Campaign Middle East - Feed Tue, 12 Nov 2019 12:50:56 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Campaign Middle East 32 32 The invisible barriers to the adoption of accelerated digital shopping Thu, 07 Nov 2019 06:42:54 +0000 Campaign Staff Motivate Publishing Choueiri Ecom pic1 1

Motivate Publishing 1 In exploring consumer behaviour across the MENA region, the gap between brick-and-mortar versus digital shopping exists even in the heaviest sales frequency categories (electronics and apparel). Despite the region’s growing e-commerce outlook (eMarketer predicts annual sales will hit $49bn by 2021), Arab consumers still hold back on digital shopping due to a variety of barriers, sceptical notions and incorrect perceptions.

What is stopping them?
Earlier this year, Choueiri Group conducted some very revealing research. Being ‘unbanked’ or financially excluded (consumers assume they cannot shop online without a credit card or bank account) stood out prominently. Despite most e-commerce platforms offering shoppers cash-on-delivery (COD), two out of 10 Egyptians and 18 per cent of the Saudi sample did not shop online due to financial exclusion. 11 per cent in KSA said they preferred to pay in cash so did not pursue digital
shopping. Cash is still the prevalent purchasing method in the region, even across more economically developed markets, and the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission states that 66 per cent of shoppers use COD to make digital purchases, making it the second most popular
payment method after credit cards (87 per cent). We can conclude there are awareness and educational issues that must be addressed.

Trust was the greatest barrier in various guises. In KSA, the inability to touch and inspect an item first-hand created an obstacle for more than a quarter of consumers. A similar proportion distrusted online shopping in general. Concerns about accidentally buying fake items were raised by 15 per cent, while the questionable quality of online products was cited by 12 per cent. Other barriers included
worrying about personal information, and products not looking as advertised. Even in the UAE, where digital shopping penetration is healthier than in KSA and Egypt, trust came up with nearly three out of 10 respondents.

Many Arab consumers (the non-digital shopper segment) are still driven by the traditional retail experience. In the UAE, shoppers preferred the ‘convenience’ of visiting a real store, trying out the product, interacting with sales staff and instant retrieval of the product. This held especially true when high-value, premium items were concerned.

How is convenience driving growth?
While regional online shopping penetration is in its infancy, or pre-mature stages, depending on the country, many shoppers are moving away from traditional shopping. Just under half of online shoppers said they were motivated by e-commerce platforms and their ability to source hard-to-find items. On average, 27 per cent were triggered to buy online, in order to get products that were only available outside their place of residence.

Motivate Publishing 1 The future of e-commerce in MENA relies heavily on purposeful communications to catalyse non-digital-shoppers
Prevailing knowledge gaps need to be bridged and the value addition and clear benefits of online shopping need to be communicated to sceptical audiences. Numerous faulty
perceptions deeply associated with digital shopping also need to be addressed. In doing so, brands will help erase the invisible barriers around trust, convenience and the need to have a bank account. With e-commerce players employing many innovative solutions to make online shopping more seamless, further efforts are needed by their media partners and communication experts to change the game.

We recommend educational content and even a ‘back-to-basics’ approach to fill in any necessary knowledge gaps. Combining this approach with uplifting content aimed at capturing audiences on an emotional level will also support behavioural changes.

Campaign Staff Thu, 07 Nov 2019 06:42:54 +0000 Motivate Publishing Choueiri Ecom pic1 1 Motivate Publishing 1 Motivate Publishing 1
The Marketing Society and Serviceplan announce Marketing Leader of the Year Award Wed, 06 Nov 2019 09:24:29 +0000 Austyn Allison Motivate Publishing 327331-Item-13_LED-Panel_2080px-w-x-480px-h_PANELS_5B 1

Motivate Publishing 1

The Marketing Society, in partnership with Serviceplan, has announced that it will be introducing the new Marketing Leader of the Year Award in the UAE region, aimed at recognising senior marketers who have been changing the face of the industry.

The Marketing Society is a global community of 3,000 of the world’s most influential senior marketers. It launched its Dubai hub in 2016, and since then, the regional network has grown rapidly to become its number one market outside the UK.

Serviceplan is the largest independent agency group in Europe, with its “House of Communication” concept, combining all communication disciplines from campaigning, technology and media under one roof. The House of Communication in Dubai was established in 2009 servicing the entire MENA region.

The new Marketing Leader of the Year Award will celebrate the extraordinary talent in the region. The shortlisted candidates have been nominated by a committee of 15 leading CMOs, creating a unique award allowing CMOs to applaud the work of their peers.

The four shortlisted leaders are:

  • Asad Rehman, Digital & Media Transformation Director, Unilever MENA
  • Sanaa Bougazzoul, Chief Digital Officer, L’Oréal
  • Vikram Krishna, EVP Marketing & Head of Customer Experience, Emirates NBD
  • Vino Elkhatib, Chief Marketing & Brand Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Holding

Khaled Ismail, Chairman, The Marketing Society Middle East and VP Communications – Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa, Tetra Pak said: “The Society is passionate about showcasing the leaders who standout in our industry and inspire others to make change, while delivering impressive results for their business. We are delighted to launch this award in the UAE and the quality of the shortlisted names is testament to the calibre of leaders in our region. Any of them would be worthy of winning the inaugural award.

Rami Hmadeh, CEO, Serviceplan said, “The CMO of the Year Award has been a huge success in Germany, and it’s time to recognize the incredible work of CMOs in the Middle East. By delegating the decision to a committee of CMO peers, award winners know that they are truly valued in the industry. Our region is constantly evolving, and our CMOs have responded successfully with dynamic and innovative strategies. We are thrilled to launch this award in the UAE and look forward to announcing our first winner!”

The Society runs a similar award in the UK with previous winners including Syl Saller, Global CMO, Diageo; Craig Inglis, Customer Director, John Lewis and Alistair Macrow, SVP & CMO, McDonald’s.

Serviceplan established their prestigious CMO of the Year Award in Germany in 2014. Winners include Dr. Ian Robertson (BMW, 2014), Eric Liedtke (Adidas, 2017) and Karsten Kühn (Hornbach Baumarkt AG, 2018).

The Award will be presented at The Marketing Society’s Bravest Conference on the morning of Tuesday 12 November where some of the shortlisted candidates will share insights on how they have navigated their way to the top, with the award winner announced at the end of the event.

Austyn Allison Wed, 06 Nov 2019 09:24:29 +0000 Motivate Publishing 327331-Item-13_LED-Panel_2080px-w-x-480px-h_PANELS_5B 1 Motivate Publishing 1
Seven Emerging Trends in the Privacy-First Era Wed, 06 Nov 2019 06:22:22 +0000 Campaign Staff Motivate Publishing Matyas Wavemaker 1

Motivate Publishing 1

Digital media faced a new set of challenges this past year – from major data breaches to increased
regulations, platform abuse and anti-trust fines. These issues will leave a lasting effect on the industry and have already reshaped the marketing landscape as we know it.

Yes, there are material issues such as data breaches, political interference and anti-trust that need to be addressed, and regulation seems like the best way to do it. There are concerns around anonymous data collection and targeting. Enter GDPR. Since its implementation, the direct effects of GDPR have been limited. We’ve seen some companies simply shut down their European operations. There have been about 91 fines, but most have been fairly insignificant. Not surprisingly, user opt-outs have been extremely low. According to one piece of research by Prohaska Consulting, publishers saw less than a 2 per cent opt-out rate in the first six months since GDPR came into effect.

We cannot really expect the average user to spend time understanding GDPR and the various consent management frameworks like the IAB’s TCFv2, then go through potentially hundreds of platforms and define just the right amount of data they are willing to share. There was also a side effect. Despite being partly designed in a way to slow the pace of growth of the duopoly, Facebook’s revenue from advertising in Europe rose 40 per cent in 2018, while Google’s revenue in EMEA increased 20 per cent. By comparison, Europe’s digital advertising market grew by only 14 per cent over the same period.

Still, the death of the cookie is now widely discussed, the industry is moving on and we need to be prepared for the following changes:

1. Moving upstream to persistent IDs and proprietary graphs:
Traditionally the identity layer has been closer integrated to data partners, DSPs, and DMPs, but as the industry shifts and publishers are playing a larger role in identity resolution, we will shift ID upstream as well.

2. The rise of customer data platforms
As DMPs are under pressure, we will see more advertisers moving to CDPs, especially since big cloud providers like Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce are also moving into this space. However, this will be a slow transition. Gartner estimates the annual cost of buying a CDP ranges between $100,000 and $300,000.

3. Brand-building vs. performance
As measurement solutions will also take a hit, we expect more brands to focus more on the top of the funnel. Adidas was the latest example to admit that a focus on efficiency rather than effectiveness led it to over-focus on ROI and over-invest in performance. With limitations on retargeting and in general audience targeting, this change will happen naturally.

4. Contextual targeting is back
As a sole strategy, many brands will see context as a major step backwards. The challenge for the market will be to redefine how we use context signals in a more sophisticated way than before.

5. First-party data is now table stakes for digital media
It is clear publishers have to focus more on their first-party data. Some publishers are already experimenting with focusing only on logged-in users, abandoning passerby traffic arbitrage. The result is a drop in traffic but increased eCPM. This is one way to future-proof the business, but scalability remains a question. Data cooperations, consolidated ID initiatives and data-joining technologies could solve this, which brings us to the next point.

6. A single sign-on for all publishers
The SSO (single sign-on) is going to be critical, going forward. I would love to see publisher cooperation in our region. There are plenty of examples in Europe. For example, netID looks like it is getting proper traction in Germany. According to Google, by removing cookies, as a result of less elevant advertising, publisher revenue falls by 52 per cent. The industry will need SSO to happen sooner rather than later, as a persistent ID is necessary to compete with the walled gardens. Not only will it play an important role in preserving the user experience, but it will also help publishers build out a unique identifier for data-driven buyers across premium domains.

7. A shift of programmatic spend to mobile app inventory
In-app has always been a second-class citizen. With web-based supply constraints on programmatic about to hit the industry, mobile app inventory will become more attractive to buyers.

Implications for consumers? In the browser environment some ads will be more relevant, as first-party data will be more widely used, but the majority of ads will be less targeted or relevant.

Since Apple and Firefox made changes to their browsers, 40 per cent of all third party cookies have been wiped out. Chrome has 65 per cent market share globally, so we should keep a close eye on its new Privacy Sandbox initiative. For now, it seems Google is against large-scale blocking of cookies, but this can also change. But one thing is certain – the way we plan and buy media will radically change. In Prohaska‘s words: “This is the largest change since the inception of the internet.”

Campaign Staff Wed, 06 Nov 2019 06:22:22 +0000 Motivate Publishing Matyas Wavemaker 1 Motivate Publishing 1
INFINITI taps Accenture Interactive as its Experience Agency of Record in Middle East Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:13:10 +0000 Campaign Staff Motivate Publishing INFINITI 1
Motivate Publishing 1
David Fregonas, Accenture Interactive lead in the Middle East and Karsten Jankowski, General Manager of Marketing and PR for INFINITI Middle East

Accenture Interactive was appointed by INFINITI Middle East to handle the auto manufacturer’s digital marketing duties across 11 markets in the Middle East region. The collaboration will assist INFINITI Middle East to continue to  innovate in new ways by using digital channels and position the company as a leader in the ever-changing automotive world.

Leveraging its digital capabilities and its expertise in the automotive industry, Accenture Interactive will help INFINITI amplify and optimize its presence across digital channels and touchpoints, and will also be responsible for the management of INFINITI’s digital marketing initiatives — including website content management, digital analytics and performance marketing. The collaboration will drive INFINITI’s digital innovation to anticipate and meet the demands of today’s digital-savvy customers, thereby improving the overall customer experience.

“Making cutting-edge vehicles isn’t enough for automakers to maintain their competitive edge in today’s digital marketplace,” said David Fregonas, Accenture Interactive lead in the Middle East. “Digitally-empowered consumers are also looking for innovative customer experiences, and INFINITI Middle East understands the important role that digital plays in shaping new experiences. As leaders in transforming the car-buying process, Accenture Interactive is thrilled to support INFINITI Middle East on its transformation effort.”

Karsten Jankowski, General Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for INFINITI Middle East, commented, “We look forward to collaborating with Accenture Interactive to strengthen our digital marketing efforts. A welcoming customer experience and customer-centric thinking are the core of our brand. In a digitalized world, this requires a seamless online-offline experience enabling a 360-degree of the customer and synchronized, cross-device access to personalized shopping.”

As part of its growing Middle East presence, Accenture Interactive recently hired industry veteran T.J. Lightwala as its regional Experience Services Lead.


Campaign Staff Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:13:10 +0000 Motivate Publishing INFINITI 1 Motivate Publishing 1
Is personalisation the answer to enhanced customer experiences in the evolving digital landscape? Mon, 04 Nov 2019 14:52:14 +0000 Campaign Staff Motivate Publishing Chester Wavemaker 1

Motivate Publishing 1

Digital marketing is becoming more challenging day-by-day. Advertisers are struggling to deliver effective marketing communications within digital environments. Some claim this is due to the increased attention deficit of the consumer, but this isn’t true. There is no research suggesting consumer attention has changed.

If you’re familiar with the concept of attention economy, it’s based on the fact that consumer attention has always been limited, but nonetheless people still pay attention – under the right conditions. One thing that has changed is consumer behaviour. Consumer use of social media has evolved dramatically; people are getting faster and usage is increasing. Consumers are now scrolling the height of the Burj Khalifa with their thumbs every single month, and it takes 0.25 seconds of exposure to recall mobile feed content at a statistically significant rate (Fors Marsh).

The demand for consumer attention is dramatically increasing due to increased competition. Consumers decide very quickly – in a matter of seconds – whether they accept or reject your message. There is a demand for instant impact? Meet the demand and sit above the clutter, but, if you fail, the opportunity has passed, and ad dollars are wasted.

The answer to how to evolve hasn’t been clear. The landscape is complex, dynamic and difficult to navigate. The moment advertisers begin to develop a solution, consumer behaviour and advertising environments change. There is a constant need for evolution and development.

‘Personalisation @ Scale’ is the buzzword on every agenda and is positioned as the solution to deliver greater effectiveness and match the evolution of consumer behaviour and complexity of digital advertising. McKinsey (2016) justifies placing personalisation in the spotlight, suggesting it can reduce acquisition costs by 30-50 per cent, increase revenue by 5-15 per cent and increase efficiency by 10-30 per cent.

The meaning of ‘personalisation’ appears to be self-explanatory, a relatively simple concept to understand for marketing professionals. But the harsh reality of its complexity and meaning quickly
come to the fore. Accenture (2018) defined ‘personalisation’ as delivering personalised ad experiences through the tailoring of messages or offers specific to consumer behaviours. Again, simple, right? But, don’t get ahead of yourself – there are key elements needed to successfully achieve Personalisation @ Scale.

Deep understanding of the consumer journey should be at the centre of all marketing decisions. Personalisation is no different. To understand and leverage consumer behaviours across the customer
journey is most important. Identifying key insights through journey understanding is the foundation of digital personalisation. If we take the smartphone category, understanding the average device tenure, consumer journey duration and the device type a consumer owns, advertisers can generate insights to power audience and messaging.

Turning insight into targetable audiences can be challenging. The use of data is vital. There are multiple types and sources of data available, but carefully selecting data sources based on the specific requirements is paramount. Using the smartphone example, advertisers often rely on third-party data.

Partners that are able to target by brand, model and age are best placed to deliver personalised communications. More sophisticated advertisers will primarily use first-party and add second- (eg partnerships) and third- (eg platform) party if necessary. They will collect the data via analytics, CRM
and DMP systems as well as offline sources (shops). This data is then organised using a bespoke system and de-duplicated to generate a consolidated, single customer view.

A smartphone advertiser would identify which customers are in-market for which device, as well as understanding the value of that customer. The data can be used directly within media or as a seed audience to model lookalike audiences, finding new users that are similar to the seed audience. This process enables true personalised marketing at scale. Aligning marketing teams, creative and media agencies is a key enabler for personalisation. These teams often work in silos, leading to a loss in effectiveness, such as irrelevant messaging and creative not suiting the ad environment. Collaboration at the briefing and ideation stages can inspire thoughts, bring personalisation ideas to life and ultimately lead to better outcomes such as increased ROI or reduced cost.

Personalisation is most effective when using a dynamic creative optimisation (DCO)partner. DCO is the automatic creation of ads using data inputs and creative templates. The DCO partner will ingest data points such as smartphone owned, device age, geolocation and language, and then generate hundreds of creative variants using a predefined creative template, delivering relevant variations to each audience (Criteo, 2018). DCO technology then optimises the creative based on data variables
and performance using artificial intelligence.

Personalisation @ Scale can help tackle evolving consumer behaviour and the changing ad environment. It is a savvy way of providing customer-centric solutions and as a result improves overall campaign performance. However, brands need to understand consumers’ behaviour, collect, organise and utilise data effectively, align internal teams and agencies, and carefully select a DCO partner
to automate the workflow. Jaguar Land Rover and Property Finder are recent examples of Personalisation @ Scale done well within social through their use of, but a lot of brands are still struggling to master the concept. Personalisation will be a big focus in 2020 for both brands and agencies, so watch this space.


Campaign Staff Mon, 04 Nov 2019 14:52:14 +0000 Motivate Publishing Chester Wavemaker 1 Motivate Publishing 1
Can we predict the unpredictable? Mon, 04 Nov 2019 09:02:05 +0000 Austyn Allison Motivate Publishing Elie Khouri 1

Motivate Publishing 1

By Elie Khouri, chairman of Omnicom Media Group MENA

Over the past few years, I have engaged in the perilous game of making predictions for the MENA marketing and communications industry. Perilous because, more than ever, the whole ecosystem is tied to brands’ market performance, which in turn is linked to the region’s geo-political and economic developments. And therein lies the problem with forecasting in our region, where tensions flare up at the flick of a tweet and confidence plummets as rockets fall on oil facilities. The only thing we can safely predict is unpredictability.

There are deep-seated trends under this volatility. One of them is that marketing is changing, as are CMOs’ priorities. More and more resources are going into marketing infrastructure, technology, data, insights and analytics. Digital marketing and the transformation of business models remain on top of their agenda. All of this will keep affecting the scale and allocation of marketing budgets.

During the last five years, the Middle East has experienced an unprecedented 40 per cent reduction in advertising investments. This year, we won’t see the bottoming out we expected, let alone a rebound. Marketers have found more reasons to make budget cuts as their sectors softened further.

The real purpose of making predictions is not the satisfaction of being vindicated but to observe, investigate and eventually learn and share. So, what do we make of 2019 and what can we expect from 2020?

The Levant dropped further in 2019, with problems in Syria and recessions in both Lebanon and Jordan, and should end the year at -10 per cent. The uprising in Algeria brought some uncertainty to an otherwise stable Maghreb, resulting in a 5 per cent drop. Egypt has gone from strength to strength and looks like it’ll close the year with a healthy 15 per cent increase in marketing investments. In the GCC, the UAE suffered from a noticeable reduction in public investments, while Saudi Arabia will show a 10 per cent increase on 2018, thanks to a massive push by the public sector and modest improvements in the economy. So, despite the gloom and doom, MENA will end 2019 down 5 to 7 per cent on the previous year. While this number will look conservative to many media owners in the traditional space of TV, old-school digital publishing, print and outdoor, the global digital players (Facebook, Google, Snap and Twitter) will register a high double-digit growth. Programmatic trading will rise by 50 per cent, and investments in influencer marketing are set to grow massively on 2018.

If advertising investments were to correlate with GDP growth, then 2020 should be a decent enough year. Most analysts expect the regional economy to rise by 3 to 4 per cent next year. In advertising terms, the stars should be Egypt, thanks to economic improvements, and Saudi Arabia, if public investments continue to strengthen. The UAE will soften further despite Expo 2020. Next year, growth in the region will most likely be flat compared with 2019, but could see a small single-digit increase if Saudi Arabia over-performs.

1. The localisation of the workforce will be a double-edged sword

GCC nationals are much less present in the private sector than in the public sector. Between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of public budgets go to wages and compensation. With state finances under pressure, governments are pushing their nationals into the private sector. Any form of coercion to absorb additional workforce will simply move the burden to private companies that can ill afford it. Reserving certain positions for locals, limiting expat visas and other forms of restrictions on recruitment will be a short-term fix to a long-term problem. Employment based on nationality, rather than merit, is unlikely to achieve the highest corporate and economic goals. This approach will discourage foreign direct investment and runs counter to the notions of openness and fairness, which are essential to the proper functioning of economies. A better solution would be to stimulate entrepreneurship and self-employment, with training, support and funding.

2. The public sector will have to choose between cooperation and competition

GCC governments have long strived to diversify their economies and actively invested in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). While they implement business-friendly policies, they unfortunately also often compete with private businesses, introducing new regulations that bend rules in favour of SOEs. As this offsets the good work to attract foreign direct investments and stimulate entrepreneurship, governments will need to decide what is more important to them: cooperation or competition. A way forward would be more public-private partnerships.

3 Riyadh will challenge Dubai’s position as the regional hub

The transformation of Saudi Arabia has only just begun, and yet talk of company and job relocations to the Kingdom’s capital is growing. While the modernisation and liberalisation of its lifestyle is high on the agenda, there is still some way to go before Dubai’s status comes under real threat. The Saudisation of the workforce will certainly not help to attract foreign companies and talent but Dubai shouldn’t become complacent. The city-state will need to strengthen its relationship with companies, provide added incentives for the corporate workforce and consider its value proposition in the context of Saudi Arabia’s scale to remain attractive in the long term.

4. Saudi Arabia will win the Arabic content game

Saudi Arabia is making a play for the Arabic content crown and has the resources for it. There’s the $300m+ investment in Shahid (regional broadcaster MBC’s video-on-demand platform) over the next three years and several films and TV series in production. There’s also Jeddah’s new Red Sea International Film Festival starting next year, on top of hundreds of new cinema screens. The country made a big impression at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it announced its plans to build a film industry. Now that Netflix appears to have lost interest in Arabic content to focus on bigger markets and kids’ programming to fend off Disney, MBC, the country’s champion, will increase its domination with its expanding content empire.

5. Myopia will prevail as brands continue to focus on the short term

Like their consumers, brands are increasingly living in the moment. A survey by Gartner found that a growing proportion of US CMOs are moving towards a more agile, project-based approach to budget setting. Goals and activities are more and more short-term, as the pressure to deliver results, especially sales, intensifies. Speed now prevails, and clients demand agility and responsiveness from their agency partners. As long-term brand building is being pushed down the list of marketing priorities, agencies will need to reorganise and restructure their teams and processes to reflect this new reality. That’s not the only path. According to an Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) survey, the decade-long focus on short-term activations is damaging brands and reducing effectiveness. Marketers could choose to build future demand and loyalty further. This would mean investing in campaigns that change behaviours over time and rebalancing budgets towards brand building.

6. The communication industry will court SMEs more than ever before

With an estimated value of $1 trillion, SMEs have become a force to be reckoned with in MENA. They represent 96 per cent of registered companies in the region and claim a share of GDP as high as 80 per cent in Egypt and 60 per cent in the UAE. SMEs promote competitiveness, increase productivity and could well be the solution to the unemployment situation in the Middle East. However, they need the full support of an ecosystem currently locked on large businesses. The advertising industry has been built on successful, ambitious and prestigious brands. With large budgets melting, agencies will now explore previously untapped growth opportunities and adapt their service offering to SMEs.

7. The failure of TV measurement will keep putting pressure on the medium

TV measurement in Saudi Arabia is in a shameful state of limbo. This failure to launch a meaningful system gives marketers more reasons to limit their investments. In other words, the industry is shooting itself in the foot. With constant leadership changes in the regulating bodies and major concerns with financing and corporate governance, TV measurement is unlikely ever to see the light of day in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, TV ratings measured in living rooms are increasingly irrelevant in the context of digital media consumption. Now is the perfect time to pivot away from legacy technologies and work on a holistic system that reflects today’s reality and meets the needs of advertisers. Otherwise, TV will pay the price of this failure and this effective medium will unfairly be committed to history.

8. Broadcasters will lessen their dependence on advertising

With brands’ TV budgets falling, broadcasters’ dependence on advertising revenue is becoming toxic. Few of them have gone digital with streaming platforms and VOD services, so subscription revenue is still very low. Currently estimated at $250m, analysts expect this income to grow to $1.2b by 2024. This is not impossible, as Shahid Plus reported a 62 per cent increase in paid subscribers last Ramadan alone. While the competition with international giants, including Amazon Prime, Disney + and Apple TV, will intensify, local heavyweights like Shahid and StarzPlay will continue to scale up and increase SVOD (subscription-based video on demand) revenues. Traditional broadcasters will need to diversify quickly and offer product placement/brand partnerships, sell owned content to other digital platforms and leverage the power of their stars in brands’ influencer marketing activities.

9. Influencer marketing will see high double-digit growth

Demand for influencer marketing is rising fast. It is now a $15bn industry globally, with some multinationals allocating up to 75 per cent of their marketing budget to digital marketing, particularly on social media influencers. From $160m this year in MENA, the sector will grow by 50 per cent in 2020 and exceed $400m in 2022. This will be on the back of greater accuracy in performance measurement and a foray into s-commerce (social commerce). The long-term viability of the medium and success of influencers will require nothing less. Instagram’s decision earlier this year to test hiding vanity metrics will eventually push influencers and brands to embrace more significant KPIs and performance-driven remuneration models. Likes and follower counts were never water-tight measures anyway.

10. Amazon will challenge Snap for third place in the region

Amazon is now the third largest digital advertising platform globally and is growing faster than Google. Now that Amazon Advertising is available in the region, with its large, in-market audience that can be targeted based on real shopping and buying insights, the scales will tip even further towards digital. While the dominance of the Duopoly will continue unabated, as will Snapchat’s ascent, Amazon’s impact will be felt much more strongly further down the chain. Local publishers will find it even harder to compete in terms of audience, data, technology, content and services. The best options for them will be to transform their business model, create new sources of revenue beyond advertising and collaborate on data and programmatic trading solutions. If they don’t, they will fail.

11. Agencies will rely less on awards to promote their value to clients

Who doesn’t like an award and a moment on stage? From the Oscars to the Effies, there is no shortage of ceremonies to celebrate winners in every imaginable discipline. This doesn’t make them the best yardstick though. A study by the IPA has shown that over the past 24 years, the effectiveness of creatively awarded campaigns has constantly declined since 2008, largely because trophies have gone to under-performing, low-budget, digitally-focused campaigns. While awards come with some benefits, including boosting pride, morale and perception, their actual impact is hard to quantify. What is perfectly measurable, however, is the cost attached to participating in them. From entry fees and supporting material to gala dinner tickets, many agencies are questioning their return on investment and will look for alternative ways to objectively validate their quality and performance.

12. Climate activism will be expressed in the aisles rather than the streets

Concern about climate change is rising among Middle East citizens. Several studies show that more than 60 per cent of residents are worried. If the younger generations appear more concerned, the poorer segments are less so. While this anxiety can’t easily be expressed in the streets, more and more people here accept they have a responsibility and role to play. Some, like the Arab Youth Climate Movement, hope to change minds and policies by lobbying governments. Many more modify their purchase decisions to align them with their values. Manufacturers will need to ensure their products and packaging are environmentally friendly to counter the rising competition of entrepreneur and activist brands.

13. Having a purpose will be as important as
having a brand

Earlier this year, the industry body for leading US CEOs changed the definition of the purpose of a corporation it had held for more than 20 years. Instead of stating that its duty was to its stockholders, the organisation now believes that a business has a broader responsibility to society. The age of purpose and activism is upon us. It’s not about cloaking a brand in goodwill and doing good occasionally. It’s about standing for something meaningful, proving it and making a tangible difference. Why? Because it’s a rallying cry, a differentiator and a magnet for people who share the same beliefs. We will see more and more organisations going through introspection to determine what their purpose is and working, authentically, towards a stated and achievable societal goal.

When times are tough, the focus shifts to more immediate and primal considerations. The issue is that we then tend to lose perspective and context. There are tectonic shifts happening and some trends are more perceptible than others. The dichotomy between marketing and sales appears
to be fading, and execution seems to become more important than strategy, for example. These changes require us to consider the big picture and remain agile to stay relevant in the years to come.

We’re certainly faced with several challenges. Digitisation, automation, offshoring and localisation of the workforce, on top of geo-political tensions and the paradigm shift that comes from the emergence of Saudi Arabia, are reasons enough to pause and reflect. Our response to them needs to consider both the short and long term. Industries that haven’t upended their business model are shedding jobs and this goes for our sector too.

Behind any challenge there is an opportunity. There is still growth and optimism if you look closely enough. Our industry has a unique talent in finding a positive in any product or service. This is how we build brands. Let’s turn the tables and apply this positivity and enthusiasm to ourselves. Time to lose the doom and gloom, unleash our ambition, roll up our sleeves and look forward to better times ahead.

Austyn Allison Mon, 04 Nov 2019 09:02:05 +0000 Motivate Publishing Elie Khouri 1 Motivate Publishing 1
MullenLowe produces Street View catwalk for City Centre Sun, 03 Nov 2019 13:49:30 +0000 Austyn Allison Motivate Publishing Google Street Fashion Show_0714 1

City Centre malls took the shopper experience to new heights as it curated the world’s first street-side fashion show available to watch on Google Street View. The digitised catwalk show provided a uniquely engrossing way for shoppers to discover the recently launched Autumn/Winter ‘19 fashion collection. Shot at Shindagha corniche, close to City Centre Al Shindagha, the activation emphasised the creative, community-focused identity of City Centre malls by using models from the public. Majid Al Futtaim’s agency is MullenLowe.

Austyn Allison Sun, 03 Nov 2019 13:49:30 +0000 Motivate Publishing Google Street Fashion Show_0714 1
Power Essay by Wavemaker’s Mariam Raafat: Agency of the Future Wed, 30 Oct 2019 13:53:45 +0000 Campaign Staff Motivate Publishing Mariam Wavemaker 1
Motivate Publishing 1
Mariam Raafat, Managing Director, Wavemaker Egypt

As media evolved in modern culture to become more and more complex, there has been a dire need for the formation of independent media entities away from the communication agencies. Over the years, those entities shaped up to hold the tools, knowledge and research that enable clients to win with products, boost their sales and drive productivity, making them an integral part of any client business.

However, what has been happening recently is that most of the big conglomerates that held media expertise across the years have started to weaken and get diluted, driving the decision for clients to move part of their business in-house, thinking that this new model will increase their efficiency and give them better control over the execution of their communication strategy, especially in this complex online landscape.

This trend has been increasing globally but can clearly be seen in most of the developing countries, like Egypt for example. Among the main reasons for this increased trend is that media entities are limiting their offering to competitive trading schemes, diverting their attention from what can drive business opportunities for their clients. Also, most of the big groups are creating a lot of sub-speciality agencies, apart from the main agencies, whereby they are trying to refine their service to include programmatic services, content creation, social moderation, digital activations, etc. This in turn is becoming extremely complicated for clients to comprehend and adopt.

Another reason for this trend is the lack of unique creative offering with the spread of social media and its complexity, which enables platforms like YouTube and Facebook to offer many creative solution and tools for clients, something that was done exclusively by speciality agencies in the past.

It has become evident that media agencies have to regain their position in today’s world to avoid the risk of in-housing and their roles becoming redundant. Below are some of the pillars that agencies might need to consider to re-start their journeys and regain their glamour.

1. Speak the client language
It is no longer about the media consumption of a specific target, or the need to block your competitor from a certain opportunity. It is about finding the growth opportunities in your client business and how you can use media to tackle these opportunities and win in the marketplace. You need to be part
of your client’s team and speak their jargon: ‘growth drivers’, ‘boosting sales’, ‘conversion rates’, consumer passion points’, ‘strategic problem solving’. This will enable the agency to be fully integrated within the client teams.

2. Be agile and open to take risks
The most creative media hits are the ones that are created in real-time because they capture an untapped opportunity that no one has managed to step into. Clients cannot tolerate strategies and plans that consume long lead times to be able to counter attack competition or win shares in certain categories. Social media has exemplified the benefits of real-time marketing and the never-ending engagement resulting from it. Also, agencies need to be open to take things to the next level while always asking “What if?”, “Can I do it this way or the other?” and “Why not?” because the challenging attitude enables one to explore new, untapped opportunities while opening new channels of success.

3. Enrich sub-specialties within the agency
Agencies have to go back to being clients’ one-stop shop, especially with the increased expansion and evolution of digital media. Agencies need to keep on refining their offering with integrated solutions, instead of offering a dozen sister agencies with various offerings to whom they then lose their clients. Everything should reside in one agency and talent should be recruited to cater for the client of the modern world. From consumer targets identification to precision marketing, whether it is a TV sponsorship or a social influencer digital activation, the journey should be owned and executed in one entity.

4. Be a collaborator with a curious mind
Agencies should start to realise that the calibre of clients has evolved altogether, and that expertise lies at both ends of the relationship. Aiming at a healthy business cooperation, agencies should show a lot of collaboration with their clients instead of just dictating pre-determined solutions that clients will never relate to. In doing so, agencies need always to have a curious mind, and keep on challenging the status quo to upgrade their creative solutions in a way that resonates with their clients.

5. Better use of data
Marketers sit on a goldmine of data and the agency should be well integrated in this very important part of the business. Understanding our consumers, their thought process during the purchase journey and what drives them to buy and use products is an integral part of any flourishing business. When agencies are not well exposed to data, or lack the knowledge to properly use it, that is most definitely a missed opportunity for driving growth opportunities for their clients.

Campaign Staff Wed, 30 Oct 2019 13:53:45 +0000 Motivate Publishing Mariam Wavemaker 1 Motivate Publishing 1
The HP Elite Dragonfly Officially Launches in the UAE Wed, 30 Oct 2019 13:13:39 +0000 Campaign Staff Motivate Publishing George Rouppas, Head of PS Category, HP Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Turkey_1 1

Motivate Publishing 1 HP Inc. today introduced the HP Elite Dragonfly, which is the lightest compact business convertible laptop. The laptop, which is a sub one-kilogram ultralight premium PC, is designed to push work and life boundaries for mobile business professionals. Artfully crafted to standout in a distinct Dragonfly blue, designed to be powerful, and hardened with security, the HP Elite Dragonfly ushers in a new era of mobility.

Motivate Publishing 1 Commenting on the launch, George Rouppas, Head of Personal Systems Category at HP Inc. Middle East, Saudi Arabia & Turkey said, “The way people work, live and play is changing significantly. People are no longer bound to their desks and this means they need equipment that supports this lifestyle. Business professionals need to be mobile, move fast and freely in increase efficiency and productivity. With this in mind, we designed the HP Elite Dragonfly to make a bold, personal statement. A PC should provide freedom, adapt, and transform how and where today’s business professionals work, thus at HP we are constantly trying to reinvent how technology empowers the workforce.”

Additionally, the HP Elite Dragonfly is the company’s first notebook to include ocean-bound plastics. Its speaker enclosure component is made with 50 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic including 5 percent ocean-bound plastics. To date, HP has sourced over one million pounds – or more than 35 million plastic bottles or more than 450 metric tonnes – of ocean-bound plastics from Haiti for its products. To ensure their ocean-bound plastics efforts continue to scale, HP has committed to including ocean-bound plastic material in all new HP Elite and HP Pro desktop and notebook computers launching in 2020.

Noting that consumers in the UAE are growing increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of the products they are buying, he added: “Sustainability and the creation of a circular economy are hugely important to us. Be it through partnerships with local charities, such as Dubai Cares through which we support educational projects while recycling HP ink cartridges or through the introduction of new products such as the HP Elite Dragonfly, we continue to reinforce our commitment to HP’s global sustainability agenda. The smart choices we are making about the plastic elements in devices play a crucial role in achieving those goals globally.”

Campaign Staff Wed, 30 Oct 2019 13:13:39 +0000 Motivate Publishing George Rouppas, Head of PS Category, HP Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Turkey_1 1 Motivate Publishing 1 Motivate Publishing 1
Titan Watches – Create Your Moment Mon, 28 Oct 2019 10:57:48 +0000 Austyn Allison Motivate Publishing Picture1 1

The ‘Create Your Moment’ marketing campaign by Titan Watches was launched in the Middle East on September 12, 2019. The campaign aims to encourage people to push their boundaries and to cherish those moments when they find the courage and determination to do so. Aligned with the brand’s people-centric approach, the campaign video was born as part of a unique crowdsourcing initiative that saw participation from more than 100 talented creative thinkers from the Middle East. The contest provided an opportunity for the talents to express themselves in a way that speaks directly to the modern Arab youth. #createyourmoment is a celebration of the region’s young Arab men and women, who dare to express themselves, take bold decisions and create their moment. The ones to whom the future belongs. Titan’s agency is Human*.

In our print edition we erroneously credited Aurora as the agency behind the campaign. Aurora is Titan’s PR agency for Dubai. We regret the error.

Austyn Allison Mon, 28 Oct 2019 10:57:48 +0000 Motivate Publishing Picture1 1