All expats living in the U.A.E have been through similar journeys. Getting off the Emirates flight not knowing what the next few weeks hold in store. Walking into the new work place bright eyed, looking around and seeing people from all over the world. Sitting with your new colleagues and finding out where they are form and how they found themselves here. Then getting advice on where to stay- we can all agree that Dubizzle became our favourite website. Standing in line at DEWA, doing the medical fitness test, visiting MOE for the first time and discovering the basics of living here. From there, we get settled in to a new life that is vastly different to what it was back home.
In the 7 years I have been in the UAE, the country has continuously advanced. We have all been part of conversations around the new (insert name of property) that is the biggest, largest, highest, longest in the world. It can seem a bit OTT at times but it represents the dynamic of this country, which is ‘if we are going to do it, we are going to be the best’. This doesn’t only apply to construction. Working in agencies, I have been lucky enough to see a broad range of industries and in most cases there is a culture of constant evolvement, development and improvement.
This is the reason I enjoy living here. Being part of something new, surrounded by a culture of forward thinking and dynamic people. We are all a part of this and collectively we are the culture of the UAE. It is this culture which we can explore to create stories for our clients and develop local content.
There are several papers released on the value of local over localized content and its impact, but what is interesting is to look at search statistics:
Our mobile devices have become tools in our lives, be it for finding places, entertainment, social media or killing time while waiting in line. We use them to find what we want and we are always connected. This, in itself, presents the challenge of how to get our message to our audience and cut through the 200 other posts they have seen the same day, posts from people they know or follow. We want them to see the post, like it and hopefully share it. Yes, there are several techniques to create online content but do techniques plant themselves in our audience’s memory?
At GLDS it is our philosophy that people believe what is real and authentic and that local content is the means to this. As advertisers and marketers we know that the best story wins. Look at what Nike did with Michael Jordan: it was a sponsorship, but every time he flew through the air, it was a story. This created ongoing content and positioned the brand in a time when digital agencies did not exist. Imagine what could have been created now.
In today’s world where digital content is a part of everyday life, we need to find ways to create platforms for long-term storytelling. Achieving this is pillared on identifying ways to deliver high-volume. Looking local is one solution; it opens a means to identify topics, find the people and to get out there and uncover the stories. The trick I have learned here is to think, “how to get the most out of a day’s shoot?” With some creative thinking, 10 pieces of content can be created in a few days, ten pieces of authentic content, content that is local, content that audiences want to see.
As marketers, let’s celebrate the culture of the place we call home and use it to our advantage. With Ramadan here, it is the best opportunity to do so.