Industry snapshot: Mohammed Ajawi, RAW

Mohammed Ajawi, managing director of RAW.

What have been the biggest changes over the last year?

The pandemic did not bring forth changes that were not already in company pipelines; it just ensured that they happen at a much faster pace than the industry was preparing itself to adopt. Every company across sectors all but had to embrace the transition towards digital processes and machinations. Client-side, Nissan and Infiniti introduced e-commerce services as well as virtual showrooms with the convenience of clients in mind. I anticipate more innovations and advancements to propagate company news cycles as the year progresses.

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What work are you most proud of from the last year?

No one could have expected what the full impact of the pandemic would be. From its outset, we worked closely with our clients to help them navigate the market, including tweaking their strategies – developing home test drives and pivoting messages towards a more potent, human level. We also assisted them in optimising their online presences during a time when the world-over was consuming digital media at a far greater frequency.

Internally, we developed Matic, a new programmatic product that advances upon the systematic push of digital mediums by establishing a launchpad for clients from which their desired content is positioned and shared to the agreed-upon demographic and target audience based on established data sets and KPIs.

What industry challenges do you see coming in 2021?

With the almost complete transition to digital becoming a reality for companies, the challenge in 2021 is for them to maintain that momentum. The conception and launch of e-services should not be regarded as a trend that was adopted explicitly for 2020. As I mentioned earlier, the pandemic did not necessarily introduce new processes; it just hastened their integration. Audiences have already accepted the digital drive and have embraced the convenience and comforts that e-services are offering them. Companies need to cater to this preference and consistently progress upon their digital offerings further as they are now operating in the future.

Where should brands be focusing this year?

Given the current climate, relevancy has become even more challenging than it ever was. With stakeholders almost explicitly seeing and experiencing the world through their screens, digital lead generation and familiarity have now risen to become the number one requirement for any up-and-coming and established company. Coming in at a close second is e-commerce; any business that would benefit from it should establish or develop it at the soonest.

What are you most excited about in 2021?

With the build-up towards Expo 2020 renewed for 2021, and following a challenging and unprecedented year, I look forward to witnessing and experiencing the resulting innovations and activations. The digital world is continuously evolving, now faster than ever, and the tools that agencies and clients have at their disposal can be used to continually usher in a new generation of innovations.