An effective marketing exercise

January 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm 22 comments

When Badar Khushnood, Pakistan Consultant for Google, and I discussed the possibility of holding a workshop on “Marketing your Software or Technology online”, we thought we would have at most 40 people register for each of the events in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad so you can imagine how surprised we were when within minutes of blogging and tweeting about the event, the registrations started piling in. Within hours we had about 50 people registered. This is when I started to get nervous.

We had decided to hold the event at T2F because it offers a much friendly atmosphere than a cold hotel room. The space at T2F can accommodate upto 100 people for a seminar/workshop style event (and 250 people butt-to-butt for OpenMic sessions :)).

In two days the registrations had crossed 100. We decided to cap them at 110 expecting dropouts of about 20% – which usually happens when people register online for an event.

But we were wrong. 108 people registered and over 100 showed up. Must be Badar Khushnood’s charisma that drew them to T2F or perhaps it was the sandwiches and cupcakes! Even people like Rahim Lalani of TRG Tech and Munir Usman of Pi Labs showed up before 10.30 a.m. 🙂

Badar is a fountain of knowledge regarding Google Business Tools and various Google Apps. In 3 hours he took us through a journey which started with some statistics regarding the internet landscape. He said that out of the 1.4 Billion users of the internet, 18 million were Pakistanis. That is only 11% of our population. Our mobile growth  is amongst the top 3 or 4 in the world, he said. According to Badar, 77% of the internet users search daily while 38% users search 4 or more times a day.

Participants were given a taste of Google Insights, Google Trends, Google Adwords, Google News and various other Google Business Solutions. Badar showed how easy it was to use these tools to market products and services online.

He also showed some of the common mistakes that were being made by webmasters. While checking out the P@SHA website some problems were spotted that may affect its effectiveness as a marketing tool for the Pakistan IT industry. Naturally the issues will be taken care of. 🙂

The audience at the workshop was amazing. They were thoroughly engaged from the get-go, asking questions, challenging some of information, digging deep into the usage of some of the tools. Some of them were extremely knowledgeable but a snap survey that I carried out on the spot, indicates that whoever attended the workshop went away feeling that they had learnt something new, something they would be able to apply to their businesses. Many of the participants also asked when we would be running the next advanced workshop – or actually the demand was for a series of workshops which would cover in detail each of the tools. A calendar is being worked on and these will be announced but first we have to be run this particular workshop in Lahore and Islamabad. Maybe we should run a workshop for government employees, the MNAs, MPAs and the ministers Badar. 🙂

Some of the questions at the workshop focused on Search Engine Optimization and effective ways to brand a product or service. Badar pointed out that fresh and relevant content is very important for a web presence or any kind of online strategy. Using the correct terminology, making sure that one did not misrepresent oneself or one’s company, was essential.

Dr. Irfan Ahmed, Director of Sales for the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, was also present at the workshop and added value by sharing some of his experiences with customers in Pakistan.

The lunch session was as much of an opportunity for participants to interact with Badar, as it was for them to network amongst themselves. The conversation seemed centered around online marketing though.

I suspect some deals were also in the offing but I couldn’t really discuss the details (even if they had been shared with me). And a lawyer was also spotted in the audience. Wonder what he was doing there ;).

Overall the workshop was very productive for all attendees. We will be on the road to Lahore soon to run something similar.

Our thanks to Badar for a very interesting workshop and to CIO Pakistan for covering the event. And to the team at T2F especially Mariam Bilgrami, thanks for the wonderful arrangements and the delicious sandwiches and cupcakes.

Entry filed under: Posts.

Google & P@SHA announce workshop on Online Marketing Ultra-Bootstrapping Workshop on Jan 19! Don’t miss it!

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nargis Latif  |  January 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Seems like a good event and I think , this should be repeated in Lahore aswell – Anyone with a web related business would really benefit from this.

  • 2. Amna Bilal  |  January 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Is video of the event uploaded? Will be great for us, who have not got chance to attend.

  • 3. An effective marketing exercise | Tea Break  |  January 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

  • 4. Syed Talha Izhar  |  January 14, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Cupcakes??? How many did you have??

  • 5. Arbab  |  January 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    It was a pleasure being part of an informative event like this. Thanks for sharing the news with us.

  • 6. Jehan  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    @Nargis we are planning it in Lahore for the week of the 27th. Will fix a date, time and venue soon.

    @CIO Pakistan did make a video. I am sure they will upload it soon on the WebStudio

    @Talha I only had one and only because there were 100 staring up at me. After that I have been good.

    @Arbab It was good to see you again

  • 7. Sheheryar  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    It was a great learning experience for fresh people or marketing stragglers like me. Hope these kind of activities will be happen on regular basis. 🙂

  • 8. aMmAr  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Looks like I missed out a great session on e-marketing conducted by none other than Badar Khushnood aka the google guy!

    Perhaps next time, wtg Pasha for the initiative!

  • 9. uberVU - social comments  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by jehan_ara: A great marketing exercise. Thanks @badar76

  • 10. Emad Rizki  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I missed the event and i wanted to attend; But could not come due to other engagements; is there a chance that it will be held again in Karachi.

  • 11. Wajahat Abbas  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Overall good event & some good tools shared by Badar.

  • 12. Talhah  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Looks like a good event!

    Waiting for a similar event in Isloo.

  • 13. SEO Consultant Specialist  |  January 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    The workshop and post both were very interesting.Google is indeed a very powerful tool for everyone but mostly people are not aware how to get the most out of it. Even people who use Google for searching are often clueless about its advance search features.
    Such workshops can be very helpful for public awareness to get maximum out of the Internet giant. Google offers great opportunities/tools for businesses to research the market and promote their websites.
    I think that lawyer was there because he had a website which he wanted to market online 🙂

  • 14. Azhar H Shore  |  January 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I would like to attend your workshop to be soon held in Lahore

  • 15. Azhar H Shore  |  January 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I would like to attend your workshop in Lahore. Please let me have the details

  • 16. Zee Waqar  |  January 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I was lucky enough to be part of this event and I must congratulate Badar Khushnood and Jehan Ara for organizing such a useful event.

    Although I miss $25 adwords coupon which was promised but not delivered…… ;(

    But, I must admit that the event was worth more than just $25 coupon, and I am happy without it 😉


  • 17. Jehan  |  January 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    @Azhar, the workshop has been announced on this blog a few minutes ago. Just sign up. See you there.

    @Zee there was a bit of delay for which we apologise. You will get your coupon by Wednesday hopefully

    @Talhah planning Islamabad soon

  • 18. YOusuf Patel  |  January 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

    when you will come to Karachi?

  • 19. ali  |  January 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm


  • 20. Tahir Mansoor  |  February 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Jehanara,

    I just heard about this past event in Lahore from a friend. I missed it ……… and badly need the instructions as am working to sell my products online and seek these sort of helpful guidance. It I can get the video or someone upload then many will benefit and pray 4U. Cheers


  • 21. Zee Waqar  |  February 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Yaaay ;-)… got the $50 adwords voucher from Badar.

    Thank you Badar & Jehan Ara.



  • 22. Syed Salman Ali  |  February 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Very interesting, invigorating and thought provoking event. Heads off to Google, Badar, Jehan Ara, and to Sabeen.


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