Johnny Khazzoum, strategic director of Fusion5
Mena consumers today are extremely well-advised and know what they want. Therefore, mass-market approach is not likely to hold ground in this region. Johnny Khazzoum, strategic director of Fusion5, tells us it is important to 'micromanage' clients' messages
If business is usual in your advertising department, and you're a Middle East and North Africa (Mena)-based organisation, then you better start preparing an exit strategy. There is no surprise that the digital disruption overtaking the globe is a driving force behind the need for change in media advertising, but before we explore this, what is your favourite Netflix original?
Our customers' ears are also burning, with unbelievable growth witnessed for audio streaming giants Deezer and Spotify, the latter boasting a 31 per cent growth in subscriptions year-on-year. (Mic-drop!)
The headlines for 2019, when it comes to media advertising, are fairly consistent around the world. Consumers want video content, paid subscription-based services are dominating the market, mobile devices are the leading medium for consumption of media and investors are flocking towards virtual/augmented reality-based ventures. Over-the-top (OTT) services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are just a couple examples of the change in consumer attitude towards consumption of their content.
The fallout of this change will result in a new set of media buying strategies for organisations in the Mena region.
Fallout impact 1: Know your consumers
The pressure to truly understand your consumer is higher than ever. Businesses now have access to the daily lives and habits of their consumers through social media. Companies are pressured to toe the line between exploiting this information in developing target marketing strategies while protecting the privacy of their customers via complying with evolving digital protection laws.
The local insights and the data we have access to is massive, the challenge is how we best analyse this information and deploy them into actions and strategies driving results; having the tools and talents is key in an agency to make this happen in a seamless way.
At Fusion5, we have positioned ourselves into this space by focusing not just on the traditional agency services such as purchasing media and strategic marketing consultation, but also investing substantially into extensive research, tools and talents to cope with the market demands. Fusion5 embodies what our customers want: an agile, refined agency that hits their targets and results at 100 miles an hour. One that's unbound by bureaucracy and the legacy woes of larger outfits in the industry.
Fallout impact 2: Be original. Really original
Mass-market approaches are no longer impacting our well-advised and technologically-endowed customers. You need to make an effort to create content and personally engage this audience.
Through the Internet of Things, organisations can create automated content allowing users to have a personal experience, particularly for services such as voice search- and artificial intelligence-driven devices. Fusion5 has an entourage of partners that can support in creating original content that appropriately engages the customers, allowing brands to maximise relationship marketing. Mena consumers are well-resourced, extremely intelligent, and know what they want. Media advertising in this region can no longer rest on the laurels of a big-name advertising agency. Businesses now need to focus on hitting actual hard targets such as coveted 'marketing return on investments' to survive in this cutthroat market.
Fusion5's mantra to help us stay true to this is "See with our consumers' eyes; think through our consumers' minds". It is not as uncomfortable as it sounds. When you truly embody the strategy, success is inevitable.
2020 is just around the corner. There is a digital transformation taking place, and advertisers are now beckoned back onto the battlefield, sleeves rolled so they may personally 'micromanage' their clients' messages. Having awareness and insight into these trends will surely provide media experts an edge when it comes to innovating strategies to meet the not-so-future needs of their clientele.