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There is no consumer like the Saudi consumer

When data doesn’t line up with what our gut tells us, we drop it, says Acquaint's Lulwa Al-Harbi

As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues its accelerated advancement through multiple sectors and industries, its consumers are transforming at an equally rapid rate, says Lulwa Al-Harbi, CEO of Acquaint Communications. 

“Data tells us that 70 per cent of the shoppers in our region regularly analyse product or usage reviews, before making their purchases online. That is a huge number, especially for a population with heavy buying power,” she said.

Al-Harbi has been at the helm of the agency, keen on continuously monitoring the changing dynamics of the Saudi consumer of today and comparing it to the one as recent as 10 years ago.

When asked about drives her, she said – “data”.

“I firmly believe that the communication business is driven by the heart. We are in the business of moving emotions.

“But, we cannot operate blindly. There is a massive emphasis on two-way communication with our consumers at our agency, and generating insights at every possible touch point.

“What we get from the pulse of the market is gold – there is no consumer like the Saudi consumer, I assure you.”

In further discussing the importance of data and insights, Al-Harbi cited several examples of when discovering the right insight served as the lever in turning a communication campaign from one consumers would passively see, to something they would actively participate in and respond to. 

“We’ve been blessed Alhamdolillah, to be working with some mega clients that are not only leaders in their industries, but also multiple public sector clients that are paving the way for the new Kingdom, delivering on Vision 2030.

“What works in the Western region, may fail in the central region. It really is about getting truly Acquainted with our people. And accounts that have been insight driven with us, have measurably excelled,

but when data doesn’t line up with what our gut tells us, we drop it, believe me. And the insights of the gut is something I’ll tell you about next time.

Talking about where Lulwa sees the industry going, she touched upon the tech-savvy Saudi consumer, and how the ‘norm’ is to have all transactions happen at a single click.

She feels that the Saudi consumer is not only becoming more aware, but also more demanding and willing to ‘hold retailers accountable’. 

Al-Harbi attributes the changing Saudi consumer to the rapidly transforming landscape and warns retailers and business owners to continuously learn and listen to the voices of the consumer.

She further discussed her views on the advent of Artificial Intelligence, calling it a ‘friend to the industry’, for those that are willing to quickly adapt and confirmed that Acquaint hopes to be at the forefront of utilising AI to offer better value to its clients.

Acquaint Communications is an award winning, full service agency, with 100+ employees and offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo. Information on clientele and services can be found here.