Launching a new product in today’s competitive market involves more than just a great idea; it necessitates an effective strategy incorporating detailed market analysis, clear value propositions, and cohesive planning for perfect brand perceptions. In our interview with Rizwan Ali, Head of Marketing Services at National Foods, we discuss the critical factors businesses must consider when introducing a new product and how a well-structured plan can substantially improve customer experience and brand reputation.

Rizwan Ali – Head of Marketing Services at National Foods

Ali provides essential insights from his extensive background in building and executing marketing frameworks, leading to successful product launches while maintaining consistency with consumer needs and business goals.

Here’s the insightful conversation:

Synergyzer: What should a brand consider before launching a new product, and how does a cohesive strategy enhance customer experience and brand perception?

Rizwan Ali: Over the years, I have gained significant clarity from developing and implementing marketing frameworks. These frameworks have been essential in navigating everyday marketing challenges and have significantly contributed to my ability to prepare for new product launches with clarity and structure.

Before launching a new product or service, it’s crucial to consider several critical aspects thoroughly. The first step is to understand the problem that your product aims to address. This ensures that the product is designed to meet a genuine need in the market, rather than being a solution in search of a problem. Next, evaluate the business and the anticipated market value that the product can create for your organization. This involves assessing the potential for value capture—understanding how the product will benefit the business financially and what returns can be expected. This step includes analyzing the willingness to sell proposition, which examines how eager your business is to bring this product to market given the anticipated returns.

Clearly articulating the benefits that the product offers to the customer is equally important. This addresses their specific needs and pain points. Understanding the willingness to pay proposition is key. This refers to the maximum amount a customer is willing to spend on the product, which helps set a price point that maximizes revenue without deterring potential buyers. Additionally, consider the willingness to buy, which examines the likelihood that customers will purchase the product at a given price point, considering factors such as perceived value, need urgency, and competitive alternatives.

Once the business and customer value propositions are in place, it’s vital to set well-defined objectives for the product launch. Clear goals, supported by key performance indicators (KPIs), provide a framework for measuring success. Identify both dependent and independent variables that will help gauge progress, success, or failure. This structured approach allows for a thorough analysis of the product’s performance post-launch and ensures that all efforts are aligned with these goals.

Finally, a robust communication and data strategy is essential to convey the product’s value to the target audience effectively. This strategy should encompass messaging across various channels to ensure broad reach and engagement. Alongside this, implementing a comprehensive data strategy is vital. Collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data helps in continuous improvement, measuring the impact of the launch, and understanding customer feedback and market response.

At National Foods, we ensure that our marketing frameworks build a cohesive strategy that integrates all aspects of the product launch and marketing efforts seamlessly. By having robust frameworks in place, we meticulously plan and align every detail with our overarching goals. This alignment ensures that the product not only meets a genuine need in the market but also resonates deeply with our target audiences.


Synergyzer: Can you explain the importance of having a unified approach across multiple digital channels?

Rizwan Ali: Having a unified approach across multiple digital channels is essential for delivering a consistent and impactful communication strategy. At National Foods, the importance of an integrated marketing communications (IMC) structure is clear. This approach ensures that all our marketing efforts are seamlessly coordinated, allowing us to convey a consistent message across social media, search, display, video, retail media, and our brand website. This consistency helps build trust and familiarity with our audience, reinforcing our brand’s identity and value proposition.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, especially in Pakistan, where consumers are increasingly connected and digitally savvy, an IMC approach is crucial. It ensures that customers receive the same core message no matter where they encounter our brand, enhancing their overall experience. This unified strategy demonstrates that we are organized, reliable, and attentive to their needs, which is vital for building and maintaining customer loyalty.

Moreover, an integrated approach allows us to collect and analyze data more effectively, providing valuable insights that help us continuously refine and improve our marketing efforts. This adaptability is essential in the dynamic Pakistani market, where consumer preferences can change rapidly. By leveraging an IMC structure, we can respond more effectively to market changes and customer feedback, ultimately creating a positive and lasting impression.

In essence, a cohesive strategy across digital channels, supported by an integrated marketing communications framework, not only strengthens customer experience but also enhances brand perception, making it a key component of a successful product launch.


Synergyzer: Explain a multi-channel marketing strategy to us like we are a five-year-old.

Rizwan Ali: Alright, imagine you have a toy that you want all your friends to know about because it’s the coolest toy ever! You want everyone to understand how amazing it is, right? So, you decide to share the news in all the fun ways you can think of.

First, you tell your best friend when you see them at school. Then, you ask your mom to help you call your other friends and tell them about the toy. You also draw a picture of the toy and show it to your neighbors. Finally, you ask your dad to help you send a message about the toy to your family in another city.

This is like a multi-channel marketing strategy. At National Foods, when we have something new and exciting to share, we use different ways to tell people. We post about it on social media, put information on our website, talk about it on TV, and even create special displays in stores to catch shoppers’ attention.

By spreading the word in various ways, we make sure everyone hears the same exciting news about our latest offering. This way, more people can learn about it and maybe even want to try it. This helps us ensure that everyone knows just how great our new product is!

Synergyzer: Is AI being used in Pakistan for marketing strategies? What are some of the AI-integrated strategies our industry needs to jump on the bandwagon?

Rizwan Ali: AI, by definition, is when computers use cognitive abilities to imitate human tasks and make decisions. This capability is especially significant in marketing, where the environment is rapidly evolving due to digital advancements. In Pakistan, the potential for AI to transform marketing strategies is immense, particularly as businesses seek to adapt and stand out from the competition.

In Pakistan, the adoption of digital literacy in most organizations’ marketing teams has been relatively slow compared to other markets with similar digital penetration and populations. This slower adoption has meant that marketers have continued to focus heavily on non-digital trends. Traditional factors like consumer behaviour, product pricing, and product quality have long been the mainstays of building business and marketing strategies. These areas are familiar and well-understood, but the fast pace of digital advancements and the increasing importance of digital channels have created a need for a shift in focus.

With digital technologies becoming more prevalent, tools like data analytics, IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning, cloud computing, e-commerce, blockchain, and social media are reshaping how businesses operate. These technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for organizations in Pakistan to adapt their marketing strategies, driving value propositions that can outpace competitors and deliver similar value in the market.

Currently, most of the use cases of AI in Pakistan’s marketing landscape are primarily driven through advertising platforms. These platforms leverage AI to optimize ad placements, target specific audiences, and personalize marketing messages. However, there are several AI-integrated strategies that the industry needs to embrace to fully realize AI’s potential. For instance, AI can analyse vast amounts of consumer data to identify patterns and predict future behaviour’s, enabling more precise targeting and personalized marketing campaigns. IoT devices can provide real-time data on how consumers interact with products, allowing for the refinement of marketing strategies and product offerings to better meet consumer demands. Generative AI can create content such as product descriptions, social media posts, and marketing copy, saving time and ensuring that content is relevant and engaging. Cloud computing offers the scalability needed to handle large datasets and complex computations, making it possible for even smaller organizations to leverage powerful AI tools without significant upfront investment. Technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offer innovative ways to engage consumers, creating immersive experiences that differentiate a brand in a crowded market.


In summary, while AI use in Pakistan is currently driven mostly through advertising platforms, the potential for broader applications is vast. By embracing data analytics, IoT, machine learning, cloud computing, e-commerce, blockchain, and social media, the industry can stay relevant, differentiate from the competition, and deliver unparalleled value to consumers.

Synergyzer: How do you envision the role of AI in future multi-channel marketing strategies?

Rizwan Ali: Before I move on to the future aspects of AI, I’d like to backtrack and discuss some of the developments that have occurred over the past decades and where we stand now. So far, we’ve seen that computers have been learning from the data provided to them, and now they have moved into the next generation, which is generative. This shift means that any business with an app or website will increasingly use AI to create dynamic, personalized content. The element of personalization will grow immensely, shaping the future of what AI holds for marketing.

Looking ahead, AI is poised to play an even more transformative role in multi-channel marketing strategies, particularly in markets like Pakistan, where digital adoption is accelerating. The future of marketing will be defined by how effectively businesses can leverage AI to create cohesive, personalized, and data-driven campaigns that resonate across various platforms.

I envision AI taking a central role in personalizing customer interactions across all touchpoints. Imagine a scenario where AI analyses a customer’s behaviour on social media, tracks their interactions with email campaigns, and even monitors their in-store shopping habits. By aggregating this data, AI can create a comprehensive profile of each customer, enabling marketers to deliver highly tailored messages that feel personal and relevant. This level of personalization will not only enhance customer experience but also drive higher engagement and loyalty.

AI will also revolutionize content creation and distribution. Generative AI, which is already capable of producing engaging content, will become even more sophisticated. Marketers will be able to create dynamic content that adjusts in real time based on user interactions. For instance, a customer browsing a cooking website might see personalized recipe recommendations featuring products from National’s Karachi Khaas range, tailored to their dietary preferences and previous searches. This seamless integration of AI-driven content across multiple channels will ensure a consistent and compelling brand narrative.

Furthermore, AI will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of ad placements. Future AI systems will predict not just where and when to place ads but also which creative elements will perform best with specific audience segments. A great example of this in action is Silverpush, which uses AI to target contextually rich ad placements across platforms. Silverpush’s AI technology analyses video content and places ads in a way that is highly relevant to the viewer’s context, leading to better engagement and higher conversion rates. AI-driven ad optimization will also reduce the trial-and-error aspect of campaign planning, allowing for more precise and impactful advertising.

As businesses gather more data from various channels, AI’s role in data analysis will become even more critical. AI will help marketers sift through enormous amounts of data to uncover hidden patterns and insights that would be impossible to detect manually. These insights will inform everything from product development to customer service, creating a feedback loop that continuously enhances the overall marketing strategy.

However, the journey towards a fully AI-integrated marketing strategy will require overcoming challenges, particularly around digital literacy and infrastructure. Investing in training and development will be essential to equip our marketing teams with the skills needed to leverage AI effectively. Despite these hurdles, the potential benefits of AI make it a worthwhile endeavor.

In summary, the future of multi-channel marketing strategies will be profoundly shaped by AI. By enabling deeper personalization, optimizing ad placements, and uncovering actionable insights from data, AI will empower marketers to create more cohesive and impactful campaigns. As we move forward, embracing AI will be key to staying competitive and delivering unparalleled value to our customers.

Synergyzer: Given your experience across Pakistan and the Middle East, how do you tailor marketing strategies to different cultural contexts?

Rizwan Ali: Given my experience across Pakistan and the Middle East, tailoring marketing strategies to different cultural contexts involves understanding and respecting the unique characteristics and preferences of each market. This approach ensures that marketing efforts are not only relevant but also resonate deeply with the target audience.

In Pakistan, there’s a rich cultural heritage that influences consumer behavior and preferences. Marketing strategies here need to consider and incorporate local traditions, languages, and values. For example, when we launched the Karachi Khaas recipe mixes range, we emphasized the authentic flavors and culinary heritage of Karachi, which resonated with local consumers. Karachiites, known for their discerning taste and appreciation for high-quality food, responded positively to the product’s promise of delivering traditional flavors with convenience. We also tailored our messaging to reflect these cultural nuances, ensuring that the product felt familiar and appealing.

However, the Pakistani market also presents unique challenges. There are significant regional differences in language, culture, and economic conditions, which necessitate a highly localized approach & personalization. Additionally, the distribution infrastructure can be inconsistent, requiring robust logistics planning to ensure product availability across diverse areas.

In the Middle East, specifically in Saudi Arabia, cultural values and preferences significantly influence consumer behavior. Working At AlSAFI Danone in Saudi Arabia, marketing ALSAFI Milk emphasized the product’s alignment with local culture and traditions. Saudi consumers place a high value on family, health, and purity. To resonate with these values, we highlighted the nutritional benefits and high quality of ALSAFI Milk, assuring consumers of its wholesomeness and health benefits. The packaging was designed to reflect these qualities, using clean, appealing visuals that convey purity and family health.

Ensuring that the product met the high standards expected by Saudi consumers was crucial for building trust and loyalty. The rich nutritional profile of ALSAFI Milk was tailored to meet the dietary preferences and needs of families in Saudi Arabia, ensuring it was not only a healthy choice but also one that aligned with local tastes and expectations.

However, marketing in Saudi Arabia comes with its own set of challenges. The market is highly competitive, with numerous local and international brands vying for consumer attention. Additionally, strict regulatory environments and advertising restrictions require marketers to be creative and compliant in their strategies. Cultural sensitivity is paramount, as any misstep can lead to backlash and damage to a brand’s reputation.

In summary, tailoring marketing strategies to different cultural contexts involves a blend of understanding local traditions, using the right packaging formats, setting competitive pricing, ensuring high product quality, and catering to personalized taste preferences. Effective communication that reflects these cultural nuances is key to resonating with the target audience. Through my experience in Pakistan and the Middle East, I’ve seen firsthand how these strategies can drive engagement and build strong brand connections. Specifically, with products like the Karachi Khaas range and ALSAFI Milk, focusing on the cultural values and preferences of the target market has been key to our success, demonstrating the importance of aligning product attributes with local tastes and expectations.

Source: Kinetic Pakistan FB

Synergyzer: Lastly, which marketing trend needs to end, according to you?

Rizwan Ali: Several strategic marketing trends need to end, both in Pakistan and globally, to build stronger connections with consumers and foster long-term brand loyalty.

First, the misuse of consumer data and ignoring privacy concerns must stop. With increasing awareness about data privacy, brands must prioritize transparency and only collect essential data with explicit consent. This shift is crucial for maintaining consumer trust and avoiding backlash.

The one-size-fits-all marketing approach is outdated and ineffective. Different regions and demographics have unique preferences and values. In Pakistan, regional differences require a localized marketing strategy. Brands should invest in understanding their audience segments deeply and tailor their messages to be culturally relevant and personalized rather than relying on developing one TVC and adapting it to various digital channels.

Focusing solely on short-term gains through aggressive sales tactics and frequent discounting can erode brand value. Brands need to prioritize long-term brand building, customer relationship management, and sustainable growth. Investing in quality content, customer experience, and consistent brand messaging will yield more significant returns over time.

Neglecting the overall customer experience in favor of flashy advertising campaigns is another trend that needs to end. While creative ads can capture attention, the entire customer journey, from discovery to post-purchase support, is what builds loyalty. Enhancing every touchpoint of the customer experience ensures a seamless, enjoyable, and memorable interaction, which is crucial for brand reputation and sales in Pakistan.

Ignoring sustainability and social responsibility is no longer an option. Consumers are increasingly conscious of environmental and social issues, and brands that fail to address these concerns will lose favor. Integrating sustainability into core values and communicating efforts transparently can resonate deeply with consumers, especially in regions like Pakistan, where environmental issues are prevalent.

Excessive reliance on influencers without ensuring authenticity can backfire. Audiences are becoming adept at distinguishing genuine endorsements from paid promotions. Brands should collaborate with influencers who genuinely align with their values and can provide authentic, relatable content.

Lastly, overlooking customer feedback is a missed opportunity for improvement and growth. Brands should actively seek, listen to, and act on customer feedback to enhance their products, services, and overall customer satisfaction. Engaging with customers and showing that their opinions matter can build stronger relationships and loyalty.

By ending these outdated practices and embracing more strategic, customer-centric approaches, brands can build stronger, more resilient connections with their intended audiences. Prioritizing data privacy, personalized marketing, long-term growth, customer experience, sustainability, authentic influencer partnerships, and active engagement with customer feedback will position brands to thrive in the evolving market landscape, both in Pakistan and globally.

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Hamna Farrukh is a high-on-life but low-on-energy writer who found her passion for writing after completing a degree in Economics, which is carefully kept in a folder somewhere in a drawer. Her interest in marketing and advertisement peaked while working for Ishtehari, and finally, Synergyzer gave her bickering thoughts a much-needed voice through the platform to talk about shitty ads (some good ones) being made in Pakistan.