Shoaib Qureshy, Founder and Chief Strategy – Bulls Eye DDB speaks to team Brands Magazine and FHM Pakistan on the changing perspectives and dynamics of the rapidly growing digital media.
BM: Tell us briefly about your educational and professional journey.
SQ: I am an IBA Graduate, class of 1994 with majors in marketing. I started my career with Proctor & Gamble and worked for 4 years in brand management. I then moved onto the Agency side and joined the Ogilvy Affiliates (Interflow) to set up their strategic planning division. I worked there for 4 years and rose to become the Chief Operating Officer, before I moved on to set up my own non-traditional agency Bulls Eye in 2002 with the ambition to make brands look beyond the usual TV and Print advertising.
In almost a decade of different kind of creative marketing work among all possible shapes and forms, we got our presence felt in the marketplace and also of DDB Worldwide, which is the 4th largest global agency network. They joined hands with us to set up BE DDB, a specialist above the line agency that focuses on creative and digital products; while Bulls Eye continued doing activation and all other kinds of below the line marketing work.
BM: Did you face any challenges while stepping into the digital medium for marketing?
SQ: No, not really. Digital is just another medium; just like TV, print, radio, outdoor and activation were at different times before this last century. So as long as you understand and embrace the individual dynamics of each medium and then adhere to the key principles of any great marketing, it shouldn’t be challenging at all. Marketing is all about having deep consumer insight into people and then creating unique work that is meaningful and relevant to your target audience. And these essentials don’t change in digital as well.
BM: How did you train your team to attain the knowledge of ever-changing digital media?
SQ: Every new media brings with it a need for new skills and talents. So we had to start with getting people on board, who were practicing this as a specialist space either abroad or even here locally. Our Head of Digital has spent a lot of time working in Middle East, in the digital arena on both the client and agency side which was a great starting point. Then we connected our digital team with the DDB’s regional digital team and that further helped change our team’s learning. After that it’s all about constant day to day learning’s that you get through different brand assignments or challenges. Plus, we send our key digital people to attend all important local digital training programs.
BM: What are the major changes between conventional advertising/ marketing and digital activities?
SQ: Conventional marketing is all about talking on a one to one basis with your consumers. Whether it’s an ad on TV or an activation program on ground, the onus is on the marketer to communicates to each and every consumer possible. Here the marketers have the power to push their brands’ messages down a consumer’s throat even if the message is dull and boring. However, in digital marketing the balance of power lies with the consumer. Here, the job of marketing is to create a “certain breed of creative work” that people would like to play with, participate in and then pass on to others. Consumers market for you if you do a great job in touching their hearts and minds. The content that a brand creates needs to be exciting enough for people to take it on, own it and then promote it. These people are your salesmen and women and nothing is more powerful in marketing then word of mouth. So this is the single biggest difference between traditional and digital marketing.
BM: What is the USP of Bulls Eye?
SQ: In a country where the only type of agency was an advertising agency, we were ‘happily not’, and that allowed us to explore all the new marketing spaces like activation, content, brand consultancy and digital; as clients were also looking to do something different and beyond the usual TV, print and outdoor advertising.
Bulls Eye is quite an all-rounder agency with well-developed skills and talents to take on any marketing challenge. The agency’s DNA is all about non-traditional marketing and that is what separates us from all these traditional agencies that you see all around, who still are too fixated on creating a block buster TV ad.
BM: What new digital projects are you striving to work in the future?
SQ: While, we continue to help brands with their digital ambitions in our regular course of business, we are working on creating our very own proprietary digital product that will help brands connect with people.
“THE AGENCY’S DNA IS ALL ABOUT NON-TRADITIONAL MARKETING AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES US STAND OUT FROM ALL THE TRADITIONAL AGENCIES.”