Sometime a few years ago, somewhere in Abu Dhabi, a phone rings.
I take the call. A heavy, Eastern-European accent asks me if I am interested in taking part in a new programme for an undisclosed global company. For a split second, I feel like Moneypenny in a James Bond movie, trying to de-code this cryptic message and work out which company is involved. Apprehensively, I agree to a conference call.
A week later, I find myself on a Google Hangouts call, video conferencing, but sadly my interviewee is not stroking a hairless cat. Instead, I face a panel sitting in front of a large, colourful logo in a mysterious location in Europe. They want, they say, to launch a new initiative at the Google Digital Academy.
They continue, explaining that they've identified that only a small proportion of their clients truly understand how powerful digital marketing can be. They want to share their secrets.
Things moved fast after that first call and I soon found myself sitting in Google’s colourful London HQ for the 'Train the Trainer' programme. It turned out that all those awesome stories of Google offices really are true! In fact, it’s even better than The Internship movie with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. There really is endless free food, and ping-pong tables all around. I can honestly say that I have never met so many bright and inspiring people. As we arrived into the theatre training room, music was popping and we were greeted by two of the most dynamic trainers I’ve ever met. From the moment we all arrived, the room was alive with energy. It ended with a group hug and some crazy energisers.
A few weeks later and I received another surprise call. Could I be on a flight to Madrid for the first ever 2-day 'Masterclass' session?
The heat was on, and 200 pages of course material had to be memorised before we touched down. Rob, my co-trainer, and I grabbed a Bocadillo before greeting 35 salsa-loving Spaniards in a trendy hotel in the centre of the city. To be honest, we were both a little bit nervous. However, the vibe in the room was one of excitement, and 3 cafés con leche later, we had the teams brainstorming their next digital marketing plan with passion.
The Spanish company involved was a grocery food brand that wanted to take its marketing into the new age. It looked to us to train their traditional marketing team to compete in the digital marketplace. From customer journey mapping, SEO and marketing strategy to digital advertising targeting and YouTube promotional techniques, we covered 8 in-depth modules in 2 action-packed days. It was hard to stop. The team was so inspired that they got down to booking their next YouTube brand campaign while we were still packing up our laptops in the conference room.
Little did I know that Madrid was going to be the first stop on a creative and digitally-inspired journey through Europe.
I have such thought-provoking memories of every pitstop – London, with its funny, beach hut-styled classrooms; Prague’s shoeless Uber driver whose invitation for a kiss I politely declined; and Amsterdam, with its Google rainbow bicycles and dedicated team. And, of course, no tour of Europe is complete without holding an espresso while running a workshop in the coffee-loving city of Milan.
The course then took me to the cobbled alleyways of Bulgaria, the bright city lights of Dubai, the 5-star hotels of Abu Dhabi and the neck-jutting dancing of Africa, where we touched down in Ethiopia to teach digital marketing frameworks.
So, where am I now?
I am back in UAE, just an hour from Dubai, running Digital Qube, a digital marketing company in Abu Dhabi. (I also train for Google as part of their freelance consultancy team.) The UAE is such a dynamic place for a digital marketeer. It’s a melting pot of cultures and businesses; people from all over the Middle East (including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar) come here to take part in the thriving community and help deliver the 2030 vision. The range of industries I deal with is truly astonishing. From startups to banks to FMCG giants, I have met and trained and worked with all types of remarkable people. My recent favourite is the workshop we did with the Cadbury team – it was 2 full days of talking (and tasting) chocolate alongside digital marketing training. I can’t think of anything better, really.
My role as Managing Director of Digital Qube has confirmed my opinion that it has never been more important for companies to master digital marketing. The world is rapidly migrating online and, with tightening budgets and digitally savvy competitors, every brand must be on top of its digital game! Our marketing plans and workshops can, of course, be delivered virtually across the web and wifi connection.
Digital Qube is focused on bringing the best of digital to the Middle East. We help companies plan and manage their digital marketing and digital transformation programmes. Do browse our website (www.digital-qube.com) to get more details of our work, or get in touch for more information.
WhatsApp or phone: +971 58 581 9733
BRAND LAUNCH | WEBSITE DESIGN | DIGITAL STRATEGY | SOCIAL MEDIA | DIGITAL CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT | CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE | SEO | ARABIC COPYWRITING | CONTENT CREATION | LOGOS
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