I was recently interviewed by Gulf Business for their Digital Issue – below the transcript of my questions, the full pdf file can be downloaded here.
Q: Which sectors are on the rise (digital marketing, mobile apps, mobile marketing etc.)?
The Middle East as a region has suffered due to the economic downturn in terms of advancement during 2009/2010 – but will catch up very quickly. Digital marketing really covers all marketing today, so many channels and media have taken on a digital spin be it live outdoor with Bluetooth, or magazine ads on the iPad.
Looking specifically at what we might More >
There aren’t that many startups in the region who have really proved their worth beyond very small scale operations and beyond this who have developed a brand with both heart and soul, along with a desire to make money.
One brand that jumps out of the pack is GoNabit, the leading group buying site in the region with operations in 6 markets and another 6 in the pipeline. I spoke to founder and CEO Dan Stuart (@DanStuart) about a couple of recent events that have really highlighted the work they are doing and shown them just how their customers are feeling about the brand.
Mongolian Circus, More >
After much debate we decided to take the safe option and watch the fireworks on the Umm Suqeim public beach, in front of Burj Al Arab, rather than battle against the crowds at Burj Khalifa – as it turns out we made a good choice. See my film of the fireworks below and check out this review of the chaos downtown: New Year Chaos at Burj Khalifa.
2010 was most definitely a year of choices, a year of choices that have led to changes in many parts of our lives; but when we look back on these decisions, it is interesting to wonder whether the decisions we made were the right ones (the benefit of 20-20 hindsight), and if not what we can learn from them.
I remember a public school professor talking to us about the benefit of the debrief – much like the airfare I think he said – making it seem like such a foreign concept and making us realize how forward-thinking he was to suggest it. But the fact is not that a debrief is a foreign concept, More >
My wife is upset with me because there are no affordable items on my Christmas wishlist, she says that because I’m a geek (and therefore by deduction you will understand that she is not) it is very difficult for her to know what to get me, and that every time I find something I want it is both too geeky, and over budget for Christmas; I’m not sure whether this is a unique problem, or whether there is a global phenomenonen in terms of the fact that the things we want are getting more and more expensive, or maybe I am really just a geek.
So the truth of the matter is that I tend to have More >
The fact of the matter is that I’ve been trying exceptionally hard to compete with a colleague (thanks @ronaldzouein) and maintain this mayorship over the last 3-4 months (between trips to NY, Chicago and Riyadh) and then I woke up this morning to see the below in my Twitterstream. It’s doubly a pain because we are always very excited when we know that something pops up in the mentions section of our stream, beyond the back and forth messaging of the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people we follow More >
Today I participated in a Mirren Business Development session run by Brent Hodgins and one of the most interesting things he mentioned reminded me of the keynote from the BDW workshop I attended last week in New York – he said that in an increasingly competitive and changing market, the future for agencies was in the strategic planning role.
The keynote at Making Digital Work in New York, was delivered by Faris Yakob (@Faris). Faris is not know for going with the grain but when he talked about post digital strategy he raised a very important point for strategists and planners the world More >
As my wife and I settle into our new life here in Dubai more and more, we are on the one hand very pleasantly surprised by this hybridisation of European, North American and Arabic cultures, but on the other hand there are things from certain origins (particularly the US) that we are starting to feel lacking from this new international way of life. Most particularly is home entertaining, the art of the kitchen supper or the apero – these English and French traditions (respectively) are (or were) a key part of our social lives back in Paris and smething that seems to be sadly missing here – so More >
This evening I went for a run… in the dark. I had been out walking several times around the lake close to our house and I figured that if I simply stayed at the edge of the lake I would find my way home – this is a good rule of thumb (except when you haven’t looked at the map and ascertained the size of the lake). After about 45 minutes of running, the path I was on came to and end and in order to stay alongside the lake I had to clamber across some sandy banks and climb a couple of small fences. As I continued around the lake, not finding anything familiar, I wondered at what point it would More >
It seems like everyone is chasing after the golden goose right now – the speed at which digital is invading our industry means that suddenly there is a major need for people that not only understand the medium but also how it works and how it fits into the media mix. So suddenly the marketing geek is in demand, but there is definitely segmentation within this group:
- There are those that still want to work at pure player digital agencies, here there may well be less access More >