Print: Digitally versatile

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Print: Digitally versatile
RIGHTFULLY YOURS; The Business Year uses the right tools to target digital campaigns to ensure the right information goes out to the right people

Audience development strategy takes priority in raising media exposure. Ayse Hazir Valentin, CEO of The Business Year, shares her thoughts on keeping up with a dynamic market

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Published: Tue 10 Dec 2019, 11:10 AM

Last updated: Tue 10 Dec 2019, 1:27 PM

There are a diverse range of media businesses at work in the UAE today. The leadership, armed with a desire to foster a creative economy, has created a strong breeding ground for the local publishing industry, and Ayse Hazir Valentin, CEO of The Business Year, is excited for the future prospects.
"The Business Year, as an interview-based publication, is a reflection of business sentiment in a given country. We have not just grown across the Middle East, but also grown alongside it. We cover a range of countries in the GCC, from Oman and Kuwait to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Beyond the Gulf, we cover countries like Lebanon and Jordan."
"While 10 years ago, the seeds of diversification had been planted in many of these markets, today we see more concrete steps being taken, and plans implemented, to realise a life beyond oil and gas, the transition to the knowledge economy, and green sustainability," she said.
The Business Year is a global media group that caters to investors, businesses, and governments with first-hand insights into the world's most dynamic markets, implements an audience development strategy across various digital platforms, such as websites, social media, and newsletters.  
"Nowhere is this more apparent than across social media. Around 99 per cent of the population is active on social media, helping to generate and consume content. This is significant and means that to be successful in vying for the attention of residents here, you need to be on the top of your game, generating slick, modern content that is informative and engaging. Our web team works hard to generate content that can engage not only users in this region, but also around the world," she added. 
Going digital
Beyond The Business Year's annual publications on these markets, there is a growing demand for online content for these markets. 
"We are producing more content than ever before across the world, and a large part of it is focused on providing investors, and the online community at large, clearer, more actionable information on the state of economies across the Middle East," she said.
Over the years, The Business Year has begun hosting their content on a range of business information systems, namely Bloomberg Terminal, Reuters Eikon, Dow Jones Factiva, and FactSet, which increased their exposure dramatically, allowing investors, analysts, and decision-makers get easy access to global content. 
"We are also constantly evolving our online platforms, whether thebusinessyear.com or our social media channels. We believe in constantly remaining fresh and engaging - stagnation can be dangerous in a digital world. We also have an elite list of subscribers, including members of the business community from senior to entry level, as well as news junkies, to whom we send regular interview and article content, as well as complimentary reports and other analysis. We like to reward our followers, and encourage everyone to sign up themselves at thebusinessyear.com to see for themselves," said Valentin. 
When it comes to tracking their diverse audience, The Business Year has an elite database of subscribers managed by a talented web team who use latest tools to target digital campaigns to ensure the right information is reaching the right people. 
"Our social media following is even wider, and it's important that the information we provide is both useful and engaging. We work hard on content in that respect. It is a constant evolution, however, and we never rest on our laurels," she added. 
Enhanced sector diversity 
There is a clear aim in the UAE to develop human capital and create the building blocks for an economy built on knowledge and creativity. 
"We are seeing a lot of inward investment into education in that regard, while other social sectors, such as health, retail, and entertainment are also showing a lot of growth. The Business Year is also present, so I should draw attention to the robust media sector developing here in the UAE. Cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai are also growing as tourism destinations, shedding the image of simple stopover destinations. You can't go wrong with an investment in tourism here," she said, adding that places like DIFC continue to attract financial services firms also, while the growth of air hubs across the UAE is cementing its role as a logistics super-hub. 
"The country is well-connected, highly educated, and ready to grow. The Business Year believes it will continue to attract investment across a diverse range of sectors going forward," she said. 
Setting strategic priorities
The Business Year is looking to expand their coverage in the region to markets like Bahrain, Morocco, and Egypt. Through their new series of special reports, Valentin hopes that the firm could shed light on more niche sectors. 
"One recent report, Special Report: Saudi Arabia Digital Economy, has been very well-received. We have just completed our digital transformation, but will continue to develop further in this area as it is a constantly evolving environment. It has become clear, also, that print is alive and well and the two mediums, print and digital, complement one another," she said. 
Brandishing a new wing
The Business Year utilises their large network of top global business leaders to bring investors together at high-level business events in key locations around the world. Standing tall as a platform through which people communicate trends, ideas, and challenges; organising events is just another way to bring people together for the common good, Valentin added. The events arm is an evolution of their goal to be a meeting point for business executives and other key figures.
Upcoming editions
The publishing firm is excited to reveal their latest work featuring Turkey, followed by other upcoming editions on Ecuador, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Spain. 
"As countries around the world begin to work toward the same goals, however, such as environmental sustainability and digitalisation, the gap between the emerging and the developed is narrowing, and the desire among companies for a platform to outline their plans and targets is shared. We will be following up our Spain edition with a more focused publication on the Veneto region of Italy," added Valentin.
In addition to these annual publications, The Business Year has a number of special reports in the pipeline, notably the mining sector in Ecuador, as well as an analysis on the engines of growth along the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Ayse Hazir Valentin,CEO, The Business Year
Ayse Hazir Valentin,CEO, The Business Year


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