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Saudi Industry Snapshot: Rabih Sabsabi, Spiro

Rabih Sabsabi, client relations director, Spiro

How have consumers changed in Saudi Arabia in recent years?

The Kingdom’s movements in socio-political, environmental and technological initiatives have affected consumer behaviour. Add that to how Saudi Arabia and the world as a whole have changed over the last few years, and you have a completely different landscape for events and experiences. Marcomms, media and event consumers are demanding more personalised and tailored content and experiences than ever before. There’s no going back to what used to be. Luckily, Spiro’s focus on innovation and what we call the ‘New Now’ embraces this truth: Move or be moved.

What are clients asking for in Saudi that’s new?

Virtually everything we conceptualise for our partners is fresh and new. We’re the brand experience agency of the New Now because we’re able to help our clients not only embrace, but offer the events and experiences of the future – whenever and wherever their customers are. The Kingdom is key to our brand innovations, whether it’s the latest in kinetics, alternative realities or other martech solutions we’re creating to solve their needs.

What are the biggest challenges you face in the Kingdom?

In this region, we deliver some of our largest innovations in the shortest timeframes. The ability to be agile is vital.

Where do you see the biggest potential for growth in Saudi?

The metaverse is our oyster. Accenture published a report revealing that 72 per cent of global executives think the metaverse will have a positive impact on their organisations, and 83 per cent of consumers are interested in making purchases through the metaverse. For Spiro, all experiences are ‘ARL’ –All Real Life. Seamlessly navigating between the digital and physical is key to growth, both for us as an agency and for the industry.

How have you changed your offerings to reflect changes in Saudi Arabia?

We have heavily invested in strategy, macro-trends, martech and our experiential offerings. A brand experience is no longer only focused on its architecture. It is also about the digital experience, attendee touchpoints along the way, and what happens when our clients’ customers go back to their day-to-day lives. For all of this, the customer journey and the client’s story are critical. Our people – and the knowledge and capabilities we carry – enable us to not only keep up with the latest trends, but to be trendsetters.