. Use the Adwords ‘countdown’ function. Adwords presents unique enhancements known ad customizers. You can research more about it. 11. Use permitted symbols such as Asterix (5* Facilities), Numbers with Slash (24/7), Registered trademark or the copyright symbol (®™ ©), Ampersand (&), Exclamation mark (!), Percentage symbol (50% off) etc. What next? Get-started and let us know how things work out for you.
Show Notes [00:21] Thank you to all the listeners who sent us feedback. [01:00] Today's topic - tools for digital marketers [01:40] We're going to give the top 9 tools we use at Ubrik to make our jobs easier [01:55] Ghostery is a tool created to give users an ad-free, more private, faster-browsing experience but we use it to understand what apps, plugins, and scripts running on a website. It tells you everything that's running in the background. We use this so we don't have to waste our client's time by asking them questions like "are you running Google analytics," especially since they sometimes don't know the answer and have to check with their IT/web developer. [03:45] Google Tag Manager (GTM) helps marketers do things like add analytics and tracking scripts to a website without having to get an IT/web developer to update the website manually. All you need is a one-time effort from your developer to install the GTM code snippet on your website. After that, you can do everything yourself via the GTM interface with almost zero technical know-how. E.g. you can add your remarketing pixels (Google, Facebook) to your website with a bit of copy/paste and a few clicks. [05:35] Built With - This is another tool we use to save time when going into client meetings if they have an existing website. It tells you what technology/platform a site is built on. We've used it to reverse engineer a website for an e-commerce client by looking at a competitor's website design the client liked. [07:25] Wappalyzer - This is a browser plugin similar to Built With which allows you quickly get a website's technology stack. Whenever a client meeting turns to talking about websites this is an easy way to impress them because in many cases they aren't very tech savvy and this sort of thing sounds like rocket science. Of course, it doesn't help that some agencies make it sound like rocket science but in the internet-age, this kind of knowledge is easily accessible to everyone. For our part, we try our best to demystify tech to our clients and freely share this knowledge with them. [08:45] Similar Web - Whenever we speak to clients who want to do campaigns to increase web traffic we ask them what their current traffic is, and how much they would like to increase. Many clients don't have this information handy or don't know how to find it. Not having analytics installed is a common problem too. With Similar Web, we just enter the URL and we immediately get a rough estimate of monthly web traffic, traffic sources, and other data. All of this information can be downloaded as a pdf. They also have a paid version which gives you a lot more information. [12:25] Hubspot Website Grader - This is a free tool which gives you a multi-point analysis on the quality of a website according to parameters like performance (speed,) mobile responsiveness, search engine optimization, and security. You can also download the report in pdf form. We like to analyze a client's website, download the report and send it to them in our follow-up email after the initial consultation. [14:30] Hubspot Sales Extension - If you use Gmail and Google apps in general, this a browser plugin which supercharges your apps. It's an excellent free CRM tool which lets you track email opens and clicks. We use it heavily when sending proposals because it gives us information on how the client is reacting to us. For example, if the client opens our proposal email 10 times, we might give them a call because their action conveys intent. And in keeping with our policy of transparency with our customers and demystifying tech, we tell them about the tool. They can use it to add value to their business too, so we want them to know about it. [17:00] Rapportive - This is a Gmail plugin which pulls contact information from Linkedin - company, job title, social media profiles etc. [18:15] Boomerang - A Gmail plugin which allows you to schedule email delivery, reminders to follow up on important emails, etc. It improves your email productivity significantly. [21:00] Once a month, we'll be doing a special episode on tools for marketers. We want to hear from you - what tools do you like to use? We'd love to review them. Send us an email - - and let us know. Did you enjoy the episode? Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
This episode we're joined by Ubrik's Digital Marketing Manager, Azhad Ali. He usually spearheads our performance marketing campaigns. He's been in digital marketing since 2008, when he was employee #3 at Ubrik. Now, Ubrik has handled over 100 accounts and AED 30 million in digital media spend. Time-Stamped Show Notes [02:30] Today's topic - a practical breakdown of how to execute your first Google Adwords campaign. [03:15] Specifically, we will focus on the Search Marketing Cycle (SMC.) [04:00] The SMC is a 4-step process of research and planning, execution, measurement, and optimization. [04:45] At the planning stage you figure out what your objectives are and develop keywords you want to associate with your brand, using the information you have about your business. [05:55] The difference between "search term" and "keyword." A search term is what the user types into Google Search, while a keyword is what the digital marketer configures in an Adwords account. [06:25] For example, "where can i get a part-time MBA in Dubai?" is a search term. [06:50] Using data from search engines, the marketer might select "MBA in Dubai" as the keyword. [07:00] If there is a lot of competition for that keyword, they might refine it further and choose to target "Canadian MBA in Dubai." This is known as a "long-tail keyword." [07:30] Which keywords you choose to target will depend on how competitive they are and on their price. [08:00] How does the marketer go about doing the research to identify the right keywords? Using the Canadian University example (one of Ubrik's clients,) the marketer will review Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Google Keyword Planner. [09:15] He will also use websites like Alexa, Similar Web and SEM Rush to get data about competitors. [09:41] Keywords can be categorized into brand keywords, product keywords, and competitor keywords. [09:55] For Canadian University, the brand keyword is Canadian University in Dubai. The Brand offering keywords could be "Canadian University Dubai degree," "Canadian University Dubai courses," "CUD," "Canadian University location," "Canadian University of Dubai," etc. [11:20] Arabic search data is also essential in this region. You would review Arabic search terms and come up with Arabic keywords. [12:20] How do you select your offering/product/service keywords? Look at your website structure. In our university example, they could be broken down by undergraduate and graduate, by academic departments, by major etc. [13:26] In this example Azhad would go with one campaign for brand keywords, one for undergraduate and graduate keywords, and one for competition keywords. [13:36] The product/offering campaign would be broken down further by degree typ, major, etc. [14:00] You need to build your brand and increase brand awareness, as well as target your brand keyword, so you don't get beaten by your competitors. [15:41] When executing a campaign, you need to segment your campaign into ad groups, figure out your budget (i.e. how much you will spend daily on each ad group.) [16:41] We'll be providing a document that illustrates this so you can understand it better. [17:15] Adwords works on a daily budget basis. You would divide your total budget by the duration of your campaign. You would also assign a maximum Cost Per Click (CPC) for each ad groups. [18:10] Along with the keyword you would have your ad copy, and companies will need to optimize the ad copy as part of their iterative process. [19:35] The final piece of the puzzle is the landing page that each ad is linked to. The keyword, ad copy and landing page together make one ad set. [19:50] You also want to specify your negative keywords, which are those that you don't want your ad to show up for. E.g. if Canadian University in Dubai is running a campaign to advertise for its 'fall intake, "Canadian University in Dubai jobs" would be a negative keyword. [20:30] After lauching your Adwords campaign you will be able to collect data and this is the measurement phase. [20:40] Important metrics to track are impressions, Click-through Rate (CTR,) CPC and conversions.) [21:40] Based on those numbers you will understand which areas of the campaign need to be optimized. E.g. if CTR is low, you need to work on your ad copy. [22:30] This process of measuring and optimizing continues until you are satisfied with how the campaign is performing. [23:00] You can learn how to implement Google Adwords campaigns via online courses like Google's own "Essential Adwords" courses, Wordstream's "PPC University," Udemy's "Google Adwords for Beginners" and Lynda's "Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords." [23:50] These courses are regularly updated as new features are added. Marketers need to keep themselves sharp. [24:20] Other resources for news and trends are websites Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, SEM Rush, PPC Hero, etc. [25:40] While there are some best-practices to follow, getting good at Google Adwords is a constant process of experimentation. [27:22] We plan on doing more episodes to cover SEM in more detail. This was just an introduction. Enjoy the episode? Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
Our guests today are Abdul Rahman Risilia and Muhamman Aly from Simply Digital, a Dubai-based recruitment agency specializing in hiring for the digital and tech spaces. Simply Digital is a subsidiary of the well-known Mackenzie Jones. Topics Covered What is the state of the digital and tech job market in 2017? What are the main differences with regards to hiring in this region as opposed to more mature markets? What are the main challenges faced by employers and candidates? How do local candidates compare to international? Who do you look for when hiring for digital and tech? Shady recruiting agencies and deceptive practicies Which industries are doing the most hiring in this region for digital and tech jobs? Hot roles in the digital and tech spaces in 2017 The unrealistic expectations of employers Why employers need to look at recruiting agencies as partners and trusted advisors How to get a recruiter's attention when applying for jobs The role of recruitment agencies in educating the market on trends in the digital and tech landscape The importance of building community in the digital and tech spaces Time Stamped Show Notes [00:30] Our guests today are Abdul Rahman Risilia and Muhammad Aly from Simply Digital, a recruitment agency in the UAE specializing in the digital marketing space. [00:40] Our topic today is the UAE job market for digital and tech related jobs. [01:00] Abdul Rahman's been in recruitment for over 15 years over multiple industries and agency types. [01:21] Simply Digital is a subsidiary of Mackenzie Jones Recruiting. [01:30] Last year they worked as part of Mackenzie Jones but realized it was difficult to break away from the perception that it is a corporate HR & Finance recruiting specialist. [01:50] To solve this, Abdul Rahman and Muhammad pitched creating a separate entity positioned as a digital marketing recruitment specialist. [02:15] Muhammad's been in recruiting for around 6 years and specializes in the digital space. [03:00] There are two main differences in recruiting for digital and tech in this region vs. internationally. [03:15] The digital and tech spaces are in their infancy in this region, so not many people know how it should be implemented. [03:40] The timelines, sales cycles and decision-making in this region are much slower. [04:00] Some segments of the digital and tech spaces, and some industries, are progressing faster than others so there's no uniform growth. [04:30] Over the next year or so things will become easier for recruiters and candidates as more people will digital skillsets enter the market. [05:00] On the client side of recruiting employers have a general idea of what they need in digital roles but don't fully grasp the job requirements, what skillsets are required, where they go in the organization etc. [06:00] Simply Digital does a lot of work to educate clients about their needs and what would work best for them. [06:14] They try to develop trust with the clients as advisors and not just recruiters. [06:34] It's the same problem faced by agencies, when they create and promote campaigns for clients. [07:00] Some employers in this region only want to hire people with industry experience and that limits their options. [08:00] Ubrik's own employees don't have a digital background because the skillsets can be learned and the digital landscape is evolving constantly. [08:30] Ubrik focuses on hiring for the right attitude and a general grasp of digital concepts. [09:20] Candidates coming from a more mature international market (North America, Europe, Australia) face special challenges [09:30] Sometimes told that they are too senior for a role. [09:40] Rejections because they don't have industry experience. [09:55] Some settle into a job but then find out the responsibilities are not what they were initially hired for. [11:10] Some employers want their hires to fit into their idea of the role rather than letting them use their skills to do more advanced work. [11:50] These employees will feel that there won't be career growth in such roles and end up leaving. [11:56] It's challenging to find local talent because prospective international hires have been operating in a more mature market for longer. [12:20] International hires can add a lot of value to this region. [12:55] A digital marketing manager from the U.S./U.S. will be better equipped than a digital marketing manager from this region is the latter only has experience working in this region. [13:05] Not every client can afford to relocate an international hire, so that's where local talent becomes much more appealing. [13:20] Shady recruiting agencies engage in deceptive practices when advertising for jobs. [14:00] Abdul Rahman says this is a common problem with recruiting all over the World - it's his job to do things better. [14:40] Some recruiting agencies set up shop without any experience or knowledge of the industry they operate in. [15:20] 10-15 years ago you would have needed 10-15 years of experience recruiting before you started your own agency. [15:50] Now, with 2-3 years experience recruiters think, "I can do this myself instead of working for someone else." [16:00] It's not difficult to start an agency but most of them go bust in 2-3 years. [17:10] When hiring for digital there are few recruiters who know the space well enough to have credibility. [17:24] Many of Simply Digital's clients end up offering Muhammad a job because he's one of the few recruiters that do have a deep understanding of the digital landscape. [17:48] A HR, Oil & Gas or Finance recruiter can't recruit for digital because they don't know the space well enough. [18:50] Hot digital roles right now - UI/UX designers, product designers, front-end developers, digital marketing managers and social media specialists (junior roles.) [20:20] Clients want unicorns - Arabic speakers with perfect English from specific universities and special certifications. [21:20] A lot of marketing agencies are looking for Account Managers. [21:45] There is big demand for content marketers. [22:30] In most mature markets the banking sector is the biggest hiring machine for digital, but in this region the banking sector has a lot of catching up to do. [23:10] Simply Digital does a lot of work for retail FMCG and agencies. [24:00] Some agencies and clients do understand UI/UX design but in general there is a lot of education required. [25:00] There is not much hiring going on in the startup space but there is potential. [25:30] In Austrialia, Abdul Rahman says around 85% of clients are startups. Over here, less than 10% of Simply Digital's business is from startups. [25:55] Abdul Rahman thinks the UAE is around 5 years behind mature markets in the digital and tech spaces. [26:25] When a recruiter sees you've applied for several roles with hugely different skillsets, it's a turn-off and they are less likely to contact you. [27:15] Apply for one role, and follow up with an email and phone call. [27:35] Make sure your portfolio is clearly provided via URL or attachment. [27:50] For digital hiring don't care about your resume, we care about what you can do. [28:35] If you're applying for a content marketing job you better a content creator and have an active social media presence. [28:55] Show us results, show us a report from one of your campaigns. [29:30] Digital marketing is highly measurable so there's no excuse for not having numbers to back up your resume. [29:50] Employers have totally unrealistic expectations with job requirements for digital hires [30:30] Serial appliers - applying for digital marketing roles, sales roles, finance roles etc. [31:00] On the client side the important thing is creating a partnership with recruiting agencies [31:10] Do the research internally, then talk to the agencies - test them. [31:20] Are they credible? Then trust their advice. [31:40] Agencies want to find you the best possible hires over the long term. [31:50] They want to commit to you and they want you to commit to them. [32:30] If more clients viewed the recruiting agencies as advisors and partners, the agencies would take their jobs much more seriously and dedicate more resources to a client. [33:40] Recruiting in 2017 has been busy so far but it has been slow at times. [34:00] The second half of 2017 should pick up, moving towards a very exciting 2018 for digital and tech in the UAE. [34:20] The key is education - Simply Digital is partnering with Astrolabs and Glass Qube to offer thought leadership workshops [34:40] They want to educate employers and prospects about the development of different verticals in the digital landscape. [35:00] The UAE and the region in general have huge potential for developing the digital and tech spaces. [36:00] More opportunities for networking and learning need to be created to foster a sense of community in the digital and tech spaces. [37:00] As the market matures and employers become more knowledgeable, more of the right roles will start to appear. [38:00] Check out Simply Digital's website - - where you can look for jobs and sign up for their newsletter to receive announcements on new jobs and events. Thanks for listening Please subscribe and leave us a rating and review on iTunes.  Click here to do that.
Our guest this episode is Hussein Dajani. Hussein is the COO of Hug Digital, where he's been for 2 years. He has a background in traditional advertising, made the switch to client side, then decided to try his hand at digital. Hug Digital has been in business for 7 years, with 122 employees spread out across Dubai, Cairo, and Trivendrum. If you're in the agency game in Dubai you've probably seen Hussein around.  He's a go-to expert in social media marketing and a sought-after speaker at industry events.  Topics Covered How has social media marketing changed in the past decade? The importance of agencies being transparent with clients about kpis and analytics How well are businesses leveraging changes in social media? Case study - new initiatives can backfire if not managed well Don't focus on sales. Focus on brand building Which trends are worth paying attention to? What is Hussein's approach to dealing with algorithm changes? Who are some of Hug Digital's clients? Which tools does Hug Digital use to manage its business? Final recommendations and insights For complete show notes visit our website: What's new in Social Media Marketing? Please subscribe to the show and leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
In this episode we talk about the pillars of online marketing and you need to make them all work together to achieve marketing success. Topics Covered Paid Search Search Engine Optimization Content Marketing Social Media Marketing Email Marketing Mobile Marketing Marketing Automation For complete show notes, visit our website: The 7 Pillars of Online Marketing Don't forget to subscribe to the show and leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
I love the online fitness niche. There are a ton of colorful characters and more than enough drama to keep you entertained. As a marketer, it's one of the best niches to pay close attention to. It's so saturated the marketing needs to be very sophisticated if you're going to be successful. These guys and girls are amazing at content marketing, creating a personal brand, growing an audience, and selling to their audience. Recently I came across a marketing tactic I haven't seen before - a strength coach taking email marketing and dialing it up to over 9000. His name is Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes. He's a bodybuilder, personal trainer, fitness writer, and published author. He's written for prestigious publications like EliteFTS and Ironman magazine. A few months ago he transitioned to online business full-time (he used to have a day job as a personal trainer.) After coming across email copywriting maestro Ben Settle, Alex decided to start emailing his list 3 times a day, 7 days a week. I've heard of people mailing their list several times a week, but never mailing daily, let alone several times a day So, I just had to pick his brain about it. Enjoy the interview, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Topics covered: Who is Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes? Why did Alex decide to email his list 3 times a day? How is he able to produce so much content? What has the feedback from his subscribers been like? List segmentation and product development based on subscriber feedback People don't read so repeat important messages How Alex uses his personal brand to filter his readers Email list growth of 579% over 90 days Open rates and click-through rates are above average How Alex makes it easier for his audience to consume his content How long-form emails are more popular with Alex's subscribers How does Alex generate revenue from his emails? As he grows his list revenue will compound Unsubscribe rates are about average Alex's perspective on marketing in general (best part of the interview) A complete transcript of the interview is available here: Please remember to subscribe and leave us a rating and review on iTunes:
In our 2nd episode, we introduce you to the fundamentals of digital marketing.  Topics covered: What is digital marketing? Problems facing digital marketers in Dubai Offline and online components of digital marketing The currency of digital marketing is attention Digital marketing contextualized: the marcomm framework The marketing mix Consumer psychology and digital marketing The importance of setting KPIs Our focus: online marketing Resources to understand digital marketing Complete show notes are available on our website - What is Digital Marketing? Please subscribe and leave us a rating and review on iTunes. How to leave an iTunes rating and review.
The Digital Disruptors Podcast brings you the latest in disruptive trends, tech, tools, and hacks in the digital marketing space. All packaged in easy-to-digest episodes featuring unfiltered, no-holds-barred banter between old friends. We'll also be featuring some of the growth-hackiest fresh-take-havers from the hottest businesses in Dubai. We live and breathe digital marketing. And we've over 100 businesses in the U.A.E. along the way. We are going to change the way Dubai does business. One episode at a time. Links from the show Exclusive Interview: How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House PRServe - PR for Startups This show is brought to you by Ubrik Media - Dropkick Copy - Please subscribe and leave us a rating and review iTunes - [Coming Soon] Stitcher - [Coming Soon]  
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