A conversation with Khalid Al-Zanki
Kuwaiti Businesses Missing Advantage of Internet Marketing
By Jameel W. Karaki, Staff Writer – Special to AlWatan Daily
Internet Marketing is the art of using technology to help the firm to identify and monitor the most valuable customers and resources to grow them. He is one of the rare Internet Marketing & Product Launch Strategists in the Middle East who understand the importance of Internet Marketing and its important role in creating an effective successful business model. Al Watan Daily interviewed the Founder & CEO of ALZANKI ENTERPRISES, Eng. Khalid Al-Zanki who gave us an idea about Internet Marketing.
At the beginning, Al-Zanki discussed the difference between marketing strategies used online and offline saying,
“The strategies are almost the same but most of things you do online are somehow related to what you do offline. I believe that you have to integrate what you do online with what you do offline and vice versa.
For example, if you have an interview on TV, which is an offline medium, once you share it online it has more publicity, that’s why it’s a powerful tool. When you integrate what do you have offline online together, the tools are different, but with some similarities.
For instance, Facebook is a social networking website while in the offline world we have social activities and environments such as Diwaniyas and social events. In the offline world, there is one communication channel with the person, whereas online everyone is connected to each other through a network of communication. I would consider tools in the offline world as mass communication tools. However in the online world, there is direct response marketing. The advantage of online marketing is that you can keep track of how many people view your content and how many visited your website but you can’t tell how many people looked at your content on the web.”
About Internet Marketing limitations, Al-Zanki said,
“The sky is your limit. On one hand, with online you can exchange information for a lower cost. On the other hand, e-business is open internationally. Competitors can monitor each other by monitoring their online activities. Furthermore, you should never expose your all your strategies at once, you have to do it very smart with the existence of your competitors, who make it very challenging for your business to move online. There is another disadvantage, which is the security aspect, if your website is not secured enough or supported by a professional company.”
Regarding his expectations as an online specialist for the future of this industry, Al-Zanki responded to Al Watan Daily by saying,
“For instance, BBC news and CNN are using the online medium very heavily and yet they still have their television stations. The United States is way ahead in technology, but still people are reading newspapers and watching TV. It’s a communication medium to communicate with your customers and suppliers, but you can’t avoid the need of the offline medium. The beauty of the online access of information is that people can know you and if you do not exist online, you do not exist in the business world.”
“Although most of the businesses in the Middle East do not depend on the Internet, they are using it as an advertising space or a portal for payment for services and they are not using for a business model behind it. Sooner or later they will discover that they are missing a lot. For most of the companies in Kuwait, all they know about e-business is online advertising. They publish ads in Advertising Networks, Google and Facebook, but the problem is that it is a bad investment decision to use online advertising. Even when you click on few ads, it leads you directly to their main page. As a result, investing in e-business should be correlated with your business model.”
Another problem, in order to implement Internet Marketing successfully you should have the marketing department with the sales and the IT department in way they communicate from different angles to meet the company’s objectives.
“Some companies are using Facebook and Twitter for Customer services, they keep a truck of customers feedback about their products and services to analyze the gaps and serve their customers therefore Internet Marketing is a useful tool for keeping a truck of your clients, to maintain a good level of customer relationships. Moreover, companies that are using Internet Marketing effectively can identify buyers, gaps in their performance and later on interact with them fixing their gaps and improving their relationship with their clients and the business environment.”
[Source: AlWatan Daily Newspaper - Kuwait]