Team Spotlight: Vera Shafiq

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Location3 is proud to welcome Vera Shafiq to our team as the new Senior Director of Digital Strategy. Vera comes to us with over a decade of experience in digital strategy and omni-channel marketing. We asked her to share her thoughts on the current state of our industry and what she thinks is top of mind for marketers as we continue to adapt to an evolving economic climate and marketing landscape.

First and foremost, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I started my career as a computer programmer writing search algorithms before Google was even a thing and launched a boutique digital marketing agency in 2004 which I grew over 12 years to be a leading provider of build-your-own-websites, hosting, SEO and social media marketing.
Since then, I’ve helped businesses large and small, in a variety of verticals (home services, luxury real estate, healthcare, insurance, e-commerce) unlock growth with data-driven marketing strategies. In today’s fast-moving digital world, you have to have your finger on the pulse of the latest evolutions, advancements and innovations. Future-proofing any business depends on this. I was raised in London, UK but have lived in Tampa, FL for the past 26 years with my husband and 2 kids (grown adults now!). I’m a foodie, wine-lover and travel enthusiast – India, Thailand, Dubai, Oman, Italy, France and Spain being some of the countries I’ve visited. I enjoy cooking, especially desserts, and am told I make a mean Tiramisu! I also host a weekly podcast on digital marketing, business and technology called the Vera Shafiq Podcast!

My Mission Statement:
I believe passionately in winning hearts and minds with bold, honest, respectful marketing. By always seeking new and innovative ways to build deeper connections with consumers, I strive to help businesses of all sizes unlock accelerated and sustainable growth.

What are you most excited about in joining Location3?
Location3 has a unique mission: to provide enterprise strategy with local activation. I am thrilled to contribute to this mission because local businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy and franchises play a big part in this. Franchising continues to grow, and it is expected that 26,000 new franchise businesses will open in 2021. Helping drive growth and success for these locally owned businesses is something that I’m very excited about!

What do you think has the biggest potential to impact marketing/digital strategy between now and the end of the year?
The value of consumer privacy is top of mind for everyone now. With the rapid succession of changes that we’re seeing in the advertising landscape – GDPR, CCPA, the deprecation of MAID (Mobile Advertising ID) and third-party cookies – brands and companies need to shift the way they do advertising to be privacy-compliant and, more importantly, privacy-ethical. I see this as a big opportunity to transform the way we do digital marketing to be more personalized, more relevant to the consumer and more compelling. This will be achieved by better use of first-party data and hyper-segmented creative, amongst other things.

What strategies / channels / tactics have the most opportunity for growth for multi-location brands and businesses?
Video is a medium that is growing in leaps and bounds. The pandemic has propelled consumer screen-time and online purchasing habits into a zone that would otherwise have taken us 5 years to get to. Video consumption is a huge part of that. CTV/OTT and video advertising are undoubtedly areas where multi-location brands and businesses will want to allocate more media and production dollars because it’s where we can catch people both during “lean-back” and “lean-in” moments to really drive home the personality and uniqueness of the business across all stages of the funnel.

Omni-channel, while a long-time buzzword, is really now a non-negotiable when it comes to driving profitability for any business. While full-funnel marketing is still applicable to any marketing strategy, we can no longer treat the customer journey as linear but rather look at it like the flight of the butterfly, landing in different gardens and flowers (channels, touchpoints, online, offline) before finally converting. For multi-location businesses who often have both physical stores and run traditional as well as digital advertising campaigns, it is even more important to crack the nut of omni-channel strategy and attribution.

Follow Vera’s blog and podcast for more thought leadership on doing business and marketing the right way.

Interested in joining our team? We’re hiring! Find job openings and descriptions here.