Since his launch of Dubai-based marketing firm MEMMOS in 2011, managing director Matthias “Sheikh” Mende has harnessed the power and reach of social media to help brands in the UAE connect with their customers – new and old.
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE and Mercedes Benz are just two of the companies to have benefitted. Mende hasn’t stopped there. As strategic partner at blockchain consultancy Block Gemini, he is now eager to grab more of the digital pie. He tells Arabian Business how he always wants to be one step ahead.
Online marketing is a crowded space, so how do you stand out?
We are transparent and straightforward. We thoroughly analyse the brands we work with and convey the advantages and drawbacks before expressing our vision on how to grow them. But competition in the region allows us to show our attention to detail, which plays a big role in helping our clients become leaders in their industries. We listen to our users, anticipate their needs and take immediate action.
What were some of your most successful campaigns?
We worked with the Demind Investment Group, which boasts brands such as Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE and Bistrot Bagatelle, for which we were successful in reinventing the culture of modern partying and dining. Another is Thai Airways UAE, for which we used distinctive features of Thai culture and etiquette to present a vivid depiction of experiences in the country.
How has the rise of social influencers impacted your approach? Are they a key component or passing phase?
They have definitely impacted our approach to social media. While we successfully helped brands via influencers, we have learned that not everyone who has a large following will actually add value to a brand or increase its market presence. Some social influencers do have key components, but that depends on how they present and deliver brand messages.
You need to have a good eye and measure what a market wants to see. The quantity of appearances doesn’t guarantee an increase in a brand’s presence.
It’s important to know what the essence of the brand is and who the end user is, then choose an influencer that matches both, so they are eventually able to achieve the ultimate goal of being brand ambassadors.
Given that the market is often perceived as fickle, what are some of the challenges you come across?
The biggest challenge is to stand out among competing campaigns, especially as the digital market is booming in the UAE. But because it is highly competitive, clients often have to invest much larger amounts to achieve good returns on investment compared to other countries.
Given you are now a partner at blockchain consultancy Block Gemini, what are your forecasts for cryptocurrencies for the remainder of 2018 after a tricky Q1?
We see cryptocurrencies in the same light as the stock market. It is not about short term predictions and projects but the long run and a secure outcome. The fact of the matter is, crypto is here to stay, and blockchain is here to innovate industries and ultimately change the world.
Once blockchain solutions get implemented in huge enterprises and industries, then surely those will improve because processes will be exponentially accelerated and productivity will increase. My tip is, if you see any company which implements blockchain solutions, then you should see their stock prices shooting up within months.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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