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Marketing transformation from “buy our stuff” to “we get you”

Digitas ME’s Kareem Monem reveals a new marketing transformation experience framework that completely revamps marketing strategies, processes, tools, and tech with consumers at the core.

marketing transformation experience

Transformation – It’s a simple word that in a broad sense involves people making pivotal decisions for brand and marketing in an effort to empower organisations, build the right teams with the right culture, manage media channels, adopt the right technologies, innovate to solve real problems efficiently, and ultimately ensure excellent digital and customer experiences.

The reality on the ground paints a completely different picture. Try having a conversation on the “why” and the “how” of marketing transformation with leaders across the industry, and you’ve got all the makings of a perfect storm in a teacup.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been listening in to stories about attempts at transformation and its impact on customer experience.

Several industry experts have pointed out that, quite often, attempts are enterprise-wide marketing transformation have failed due to organisational siloes, coexistence of legacy and modern tech, cultural resistance to change, poor platforms and data sources, skills gaps, lack of measurement tools, as well as well the lack of a cohesive, unified strategy.

The result: Fragmented digital, media, and customer experiences despite spending big on consultants.

Kareem Monem, CEO of Digitas ME, part of Publicis Groupe ME talks about the need for a new marketing transformation experience framework
Kareem Monem, CEO of Digitas ME, part of Publicis Groupe ME

A long-term, lasting transformation

In conversation with Campaign Middle East, Kareem Monem, CEO of experience integration agency Digitas ME, part of Publicis Groupe ME, revealed the launch of a new marketing framework called marketing transformation experience, which he abbreviated as MTx.

“We need an ecosystem that addresses fragmentation and closes the gap that traditional marketing methods simply cannot. We need to find a way to analyse and dissect data to drive real, lasting change. So, this isn’t another digital transformation exercise; it’s a complete marketing transformation. The philosophy of such a model would integrate brand, media, technology, and customer experience into a cohesive whole,” Kareem said.

This marketing transformation experience would require a journey back to the drawing board to entirely revamp marketing strategies, processes, tools, and technologies with a keen eye on consumer behaviours, evolving market dynamics, and how the right digital advancements can unlock true transformation.

“Such a transformation would aim to enhance the company’s ability to effectively reach and engage its target audience, drive growth, and maintain a competitive edge. This would be a long-term, lasting solution rather than a quick fix,” Kareem added.

Once launched, MTx aims help CMOs, CDOs, and CTOs leverage multiple layers of data and complicated MarTech architectures while placing the customer at the core of everything.

“If the truth is ignored, it will only continue the disconnected and disjointed marketing efforts we see in many businesses,” Kareem said.

Disjointed campaigns and disconnected promises

One of the biggest issues causing customers to “clock out” is the growing disconnect between what’s being promised and what’s being delivered. There’s no doubt about it: The need to tackle missed opportunities and disjointed campaigns are greater than ever before, especially at a time where executives and board members are beating the drum on addressing subdued ROI.

“We created MTx after a client discussion around the disconnected promises being made to customers and identifying that the issues were intrinsic in nature, stemming from the marketing organisation not being structured to deliver on the customer commitment, even after going through significant business transformation,” Kareem said.

“The time has come to move our clients towards building connected ecosystems that leverages their business and customer data driving constant and consistent change. We call this addressing the ‘uncomfortable truth’ that data normally presents,” he added.

“If the truth is ignored, it will only continue the disconnected and disjointed marketing efforts we see in many businesses, leading to inconsistent brand messaging, inefficient use of internal resources, and worst of all a fragmented customer – and colleague – experience.”

MTx aims to address this by taking a holistic approach to business and marketing transformation by prioritising digital integration, a customer-centric approach, personalisation, multi-layered marketing, content strategies, agility, innovation, performance measurement, and change management.

This means getting strategy right from the get-go. While channels and messaging are vital components of marketing, the foundation of an effective approach often lies in a well-defined and cohesive strategy underpinned by automation, data and connectivity.

“I challenge the strategy of ‘integrated marketing’, as it has become outdated in today’s ever evolving landscape. We need to move from this outdated concept to a connected ecosystem ensures that all marketing efforts are data-driven and customer-focused,” he added.

“It’s knowing that Zeinab in Abu Dhabi prefers eco-friendly packaging or that Abdul in Cairo loves your behind-the-scenes Instagram stories. Use data not just to sell, but to enhance every touchpoint,” Kareem said.

Making customers “feel heard” begins with listening

However, this will mean truly listening to the customers. Increasingly aware consumers are demanding real value and meaningful marketing. They are no longer condoning channel discrimination. As data-driven insights have increased, people’s expectations and demands for purposeful and personalised experiences have correspondingly grown, as well.

Kareem agreed, “Well, the modern consumer – they’ve got a radar for authenticity and can spot the ‘push messages’ from a mile away. Customers today are not just looking for a deal; they’re looking for a brand they can believe in, a community they can belong to, and experiences that resonate with their lives.”

So how can adopting the marketing transformation experiences (MTx) help brands and companies step up to the plate?

“A good analogy is to think of MTX as the makeover show for brands,” Kareem explained. “It’s not just about slapping on a new coat of paint – or, in this case, flashy ads. It’s about a deep, holistic transformation that aligns a brand with its core values and its customers’ needs. Imagine it like a brand bootcamp where the focus is on building meaningful connections, not just counting sales.”

This viewpoint aligns with a recent study by Sprout Social, which highlighted how 64 per cent of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 57 per cent said that they will increase their spending with a brand they feel connected to.

“LEGO is a great example of adopting a MTx mindset. They built an entire online community where fans share creations, ideas, and stories, turning customers into passionate advocates, driving sales, engagement, and generational loyalty.” Kareem said. “Then, optimise experiences. This isn’t just about the user interface or customer service – it’s the whole shebang. It’s knowing that Zeinab in Abu Dhabi prefers eco-friendly packaging or that Abdul in Cairo loves your behind-the-scenes Instagram stories. Use data not just to sell, but to enhance every touchpoint.”

This will mean that brands and marketers need to stop spamming followers with promotions purely for sales and start creating communities where customers feel valued and heard.

“The secret sauce? It’s about transforming your marketing from a megaphone into a conversation. It’s less about shouting, “Buy our stuff!” and more about whispering, “We get you.” And when customers feel understood, they don’t just buy – they believe,” Kareem concluded.