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Marketing Game Changers 2023: Khaled Tash, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Saudia


Marketing Game Changers is back, to recognise and celebrate those brand-building marketing leaders who have made a huge impact this year.

This exclusive list features the men and women who we feel have shaped our industry this year, and includes a wide array of brands, campaigns and their achievements.

The prestigious top 10 includes four women, three Saudi based brands, an abundance of creativity, plus a strong focus on sustainability.

Khaled Tash, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Saudia
Years in current position: 3
Years with current company: 3
Size of department: 50+

What is your objective in your current role?

Saudia is the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, with a long-standing history of nearly 80 years. Under the Saudi Vision 2030, our mandate has transformed from “Bring Saudi to the World” to “Bringing the World to Saudi Arabia”. Our objective is to build the Saudia brand globally, without losing its iconic national identity (but rather capitalising on it). Our vision is to be the “Wings of Vision 2030”.

What is your guiding principle?

The role of marketing, brand and communication these days is no longer just about selling or serving. Brands are expected to reflect culture and be active players and contributors to socio-economic growth. As a marketer and brand-builder, my aim is to play a bigger role in what my organisation does and more importantly convey that action or effort to all stakeholders. As John Rockefeller famously said: “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing”.

How do you make agency relationships work?

Our world is much more complex today, and marketers along with their agencies have so much more to deal with (audiences, channels, occasions, etc). Maximising transparency in the relationship is key; transparency on expectations, on feedback, on motivations and drivers, on priorities and deadlines. Be transparent with each other, and I believe work will be better and more impactful.

Who inspires you professionally?

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

What is the biggest challenge in marketing at the moment?

Diff erentiation. All brands (and consequently their characters and campaigns) are becoming too similar. Breaking out of the box is key. Brands must be unique and different for them to stand a chance of being successful in driving business results and avoid commoditisation.

What is the next big opportunity?

Plenty. But I am growing a belief and passion for cross-category co-branded products and services as the next big thing. If I love Apple, why not buy an Apple car or travel on an Apple plane and stay in an Apple hotel? I think there are hundreds of brands in the world that have a 10x opportunity and some will go for it soon.

What can we expect to see from you and your brand in the next year?

We have two key priorities for the Saudia brand experience. To be more innovative and to be more authentic. On innovation, we are implementing one of the most ambitious digital transformations to improve the customer experience. On authenticity, we are taking our proud Saudi culture to an immersive concept whereby our guests will enjoy the best of Saudi hospitality across the five senses. Stay tuned and travel Saudia.

Favourite motivational quote?

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”