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When I was offered the opportunity to moderate the table on Mobile Marketing at Digital Cream Dubai, I couldn’t think of a single reason to not be there; it isn’t every day I’d get to sit down on a table with 10 client side marketers and hear about their pains and pleasure of doing mobile. And it really was equal parts both.
There were a lot of insights that came in from the three roundtables featuring 10 marketers each.
Personalisation and localisation of content are considered key trends in the Middle East – but it goes so much further than just language...
Here are some of the key take-outs from the Content Strategy roundtables at Econsultancy's Digital Cream Dubai 2012, which I moderated.
At last week's Digital Cream Dubai, Econsultancy's CEO, Ashley Friedlein, presented the latest digital trends from the newly published State of Digital Marketing in the Middle East and North Africa report 2012.
The latest research from the Middle East by Econsultancy indicates that the digital industry is experiencing rapid growth.
The State of Digital Marketing in the Middle East and North Africa report (supported by ArabianBusiness.com) shows that on average, 27% of of overall marketing budget is spent on digital, up from 22% since the last report was published 10 months ago in April 2011.
Overall, 58% of companies are planning to increase their digital marketing in 2012, and of these, 52% plan increases of at least 20%.
Despite the impressive growth rate, there's still a long way to go, as beyond restricted budgets, company culture, reliance on traditional marketing and the lack of skills are holding back marketers from making the most of the digital opportunities in the region.
In addition, the inability to measure return on investment is thought to be a barrier by 28% of marketers this year, up from 19% in the 2011 survey.
The digital divide and the lack of knowledge in the Middle East is a major barrier to investing in online marketing, according to Econsultancy research published in April this year.
In Econsultancy's State of Digital in MENA Report, some 20% of client-side companies and 42% of agencies said that a lack of understanding about online is preventing their organisation from investing more money in digital.
As further evidence, last year, Shaik Umar, Middle East Head for IDA Singapore, reported that the digital divide and lack of skilled talent are the main problems plaguing the Gulf's IT industry. Part of the reason for the lack of skills is the smaller population of the Gulf compared to other regions.
So, what can companies do to plug the gap and make the most of online marketing?
So you want to be active in social media and engage with your consumers and followers, but you're not sure if you can handle a negative situation?
Relax, it's not the end of the world. In this article, I'll be sharing with you a simple example that I faced not too long ago and how I managed to turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
Digital marketing is thriving in the Middle East, according to new research published today by Econsultancy and supported by ArabianBusiness.com. The survey-based research has found that companies are spending 22% of their marketing budget on digital.
Companies are using a wide range of digital channels for marketing, and investment in online is expected to increase across the board. Encouragingly, over half of companies (58%) are increasing their digital budgets in 2011.
However, the market is still very much in its infancy, and still faces major barriers to investment. Company culture, a reliance on traditional marketing, and a lack of knowledge are preventing companies from investing further money into digital.
This post looks at the current state of digital marketing in the Middle East, and some of the trends covered in our latest report.