GCC government entities have started looking at marketing with a private sector mentality, says a regional expert. According to a recent Mediastow study for the first two months of 2009, government expenditure on print advertising constitutes 8 percent of the total spend in the Arab world.
“Government entities will continue investing in advertising to enjoy a win-win relationship with customers by communicating more effectively their key messages,” says Mohamed Elzubeir, the leading specialist in the Middle East media intelligence industry.
“Government entities believe in marketing research and big chunks of their budgets are spent on knowing better their stakeholders. With the sea -change taking place in the government entities in the Gulf, corporate communications and public affairs programs are being increasingly leveraged to manage the change. Advertising is capturing a major portion of these programs,” adds Elzubeir.
“There is a huge gap between the government marketing campaigns of the Gulf and the Levant region, as demonstrated by countries like Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, which are still not fully aware of the significance of using marketing programs for government entities or they simply do not have the budgets.”
A few Gulf based government agencies manage customer relationships in a very effective way, by using latest CRM programs and e-marketing campaigns as well as marketing research.
Elzubeir says government marketing is more than just designing artworks or responding to customer queries; it is the strategic frame under which the organization talks and listens to its stakeholders to earn their respect and advocacy.
All advertising activity falls under the marketing umbrella and the greater understanding government entities gain of this practice, the better it will be for the economies of the Arab region according to Elzubeir.