Transforming MENA brands through effective advertising

In today’s economic uncertainty, there’s a rising concern that marketers are focusing far too much attention on short-term gains, rather than driving brand growth.
Now, more than ever, brands are facing the challenge of attracting their consumers’ attention in such a fragmented media environment. We’re also noticing that poor marketing decisions are not only wasting budgets, time and resources, but are potentially alienating customers.

The good news? WARC, Choueiri Group and Kantar have collaborated on the very first MENA version of the ‘Anatomy of Effectiveness’ – a guide to help marketers create greater impact for their clients. This report highlights the key considerations to ensure ad budgets deliver a return, one of those being an optimum media mix, where TV is found to play a crucial role.

Here are some key considerations:

In order to achieve growth, there are several questions to ask before starting to build a media strategy:

Are you investing enough?
If you want to grow your market share, the key is to over invest. Investing in excess share of voice (ESOV), defined as SOV above the business’s market share, will likely lead to long-term sales growth.

Are your objectives realistic?
When setting marketing objectives, it’s important to consider the size of the brand and the size of the market. This will help you set measurable goals that are both realistic and attainable.

Are you maximising your effectiveness?
It is important not to confuse efficiency for effectiveness. Do not to prioritise ROI ratios above the total financial impact of the campaign.

Smart marketing means making every penny count. Which is why it’s important to set the right budget framework so you can spend strategically across multiple channels and campaigns.

Strike the balance between brand and sales
Research-based evidence from Les Binet and Peter Field suggests a rule of thumb for effective investment: 60 per cent for long-term brand-building, and 40 per cent for short-term sales activation.

The overwhelming consequence of the shift to digital has led to a shift in shorter-term thinking.” Karsten Janckowski, GM Marketing & PR, Infiniti Middle East

Balance digital and offline media spend
Different communication techniques offer diverse opportunities for reaching new customers and interactivity with existing audiences, so it’s important to balance your digital and offline media spend.

Measure for the short and long-term
Marketing variables are too often measured within the short-term due to the relative ease of determining changes in the market when the influences are fresh. However, the right KPI framework should focus on brandbuilding and sales generation metrics.

When it comes to reaching customers, marketing can be a brand’s best friend or its worst enemy. Across MENA, we’re noticing that TV builds a strong customer-brand relationship, specifically in a market rooted in trust and respect.

Consumption has grown significantly over the past decade and a lot of this growth complemented TV rather than replaced it. Multi-screening has become a key driver of MENA’s media landscape today.” Shadi Kandil, MCN MediaBrands, Middle East

Make sure reach is effective
For successful marketing, you have to quantify, measure and analyse your choices and results. By setting clear objectives, aligning the channel with the creative strategy and allocating the right budget, you will be able to use market reach effectively.

Use the unmatched reach of TV
TV in MENA enjoys a high reach of 89 per cent, with 3h:45m of average daily TV viewing. This, combined with the large Arabic-speaking population of 400 million, presents huge potential for TV to provide effectiveness at scale.

Tailor reach to drive profit
The ‘Profit Ability’ UK study reports that TV drives the most profit because its scale and popularity enable it to deliver efficient profit return at high volumes of spend. Currently, TV accounts for 54 per cent of advertising spend among Ebiquity’s database, yet it is responsible for 71 per cent of total advertising-generated profit.

Build a robust integration model
TV has been proven to enhance the effectiveness of digital media. While multimedia campaigns have been in play for some time, the impact that media synergies create is highly underleveraged. In fact, 40 per cent of campaign impact comes from media synergies (vs. 25 per cent global average), with TV being the backbone (according to Kantar MENA Database).
In addition, brands should be both distinctive and creative in their marketing attempts. Content should be localised for the MENA region and deliver a brand message that is relevant, emotional and compelling. Brands need to seek to reap the rewards from creativity, and having a short-term focus can undermine the long-term brand-building potential of creative communications.

“TV has always been the most effective form of advertising to win the hearts and minds of the consumer. As the current pandemic boosts TV viewership, it’s time for advertisers to rethink their media planning for our ‘New Normal’ and build loyalty and brand love among audiences. After all, love is earned when times are tough.” Youmna Borghol, Chief Data Officer, Choueiri Group