The AI edge to marketing

Pixis’ Neel Pandaya explains how artificial intelligence is shaping the future of marketing in MENA.

Neel Pandya, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA & APAC at Pixis

From developing technology-infused cities to empowering people in new ways to achieve more across sectors like education, agriculture, communications, and so on, the Middle East and North African (MENA) region is experiencing an AI-powered marketing revolution.

As an influx of global brands continues to grow and the population gets more diverse, AI in MENA is emerging as the linchpin of cutting-edge strategies, driving campaigns tailored for the local culture and the newly migrated expats, ensuring efficiencies and revenues are accelerated at an unprecedented pace and scale.

AI is at the forefront for decoding complex consumer insights

Understanding the MENA consumer, consisting of buyers from a multitude of various backgrounds, has become more complex.

But AI-driven analytics provides deep insights into these consumer groups, allowing both international and local businesses to understand new target groups.

Predictive analytics and sentiment analysis tools enable marketers to identify new ideal customer profiles, gauge public sentiment, and adjust strategies in real-time. AI algorithms can process social media data, customer reviews, and feedback forms to extract valuable insights.

This agility ensures brands showcase relevancy and swiftly respond to market dynamics, positioning themselves ahead of competitors. For instance, Middle Eastern customers tend to choose brands that resonate with their values, such as local sourcing and sustainable practices.

This type of sentiment analysis can detect shifts in consumer opinion and choices, allowing brands to proactively address issues or capitalize on positive and emerging trends.

Personalised marketing messaging through LLMs

Though MENA is becoming a mosaic of multiple cultures, it still requires ad campaigns with personalised messaging specifically curated for the different cultural groups.

Local groups tend to be moved more with ads written in their local language and conservative messaging, while expats have a fairly different mindset and require English text. AI-powered creatives provide dense support to designers and marketers in multiple geographies and languages, significantly enhancing the customer experience and operational efficiency.

Generally, ad-making is a lengthy process that involves strenuous customer research, focus grouping, and testing several iterations of ads with the same message. With AI the time taken to create various ads for a diverse set of audiences is reduced manifold, allowing more room for creative, data-backed campaign ideas to flow, which instantly click with the audiences, thus fostering increased return on ad spends.

Maximising advertising efficiency

AI-led advertising empowers marketers with real-time bidding and A/B testing efficiency, making every marketing dollar count.

Advanced AI systems analyse user data to identify the most relevant datasets, determining the best times and platforms to display ads. This precision is crucial in the MENA market, where reaching the right demographic can make or break a campaign. Companies utilising AI for programmatic advertising have seen a notable improvement in their campaign outcomes, with better engagement and conversion rates. Additionally, AI can help in A/B testing ad creatives, identifying the most effective messages and formats, and further refining ad strategies.

DHL Express, the global logistics powerhouse, achieved a 35 percent increase in clickthrough rates and has become four times more cost-effective upon deploying AI into its ecosystem. Being a global brand to operate at massive scale, streamlining database and processes is a huge task, but with AI, DHL Express not only improved its competency but also continually improved its service quality and overall revenue.

The marketing road ahead

AI adoption in the MENA region is set for rapid growth. According to research, AI could contribute up to $320 billion to the region’s economy by 2030.

Investments in digital infrastructure, AI research, and talent development are creating a robust AI ecosystem, poised to capture diverse target markets and gain a competitive advantage in marketing.

AI is not merely a tool but a transformative force reshaping the marketing landscape in the MENA region. As the region continues its digital transformation journey, AI will be pivotal in defining the future of marketing, enabling businesses to excel in a competitive and multi-cultural environment. For MENA businesses, embracing AI is not just an option—it’s a strategic imperative to lead and innovate in the modern marketing arena.

By Neel Pandya, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA & APAC at Pixis