Why digital is the way forward for the Middle East
The Middle East is certainly a very different place post the Covid19 outbreak. The devastating effects of the pandemic on global populations and communities are clear to see. And its impact on the economy is beginning to bite hard too, as companies, workforces, indeed entire industries grind to a halt.
For the companies doing their best to conduct business as usual—via remote working—it’s inevitable that budgets are slashed. With marketing often the first casualty.
But when times are hard, marketing is vital to keep organisations front of mind, and to give customers and prospects confidence in your products and services, amid so much uncertainty.
In a region where, as marketers, we have always relied heavily on face-to-face engagement, how do we ensure your voice is heard and your message has both impact and persuasion in a crowded digital world? Put simply, how do B2B brands stand out?
No option but digital.
You’ve heard it time and time again. Middle East customers are just not ready for digital. They don’t understand it and it doesn’t work in the region. Only physical events get results.
Well, times have changed, and digital marketing in the region is thriving, and there is no question our clients in the region are seeing better results than ever.
However, one question keeps coming our way. How do B2B organisations cut through all the digital noise?
Creative: Tell stories that count
Whether it’s via a virtual event or a simple piece of marketing content, telling your customers the right story — and telling it the right way — is more important than ever. Storytelling shapes how your customers and employees feel about your brand. So, it’s important to make sure your messaging, illustrated videos, or digital events, tell stories that engage your audiences. The best B2B storytelling starts with:
- Identifying and understand the why – why your brand exists for the customer, and why audiences will be interested. This helps you build recognition, empathy, and, above all, trust.
- Get to know the ‘who’ – know who you’re talking to and make sure you keep audiences’ challenges in mind. This helps you strike the right tone, deliver the right narrative, and hold their attention.
- Talk to the ‘what’ – avoid telling stories that are just about your business, services, or products — instead, talk about what’s in it for your audience.
Virtual events: Expand your experiences
We cannot talk about marketing right now, without mentioning virtual events. And I’m sure, like us all, your inbox is overwhelmed by invitations to webinars. As an agency, we quickly realised it’s no good just switching events from physical to virtual. To create a buzz and connect with your audiences in a unique way, you need to deliver immersive, unforgettable virtual experiences.
Recreating yesterday’s face to face conversations in a digital environment is not quite as easy as it sounds. We know businesses need more than just a webinar to engage with their audiences, so we’ve developed a suite of customisable virtual event concepts. Designed around how people behave in a virtual environment, they put customers first, maximise impact, and push up the all-important engagement level.
Check out our M|Virtual page to discover how to expand your customer’s experience.
ABM: win bigger from shrinking budgets
And finally, although ABM hasn’t— until now—been top of mind within the Middle East, it mustn’t be overlooked if you want to win your top target accounts. High-impact, 1-to-1 account-based marketing programmes allow businesses to focus their sales & marketing energy and resources on accounts with the highest value profile. Personalised content and tailored engagement deliver higher relevance and value, which, in turn, increases the propensity for the account to convert. This makes it extremely efficient and more effective in achieving longer-term business goals. This is supported by research from leading marketing consultancy ITSMA, which states that 87% of account-based marketers say that ABM initiatives outperform any other marketing investments.
Despite the global effects of the pandemic, we know in-person marketing won’t disappear forever in the region. Expo 2020 has been rescheduled and on track to go live in the UAE from 1 October- 31 March 2021, and Saudi Vision 2030 continues to race ahead. However, we predict that digital marketing programs will become increasingly influential, either implemented independently or to amplify in-person campaigns.
In a region where anything is possible, with a dynamic culture, a thriving business community, and forward-thinking people, it’s no surprise that the Middle East has taken to digital as the viable way forward in B2B marketing.