“Creativity Requires Passion, Commitment and a Clear Strategy”
By Shafiya Nawzer
Digital marketing encompasses all marketing that is affiliated with the use of an electronic device or internet. Social media has grown to become a more integrated part of our lives, and influencer marketing has exploded with it. People are turning to their favourite Instagram, Twitter and YouTube content creators for advice and recommendations. Digital marketing has been practiced widely around Sri Lanka, and more small scale businesses and startups have been expanding through digital platforms. According to a report by the Global Digital, the number of social media users reached 3.916 billion worldwide in 2018.
Fahmee Oowise, the Co-founder and Director of Dice Lanka, is a self-made entrepreneur who is capitalising on these social trends. Dice is Sri Lanka’s only specialised full-service social advocate marketing agency providing brand engagement through influencers, bloggers and advocates. Fahmee pursued his primary education at Alethea School, Dehiwala and D. S. Senanayake College, Colombo 07, completed his Diploma in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and is currently reading his Masters in Business Administration.
He is a simple individual who enjoys life and tries out new things, and harbours vast knowledge on social media marketing, with over 14 years of experience in varying fields. His career has shaped him to be persistent and motivated to achieve his ambitions and goals. This has given him the positive energy to never give up.
Fahmee spoke to Ceylon Today about Dice and digital marketing.
Which person or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration from?
A: I believe creativity is all about how you portray a story to someone by turning imaginative ideas into reality. It is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find concealed patterns and to build connections. Most of my inspiration comes from the good work that other individuals/brands have done and from the internet, because it gives me access to millions of insights, ideas, thoughts and knowledge. With that, I map and create new ideas, and localise it for our clients. To put it in simpler terms, creativity requires passion, commitment and a clear execution strategy.
You’re the Co-Founder and Director of Dice. Could you tell us more about the brand and what it offers?
A: Dice is Sri Lanka’s only exclusive influencer marketing agency that offers end-to-end solutions for all influencer marketing-related activities. We specialise in social advocacy and exclusive influencer marketing strategies that help brands to bring out their stories to life and connect with relevant stakeholders at a far deeper level. Our ecosystem allows clients to channel their marketing campaigns to target niche audiences for exceptional results while being able to increase their digital footprint by building their social brand voice through digital-led campaigns and events.
Having started our journey in 2018, we have risen to the top as the only influencer marketing agency. By using Data Insights and Advanced Data Analytics to promote brands to reach its best target audience, we have proven our capabilities and sheer commitment, which has enabled us to work with a multitude of digital teams and earn the trust of eminent brands. As a result, DICE has gradually grown and has now attracted global Digital Marketing Agencies to collaborate in promoting international brands locally.
Why did you select digital marketing as your platform?
A: It’s clear that in today’s digital world, the first place the average consumer looks for what they want is online. Whatever product or service they are looking for; they will most likely start their search with Google. If you have no online presence at all, you won’t be found and you can’t compete.
In this context, it is evident that the digital revolution is changing how we live and carry out day-to-day tasks. As a result, the world of marketing has also moved to digital. With technology shaping how people consume information, I believe digital is the way forward and we will see almost all the brands moving into digital platforms in the coming years.
On the other hand, digital marketing offers a level playing field for brands by providing the opportunity to reach an enormous audience in a way that is both effective and measurable. With digital marketing, brands can get to know wider audience and allow them to know you personally which can help to create brand loyalty.
I see digital marketing as a way to make yourself accessible to the people you are trying to reach to offer your products and services. It also helps businesses to go beyond their scope of work, thus enabling them to attract a much larger audience than they possibly could by just catering to local prospects.
Building a brand is tough. What was the most significant part of your own brand creation journey?
A: We started as a small team. But what kept us going was the untiring commitment and synergy from the team. Their commitment together with the passion to build this industry helped DICE to shine and earn respect from eminent brands. Currently, we have over 500 macro and micro content creators across six major social platforms that create content across multiple disciplines who we partner with for our campaigns.
Many brands have now jumped into the bandwagon and are offering influencer marketing; what makes Dice stand out from the rest?
A: As I mentioned above, what makes us different is our strong team spirit backed by the relationships with creators and the ability to provide brands a qualitative and quantitative (data driven) planning approach. This is what DICE is all about, furthering our core offering to enable brands to stand out from competition and make a mark in whatever we do.
What are some of the best influencer marketing tactics for a business to amplify their online presence?
A: Businesses need to understand their audience and carefully select the relevant content creator. Selecting the right influencer is key, as it directly connects with the brand and what they are trying to promote. But I see many brands use macro influencers, the truth is macro influencers always don’t work.
To get a good reach and engagement, brands need to give creators the freedom to cater to their audience and should not treat their content like an ad spaces. It should be collaboration, co-creation and that is what drives qualitative reach, engagement and will bring good return on investment.
In what ways do you think Sri Lanka can improve in terms of social media advocacy and where do you see the future of it?
A: The digital industry is evolving and creators need to maintain the right authenticity and credibility. The content creators need to create platform relevant content, not a one-post- or video-fits-all.
Create content with a passion and not because you get free stuff or get invited for events! High following or likes don’t always mean influence – Influence to me is about how we change perception of someone and all we do are the tools to make that change.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in another five years?
A: Being a consultant for brands, from the most influential advocacy agency in Sri Lanka.
Location – Co-nnect, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
(Pix by Venura Chandramalitha)