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2010: Trends and realities, Part I
Gulf Marketing Review magazine offers some insights that marketers might find handy to use in the New Year, Part I.
January 4, 2010 10:35 by Precious de Leon
If Tarek Daouk, EVP of Starcom Mediavest, had to sum it up for the media industry, he’d say, “Media is dead.” And for categories, Saatchi & Saatchi CEO EMEA Simon Francis would say one of the toughest trends marketers will face this year is “category atomisation”.
These forecasts, though jaded, are actually less daunting than they sound. They are more an appeal to brand owners to adapt to a rapidly changing media and consumer landscape, and highlight the need to get out of their comfort zone to find fresh ways to innovate.
Daouk’s statement, a resounding sentiment across several industry insiders, while quite a jarring notion, is actually an appeal to look at media beyond the hype of new programs and networks.
This year, traditional media ad spend is expected to grow by barely 5 percent, while online is expected to grow by as much as 52 percent. Madar Research reports total online ad spend in MENA at $90 million in 2009, up from $66.5 million in 2008 – proof of the migration from TV to online.
For online, SEO and SEM continue to boost ad figures. However, Google’s regional product marketing manager Wael Ghonim says that though there is growing interest, there are still challenges ahead.
“There are still some who don’t know that systems like Google Adwords, for instance, are still contextual advertising and can target the right consumers at the right frame of mind.
“The internet also offers unique branding opportunities through sharing content online,” he adds.
For Mazen Sabbagh, Google Adwords account manager, growth in Arabic-language support is needed to boost growth in regional online spend. He stresses the advantage of being able to monitor viewer behaviour online and the benefits of targeted hits.