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Saudi agencies are facing “formidable challenges”

There’s also intense competition for local talent, says Fusion 5's Faris Al Thawwad

How have Saudi consumers evolved in recent years?

Saudi consumers have undergone notable changes, becoming increasingly diverse, tech-savvy, and focused on obtaining value for their spending.

With the emergence of a burgeoning middle class, there’s a heightened desire for products and experiences that resonate with their aspirations.

While traditional values remain significant, consumers are also influenced by global trends, expecting brands to engage with them on a personal level by integrating cultural elements with contemporary styles.

The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the transition to online shopping, compelling businesses to bolster their digital presence.

What are the emerging demands from clients?

Clients are now seeking a fusion of traditional and digital marketing methodologies. They require strategies that seamlessly blend across multiple media platforms, leveraging data-driven insights to effectively target their desired audience segments.

There’s a distinct emphasis on performance marketing, with clients prioritising measurable returns on investment.

Furthermore, there’s a growing preference for authentic storytelling that forges emotional connections with consumers, transcending mere promotional messages.

How has the Saudi agency landscape transformed?

Saudi agencies have undergone a paradigm shift, becoming more adaptable and transitioning towards agile and integrated models.

Specialised expertise in key areas such as performance marketing, social media management, and content creation has become imperative.

Collaborations with influencers and technological platforms are on the ascent, facilitating the delivery of comprehensive campaign experiences.

What pivotal societal changes have you observed within Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is witnessing a significant unlocking of its cultural and tourism potential, propelled by major developmental projects and relaxed regulations, positioning the nation as a premier tourist destination.

This presents a myriad of opportunities for advertising agencies to craft impactful marketing campaigns and foster global connections.

Where do you foresee the greatest avenues for growth in Saudi Arabia?

The entertainment and tourism sectors represent vast opportunities for growth in Saudi Arabia. Ambitious projects and regulatory reforms are poised to reshape the nation into a coveted vacation hotspot.

This presents advertising agencies with substantial prospects to conceive innovative marketing campaigns and engage with both regional and international audiences.

What are the primary challenges confronting agencies in the kingdom?

Agencies in Saudi Arabia confront formidable challenges, including the imperative to swiftly adapt to evolving consumer preferences and dynamic media landscapes.

Additionally, there’s intense competition for local talent, posing difficulties in both recruitment and retention of skilled Saudi market experts.

By Faris Al Thawwad, Senior Media Planner, Fusion5