Tagger, YAAP team up to boost influencer marketing in Middle East

Sector expected to witness major growth in the years ahead


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Atul Hegde, Founder of YAAP with Dave Dickman, CEO of Tagger Media. - Supplied photo
Atul Hegde, Founder of YAAP with Dave Dickman, CEO of Tagger Media. - Supplied photo

Published: Sat 11 Mar 2023, 5:22 PM

The size of the Middle East influencer marketing sector is expected to reach $1.3 billion in a few years from around $300 million at present, research shows. That is the second-fastest growth rate in the world.

According to emarketer data, 74.5 per cent of marketers are using influencer marketing today, but that will hit 88.7 per cent in 2026.

To cash in on this trend, YAAP, a Dubai-based influencer marketing company, announced a partnership with data-driven social intelligence platform Tagger Media. The partnership marks the US-based company’s official entry into the Middle East.

In a YouGov survey, 94 per cent of in-house marketers in the UAE said they believe that social media influencer marketing plays a major role in the success of their brands.

“This market possesses a sizable appetite for social intelligence and insight-led influencer marketing, and we will soon be catering to this demand The data-driven approach embodied by Tagger’s one-stop platform and the market knowledge of YAAP are poised to revolutionize influencer marketing in the Middle East.,” said Atul Hegde, founder of YAAP.

YAAP has posted a top-line growth of 97 per cent and a fivefold jump in profitability in FY21-22. Its client portfolio includes Bayut, Visit Dubai, Apparel Group, Fitbit, Kaya Skin Clinic and other leading brands in the Middle East and India.

Tagger Media has a client roster that includes Omnicom, Bose, Tinder, HBO Max, and Pepsico. Over the years, Tagger has emerged as the market leader in end-to-end influencer marketing services. Its platform provides access to data points of over 15 billion social posts and over 278,000 brands worldwide.

“Tagger Media was built on the promise of data. I believe we have timed our entry into the Middle East well, taking into account the exemplary digitalization and burgeoning influencer culture in this growth market,” said Dave Dickman, CEO of Tagger Media.

Influencer marketing is a complicated space but very effective as a tool. “It’s been fairly recession proof and did very well over Covid and economic headwinds,” Dickman added.

Influencer marketing really took off during the pandemic as advertisers were not relying on traditional media. “The lockdown ensured that things like outdoor advertising were no longer relevant at that point of time but clients still had to get their message out,” Hegde told Khaleej Times in an interview.

Influence marketing has been growing at between 30-40 per cent a year in this part of the world. “The fact that social media is so well connected in this part of the world it became a natural media for marketing and advertising,” Hegde said.

It has generally been the trend in the industry that 90 per cent of brands end up working with about 200 of the top influencers. “There are lots of people who have considerable influence over smaller sets of audiences that brands typically are not able to reach on their own. The Tagger platform will allow us to cater to the long tail of content creators in this regard,” Hegde said.

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