Shaikh 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?
- Johnson & Johnson: Germany, female product, Age 14-18. Results increase in sales over 80%, growth over 600% than traditional marketing.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- For Entrepreneurs: Establish brand
- For Professionals: Grow quickly
- 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?
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?
- 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-
- Mobile Apps will dominate and customized data need to be channelised.
- Content marketing will be more customer centric and would solve customer issues
- 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?
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 :).