SYNC3D Dubai - Performance Marketing in the Middle East

by Edouard Leneveu on Wednesday 7 December 2016

When comparing marketing channels within the Middle East (ME) digital is quite clearly the fastest growing. In just 5 years, digital advertising revenue raised more than 5 times its total value. On the 25th of October Forward3D held a private round table in The Palace Downtown Dubai, where we shared digital marketing insights from the ME across the luxury retail, travel and technology sectors. 


In GCC, as in many other areas of the world, it's clear that not all countries are equal when it comes to digital maturity. This means that we can find strong e-commerce markets (the likes of UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) focused on international expansion as well as smaller e-commerce countries on the rise (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel). 


GCC is the fastest growing region in the world in terms of digital expansion. Based on the strongest markets within GCC there are 30M+ online shoppers out of 110M+ internet users, with online shopping rapidly evolving having already grown by 1500% over the last decade. UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the largest e-commerce markets with up to 81% mobile penetration.


Three of the most notable takeaways from the session were:


Organic / Influencer marketing


With the strong impact potential Instagram holds in this region, there is opportunity for huge exposure across most powerful channel, social. Fashion influencers in the ME are viewed and followed as trend setters in the region through their creation of original content and opinion leadership. Fashion and lifestyle regional influencers are currently covering the whole ME from Morocco to Iraq, through a variety of social media channels and personal blogs, with a strong share of voice, growing followers count and intimate interaction with their crowd


Fashion Influencers act as the middle link between international fashion and local presence on social channels. It is vital when using influencers to amplify your products that content is tailored to the particular area of the Middle East and adapted to the target channel.


Biddable media optimisation Paid search, display & programmatic marketing, technology


In the Middle East, social media has surpassed all other online activities. Statistically, people are now using social media far more than they look for news (55% daily). Facebook remains one of the more dominant social media platform. Interestingly, Instagram exploded in popularity between 2013 and 2015 whereas Facebook and Twitter use fell during this period.


Similarly to influencer marketing within the ME it is key to tailor your social strategy to your targeted countries.


Performance Linguistics


Applying performance linguistics is vital to ensure your campaign is driving incremental sales in the Middle East. This was illustrated with a number of case studies across global retail and travel brands we have been working with in this region. More information on these can be found on our case studies page.


If you are interested in learning more about organic performance, or would like to hear more about future roundtables hosted by Forward3D, please fill in the form below and we will be in touch.


Edouard Leneveu - International Business Development Manager