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An Interview With – Shaikh W Ali, Head-Digital Marketing Strategist, AVN Arogya Healthcare

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Shaikh W AliShaikh W Ali has 12 years of experience in overall marketing of different products and services catering to different industries.  Since last 9 years, he has been able to successfully turn around MSME business in leveraging brand value to companies through Digital marketing and brand management. He is having Notthingham Trent University, U.K MBA (Systems) with Engineering degree in Information technology. Currently, Shaikh is working with a pharmaceutical, hospital group managing their brand value.

How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?

Shaikh: I was in Digital marketing early when I was doing my engineering degree 2002 in I.T designing website for clients but limited. Throughout my career mainly from 2006, I felt Digital Marketing is future and I need to base my career into this. Working with major TNC in Singapore I realised and learnt that how every process of each department of business can be regulated through systems. It interested me deeply and I also gained rich experience in working together with a Singapore E-commerce designer firm which eventually won to be best Ecommerce designer in APAC region in 2005.

According to you, what are the advantages of conventional marketing over Digital Marketing? Do you think that Digital Marketing is a threat to the future of conventional marketing?

Shaikh: Due to limited technology infrastructure in India esp Tier 2, 3 cities conventional marketing still gains popularity and effective. BTL activities in these towns can reach masses and cost effective whereas Digital Marketing has no reach there. Digital Marketing is not a threat for future but present esp Tier 1 cities and globally. Without strong Digital Marketing a brand of any products can’t be successful today.

Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?

Shaikh: 

  1. Johnson & Johnson: Germany, female product, Age 14-18. Results increase in sales over 80%, growth over 600% than traditional marketing.
  2. Novartis Pharma: To increase awareness of organs transplant promotion. It had almost 15 million company downloads annually which makes them respectable brand in pharmaceutical business.
  3. GSK pharma: HIV specialist online which increased brand usage & awareness by 65%.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?

Shaikh: 

  1. No internal dedicated Digital Marketing team: they loose out all important possibilities of outreach and cost effectiveness. Too much dependent on agencies will only spoil your brand in long run and hurt you.
  2. No Long term strategy: most companies are myopic and looks for quick sales through Digital Marketing. Brand and Digital Marketing is long term planning and you should have patience otherwise you are only closing your business with your own hand.
  3. Lack in internal communication: there should be consistent communication that should happen with Digital Marketing department across all other departments from time to time.  remove the ego, bureaucracy etc and make every information available to Digital Marketing and include Digital Marketing head in your BOD meeting or budget meetings.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?

Shaikh: Inhouse without a second thought.  An agency no matter how dedicated they are, they can’t visualize with you on same page. Information and update is key and only Inhouse team can represent. Digital Marketing is not an aloof department but inclusive which cut across all key decision-making process in your organization.  Almost all who are successful as a brand today are having own Digital Marketing team.

Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?

Shaikh: Google Analytics,  Reputation Risk, Buzz Sumo.

Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?

Shaikh: 

  1. For Entrepreneurs: Establish brand
  2. For Professionals: Grow quickly
  3. For Students: Future job demand
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?

Shaikh: Experience,  Vision, Learning adaptability,  Failure ratio,   Technical know-how etc.

What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?

Shaikh: 

Learn from scratch and understand what is marketing and how can that be integrated with technology.

How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Digital Marketing? Which are the Digital Marketing resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) you visit regularly?

Shaikh: 

  • Google trends report and tool. Google News update of industry.
  • You can follow anyone depends on your own choice and understanding.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.

Shaikh: Satya Nadella,  Jawed Karim, Larry Page

How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?

Shaikh: Digital media will be more focused on customisation as per customer demand, choice and availability.  push sales will obsolete , and brand recall and reminder will evolve majorly. Trends-

Trends-

  1. Mobile Apps will dominate and customized data need to be channelised.
  2. Content marketing will be more customer centric and would solve customer issues
  3. 360-degree approach of digital marketing needs to be employed.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Shaikh: 

DV is doing a great work in educating people,  entrepreneurs , students etc in Digital media field.  There are lot of misconceptions regarding this field and I am glad that you are taking those important steps to minimize. Not only that, there are many aspirations, professionals that are taking lessons from you going far distance in there professional life and personal.  For me you are serving our beloved country as a true citizen and shaping country’s vision ” Digital India” with your guidance.  All the best for your future endeavour.

Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).

[Sr. Associate - Content Marketing] A content passionate, Jasleen handles the content writing and marketing activities. Additionally, she leads Digital Marketing Internship Programme. Her deep passion and enthusiasm for writing guided her towards being the Associate Editor in English for her college magazine. Only deep passion and zeal can guide a person towards a professional writing career. Apparently, Jasleen is one of those persons. She is in the content writing and marketing fraternity for 5 years now. A top-notch individual, she is proficient in writing content for multiple requirements including blogs, articles, books, brochures and social media. She embraces practical knowledge of WordPress CMS. Besides this, she is also highly engaging in Social Media Marketing activities.
  • Digital-Marketing


  • There are 11 comments


    • 2 years ago

      Shamiya kapur   /   Reply

      I have worked with Wajed , and amount of knowledge he has with branding technology , advertising etc is enviable. I have learnt a lot from him …..Its really fun to be in his training room, working together as his forecasts analysis , technical know how, digital technology is amazing and having the spirit of entrepreneurial makes him way superior than others. I have been I corporate now 8 years , and I can assure you he is best in India as far I am concerned. Truely respect you Sir

      • 1 year ago

        Wajed   /   Reply

        Thanks everyone ……..It was a pleasure training you all . Cheers

    • 2 years ago

      Shahmina B   /   Reply

      Its great to work with him for 5 yrs continually , and vast information and knowledge that he impart catering to different industry is definitely worth to invest in him. I being Customer Head for my company realise after meeting you that how corporate communications today can reach with new technology. I remember the project that we had together and it’s amazing results was great. Today we are one of best in embibing digital technology in India and amount of organisations growth that we had under your leadership was tremendous. Thanks for being so cooperative even after parting ways. I wish you best in your future endeavour and I am fortunate to learn so many stuff from you. Thank you.

    • 1 year ago

      Neelam Paul   /   Reply

      Hi,I found your interview and it was great to hear from you. Just wanted to thank you for teaching, giving me job, training etc ……It was great to find a boss like you who would go out of the way to reach out co workers …….
      All the best for your future endeavours

    • 1 year ago

      Nisha M   /   Reply

      Dear Wajed, We met in the conference in Malaysia reg ” New Age Media ” , and after hearing your very short lecture around 15 minutes or so I did realise the potential of Digital technology and internal challenges . Everybody was beating around the bush and spoke in great lenght of time around 45-50minutes and hardly made any sense , for me your speech was perfect and pragmatic. Being entrepreneur of small ITES company , this was what required for me.
      I hope you are doing great in your career ……Keep in touch . Nisha Marchanda, Director, Euphoria ITES pvt ltd, Singapore

    • 1 year ago

      R MENON   /   Reply

      Wajed, It was nice getting you here as I was just reading some interviews. Appreciate the fact that I had worked as agency partner relationship with you for Iron coke coal steel project …..The innovative ideas, strategies , planning , technology, software , API etc that we integrated was great and yielded good results . It was massive yet very meticulous thing for us as that was first digital footprint for us ……. Now, what we adopted yesterday I read many of here in this platform discuss now and I have a giggle …….All d best

      Thanks,
      Reddy Menon , General Manager, Ennore & Tata steel

    • 1 year ago

      Abhijit b   /   Reply

      Hi Sk …Little things does make a lot in life and that’s what I learnt from your training session……It was a great training with you and mayb d best so far I attended ….Not only I learned technology, marketing, digital media etc but beyond I learned a rarest competence called Integrity …..You taught us no matter what happens in life , be honest and hold yourself high ……A honest confession is way pricier than others , and if a company doesn’t understand or realise then its his low not ours ……Way to go Sir ,

      Cheers,
      Abhijit Bhattacharya

    • 1 year ago

      Debjyoti paul   /   Reply

      All d best Boss ….I have learnt abcd of digital media from you and now I own training institution….Thanks for sharing knowledge with me

    • 1 year ago

      Sonam Ray   /   Reply

      Dear Sir, I hope you remember me …..We worked together for a App project which eod was above exceptional ….. It has now 1.2 lacs download over a span of 1 yr …..The numbers r grt for a sme company ……hope to catch u soon

    • 1 year ago

      Jasleen Kaur   /   Reply

      Thanks Shaikh W Ali for your contribution to our community through this interview. Really happy to know your feedback about the work we are doing in spreading digital (marketing) vidya :).

    • 8 months ago

      Swapnil   /   Reply

      Hi Wajed,

      I hope to catch you soon for a conference at Ittowa, Canada ….It going to be fun catching you up . Hope you are having good time back in India . As per your notion, we have turned 360 for the marketing budget to digital mktg & now we have a full fledged team inhouse working for us.
      The results are good & we continue to do so for next 2 years ….

      best regards,
      Swapnil Sharma

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