KT’s digital vibe honoured at Martech awards

Dubai - The UAE’s first English-language newspaper was honoured with the ‘Best Use of Martech in Media’.

Sohail Nawaz MBE, Head of Digital at Khaleej Times.
Sohail Nawaz MBE, Head of Digital at Khaleej Times.

A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 30 Mar 2021, 7:09 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Mar 2021, 7:10 PM

With a rapidly-changing media landscape that demands more respect for data privacy, personalised connections with audiences and predicting future requirements of it’s readers Khaleej Times has once again proven that it is ahead of the curve with another major industry recognition.

The UAE’s first English-language newspaper was honoured with the ‘Best Use of Martech in Media’ recognition at the inaugural Vibe Martech Awards (VMA), the annual recognition of the technologies, people and companies innovating and pushing marketing technology boundaries.

“We started our Martech journey pre-Covid, but the situation acted as a catalyst so our time spent, investments and resources have all grown four-fold,” Sohail Nawaz MBE, Head of Digital at Khaleej Times, said.

“Having our journey assessed by an esteemed panel of independent experts who have judged us to be the best in our field is a tremendous validation of our road map. We now have a quality-assured journey.”

The awards were hosted by Martechvibe, the region’s only media brand focused on marketing innovation and technology (martech). The VMA aims to advance the martech — marketing technology — agenda and honour those who are trail blazing.

Ravi Raman, editorial director of Martechvibe, said: “Awards are more than just a recognition of brands which excel and win. They serve a larger purpose of promoting innovation, inspiring several others. I would like to thank all the companies who nominated and foresee these awards to grow.”

The Covid-19 pandemic provided Khaleej Times a unique opportunity to remain the most trusted news source, as it has been for over four decades.

“I keep saying that The Chief Digital Officer of the Mena Region is Covid 19, which really escalated a lot of organisations’ digital strategies,” Nawaz said.

In 2020, amid the most challenging period in recent history, the Dubai-based publication scored a number of key breakthroughs in its martech strategy, including, among several others, partnerships with tech giants Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Most importantly, Khaleej Times became one of the first media houses in the Middle East and North Africa region to comply with Europe’s General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR), one of the biggest initiatives in the data privacy sphere. This is in addition to adhering to privacy compliance with local and international privacy regulations.

“It is very important that our audiences understand that we take their data collection, storage and activation very seriously,” Nawaz said. “We value our clients’ data and store it in a compliant way, giving them access to that data as and when they need access to it to view, amend or even delete it.”

“The co-chairman of the Galadari Group Suhail Galadari and Mohammed Galadari; Group CEO Mohamed Yahya Kazi Meeran and KT’s senior management have continuously supported and invested in our digital transformation journey,” Nawaz added, stressing that Khaleej Times’ ‘3P” Strategy of Privacy, Personalisation and Prediction — will ensure we continue to resonate with all our audiences for decades to come.

“In the last 14 months, we’ve come a long way in realising our vision to become digital-first… the journey we have embarked on ensures that we can serve all our audiences with preference-based news in real-time and across all devices.”

Khaleej Times is working closely with its Customer Data Platform (CDP) partner Tealium, a globally-renowned and trusted player in the CDP space.

“Tealium are experts in their field, helping and advising us in shaping our 0 and 1st party data strategy and laying down the tech foundations to achieve our vision,” Nawaz said, pointing out that Khaleej Times has the right team in place with the right technologies and the right tech partners to further its digital vision.

“Our commitment to future-proofing our business will march on and we will continue to inno-vate with tech, people and partners to ensure we serve our audiences with news they want to read, on the devices they want to read it on at the time they want to read it.”

— alvin@khaleejtimes.com

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