Arabtimes Newspaper Interviews Khalid Al-Zanki

Rena Sadeghi, Staff Writer
Arabtime Newspaper, Kuwait
Published on: Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Khalid Al-Zanki is a full-time product launch expert and online business strategist and earns his living from this new and dynamic business. He helps entrepreneurs build businesses and launch their products and services.

Khalid’s sales-producing, profit-generating solutions help people reach success in their new or existing business ventures by making every dollar count. For many years, Khalid has been actively involved in the successful growth and operation of multiple business ventures in a variety of industries. He set up his first business at 23, reaped the profitable rewards and was labeled “A True Leader and Entrepreneur.”

A born entrepreneur, he tried to sell technology services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. He is positioned as one of Kuwait’s Top Marketing Mentors.

Since then, he has successfully founded new companies, multiple trademarks, and developed a nice collection of intellectual property. He took risks, used his instincts, and figured out what worked in highly competitive marketplaces. He now focuses his time with Alzanki Enterprises – Internet Marketing & Product Launch Management Services Company that he founded in 2005. “Alzanki Enterprises simply helps businesses launch their products and services using technology. In Kuwait and the Middle East we have a lot of advertising, marketing and product launching companies, but no one in the Middle East, not only in Kuwait, focuses on using online technology to put forward their product to the market. What they know about product launches is advertising only.”

Khalid’s extensive background in the business world provides his clients with a unique advantage. As Founder & CEO of Alzanki Enterprises, Khalid is best known for positioning people and their products and services for profit through proven marketing and innovative publicity campaigns. Hundreds benefit from his columns in business and trade journals, listen to him on numerous radio and television interviews, and benefit from his customized consultations, corporate presentations, public seminars and training resources. He offers advice as someone who has vast experience from his own ventures and his clients’.

Khalid speaks nationally and internationally on increasing marketing results and sales performance, Internet marketing, electronic commerce and maximizing corporate and personal potential. His clients include startup ventures, entrepreneurs, corporations, associations and convention groups interested in reducing risk, gaining a competitive edge and increasing profits.

Q: Who is Khalid Al-Zanki and how has the ALZANKI ENTERPRISES introduced a new concept in online product launching?

A: Alzanki Enterprises simply helps businesses launch their products and services using technology. In Kuwait and the Middle East we have a lot of advertising, marketing and product launching companies, but no one in the Middle East, not only in Kuwait, focuses on using online technology to put forward their product to the market. What they know about product launches is advertising only.

Therefore Alzanki is an Internet marketing and product launch consulting company that provides companies with the tools and resources to optimize their presence on the Web, connect with their prospective customers and by that, boost their sales. Therefore, we help companies or organizations to generate money by giving them the strategy of launching their products online. We master the whole process of their product launches whether online or offline. Therefore, even if they want to advertise in the newspaper, my team and I have to be involved because from the start of dealing with a company we adopt the process and work on it from A to Z.

When I deal with companies I mainly work with decision-makers but I also deal with employees during the product launch project. We offer a complete suite of services to make the Web work for the companies. For example, we help a business identify how it can benefit from building traffic and improve results from its online presence, to realize the importance of what people say about its products in blogs, to improve online reputation, to help it post videos concerning its products on YouTube or develop a MySpace page among other ways.

If I can put it in other words I bring together along with my team a unique combination of technological knowledge and marketing expertise that can help a company or organization gain strategic advantage on the Internet because of our understanding of how things work on the Web, and the importance of building social networks online. We’ve helped hundreds of companies redefine what they are doing online and how to do it more effectively.

Product launch simply helps, increase revenue, increase your customers, increase customer loyalty, increase value of your products and have prospects and customers begging you to sell them your products.

Q: What about your other business which concentrates on building leadership skills?

A: The main aim of Leadership Enterprises, before I closed it down, was to educate business people and the Kuwaiti society in general on how to become outstanding leaders by bringing international experts from the United States and other countries from their industries. These experts have been in the business of leadership development for a long time. I personally have been in the leadership development business for about six to seven years.

With Al-Zanki Enterprises it’s different with marketing, online product launches etc. but I am personally more of a marketing and technology person, this is the field that mostly interests me.

However, until now I get people asking me to attend conferences and speak on leadership and communication skills, especially that in Kuwait we suffer from a lack of these kinds of skills. I still hold these kinds of conferences but usually most of my lectures today are on online marketing and product launching.

Q: But why did you closedown your leadership enterprise if it seems that Kuwaiti decision makers lack the right leadership and communication skills?

A: When the economy is going up you have a certain set of opportunities when it comes to business management and when the economy is down you have a different set of opportunities. I, therefore, closed this business because about 90 percent of my clients stopped sending their leaders for training after the economy went down. I was patient for some time but I was paying from my own personal money while the same number of clients were not coming anymore due to the economic problems that were going on.

Through my experience I realized how much people here lack the needed skills for communication and do not understand the need for leadership skills. For example, when a big CEO in Kuwait was making a speech to some students, one of them asked him, what is the vision of the company for the next five years, and he answered back, “My vision is to get my Ph.D.” It was a completely irrelevant answer to the question and to the student.

When you’re a business man or a role model you have to be careful of how you deliver your message to others, especially when their supposed to learn from you.

People don’t understand that leadership is an education, a process and an experience; it’s not something you can learn from just watching a video on the topic like some people do here. If you don’t have the foundation to become a leader no matter what you watch, you will never become a leader.

A leader’s education never ends. It lasts throughout his or her life. Outstanding leaders are always looking for ways to fill in the gaps in their understanding. They are constantly learning on two different levels: knowledge and skill. Also, leaders are constantly in training as skillful as they may be, they constantly tone and train.

Therefore, with the economy going down companies try to find ways to market their products with less costs. So that’s where Al-Zanki Enterprises came in – to help these companies make use of the advantages to market their products.

Q: I am sure that launching a product can be a long process, but how does that process start?

A: Most of the businesses I am working with right now did not know that there is a big opportunity for online product launches. Most of the times, they hand it over to advertisement agencies. Therefore, in most cases you find the name of the company out there, but we don’t see what products and services they have.

The first thing we need to focus on is the product itself and understand it. For example, if the product is related to an oil company we’re definitely not going to advertise it on facebook. Also we need to know whether the product is targeting males, females or both sexes, because they think in different ways. We try to look at the smallest details; we need to know our target market and audience.

A lot of people think that these big, fancy launches are super complicated, but I always like to keep them simple. If I consult on a launch, I always shock the client by taking it back to the basics, over and over and over. The whole process can be a little daunting, a little intimidating. There is a lot going on underneath the hood. It is sort of complicated.

Product launches are also very flexible. Any business can take product launch tactics and strategies, and use it in any niche, market or product. It works if you’re selling services online, or if you’re selling offline services, if you’re selling widgets offline or you have an e-commerce business where you’re selling physical things. It will work for all of that stuff.

Some of it might need to be adapted, but you’re going to see the strategies are so powerful that even if you only use a small portion of the strategies, you’re really going to rock. Your results are just going to kill them.

Product launches are also very reusable and reproducible. Once you do one launch, you’re going to find that the next launch is so much easier because you can often take huge chunks of what you use in your first launch and just continue to reuse it over and over. The results are very reproducible. If you figure it out with one product or one niche, you can just take the same stuff and drop it into other niches.

It is also reproducible in the fact that you can take the stuff and drop directly into your launch and it will work. It’s amazing. You’re going to see this because we’re going to show you how to hit these mental triggers. Well, triggers are one set of tools, but using the tools that is so powerful that you can get 80 percent of it wrong and 20 percent of it right and you’re still going to do really, really well.

A lot of people get really excited about tactics because they look at tactics as something they can just take and drop right in to their business and make a lot of money.

People just want that trick that’s instantly going to give them a whole lot of money. I’ve got some great tricks and tactics to show and they’re really cool. You’re going to be able to use these tricks and tactics to make money, but the things that are really going to build your business over the long term, the things that are going to just explode your business, that are going to grow and make your business continue to grow over time, are the strategies that I share with the businesses.

If you take those strategies and drop them into your business and apply them over time, you’re going to see not just quick little pops of cash from nice little launches, but you’re going to see a long-term cumulative effect as your business grows bigger and bigger and bigger.

First strategy, lists (prospect and customer lists) are very, very important. Everyone knows that. Even if you don’t have a list, this stuff’s going to work for you because product launches are a great way to get a list. First of all, prospect lists and customer lists are radically different things. A customer is worth probably about ten to even fifteen times what a prospect is worth. Just remember that there are both prospect lists and customer lists.

One of the things that we focus on is constant list building, using your product launches to build your list. We also focus on list building, constantly. I love to use multiple lead sources and multiple ways to build your list. There are certain situations where you’ll be able to put together a launch that will create for you a huge list literally overnight. A lot of times you are not going to get there immediately, you’re not going to be ready for that big bang immediately, but that’s one of the goals to be planning.

As we get into some other things like the business launches, I don’t want you to think just in terms of one launch. Sure, one launch is great and think about getting your first one done. Definitely focus and keep it simple and focus on that first launch you’re going to do, but we’re going to show you how to think in terms of a whole sequence of launches. Hopefully you will be working up to that big bang where you’ve built a big list literally overnight.

Relationship and conversation are two things that sort of go together. Just having a list is not good enough. You need to have a relationship with that list. Once you have a strong relationship where they open your e-mails and they read your e-mails and they follow whatever you tell them to do, that’s a strong relationship. That’s what it’s all about.

I’d rather have a list of 200 people where I have a strong relationship with them than a list of 2,000 people. I’ve seen this over and over and over again. I had a business where I had a list of about 300 people and then I had a prospect list of about 6,000 people. That list of 300 people would buy at a rate of two or three times what the 6,000 people would buy.

I’m talking about that list of 300 people, who would buy two or three times more, not per person, but total, than the 6,000 people. It’s incredibly important to understand a strong relationship is the foundation of everything we’re going to do. What we do really builds a strong relationship with your list, so it’s a beautiful thing.

Conversation — that’s how you build the relationship. One of the ways you build a relationship with your list is by having a conversation with them and that allows you to identify products and opportunities. It gives you a strong defense against competitors. It’s great to have that relationship with people. That gives you the strong defense. That way if someone is out there saying nasty things about you in blog comments, the people on your list where you have that relationship, they will give you a strong defense.

Q: How many companies did you deal with until today?

A: I dealt with three business with a different story behind each launching. However what is so amazing in the process is that when our process ends with the company, the company simply takes up the whole learning process that it has taken from Alzanki and uses it in its next product launch without needing me anymore, because we teach them how to do it and how to implement it, with their customers database organized.

Q: How long does the process take to complete the product launch?

A: Well, it usually takes from three to six months, but this all depends if the company already has an online presence or not, among other issues.

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