Abdul Latif Al Mahmoud, CEO of Dar Al Sharq; Khalid Al Sayed, Editor-In-Chief of The Peninsula and other officials listening to David Meerman Scott (inset) at a seminar on ‘The Rules of Digital Marketing’ organised by Dar Al Sharq in collaboration with Digital Marketing Arts Academy at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel yesterday. Abdul Basit
Doha: Many companies end up with similar content because they rely too much on agencies to handle marketing and public relations for them.
A leading expert of digital media said yesterday that while companies should hire in-house marketing people, those in the advertising department should not be made responsible for handling real-time communications.
“Companies tend to do what everybody else does. They rely too much on agencies. They just pay agencies and trust them with their PR,” David Meerman Scott said.
Scott was speaking on the rules of digital marketing at a seminar organised by Dar Al Sharq in collaboration with Digital Marketing Arts Academy. Scott, who is the author of eight books, including three international bestsellers, said that companies should train their own people to handle PR if they wanted to distinguish themselves from others.
Most hotel websites, for instance, looked the same and used stock images that fail to attract customers.
“If you’re trying to create content, don’t put the people in the advertising department in charge of it because they can’t do it. I know many companies who hire journalists to do that.”
He said journalists were in a better position to understand the reader’s perspective, and they could not only create content but also think about the perspective of customers and buyers.
“You need to find somebody who is a good communicator and I truly believe that a journalist is a right person to do that.”
Scott said almost everyone now goes to Google and social media sites to search products, including company executives.
“I ask executives, why don’t you think people will be looking for your content? Your content needs to be online so that people can find it.”
Asked if he thought Qatar had a long way to go to catch up with digital media trends in the world, especially real-time communication on social networking sites, Scott said: “There are challenges in every country. A lot of people say in our country it’s different, it’s more difficult. I think some of that is an exaggeration.
“In every country there are organisations that are successful in social networking and real-time media.”
The seminar at Ritz-Carlton was attended by digital media representatives of more than 35 countries in Qatar.