I’m very excited in this 2nd part of this episode on Interview Fridays. I have great respects for this next individual.
He’s the chief of one of the leading digital agencies in the Middle East. He has been a strong figure in the online industry in the region. It was a privilege to have interviewed Mr. Yousef Tuqan of FlipMedia.
It’s an honor to have one of the most important names in region’s online media industry. Please tell us about your success story and your journey with Flip Media?
Thanks for the compliment. Flip’s had a trajectory of success over the past six years – particularly early on – enabling us to become the most successful digital agency in the Middle East. From a team of two, it’s now very well established, with an enviable portfolio of clients and a team comprising over 150 people in 8 countries, throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
I’m pleased to have been a part of this process, having joined Flip as an Account Director back in September 2005, progressing to CEO in July last year. Perhaps what I’ve enjoyed the most is guiding the overall business strategy, in terms of the work we do, the clients we take on and our resulting market position.
I credit the success I’ve enjoyed to a couple of factors: I’m naturally passionate about digital (OK, OK I’m a natural born geek; there, I’ve said it), with communications and marketing as founding skills. My dad worked for IBM, so maybe it’s genetic but I’ll never forget the time when he said he could show me how to build a website in 20 minutes, back in 1996. So we opened up Netscape Composer and the rest is history, really.
How does it feel to be the Chief of the region’s leading interactive agency? What are the challenges?
It’s a tremendous honor for me. Even before I joined Flip, I had always admired what the agency stood for, and the energy Flip brought to the industry. To be entrusted with its continued growth and success is an enormous responsibility, and one that I don’t take lightly.
Luckily for me, Flip has attracted the best people in the industry, and my job is a lot easier when surrounded by people who are truly dedicated to digital marketing, and to Flip’s vision.
It’s been a while since I’ve fulfilled the responsibility of a religious blogger. Apologies for the delay folks.
As a way to make it up to you guys, today’s Interview Friday episode is a double special featuring two top-flight personalities in the industry.
First stop, this is a guy I’ve looked up to in online marketing. He’s probably one of the most humble experts I know. Boys & Girls please help me welcome Mr. Jitendra Jain of HoteleMarketer & TalentJungle.
J, you’re probably one of the very rare people I know who became really successful in focusing on a niche for an online marketing career. How did you end up being the guru for the digital hospitality industry?
Thanks Dave – firstly, I think in the world of new media marketing and innovation there are no “Gurus” We’re all disciples – any other claims would be arrogance. There’s just so much happening in terms of development and changing trends that most of us barely scrape the surface of this goldmine of information, interaction and marketing potential. For me, building a career in digital marketing was more chance than anything else…I’ve always been passionate about technology and the internet, so when I had the opportunity to combine my passion with my academic background in Tourism & Hospitality, I jumped at it!
You’ve had impressive degrees on hotel & restaurant management including an MBA from London Business School. How did these help in establishing your current profession?
I’ve always loved learning – at the end of the day, degrees and paper achievements are just that. Its what you bring to the game and what you can do for your clients and employers that makes a real difference. Each degree, more than the academic content (which was great), offered the opportunity to form new connections and experience different cultures and perspectives – these are things that you won’t find in any book and are crucial to how you go about doing business.
So while I was busy lining up topics to cope with the long absence of blog posts and coming up with both offline and online marketing strategies for client sites, I stumbled on a blog post by Tom Gara, Is SEO our Friend? Enemy? Frenemy? Well it really got my attention when he said:
SEO is the bad guy here. It is the reason that you can rarely find what you want on “commercial” google searches.
What you really want when you type “computer stores in Dubai” is to find a great blog post or newspaper article, written by somebody who knows and cares, listing the city’s best computer stores. Sure, someone like CompuMe or Jumbo Electronics could spend more money on getting to the front page, but then, so can anyone, including some random page of googlebait whose entire business model is to get clicks from google searches and surround useless information with ads. “
Google rocks when it comes to factual information (finding a company website or wikipedia entry or whatever), but type in “boutique hotel in Hong Kong” or “cheapest flights from Dubai to London” and you will get page after page of spam – spam that has been well optimised to make it to the front page of google search results.
Of course, I had to leave a comment to somehow defend my profession but I felt like that wasn’t enough. So here’s my take on Tom’s article. read more