“Digital Champions” with Melih Oztalay of SmartFinds Marketing

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On “Digital Champions,” our host, Greg Kirkham, speaks with experts and professionals from across the country operating in the digital marketing and media space. In this segment, Greg spoke with Melih Oztalay of SmartFinds Marketing.

Short company description:

  • We are a 37-year-old award-winning marketing agency from the Detroit Metro area.  Our knowledge and experience is across a broad client base in different industries, giving us perspective when applying marketing strategies and new technologies to our client projects.
  •  We are a full service 360 marketing agency with in-house creative, marketing, technical, and writing staff all based in the Detroit Metro area.

What was your first job in Media?

  • When I started the company in 1987.

What is the biggest change in marketing that you see coming in the next 2 years?

  • Over the next two years, marketing is poised to undergo significant transformations driven by the integration of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and the impact of stringent data privacy regulations. Personalized marketing will reach new heights due to more sophisticated AI, allowing for deeply individualized consumer experiences. At the same time, marketers will need to navigate a privacy-first landscape, adapting to regulations like GDPR and CCPA by innovating less intrusive data collection and utilization methods. Additionally, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will likely become more integral in creating immersive customer interactions, while the importance of sustainability and ethical practices in marketing will grow in response to increasing consumer awareness. Finally, enhancements in voice and visual search technologies will necessitate adjustments in SEO and content strategies to accommodate these emerging preferences.

Why is it important for a business to hire an outside ad agency as opposed to having just an internal marketing director?

  • Hiring an outside advertising agency offers businesses specialized expertise, fresh perspectives, and resource efficiency that might be difficult to achieve internally. Agencies bring advanced tools and technologies, scalable resources, and established media connections, allowing for cost-effective and innovative marketing strategies. Additionally, an external agency can provide a broader range of specialized services and flexibility, freeing up company management to focus on core business activities, while an internal marketing director ensures alignment with the company’s overall goals. This partnership can enhance a company’s marketing efforts significantly, especially in dynamic and competitive markets.

What is one tip that you would give when it comes to digital marketing? 

  • A current and effective tip for digital marketing is to leverage the power of short-form video content on social media platforms. Short-form videos, particularly those under 60 seconds, have gained massive traction on platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. They offer a quick and engaging way to capture attention, convey messages, and interact with audiences. This format is not only preferred by users for its digestibility but also favored by the algorithms of these platforms, which can significantly increase your content’s reach and engagement. To maximize impact, focus on creating visually appealing, authentic content that provides value, whether through entertainment, information, or both. Integrating trends and viral audio can also boost visibility and engagement.

What percent of your advertising service offerings does traditional media buying make up?

  • 0%