Updated: Oct 17
Sometime in 2017; somewhere in Abu Dhabi - a phone rings.
When I took the call, I heard a heavy Eastern-European accent asking me if I was interested in taking part in a new programme for an undisclosed global company. For a split second there I felt like MoneyPenny, in a James Bond movie, trying to de-code this cryptic message and work out who the company may be. I apprehensively agreed to a conference call.
A week later – I found myself on a Google Hangouts call, video conferencing! Sadly my interviewee was not stroking a hairless cat. But instead, sitting in front of a large colourful Logo in a mysterious location in Europe. They wanted to launch a new initiative at the Google Digital Academy!
They had identified that only a small proportion of their clients truly understood how powerful digital marketing could be and they wanted 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 all ended with a group hug and some crazy energisers.
A few weeks later and another surprise call. Could I be on a flight to Madrid for the first ever 2-day Masterclass session?
The heat was on, 200 pages of course material 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 café con lechés later, we had the teams brainstorming their next digital marketing plan with passion.
The Spanish Company, a grocery food brand that wanted to take its marketing into the new age, looked to us to train their traditional marketing team to compete in the digital marketplace. From customer journey mapping to digital advertising targeting and YouTube promotional techniques - we covered eight in-depth modules in two 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, Amsterdam with its Google rainbow bicycles and dedicated team, and finally 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 alley ways 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 Abu Dhabi, just an hour from Dubai, running eWavelength Digital Marketing Consultancy. Dubai 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 (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, 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 start-ups 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 two full days of talking (and tasting) chocolate. For those of you know me, I can’t think of anything better, really.
So, just to get into more detail of my work here - I am the Managing Director of eWavelength, a UAE based digital marketing consultancy. (I also train for Google as part of their freelance consultancy team)
Now, with the onset of the pandemic, we have turned our attention to helping our clients survive this new virtual world, where technology has become our primary vehicle for communication. In my opinion, it has never been more important 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! So, while we love face-to-face interactions, and miss them dearly, our marketing plans and workshops, are now being modified to be delivered virtually, across the web and wifi connection.
eWavelength 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 through our website to get more details of our work or you can just drop me a quick email at email@example.com