Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Digital Marketing Case Study: PQ App Company

Finally, PQ unveiled its identity: Just another car-booking application in Egypt. Many fans thought initially it would be something related to price comparison or consumer protection services.

However, we took PQ as a digital marketing case study by asking 9 questions (New Egypt Consulting doesn't work, never had worked, and will not work with it):

1- Who is your target audience?

Screen shot from Itfarrag YouTube channel for Salah Salem Street (Where our company is located), Cairo showing an outdoor advertising banner for PQ App Company
Usually, outdoor advertising billboards are utilized for products or services that target relatively larger segment of customers, consumers or users.

Outdoor advertising banners were only asking questions without any URL or even a hashtag. In parallel, the official Facebook page was actively posting relevant engaging content.

Our initial perception is: PQ app company is targeting internet savvy young Egyptians.
Is this true?

2- Are you shy?

Click on the image to zoom-in

Your LinkedIn page lists only 3 junior employees!

It is hard to believe that car booking service like PQ app company operates with only 3 employees!
Usually, country manager and key directors are to be known to the public, at least to facilitate PR activities, governmental relations, and even talent acquisition.

Also, we failed to find a single phone number for your company whether on your website or within your mobile application itself!

3- Are you targeting a niche segment?

By nature, car booking service providers need to be scalable.
The more customers you have, the more drivers will love you, and vice-versa.
The fact is:
PQ app company has only less than 90,000 Facebook fans.

4- Do you apply best practices in Twitter marketing?

Twitter account doesn't have any content in its bio or even a cover photo.

5- Do you really love car drivers?

Your Google Play driver app shows 100 downloads only. This means PQ app company has 100 drivers or less. Are you capable of scaling serving Cairo residents with such a small number of drivers?

We noticed a complete absence of marketing activities that target drivers to make them eager to register their cars to work with you. Even their Google Play app description talks to customers, not drivers. So, do you really love car drivers :)?

6- Do you apply best practices in email marketing?

Click on the image to zoom-in

The welcome email message sent to one of our colleagues after downloading PQ application was not adhering to email marketing best practices:

1- Plain message with text overdose
2- Cash flow thing
3- Highlighting biggest map is unjustifiable unless surveys proved otherwise

7- Are you integrating SMS advertising with social media marketing?

Two hours after PQ app company's Facebook page acknowledged a shortage in supplying drivers, a colleague got an SMS promoting a free promo code, which will obviously make things worse and worse because more customers will be unable to use the service (Which is already a frequent complaint).

8- Is your mobile application usable & user-friendly?

Two different screen shots from the car-booking application PQ show absence of support contact or ticket submission

We failed to find a way to submit a support ticket or to contact customer service. Even the inbox itself is not showing any button or conversation box to send any message to your support team.

Mobile application usability and user experience both need revisiting (i.e. font of words appear partially cropped sometimes).

9- Have you conducted a market research before ignoring supply & demand facts?

PQ app company tries hard to position itself as a service that is against surge prices usually charged by Careem and Uber in peak hours. We think nothing yet had confirmed that price surge was annoying Uber and Careem loyal customers.

Supply and demand facts are being applied in capitalist and socialist countries alike.
When demand increases, the price goes high automatically.
Surge is the only option for car booking companies to generate revenues to sustain. Otherwise, stay home and let people deal with white taxi cars directly!


We always recommend businesses to consider integration between social media and offline operations. Investing time in understanding the big picture will save everyone's energy, time and money.

New Egypt Consulting is a digital marketing & social media company based in Cairo since 2011.
Company Profile: http://bit.ly/2lO7sNS
Email: info@newegyptconsulting.com
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/newegyptconsulting
Website: http://newegyptconsulting.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Marketing: Social Media for Early "Solve for Happy" Readers

How book authors & publishers can use social media to get 500 early readers?
Watch Mo Gawdat, Chief Business Officer at Google X and the author of "Solve for Happy" book, talking about his book marketing activities at the speech event, Talks at Google, in California, USA.

Mo Gawdat says:
"One of the differences between Solve for Happy book and other happiness books is, you know, it is truly a book for reflections.

So you read, you think about it, you go like what did he just say?
I did not believe that all my life, and then you read it again.

I do not know if you recall we spoke about the concept of early readers, so I wrote this book like a Googler world, you know how we use the Google Docs to review proposals or client presentations or whatever together.

So I did that actually when I got to version 2 of Solve for Happy book.
I posted it online, I put a message on social media and got 500 early readers people who I do not even know, who basically went into the book and edited it themselves.

They would go like Mo Gawdat I did not like this sentence may be you should make it this way, you know here is a bit of research that proves what you are talking about, or a bit of research that disproves what you are talking about.

They would argue between them, and you know which was an incredible experience.
So, I got tens of thousands of comments that made version 3 of the Solve for Happy book really almost written by the readers if you want"

To order your copy or to watch the full speech of Solve for Happy author Mo Gawdat:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Careem Fired Wael Fakharany! Why? 6 Social Media Posts Explain!

As a social media company that provides digital media analytics, we've analyzed 6 social media posts published on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, most of them were actually posted by Wael Fakharany himself, trying to figure out possible reasons why Careem Egypt fired such a great ex-Google guy.

1- PR Director that never came up!

One month after joining Careem as Egypt's managing director, Wael Fakharany published a Facebook post saying Careem Egypt is looking for a public relations director.

LinkedIn doesn't list any PR director (or even PR manager) working (or had worked) for Careem Egypt! We only found a job ad for a Careem's PR manager position that wasn't fulfilled for some reason.

Apparently, Wael Fakharany wasn't able to convince his senior colleagues to agree on hiring a PR director, so the job was advertised for PR manager that never came up so far!

From a point of view of a social media company, we may not recommend hiring a PR Director as Careem's priority should be given to optimizing operations and satisfying both drivers & customers.
Simply, PR activities could be outsourced on an on-demand model to a PR firm for mass media stuff, or a social media agency for digital public relations.

Another lesson to be learned is:
If you did not succeed to lobby for a hiring decision, it is better to think twice before announcing it publicly especially when your head office in Dubai doesn't even have a similar director-level position (Careem employs a VP for communications, and another manager for communications, both are based in Dubai).

2- Ignoring criticism!

Four weeks before leaving Careem Egypt, Wael Fakharany published a Facebook post on 31st of January 2017 saying "Feedback is a blessing.. especially the most critical.. الحمد لله".

Apparently, Wael got a feedback in a form of criticism, and seems to admit that publicly.
Interestingly, this Facebook post has been liked by both his successor Ramy Kato and Careem's general manager Hadeer Shalaby, unlike many other posts.

Also, Wael Fakharany kept ignoring many top liked comments on his posts that raised too many red flags over Careem's customer service operations given both high growth volume & excessive discounts.

3- It's Tuesday!

Two weeks before leaving Careem Egypt, Wael Fakharany published a humorous Facebook post on Tuesday 14th of February 2017.

Tuesday marks the day when Wael got fired from Emitac Group in Dubai after six months.
It was Tuesday 26th of June 2006 when the owner of the group (85 years old) asked for something that Wael felt, according to his own words in TEDxCairo 2010 video, that he can't do it.

The Emirati owner thought Wael Fakharany was joking, so he repeated his request again but Wael Fakharany insisted on not doing it. Wael Fakaharany said Emitac Group fired him because company owner felt he wanted to do something right!

Interestingly, Tuesday 14th of February 2017 marks the last day Wael Fakharany shared a post from the official Facebook page of Careem Egypt. He did not share a single post from Careem's official social media accounts afterwards.

4- The bad tweet!

Yesterday, Careem issued a press release announcing Wael's replacement. Careem sources told media that Wael Fakharany met with company executives in Dubai and the meeting ended with his resignation. CEO of Careem Mudassir Sheikha clearly told Daily News Egypt that Wael "fulfilled his role at Careem with honesty and integrity".

Earlier today, Wael Fakharany published his bad tweet against Careem. It seems Careem wanted to give sometime for him to understand and realize some management decisions, but he resisted, and left Careem Egypt with no choice but to dismiss him and to announce publicly that Wael Fakharany resigned (not fired).

5- Questionable Facebook behavior!

* Wael Fakharany was frequently sharing Uber vs. Careem price comparison posts as if Careem Egypt fights a price war against Uber Egypt. Sometimes he shares calls for boycotting Uber itself!

* When terrorists attacked the church, Wael Fakharany published a Facebook post mentioning his Uber Egypt counterpart urging him to do free rides for hospitals for blood donation similar to what Careem did.

Only one hour after Wael Fakharany's Facebook post, he published another one, with a partial corrective action, saying promo code is applicable now to all hospitals not only those two hospitals!

Two more hours passed before Her Excellency Minister Ghada Waly commented saying "No need for blood donations as government has ample quantities and the Red Crescent has a 24/7 operating blood bank"

It was clear that no coordination was there between Careem and governmental authorities before urging both Cairo residents and Uber Egypt to use free rides to donate blood.
Logically speaking, this may had caused a crowd inside hospitals where medical staff members were already busy doing surgeries and taking care of the injured worshipers while also security officers were collecting evidences, inspecting the nearby church, and questioning rescued victims.

6- Stock options?

Wael Fakharany said while answering above question saying he considers Careem his own business

In a YouTube video interview with EgyptInnovate published couple of weeks ago, Wael Fakharany said clearly that he is a shareholder in Careem. Many companies offer their employees an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) where an employee receives the cash equivalent amount of her/his shares upon resignation or retirement.

Will firing prevent him from selling his shares or stock options?
Had Careem fired Wael to avoid paying more in the future given the company's continuous financial value growth? Or had it faced issues with Wael's management style so they decided to let him go?

Had Wael Fakharany planned to stay in Careem benefiting from its growth? What about Wael's contract with Careem, is it activating ESOP in case of resignation and before completing a year?

Message to Wael Fakharany's True Friends & Lovers:

If Wael's contract with Careem protects his rights legally, why he is promoting his tweet using Twitter paid advertising service instead of heading to Dubai courts (His Twitter account shows he is already in Dubai now).

Even if his contract doesn't document his rights, why he is insisting on negatively affecting his own career future and his personal reputation?

Why YOU; family relatives, friends, connections, and colleagues of Wael Fakharany are not coaching and advising your guy in such a difficult situation before things worsen more and more?


New Egypt Consulting recommends public figures and corporate executives to pay attention to their online mentioning and social media engagement.
Social media is not only affecting companies and organizations, but it does affect individuals and their career & reputation.

New Egypt Consulting is a social media agency based in Cairo since 2011.
Company Profile: http://bit.ly/2lO7sNS
Email: info@newegyptconsulting.com
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/newegyptconsulting
Website: http://newegyptconsulting.com

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