Digital marketing encompasses a variety of internet marketing and online media strategies to promote brands and products, besides generating awareness. Increasingly, this is the medium which is providing powerful marketing tools that will improve branding efforts and boost direct response e.g., integrating mobile with digital marketing can create personal, long-term relationships between brands and consumers using electronic marketing channels.
One of the companies responsible for creating such powerful online marketing strategies, for a wide range of companies for European and Middle East clients as well as the local ones, is Media Idee. Ehmer Kirmani, the mind behind the company, is especially skilled at creating multi-channel digital marketing strategies as part of the marketing mix for a wide range of companies through his firm. We discussed the future of advertising and marketing and how the industry structures will change.
How does Media Idée work?
The inspiration to start the company came from our own experiences when in all of our previous jobs, no matter how good the performance was, they used to give us fixed incentives and we couldn’t grow beyond a certain level. I wanted to change that and when I started my own firm, my objective was to provide a platform for anyone who wants to grow professionally by giving an opportunity to have a stake in the company and share the profits. We are now in the fifth year and have grown enough to be separating the divisions of the company and each segment is being run by its own director, reporting to Media Idee Corp. This would not have been possible without this entrepreneurial drive. Consequently, we have a complete production house, an in-house execution team for events and a full service interactive team.
You speak a lot about developing an entrepreneurial culture. What does that mean?
We are the first media and entertainment company in Pakistan which is bringing in a professionally driven structure, based on entrepreneurship and profit sharing. Companies in India and other countries grow because of their hierarchal structures and the fact that anyone can rise to the top and not just the family that owns that company. These companies have a platform where people can join them as profit sharing directors and which, in turn, expands your company. It is difficult to educate people in Pakistan about this, but gradually the culture is changing.
What motivated you to establish Media Idée Interactive?
It is not a new company. We started the company way back in 2006 when we saw the writing on the wall, clearly saying that ‘digital is the future’. This makes us the first digital agency of Pakistan. The market in Pakistan was nascent then, so most of our work was being done for brands abroad which has given us international exposure into the medium.
Now, however, most Pakistani companies are going digital and as pioneers, we’re at the forefront of this revolution. Most of the young people today spend their time either on the mobile or in front of the computer. For many of the brands we handle, their target is the young audience. However, this was not the only reason. Digital media is economical and can effectively complement any traditional campaign.
What would you regard as your most significant experience?
It has been a great learning experience as we’ve not only worked in Pakistan but have done work for international clients based in the Middle East, South East Asia and Europe, which has given our work a lot of diversity and a global recognition. Moreover, we also cater to local customers and we have no qualms even for working for other digital agencies.
Which industries do you see as the trendsetters in Pakistan?
The telecom sector is the one which is bringing in the most digital innovation in Pakistan. The financial sector and the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors are also entering this medium and looking for solutions. We expect a lot more sectors to come onboard.
Digital marketing is a learning process—there are still no experts in this space. You have to be a learning organisation and change with the constantly evolving market; especially at the pace technology is altering.