Industry snapshot: Ali Aboukhreibe, Boopin

Ali Aboukhreibe, strategy director, Boopin.

How will technology affect media in the next year?

The metaverse is already the key discussion point in 2022 and moving forward. We’re on the verge of exploring the full virtuality of the world we live in, and we’re not alien to such changes. Beyond that, brands should be listening more. Siri and Bixby are. The technology is in the hands of the consumer, and brands need to be more authentic with their approach. The slightest inconvenience will cause a brand to lose consumers as the competition grows.

How is the role of your agency changing?

At Boopin we’re already a step ahead, equipped with the creative and technical capabilities to support the digitalisation of our clients. We’ve always considered ourselves as partners, not just servicing desks, to our clients. We became the extended arm of our clients’ marketing, technology, IT, sales, and procurement departments, opening doors to more honest and accountable conversations.

How are your clients changing?

Clients are now accelerating the usage of technologies that agencies possess. They’re confident that agencies have their best interest at heart and are willing to listen more and understand that their partnership with an agency is a long-term collaboration with subject-matter experts. Everyone is on board the digitalisation train and now understands Bill Gates’ quote from 2018: “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”

What will be the biggest challenges in the year ahead, and how will you tackle them?

Uncertainty. It’s always been there, but recently became the most significant concern for all stakeholders in the market. Beyond the obvious uncertainty of the pandemic, there are two main challenges:

Consumer retention:
Consumers aren’t as loyal as they used to be. They’re spoiled for choice and prefer their convenience, especially since brands can’t customise services and products to appeal to individual needs. We need to ensure that loyalty drives advocacy, which eventually drives more business, echoing back to the importance of listening better to the consumers.

Minimised profit margins:
This isn’t just coming from the competition, but also from the consumers moving to smarter spending, seeking a discount or a better deal. Brands should ensure they add better value to become the first point of consideration. Stable and consistent is better than big and sporadic.