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When Marketing Academia Met (& Meant) Business
Strathclyde Business School UAE held its third successful Middle East Marketing Roundtable in Dubai last weekend.
May 23, 2013 2:37 by strathclydeuae
On Saturday, May 18th, over fifty marketing professors and professionals gathered at the University of Strathclyde Business School’s Dubai campus for the third annual ‘Middle East Marketing Academia Meets Practice’ roundtable.
“We appreciated the strong community turnout and enthusiastic participation that contributed to an enlightening exchange of ideas this year,” said event chair Dr Catherine Demangeot, a Senior Lecturer at Strathclyde Business School UAE.
The morning began with a thought-provoking academic keynote by Dr Ron Bradfield, Strathclyde Global MBA Director and an expert of scenario planning, on the potential future scenarios of social media. Dr Bradfield discussed the recent escalation in social media use by businesses and consumers alike, and the new but widespread assumption that social media – as we know it – will become an increasingly important market channel. Dr Bradfield challenged the safety of that assumption by presenting a variety of high-impact potential outcome states in which social media structure, function, and importance could change in the future. In many of these scenarios, the social media marketing strategies of inflexible organizations would be put at high risk of failure.
Participants then broke into separate groups for poster presentations and lively discussions about their track of choice: Branding in the Middle East, Cultures of the Middle East, Social Media Routes to Market, or Islamic Marketing.
Four rapporteurs later presented brief overviews of the ideas discussed in the various tracks’ groups, and brainstorming on each topic was extended to the entire audience. As branding specialists weighed in on approaches to social media and Islamic marketing experts shed light on how to satisfy the needs of a multicultural population, the extension of expertise across academic/practical and topical boundaries raised interesting questions to be explored in the coming year and discussed further at the 2014 roundtable, when academics and practitioners will again convene to explore the particular challenges and opportunities offered to marketing practitioners and researchers in the Middle East.
Additional food for thought was provided by practitioner keynote speaker Ali Faour, a Director at Memac Ogilvy who shared his insights from 19+ years of regional marketing, public relations, and corporate communications practice. Using specific examples from his experiences with an impressive range of well-known global and regional brands, Mr Faour discussed how the explosive development of the UAE has been accompanied by a host of marketing industry revelations. Before encouraging audience questions, he provided sage advice about using research to better understand Middle East markets and customers, but not allowing ourselves to fall victim to paralysis by analysis. Highlighting the courageous approach of local companies that approach marketing and business growth as if the sky were the limit, he encouraged marketers to take initiative and try out new approaches without fear of failure, but rather with a willingness to learn, adapt, and respond.
About Strathclyde Business School:
Winner of the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2012-2013, the University of Strathclyde is one of only 57 institutions in the world to hold all three major international accreditations (AMBA, AACSB, and EQUIS) for its MBA programme, which is also accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research. In the recent 2013 Financial Times Global MBA rankings, Strathclyde Business School ranked in the top 100 MBA programmes in the world, and in the top 25 in Europe. The University of Strathclyde was established in 1796 as ‘the place of useful learning’ and this remains its mission today: to combine academic excellence with social and economic relevance. The university is committed to the advancement of society through the pursuit of excellence in research, education and knowledge exchange, and through creative engagement with partner organizations at local, national and international levels. With a UAE presence that was established in 1995, Strathclyde Business School offers part-time executive MBA programmes via state-of-the-art campuses in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. For more information, please log on to www.strath.ae.