Our 2013 Achievements & 2014 Goals & Plans


It’s that time of year again; recapping the past 12 months’ goal achievements and highlighting some of our plans for 2014.

First off, I would like to express my pride at the strides we took in 2013 (in under one year!) to get to where we are today and to express my gratitutde to an amazing team and our brilliant clients!

To kick off, I’ve list below last year’s goals and objectives along with a short of summary of what we did for each.

2013 Goals Recap & Update

1) Finalizing our gold standard implementation processes (GSIPs) and guidelines for client engagements.

These are now finalised across all activation disciplines and being implemented on client campaigns.  More work  to be done on content strategy and planning.

2) More localisation/Arabization of digital marketing best practices across the region.

We’ve covered alot of ground here and are even ranking on position 1 for “Arabic SEO”, but nowhere as close as where we wanted to be.

2014 will see us doing lots more around the Arabisation of digital best practices. Stay tuned.

3) More high profile speaking engagements with a particular focus on the mobile advertising space.

Again, and due to a hectic start-up schedule, nowhere close to how many we wanted to do but one of the highlights was our MadWorld speaking engagement in May.

4) Ramping up our entrepreneurial start-up supports and DIY marketing programs.

We’ve worked and helped some amazing startups last year.  We’ve also continued our support of entrepreneurs and start-ups through our CSR partners, INJAZ. We’ve also kicked-off the Dubai Digital initiative with the first workshop (SEO 101) held in November.

5) More innovative content marketing campaigns and focusing on transmedia corporate brand storytelling.

We’ve had the pleasure to work on content marketing campaigns for some amazing clients in 2013 and have implemented brand storytelling techniques within most.  More of the same in 2014 and 2013 case studies to follow…

6) Our weekly “White Board Style” digital education sessions (starring yours truly).

Unfortunately we did not have the time to launch this in 2013 but it is high on our 2014 priorities.  We’ve already invested in the Green Screen Studio, stay tuned for this kicking off in January!

7) Securing at least 2 new high profile clients (discussions already under way).

We’ve secured many amazing clients in 2013 that we’re proud to be associated with. Below are just a few of them..

Sandstorm Digital Clients - December 2013

In 2014 we will be pitching for many more (especially for clients in KSA and Qatar) and expect to win a few more clients we pitched for during Q4 2013.

8) Developing the beta version of our content planning tool.

“Brand Publisher”, our content planning, publishing and marketing platform for brands was launched in November.  We’re very excited about it and plan to launch it on a mass scale in the second quarter of 2014.

9) At least one award.

We did not submit ourselves for any awards in 2013, but plan to do so in 2014.

10) We’ll leave this one to you. In the spirit of new age brand building, we welcome your suggestions on what else we should be doing in 2013.

Some of the suggestions that came through form our followers, clients and customers focused around building a digital support community.  This transpired in the development of Dubai Digital as a hub for professionals in the UAE.

We’ve also purchased the “Saudi Digital” domain and plan to launch a similar initiative in KSA early next year, stay tuned…

More Highlights of 2013

  • We launched our Google-API integrated client portal.  We plan to Arabize it in 2014.
  • We’ve partnered with Zerys to build the region’s first hub of dedicated dual language copywriters for our clients’ Content Marketing campaigns.
  • We launched Brand Publisher.
  • We re-branded to the Content Marketing agency.
  • We became the first Arab agency to be listed by Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
  • We were one of the pre-screening judges in the prestigious MMAs (Mobile Advertising Oscars).

2014 Plans & Objectives

2014 will be an exciting and challenging year for the advertising and marketing industry.

We will see more disruption in client business and content marketing will become the most important discipline in our field.

We  have to push ourselves even further in order to  develop campaigns that stand out and get noticed.  We’re geared up and ready for this challenge.

Here are some of our plans and objectives in 2014…

  • Continue to build up Content Marketing Best Practices and GSIPs.
  • Further develop “Brand Publisher” to focus on B2B lead collection and nurturing.
  • Win more amazing clients
  • Win at least one award! Our 2013/14 engagement case studies will definitely qualify us.
  • Launch a MENA-focused mobile network
  • Double 2013 revenues
  • Seek out a strategic partner to help us penetrate some of the key regional markets such as KSA and Qatar.  Informal discussions have already taken place.
  • Hire more brilliant talent!

Have A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Happy New Year all! See you on the flip side!

Yours Truly,

– The Sandstorm Digital Tribe

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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