I am so proud to be connected, Are you ?


Are you connected, do you sense the difference we see today? It is so integrated and becoming so difficult to adapt to, which approach are you following!

Are we still living in a world of six degrees of separation? I am not sure about you, but for me this is a life changing creed and I have already embraced that. As the change that has happened to me and the organizations I worked with and for have noticed the difference already. There was a time when I was wondering, what could happen that is so different to be genuinely changing my life to something better! Something would put me to sense the change and begin a new life where dimensions are plenty and possibilities are infinite. Six years back, I had to think this many times and rethink it again and again. When I read this book in 2010, I noticed that many of the routes that I had taken before that were already on the right direction and this book had these things listed.

Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your business to Everyone
Is it important to be connected?

Why anyone should follow such ideas and fully endorse them? Because there are always options for someone to pick as alternatives in life, but who has the time to go and try the unknown, while there are already proven methods to use!

Probably many other books have discussed ideas on social media and others have talked about entrepreneurship, but Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your business to Everyone, has integrated them all along with personal branding. Entrepreneurship, digital marketing, social media, personal branding all are integrated and presented nicely in the main idea of this book. Mitch Joel has mastered this work to have consistent and smooth narration of ideas and tips that could directly be effective and make a difference in our lives.

You need customer’s permission


My first time reading this book was in 2003 and after few years I had to buy it again, but as an audio book. At that time I used to work two different jobs at the same time and one of them was mainly selling online website services and this book helped us coin our ideas on how to use the clients’ database that we had built over the course of business. It was and still insightful and will be useful over and over again.
Permission marketing, turning strangers into friends and friends into customers by Seth Godin

“The Ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age” explains “Permission Marketing” -the Business Week calls Seth Godin.

I need not to talk about Seth Godin, he is a phenomenon in the marketing knowledge wiki.
The Ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age

I need not to talk about Seth Godin, he is a phenomenon in the marketing knowledge world. To address this book, I have to say that, it is a mandate today that marketers do marketing scientifically and look at the aspects of customer engagement. Why it should be highlighted as an important book to look at and read thoughtfully. Because it uncovers the secrets of personalization, segmentation, interest groups and the value of engaged customers. It is not a new book, but certainly works for yesterday, now and tomorrow. As it talks about the psychology and science of consumer engagement and what is right or wrong about marketing practices.
Have you taken customers permission before talking to them by annoying SMS or email? Are you a spammer or a communicator? Stop talking to the mass and focus on the interested ones. They will not just bring business, they will recommend you and even write good reviews about you. Isn’t this what all marketers and business people want ! A lovely customer that buys from us, shares our content and recommends us for her/his network!

This book is Definitely a gold mine for marketers of today and tomorrow.

Why Building Trust is Key for Success


In Fall 2010 it was immense for me to consume a lot of social media marketing advice, as I wanted to be clear on many thoughts I had,  around why do things need to be done this or that way in day to day operations in personal and business digital marketing use. What was changing and what had to be done to marketing plans. Why did we need to look at things differently! Some of my friends and colleagues at freelancers’ online meet up were worried that by end of 2010 , they would be out of contracts and had to do something about it. Them being web developers and designers, they had already noticed the shift in clients’ behavior and how it was getting difficult for them (as freelancers working in one group under one organization) to secure more business deals.

They had a website, CRM (customer Relationship management system/Database) and a forum, with some auto published social media “broadcasts”. It was merely my job as a friend to push it harder and help them score more leads and then of course business for the guys to deal with. As part of my search for more know-how on social media selling and how to create value out of content and the use of influencers, it was mandate for me to read more about it and find creditable advice to keep the guys busy coding and developing more websites and web solutions. Searching in amazon, I came across this book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by the famous author Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

The authors made it clear from the beginning that it has to be you to ignite the action and start fixing things, rather than waiting for magic to happen. For me I was already in the mood for that and found this more exciting and encouraging too. In Saudi Arabia we have around 70% of the population are less than 28 years old, which means Millennial Generation are the dominating age segment. What this implies is that as service providers for individuals and small businesses, we had to understand more about this audience and use the influence we had to recruit more potential clients and engage more with current ones through unconventional approaches. This book describes how such segment is becoming so important to treat differently, as they sleep using the Internet and new social tools to interact and start conversations with each other. The book highlighted, why it is important to focus more on influencers and also gave examples of influencers’ marketing ideas, which could be used.

The authors highlighted ” if you want to succeed, don’t sit on the sidelines while new markets and channels grow. Instead, use the web to build trust with your consumers using Trust Agents”

They had a website and it had worked for couple of years back. While it covered all their previous work and clients, but still wasn’t driving the right number of projects. They worked with big forums and different organizations of different industries, but that was it, they didn’t search out for more from those people. “After reading this book we had to change our way of working to adapt and have stronger ties with influencers and work more on thinking differently to build more fruitful relations online. Though, this had been going before 2010 , but with this book, it became clearer that it had to be nailed faster”, Sami the group leader commented

Social influence of clients, social network tools, content planning, and new media consumption insights and patterns are highlighted in a way that had excited them to revamp the communication experience for their group and worked better than ever in a sustainable way.
This book being authored by two super social media and inline marketing experts, gave it more credibility to deliver more actionable steps and guides toward success in new media landscape.

Why building the trust is crucial for business? Consumers today are becoming less influenced by brand ads and lean in to hear from their networks, WOM and peer recommendations in play. Websites are important channels for driving many objectives, but what kind of trust do they offer for visitors/potential clients of your business?

Vine Vs. Instagram :what is the best?


Micro-vlogging strategy ?

We have seen Instagram announcing the video feature, where users can record a video and enhance it with filters then post it. Discussions went abundant on what is best Vine or Instagram? Many speculation against this update and whether this is a killer for Vine (a service for short video format, that can record up to couple of seconds) or not. As this is becoming a hot topic exchanged by many users and experts, the judgment is, marketers should use whatever works.
Continue reading “Vine Vs. Instagram :what is the best?”

Digital marketing workshop and training for students and professionals


I have had the chance to engage in delivering a couple of training courses and digital marketing workshops here in Saudi Arabia. I have delivered those for students and professionals from different industries. The most common questions I receive during which, are around the following topics: Continue reading “Digital marketing workshop and training for students and professionals”

The engaged Marketers’ book


A repeated scene…I feel good that I have just finished this book – it is  not just some engaging book , but the engaging book as I see it. If you are a true believer that the social communication and the new media forms are the biggest shift in the human communication history , then this is your time. I tried to pick this copy as text and started reading it like a month back, but I had discovered that the audio version was more crisp for me, maybe because I love to hear stories.

Mr.Solis has covered the Social Media ROI, the always troublesome topic for marketers! If this is not fancy enough for you , then it is also a guide for marketers and business owners passionate for excellence and converting in a sustainable pattern. It has different examples of practical strategies and tactics that have been adopted or ignited by some of the world’s leading companies like Intel and how have they harnessed the abundant benefits of Social and digital marketing dynamics.

Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web
revised and updated with a Foreword by Ashton Kutcher

Psychology, behavior and influence of the new consumer, these topics are covered in this book in an interesting way to enable marketers to understand more of the drivers of consumers , and why should they care about your brand anymore !

It is Engage!: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web….. By Brian Solis

  • Has won the prestigious PRWeb 5 Star Award
  • Bestsellers : Top business books by Inc.
  • Winner of small business best books award.

Strategies, ways of working , insights and pieces of advice in Each chapter and topic discussed in the book, all can be found and utilized immediately.. I personally recommend this as Best read for people in marketing for profit and non-profit tracks.

Brands listen to a girl on Twitter


Earlier today I got mentioned from a fake account in Twitter, with a link to a hoax content, affiliates or whatever it might be . what inspired me the most is the way this account profile looked. it says

” Extreme explorer. Zombie trailblazer. Social media fanatic. Music nerd. Passionate introvert. Proud internet evangelist. Prone to fits of apathy. Travel maven “

brands-listen to a girl on twitterthis is deeply scientific and I think it has potentials, even though if it doesn’t, but what is so obvious here is the topics covered by this profile description.. if you have noticed it talks about HOT topics triggered by most searched profiles and common trends used today. This will only ensure high visibility and prominence.

     This leads to one conclusion which tells , if anyone can look at the hot topics/trends in Twitter and highlight them for targeting and mapping them against any spamming efforts on that network, then WHY not marketers do it right as they have the scale and the budget!

In different contexts and sittings, marketers talk about segmentation, targeting and positioning following different approaches and theories, but what is practical and fruitful! Listening is a very important practice for marketers today, as the challenge over the timeline visibility is getting tenser every day. It mandates marketers to look at it seriously and plan something practical to help them Define, Sort, and Craft.

While listening efforts will map different ideas, that have been discussed and shared, in different networks and forums, Brands have followers/fans in different social networks and they should be included in this activity as well. As it is key to listen and try meticulously define the topics of interests different people discuss in different contexts. The outcome of the listening efforts will be relatively massive. Huge number of people and topics in different networks, and here comes the role of creating the topic boxes that will contain the relevant ideas under each topic . This should also include audience, from the followers’ base. Sorting those ideas under each relevant topic will help marketers understand the size, dynamics and the behavioral patterns that arise.

Looking at the bigger picture of the drawn canvas of topics/ interests/ trends, it gets easier to sit and look at the content ideas and formats that needs to be crafted to fit and match with each segment. This of course differs based on what kind of flexibility that brands have at different stages of the product/service innovation and creation whether this is already has been aligned or not. The most important thing is if we know who are the people and what are the HOT topics to address then it gets easier for content innovators whether in-house army or agency team to tailor  AMAZING pieces of content that will be LIKED, SENT, SHARED and DISCUSSED.

I am looking for an awesome job in Marketing


Since Summer 2001 till today May 29th 2013 I have stood in front of more than 50 interviewers and have conducted about the same number of interviews for candidates of different backgrounds… What I have found is that there is a pattern for the recent ones in marketing…let’s look at that.. Continue reading “I am looking for an awesome job in Marketing”

Digital experience for retailers in Saudi Arabia


I usually spend at least 12 hours a month doing my groceries. The experience I go through is always different and gets affected by several factors. Depending on the day of the week, it differs, weekend vs. week days , and that decides if stores are crowded or not. Despite the fact that I have installed an app , on my Nokia Lumia , to manage my shopping/ groceries list , yet I still go back home with stuff missing from the list. I did my part by installing that App but still the experience tells more on how I go through the aisles and interact with the surroundings…

I had this experience as an eye opener for the consumers’ digital experience for retail industry in Saudi Arabia. This covered the topic for my speech at Inretailsummit 2013 Saudi Arabia ..

No one can argue that Retailers spend huge money on pulling consumers to their premises to generate sales, but how do they do it !

Continue reading “Digital experience for retailers in Saudi Arabia”