A large section of marketers depend on integrated marketing campaigns with the hope that the campaign mix and investment levels are optimized to realize the highest return to their expenditures. In MENA, marketers have taken time but are finally warming up to the idea of integrated marketing campaigns. An indication being that some top-level players have got on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms only about a year ago.
Speaking at the ‘The Next Track’ hosted by SMG at Arab Net in Dubai, Mohammed Jaradat, Digital Marketing Manager, Jaguar Land Rover, MENAP observed, “The essence of integrated marketing should be to reach the target audience. Customers interact due to brand but your media planners should plan and choose the best channel for the brand.”
Giving a different view, Usama Qasem, Regional Digital Marketing Manager, UAE, Egypt, Qatar, IKEA said, “Some campaigns work outdoor, some indoors, some on social media; but I believe you get most impact when its integrated.”
The manner in which the markets have evolved in MENA, integrated marketing across communication platforms, from digital to social to mobile to retail, has become a necessity. Underlining the need of on-site and online technologies to create unique customer journey, Adel Baraja, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Volkswagen Group Saudi Arabia said, “Any business, big or small, needs to delve in integrated marketing campaigns but it should belong to consumers. You should know where your customers are.”
One of the challenges of integrated marketing campaigns is that you want to ensure that it is neither missed nor overdone. Mr Qasem stated, “How many audiences do you want to reach, and how many times do you want them to see your ad must be understood. Reach and frequency should be balanced.”
Despite the talks of war between TV and print versus digital, marketers feel there is little difference. Mr Baraja said, “For us there is no difference between others. Its just marketing though I must say being digitally savvy has become critical as it is the frontline of the battle.”
“We definitely cannot have an empty social media presence,” commented Mr Jaradat, adding, “but digital marketing should be efficient and accountable.” On shortage of data in MENA to reply upon before making informed decisions, Mr Baraja observed, “Research can often be different from insights. Sometimes analysis tools can trick you so we make sure we are listening to our consumers and measuring what they are saying, so that we can give consumers what they want.”