Michael Makdah, Marketing Expert in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Michael Makdah

Verified Expert  in Marketing

Marketing Expert

Location
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Toptal Member Since
September 21, 2022

Michael is a senior marketing professional and leader with more than 15 years of experience across strategic leadership, sales and marketing, business development, and project management for various global and regional corporates. Michael is an outstanding leader and innovator with an exceptional track record of optimizing marketing and operational effectiveness, controlling costs, driving revenue growth, and positioning businesses for the digital future.

Project Highlights

ARYA 360 | Funnel Development
Achieved a lower cost of acquisition, fostered a higher conversion rate, and increased email open rates.
Makeprintable Go-to-market Launch
Achieved a 30% market share in the first year and took on big industry giants with a small team and smaller budgets.
Launching a Fashion Brand
Developed a marketing style and brand communication strategy to position Jobedu uniquely in the street fashion industry; my work included discovering a niche and building a brand around an opportunity.

Expertise

Work Experience

Director of Market Intelligence

2022 - PRESENT
The Private Office of Sheik Saeed AL Maktoum
  • Developed 23 market research reports for finance, energy, fintech, robotics, IoT, cybersecurity, aviation, and wealth tech.
  • Spearheaded the market intelligence operation, creating bespoke go-to-market strategies for partners, generating research reports, infographics, and ad optimization, and leading sales enablement, sales management, and sales analysis initiatives.
  • Provided comprehensive data analytics for 23 companies, utilizing advisors and analysts and conducting qualitative and quantitative research projects. I also used tools like KISSmetrics and Keap.

Google AdWords Expert

2024 - 2024
Austin Limo Management LLC
  • Restructured accounts, campaigns, and ads for the company's two main brands, leveraging Reddit Ads and other tools.
  • Managed to get the account verified and switched the ad types from expandable text ads (ETA) to responsive search ads (RSA).
  • Conducted keyword research and rebuilt campaign structures with the proper ad group settings.

Marketing Director

2023 - 2024
Martian Learning Inc.
  • Conducted comprehensive market research by surveying industry experts in the field of AI and legal language models (LLMs), which helped shape our understanding of the market landscape and competitive dynamics.
  • Set up Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to monitor, analyze, and improve our website's performance.
  • Developed a a Marketo-powered conversion rate optimization plan to enhance the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and boost our conversion rates.
  • Set up the company's analytics and business intelligence (BI) dashboards, providing critical insights into business performance and customer behavior.
  • Handled online reputation management and designed an acquisition strategy for B2B, account-based marketing (ABM), and mobile advertising, targeting specific accounts with personalized marketing campaigns.
  • Utilized AI content creation tools to optimize key messages and SMS marketing, ensuring our output resonated with our target audience and effectively communicated our value proposition.

Marketing Director

2022 - 2022
Greenbull Group
  • Headhunted and relocated to Dubai with a remit to grow the international brand identity and footprint of the firm's ARYA trading crypto business.
  • Served as the first dedicated marketing professional in the MENA region and worked closely with senior management to build a GTM strategy.
  • Led the marketing function and directed a team of six; hired, coached, and mentored colleagues, building a collegiate, high-performing business. Restructured the function to become a genuine business partner and independent marketing function.
  • Achieved a 30% revenue growth from existing and 15% from new markets; devised and implemented a growth strategy from scratch while utilizing traditional and digital marketing strategies.
  • Secured a 10% improvement in email and 3% in landing page conversions; increased automation to streamline productivity.
  • Acted as a chief marketing officer (CMO). Attained a 30% increase in cross-selling; deepened collaboration across the business departmentally and internationally to exploit synergies and gain wallet share.
  • Optimized third-party agency relationships and reduced costs; reviewed and renegotiated agency arrangements to improve service received at the best available competitive pricing.
  • Enhanced SEO and app store optimization (ASO) campaigns by collecting marketing data points from social, paid, owned, and earned media and normalizing the data using Google Data Studio/Funnel.io for clear visibility of marketing performance.

Managing Director

2019 - 2022
Relevancy Agency
  • Co-invested in an independent marketing agency, joining with a remit to institutionalize a freelancer-based business and to formally establish a corporate entity to harness growth potential, developing services and processes to meet client needs.
  • Established the governance structure and incorporated the company; built the first formal operational framework for the business to formalize relationships with clients, staff, and government entities.
  • Grew the overall team size by seven; hired and onboarded colleagues with differing specializations and upskilled the team across several key technical and relationship deliverables related to digital marketing.
  • Liaised with the client's senior management to quantify field sales and marketing performance by identifying the most critical KPIs. Created user journey road maps and planned marketing objectives. Delivered 22 go-to-market plans.
  • Increased profit by 15%, revenue by 305% year-on-year, and average retainer size by 150%; reviewed, assessed, and retooled all operations, rebranding the business and identifying a niche product area for exploitation.
  • Won 22 new clients and developed 22 marketing strategies. Designed innovative digital marketing strategies to attract new business and utilized multi-level marketing in an extensive network to generate referrals.
  • Established the roadmap and project plan to build internal dashboards and a balanced scorecard to ensure that important KPIs and OKRs are visible and prioritized across the enterprise.
  • Focused the business on startup digital and tech-enabled companies in Jordan, the UAE, KSA, and the US. Developed integrated sales and marketing plan, significantly improving effectiveness across all client touch points.
  • Approached proactively and pitched prospective customers, negotiating competitive fee structures. Built high-touch, trust-based client relationships to win repeat business and enhance wallet share.
  • Used Screaming Frog in SEO audits to ensure that page titles and meta descriptions were set up correctly.

Digital Marketing Manager

2018 - 2019
Equiti
  • Joined the company in a newly created position, where I was responsible for establishing a new digital marketing division following the departure of the previous team en masse.
  • Designed and rolled out a digital marketing function and hired five professionals; devised and implemented all policies, procedures, and systems and sourced team members to deliver a marketing blueprint.
  • Raised data visibility and accessibility across the firm; built a performance marketing data dashboard to provide accurate real-time information on spending, traffic, and lead closure rates. Decentralized access to facilitate better decision-making.
  • Brought a culture of measurability through monthly marketing performance reviews by building dashboards for each team member to measure three KPIs and OKRs—enabling them to see their impact on marketing performance.
  • Expanded the revenue from new markets by xx%; utilized additional knowledge from the data dashboard to drive a more targeted marketing roadmap and implement holistic multi-platform digital solutions.
  • Reduced marketing cost per acquisition by 15% and improved oversight of strategy; insourced agency work, created and managed a range of lead generation campaigns, and enhanced the quality of marketing reporting.
  • Created an effective affiliate marketing team for the first time. Performed A/B testing on landing pages, creatives, messages, and calls to action. Developed new lead magnets such as webinars, white papers, and training.
  • Automated email marketing and audience management, strengthening landing pages to improve conversion. Performed A/B testing on landing pages, creatives, messages, and calls to action.
  • Leveraged YouTube Ads to focus on interest-based campaigns associated with day trading and Hootsuite for social media campaign management and automation.

Marketing Manager

2015 - 2018
Mixed Dimensions Integral Reality Labs
  • Served on the senior management team for a San Francisco-based tech startup focused on 3D printing technology. Collaborated with the founder and other senior stakeholders to design a commercialization plan, brand identity, and go-to-market strategy.
  • Built a marketing team of 12 globally in the United States, Jordan, and The Netherlands. Attracted and hired talented individuals to form an outstanding team with a culture of collaboration and innovation.
  • Acquired 112,000 customers in the first year of operation. Facilitated the launch of multiple innovative projects and won the EY Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2016.
  • Finalized market research, leveraging tools like SurveyMonkey, and identified customer personas. Implemented robust policies and procedures across marketing operations, including data analytics for high-quality reporting, budgeting, and forecasting.
  • Researched to devise a competitive strategy, executed content marketing, created buzz about the firm through media relations and viral marketing on social media, and conducted A/B testing for ongoing effectiveness in product marketing.
  • Used Pipedrive CRM to manage, nurture, and track B2B leads efficiently based on the stages they were in.
  • Incorporated game mechanics and gamification techniques to increase customer engagement.

Marketing Manager

2007 - 2014
Jobedu
  • Founded and ran a startup venture that originated in a street stall and grew into a brand valued at $6 million with a presence in 12 countries, three franchised deals, an online eCommerce business, a micro-factory, and stores.
  • Pioneered a crowdfunding campaign on the Eureeka platform, which attracted 119% of funding in four days. Negotiated and secured a major sales contract with Virgin MENA to drive a 10x revenue growth in one year.
  • Generated ongoing demand and higher revenues. Created an online experience to engage prospects and seamlessly manage customer acquisition and retention for loyalty marketing. Distributed products through trade marketing.
  • Authored and executed innovative marketing, including direct mail marketing, content, and PR projects. Utilized viral marketing and entertainment marketing to attract media attention.
  • Led the development of new products and services, high visibility online presence, and communication planning and strategy.

ARYA 360 | Funnel Development

Achieved a lower cost of acquisition, fostered a higher conversion rate, and increased email open rates.

A new lead generation campaign bundling two popular online funnels ARYA offers, including a social community and courses.

My work included creating the landing page, email flows, and ad creatives for ARYA 360. The campaign was a success as it acquired customers cheaper than other funnels. The page had a successfully A/B testing program to ensure we optimized crucial elements such as email flows and aspects of the landing pages, along with a globe-trotting divide-and-conquer market expansion.

Makeprintable Go-to-market Launch

http://www.makeprintable.com

Achieved a 30% market share in the first year and took on big industry giants with a small team and smaller budgets.

This project centered around a 3D printing SaaS solution that takes any 3D file and rebuilds it for 3D printability using priority algorithms.

My role was to handle all marketing campaigns, which included performance, social media, email automation, email marketing, community moderation, and growth hacking.

Launching a Fashion Brand

http://www.jobedu.com

Developed a marketing style and brand communication strategy to position Jobedu uniquely in the street fashion industry; my work included discovering a niche and building a brand around an opportunity.

After graduating from university with a computer science degree, I wanted to explore the marketing world. So I cofounded a t-shirt startup at a flea market that eventually gained so much traction that we opened brick-and-mortar stores, launched an eCommerce store, franchised the business, and landed large regional sales deals.

Gameprint B2B2C Go-to-market Plan

Signed major developers to offer their community in-game capture and custom figurines.

I worked with a team on building a go-to-market plan to attract B2B game developer leads and nurture them through engaging content. Once we landed a deal, we constructed a go-to-market targeting community around specific games such as Star Trek Online.

Luxury Watch Photoshoot and Campaign

Spearheaded a global campaign for a high-end watch brand, aiming to stimulate tourism in Jordan. The campaign was crafted to associate the adventure watch with a particular lifestyle. This initiative received worldwide recognition.

This project involved leading a global campaign for a premium watch brand, with the goal of reinvigorating tourism in Jordan. The campaign cleverly associated the adventure watch with a specific lifestyle, creating a compelling narrative that appealed to both watch enthusiasts and travel aficionados. This innovative approach gained worldwide acclaim, marking it as a notable success in the fusion of luxury marketing and tourism promotion.
2018 - 2018

Certification in Digital Transformation Platform Strategies for Success

MIT - Online

2014 - 2014

Certification in Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Institute - United Arab Emirates

2002 - 2006

Specialization in Computer Science

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) - New York City, United States

JANUARY 2022 - PRESENT

Competitive Analysis and Keyword Research Test

SEM Rush

JANUARY 2022 - JANUARY 2023

Google Analytics Certification

Google Analytics Academy

JANUARY 2022 - JANUARY 2023

Google Adwords Certification

Google

JANUARY 2021 - PRESENT

SOSTACT

PR Smith Marketing

Core

Digital Marketing Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Facebook Ads, Marketing Automation, Funnel Marketing, Funnel Optimization, Web Marketing, Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Social Media Content, A/B Testing, B2C Marketing, Lead Generation, Email Marketing, Video Ads, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Public Relations (PR), Digital Marketing, Branding, Market Research & Analysis, Google SEO, Email Marketing Automation, Product Marketing, Growth Hacking, Google Tag Manager, Facebook Video Ads, Sales, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Go-to-market Strategy, SEO Marketing, Performance Marketing, Paid Advertising, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Marketing Leadership, Inbound Marketing, SEO Content, Content Strategy, Brand Strategy, Social Media Strategy, Brand Marketing, Content Marketing Strategy, Marketing Analytics, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Marketing, Social Media Management, Social Media Posting, Instagram Marketing, Google AdWords, Local SEO, Mobile Marketing, Link Building, On-page SEO, Pay-per-Click (PPC), LinkedIn Marketing, Omnichannel Marketing, Marketing Technology (MarTech), Landing Pages, Copywriting, Content Creation, YouTube Ads, Marketing Campaigns, Google Paid Ads, SEO Tools, Off-page SEO, Marketing Budgeting, SEO Audits, ASO, Content, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Blogging, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Cold Emailing, TikTok Ads, Google Ads, Online Marketing, Keyword Research, Customer Segmentation, Community Management, Social Media, Campaign Strategy, Twitter Ads, Mobile Advertising, App Store Optimization (ASO), SMS Marketing, Entertainment Marketing, Sales Analysis, Field Sales, Reddit Ads, Infographics, Inside Sales, Mobile Strategy, Financial Marketing

Platforms & Tools

Google Analytics, HubSpot, Google Analytics 4, Marketing Platforms, Instagram Ads, Bing Ads, CRM Systems, HubSpot Marketing Hub, Google Data Studio, Marketo, Screaming Frog

Technical

Web3, HTML, JavaScript, Google Search Console

Business Models

Business to Consumer (B2C), B2C, B2B, SaaS Product Marketing, B2B2C, Business Models, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C), Software as a Service (SaaS), Business to Business (B2B)

Other

Launch Strategy, User Journeys, Event Marketing, Web Content, WordPress, Partnerships, B2B Partnerships, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Paid Search, Community Growth, B2B Lead Generation, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Customer Journeys, Team Management, Team Leadership, Customer Acquisition, Sales Enablement, Growth Strategy, Strategy, Community Development, Startups, Growth Strategy Consultants, Product Strategy, Product Roadmaps, Market Entry, Product Launch, Go-to-market Plans, Cryptocurrency, Thought Leadership, Consulting, Marketing Plans, Growth Marketing, Drip Email, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Brand Identity, Paid Media, Marketing Attribution, Marketing Tools, Landing Page Optimization, Startup Marketing, Microsoft Advertising, Guerrilla Marketing, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Growth, Content Writing, Shopify, Spreadsheets, Data Analysis, Dashboards, Data Reporting, Website Migration, Technical SEO, B2B Marketing, Financial Modeling, Fundraising, Marketing Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Forecasting, YouTube Marketing, YouTube SEO, YouTube, User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), Firebase, Keyword Analysis, Retail & Wholesale, Fintech, eCommerce, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intercom, Viral Marketing, Programming, Data Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Communication, Market Research Analyst, Blockchain, Projects, Ad Optimization, Business Intelligence (BI), Quantitative Research, Online Reputation Management, Hootsuite, Communication Planning, Trade Marketing, SurveyMonkey, AI Content Creation, Pipedrive, Gamification, Multi-level Marketing, Media Relations, Loyalty Marketing, Competitive Pricing, Sales Management, Direct Mail, KISSmetrics, Crowdfunding, ConvertKit, MarTech Solutions, Corporate Branding, Audience Development, Attribution Modeling, CX Strategy, Lead Magnet, AI Social Media Content Creation, AI Social Media Influencer, Fractional CGO, International SEO, Customer Data Platform (CDP), Sales Promotion, Sales Presentations

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