BM: Tell us briefly about your educational and professional journey.
DA: I began my professional career by joining Kenlubes, my family’s lubricants manufacturing business in Karachi. After spending eight years bringing about positive changes into the company with respect to operations, distribution, sales and marketing, I moved to Faisalabad to set up a new lubricant manufacturing plant and look after its distribution, sales and growth related operations.
As our business grew, it became a challenge to monitor a fairly large team of field agents and track their performance. As a response, I sought to introduce a location tracking system in our trade marketing, creating a mobile workforce management app called oBeeble. The app allowed us to track the efficiency of our field agents through their smartphones enabling them to upload reports on the cloud in real time, with text, video, audio and GPS location.
BM: With a diverse professional experience, what made you change your focus towards digital media as a CEO?
DA: Looking at how the digital landscape was reshaping in Pakistan in the early 2010, I believed it was the right time to step into the industry and provide a differentiated set of services.
It was then that I decided to create MWM Studioz, a data driven conversion optimization focused digital marketing company made specifically for retail and eCommerce brands interested in driving measurable value to their companies. This prospect became an immense success as brands responded quite positively to the idea that their marketing efforts can be measured in terms of ROI. Hence, I would say that my professional journey was elevated since forming MWM Studioz.
Business owners and marketers that require tangible business results on their marketing investment come to us. We consider this as the prime reason as to why notable luxury, fashion and lifestyle brands such as Nike, Charles & Keith, Pedro, edenrobe and many others are already working with us.
BM: What challenges did you initially face while starting your own digital medium oriented company?
DA: Digital media is a fast evolving field and to ensure that the quality of our services remain consistent, it is essential that we keep ourselves up to date with all of its changing conditions, innovate, experiment and adapt.
Making sure we do so, the key is to hire the right talent; young people who are passionate about the field and are well aware of the potential of digital media. Therefore, I believe the only short-term challenge I faced during the early years of MWM Studioz was to get the right people on my team.
BM: Did you train your team in order to aware them of the ever-changing digital media?
DA: Yes, training is an essential part of the development of our team and we are always up for training young and dynamic individuals who have the aspiration to learn something new. Secondly, I emphasize on research. The ever-changing digital media requires a lot of homework, analysis and understanding of data. To make sure that we are always ready for a challenge, we make sure that we invest sufficient time in activities that build up a concrete backstory in our minds.
BM: What new changes or innovations has your company introduced with respect to digital marketing?
DA: We consider ourselves as specialists in Performance Marketing, Conversion Optimization and ROI based Digital Marketing. Before devising a digital strategy we make sure that our objectives are clearly defined in order to measure how well we were in executing the strategy.
Secondly, we should realize that data is the most essential part of our business. Our strategies and efforts are purely based on data and that is what we recommend to our clients as well. On this basis we have successfully developed models for displaying contextually relevant ads to in-market segments. This has also been part of several of our location based campaigns. All of which have massively benefited us in terms of returns and results.
BM: Where do you see Pakistan with respect to digital marketing in the future?
DA: It’s growing and I believe it is about time that all the players in our industry realize that they need to provide measurable returns to their clients in order to move the industry forward. There’s plenty of opportunity in Pakistan for this field to grow and gain further respect. We need a body like the IAB or the IPA to govern agencies, test them and qualify them.
Secondly, we need to invest our efforts in grooming the right talent. There is only one person that I know of from Pakistan, Babar Khan Javed who has successfully graduated from Google’s “Squared” digital strategy program.
We need more such marketers to have the knowledge across high-level digital strategy.
BM: What new are digital projects you and your team striving to work for in the future?
DA: With the growing impact of social media, queries on search engines and consumers’ time spent on mobile, we are working on refining an omnichannel system that connects mobile marketing to the point of sale, as well as generating footfall with location based marketing that exploits the availability of 3G and 4G connections. We also intend to work on more eCommerce projects with luxury brands and create content around the psychographic state of mind that inhabits a prospective customer.