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Synergy in Saudi Arabia – by Snap Inc’s Ankur Jalan & UM’s Nadeem Ibrahim

UM's Ibrahim partnered with Snap Inc.'s Jalan and Kantar to understand the role of advertising platforms in the broader media mix

Ankur Jalan (left), group manager, marketing science MENA at Snap Inc. and Nadeem Ibrahim (right), head of digital at UM Saudi Arabia

By Ankur Jalan, group manager, marketing science MENA at Snap Inc. and Nadeem Ibrahim, head of digital at UM Saudi Arabia

A persistent challenge faced by marketers in the ever-changing digital ecosystem is how various advertising platforms work together to drive incremental impact on business for advertisers.

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To answer this question in Saudi Arabia, UM and Snap Inc. partnered with Kantar to run multiple cross-media studies throughout the year 2021/22. This provided detailed insights into the incremental reach delivered by each platform across the media mix, as well as identifying various ‘synergies’ seen between the different platforms in delivering brand impact.

The studies showed that leveraging a multi-platform strategy helped the campaigns reach close to 90 per cent of the target audience. The share of brand impact driven synergistically (two or more platforms delivering impact together) far exceeded the Kantar norms. This proves that in order to influence Saudi audiences, it is important to reach them on the right platforms with consistent messaging.

Ankur Jalan, group manager, marketing science MENA at Snap Inc. and Nadeem Ibrahim, head of digital at UM Saudi Arabia explain more about the findings.

What is synergy, why is it important and how is it measured?

Ankur Jalan, group manager, marketing science MENA at Snap Inc.

Ankur Jalan: For any multi-media campaign, each platform builds towards the overall impact. Media synergy creates value over and above that delivered by each individual platform. Therefore, optimising for synergy helps the advertiser generate more return on ad spend. The Kantar cross-media solution measures synergistic impact via Kantar’s proprietary methodology that identifies these synergies for every platform combination.

Nadeem Ibrahim, head of digital at UM Saudi Arabia


How can marketers improve the synergistic impact of their campaigns across media platforms?

Nadeem Ibrahim: Very simple: Run more studies, whether it is through marketing mix modelling or cross-measurement studies to provide colour into the impact between media platforms. It enables brands to become really effective with their communication and unlocks a series of opportunities on how messages can be tailored to suit the format and platform.

What was the role of Snapchat in the media mix as uncovered from these studies?

AJ: Snapchat is essential to any video plan in Saudi Arabia. It was identified as one of the largest and most efficient reach drivers in Saudi Arabia. Snapchat consistently drove incremental brand impact in synergy with other platforms. For STC, it delivered an incremental 13.9 per cent reach over
TV during Ramadan in 2021 and half of the campaign’s impact on STC’s sustainability perception.

What are the key learnings and actions you see the UM teams taking as a result of these studies?

NI: Saudi as a market is atypical compared with the rest of the region. The insights from the Kantar studies have presented outcomes that will result in effective planning when TV is in the mix. The incremental benefit that Snapchat can drive to complement TV and YouTube is very exciting. It gives a new dimension for brands to execute – from AR to other traditional Snapchat formats.

How can marketers and media planners benefit from studies like this?

AJ: Historically, media planning and measurement have been siloed for each platform. However, synergy across platforms plays a major role in communicating the message to the customer. Studies such as Kantar Cross Media are a step in the right direction in providing data points to the marketing community to help plan for this synergy.

How do you see the role of UM in partnering with Snapchat and other platforms to expand this offering to the broader ecosystem?

NI: I was amazed to get a deeper understanding of the synergistic outcomes between platforms and their impact across a range of different brand metrics. Although it may provide a more complex way of planning, there is an increasing need to provide effective outcomes for clients, which means not being across every platform for the sake of it. In this case, we see the role of Snapchat differ from other platforms, whether YouTube, TikTok or Meta. The fact we were able to quantify the outcome independently with Kantar is something we ask for all platforms to offer – be brave and bold.