HOW HAVE CONSUMERS CHANGED IN KSA IN RECENT YEARS?
Consumers in Saudi Arabia have witnessed considerable changes in recent years, owing to economic reforms, social transformations and technical improvements. We’ve seen a significant shift towards e-commerce, increased demand for premium products and services, a growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical consumption and increased adoption of digital payment methods and changing demographics.
WHAT ARE CLIENTS ASKING FOR IN SAUDI THAT’S NEW?
Fresh marketing and advertising strategies that cater to the changing preferences and behaviours of Saudi consumers. Clients are well-aware of the demands of a digital native population, so there is a strong focus on developing breakthrough digital marketing campaigns that target younger, tech-savvy consumers.
HAS THE SAUDI AGENCY OFFERINGS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
Yes, the agency model and offerings in Saudi Arabia have changed dramatically in recent years. Previously, the traditional agency model in Saudi Arabia was largely a transactional commission-based fee structure. But as the market has matured, there has been a sharp shift toward more performance-based models, where agencies are compensated based on the outcomes they deliver for their clients.
Furthermore, there is a growing demand for more integration with other marketing disciplines, that can provide clients with end-to-end solutions. As part of WPP, we work very closely with the likes of Ogilvy, Wunderman Thompson, VLMYR Commerce and H+K, all of which have very strong footprint and capabilities in KSA.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BIGGEST POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH IN SAUDI?
Vision 2030 and the vast investment with these associated projects are an obvious area we are going to see significant marketing spend in the coming years. Government authorities are requiring partners with agility, scale and integration capability that can match their timeline, vision and ambitions.
At EssenceMediacom, we have Insights and Analytics at the heart of our operating system, so we’re utilising this strength to identify actionable insights about local and international audiences that fuel innovative media solutions that demand attention for these game-changing projects.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN THE KINGDOM?
Finding and retaining experienced media experts in Saudi Arabia continues to be an issue, especially in fields such as digital marketing and data analytics. The market is highly competitive and there remains a resourcing shortage, so acquisition and retention can prove to be challenging. However, we’re working closely with Group M HR on developing programmes to identify and excite the next generation of Saudi talent who can play a key role within our agency as we enter this hugely exciting period.
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR OFFERINGS TO REFLECT CHANGES IN SAUDI ARABIA?
Our merger to EssenceMediacom introduced an evolved operating model that reflects the requirements of our clients for the new communications economy. We constantly hear the need for continuous learning and growth, so our breakthrough planning framework and toolkit ensure ongoing innovation and improvement across marketing, campaign and optimisation cycles.
Safwan Kanj, General Manager, EssenceMediacom KSA