#RamadanTalks2022: The Building Blocks of Ramadan Strategies

On Wednesday 9th March, 2022, Twitter and Campaign Middle East kicked-off their exclusive four-part Spaces series on @TwitterMktgMENA. Focused on building an effective pre-Ramadan strategy, episode one of #RamadanTalks2022 welcomed Stephanie Terroir, Head of Twitter NEXT, MENA, who was joined by Shadi Elmourad, Digital and Social Media Director at Leo Burnett KSA, and Munir Y. Khoja, Managing Director of Branding, Marketing Communication and Sponsorships at Toyota ALJ. A deep dive into campaign strategy optimization, hosted by Campaign ME Senior Editor, Austyn Allison, the session guided listeners through the building blocks of Ramadan strategies. 

The session highlighted the importance of connecting ahead of Ramadan, with conversations about Ramadan beginning up to 100 days in advance, ramping up in the final 10 days leading into the Holy Month. Guests noted that peaks in conversation continue throughout the month, culminating in Eid AlFitr, meaning a combination of short and long-term approach is required within strategies. Data also revealed that brands that connected during the surrounding days in addition to event days will see 2x more engagement, 35% higher view-through, and 3x more cost-efficiency. 

Stephanie Terroir, Head of Twitter NEXT, MENA, shared best practices for building Ramadan strategies commenting: ”At Twitter we advise brands to split their strategy into three phases – Hype, Participate and React. The Hype phase focuses on awareness, creating a pool of leaned-in audiences and building associations. Participate focuses on brand alignment with conversations, ensuring that offers and content speak to audiences and drive engagement. Most importantly is React, which means brands must be agile, able to react to real-time conversations unfolding across the platform.” 

Shadi Elmourad, Digital and Social Media Director at Leo Burnett KSA, echoed the sentiment, adding: “Reactivity is key to a campaign’s success. We need to be able to use data from always-on monitoring to optimize and create on the fly, ensuring we are in the moment and communicating with a people-first approach. We must also acknowledge the time as a religious and social experience, mirroring human values and aspirations, and making audiences feel included, while taking into account the different audience categories from those waiting for deals to those looking to connect with content.”

The session also highlighted the importance of uniting a brands’ purpose with cultural moments. Munir Y. Khoja, Managing Director of Branding, Marketing Communication and Sponsorships said: “A brand’s year-round messaging should connect to its Ramadan campaigns. Today’s audiences are looking for authenticity from the brands that they love. As an automotive brand, our connection with Ramadan may not appear obvious, however, our purpose of taking on tomorrow’s ladders back to Ramadan in a number of ways. For example, in 2021, we launched our ‘A beautiful Ramadan and all it brings’ campaign which focused on the journey of bringing home the beauty of Ramadan, one day at a time. The campaign was a success with +6M views and over 44% completed views. In summary by building on brand values, connections, and relating to the specificity of the season, you drive results.”

Shadi Elmourad, added a further example of an unusual approach taken by du last year. At first glance the campaign took a step back from the brand’s assumed objective, he shared: “In 2021, du partnered with an Emirati man to chronicle his Ramadan experience as he undertook a digital detox. The campaign elevated the brand by linking to its vision to add life to the spirit of Ramadan. Throughout the campaign we found that audiences were following his journey, tuning in as he broke his digital fast each evening while praising, supporting and even emulating him.”

Guiding listeners through the building blocks of curating impactful Ramadan strategies, the key takeaway for brands and agencies was that Ramadan is a period that gives brands the opportunity to step away from the hard sell – providing an opportunity to tell stories, showcase values, and have a two-way conversation, connecting with people on a more spiritual, human, and engaging level.

A four-part series set to run during March, #RamadanTalks2022 explores how brands can connect successfully with audiences on Twitter during Ramadan. Tune in next Wednesday, 16th March at 12:00 PM (UAE) to learn about leveraging partnerships for higher impact, with Kinda Ibrahim, Head of Partnerships at Twitter MENA, Mohammed Abaalkheil, Senior VP of Corporate Comms at stc, and Nadim Samara, Chief Operating Officer of MMS at MBC Group.