In a recent survey conducted by the International Quality & Productivity Centre (IQPC), organizers of Click 4.0 conference, 51% of marketers in the Middle East say their biggest challenge was marketing in Arabic.
Mohamed Elzubeir, Head of Mediastow, sponsor of Click 4.0, the leading digital marketing conference to be held in Dubai from June 20 to 24, 2010, says: “Digital marketing is becoming increasingly common among Gulf businesses and marketers for reaching out to their stakeholders with punchy messages.”
Elzubeir revealed that these marketers have started to combine multiple channels in their digital marketing campaigns, which are yielding concrete results.
The IQPC survey sought to gauge what marketers across all industries in the region felt about critical topics, such as social media, integration of digital marketing into the traditional campaign mix and tackling transparency issues.
Nearly 73% of the 1,048 respondents named Saudi Arabia as the country they are most likely to focus on for their digital marketing in 2010-2011.
“In a country of almost 30 million, where 40% of the population consists of Arabic speaking natives, there has been a rapid increase in global media and consultancies competing to do business with local companies and brands in their native language,” commented Elzubeir.
Elzubeir said: “The tech-savvy nature of the people living in the Gulf is reflected in the fact that it has become a primary market for most multinational IT vendors. The Push and Pull digital marketing is well exploited in the region by marketers, thanks to factors like advanced ICT infrastructure, social media penetration and a tech-savvy target audience. Governments, businesses, schools, banks, universities and media are all putting their resources on the web in order not to miss the boat.”
Elizabeth Ricciardelli, Director of Click 4.0, says, “The partnership of Mediastow as a sponsor of Click 4.0 reflects mutual commitment to the digital marketing industry, this is an event of choice for learning from the best in the industry and Mediastow is the region’s key media research specialist company. This partnership underlines the need for concerted efforts by all players in the regional industry to drive digital marketing ahead and stand shoulder to shoulder with the more established world markets.”
Elzubeir said that a major problem in this part of the world is that marketers are not being shown what value the digital campaigns are providing them in reaching their customers.
He added: “We need to provide marketers with the necessary tools to gauge the success of their digital campaigns, which in turn could be the best tool to be put on the management board’s table to ask them for more money for digital marketing because simply the message is put across to customers via a cost effective channel.”
“Portraying the efficiency of digital marketing quantifiably is what is required at this stage and this is where regional agencies like Mediastow fits in,” emphasized Ricciardelli.
The new acquisitions and alliances in the region point to a robust and sustained future for the digital marketing industry in the region, added Elzubeir.
At the recent partnership launch between Facebook and Connect Ads, it was revealed that 9.7 million people in the region are part of the social networking platform, providing a great opportunity for brands to actively engage directly with this untapped consumer base.
“The Internet is a great tool for advertisers as it provides them with the tools to effectively engage with the region’s online consumers through various sophisticated targeting capabilities and innovative engagement opportunities. Online is definitely the way forward and our region is on the right track,” Ricciardelli concluded.