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Dubai, 21 February 2012

Digital marketing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is experiencing tremendous growth, according to an Econsultancy report, which has found that 58% of marketers are increasing their digital marketing budgets in 2012.

Econsultancy’s second annual State of Digital Marketing in MENA report looks in detail at the use of different online and traditional marketing channels in the Middle East and North Africa.

The 57-page report is based on a survey of more than 400 B2B marketers in the region, undertaken in partnership with ArabianBusiness.com, and reveals that over a quarter of marketing budgets (27%) are spent on digital, up from 22% in 2011. According to the report, over half of companies (52%) are increasing their digital marketing budgets by at least 20%.

The research findings show that traditional marketing areas are used in conjunction with digital channels. Email (78% of companies) is the most widely used digital marketing channel, but businesses are also using other established digital channels including off-site social media and SEO (search engine optimization).

Social media is also contributing to the high rate of growth in digital. A third (36%) of companies report they have already experimented with social media marketing, while 81% of marketers are planning to increase investment in social media in 2012.

Econsultancy’s Research Manager, Aliya Zaidi, said: “It’s an exciting time to be an online marketer, as the research shows more companies are ploughing investment into digital in 2012. More companies are focused on how to measure return-on-investment, which is a natural sign of the industry’s rapid development.

“Marketers are becoming more realistic about the challenges associated with measuring value from digital marketing and are better at understanding where the gaps are.”

Zaidi continued: “The report also found that a lack of local talent is holding back some companies from making the most out of digital. There’s huge demand for Arabic copywriters in this region, and companies need to address the skills gap by investing in further digital education and training.”

The full results of Econsultancy’s State of Digital Marketing survey are being presented at Econsultancy’s Digital Cream Dubai event on 21st February in a keynote presented by Ashley Friedlein, CEO of Econsultancy.

Key survey findings:

- SMS is the mostly frequently used mobile marketing channel or technology, with 52% of companies reporting that they are using text messaging for marketing.
- Competitions are the most common type of content created on social media in MENA, according to 43% of companies surveyed.
- Just over a third (36%) of companies create corporate blogs as part of their social activity, while infographics are created by 34% of organisations surveyed.
- Companies are failing to focus on the basics of mobile optimisation, with only 6% using mobile- optimised emails or mobile commerce.

About this report

The 57-page report focuses on how companies in the Middle East and North Africa are currently using online marketing and allocating digital spend, and includes sections on:

- Marketing budgets
- Use of marketing channels
- Social media marketing
- Effectiveness and return-on-investment
- Staffing and skills

Download the State of Digital Marketing in the Middle East and Africa report today.

Report URL
http://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-digital-in-mena

Journalists

A free report is available to journalists and bloggers. Please email for details.

Media contacts:

Aliya Zaidi, Research Manager, Econsultancy
(e: aliya.zaidi AT econsultancy.com)

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is a community where the world's digital marketing and e-commerce professionals meet to sharpen their strategy, source suppliers, get quick answers, compare notes, help each other out and discover how to do everything better online. It was launched in 1999 and since then has grown to a dominant position in the digital marketing industry with more than 110,000 members worldwide. Its website and blog attracts more than 300,000 unique users per month and its range of training courses and conferences are attended by more than 5,000 marketers every year.

Econsultancy also provides a range of resources specifically for the Middle East including regionalised reports, such as the Middle East Internet Statistics Compendium, local events, online resources and training programmes. Econsultancy’s 110,000 members make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Find out more at http://econsultancy.com/hello/mena.

For more information, visit http://econsultancy.com or follow @econsultancy on Twitter.

Published on: 11:53AM on 21st February 2012