Active PR and Hotwire PR announced the launch of their first Digital Trends Report 2014 for the Middle East. Titled: “The Year of Reflection”, the report identifies eight key trends within the region in digital communication.
The first dedicated Digital Trends report 2014 for the Middle East comprises of 8 key trends for the region when it comes to digital communications. This year’s theme for the report centers around “The Year of Reflection”. Main highlights of 2014, and what organisations, brands and technophiles should be looking forward to in 2015 are covered. The Digital Trends Report will be published annually.
The eight key trends are highlighted below:
Politics finds its voice
Going back to 2011, when social media was just getting started. “As the younger Arab generation comes of age politically, and the region continues its transition from autocracy and dynasty to representative government, the impact of social media will have permanent political impact, perhaps more than in any other region,” says the report.
Social media in school
Whose responsibility is it to educate children on the pros and cons? Is it down to parents, teachers, charities or someone else? And should social media education be added to the curriculum? These are all questions the report expects to be raised more and more in 2014 and beyond.
Communication in the Middle East is a different ballgame from the West. This part of the report questions how users express their opinions or communicate on social media without breaking the law or common courtesy and highlights the rules and protocols when communicating publicly on social media.
Death of anonymity
In light of the apparent demolition of online privacy thanks to a Edward Snowden of the NSA, the report raises concerns about the safety of personal information online and the lines between sharing and oversharing.
Data for the moment
This part of the report looks into the way brands handle data to fuel creativity, such as when they leveraged Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020 to their own benefit and if they were creative enough while doing so. It suggests how brands should understand their social data and base their social media campaigns on insights gathered from this data.
From customers to consumers
This section looks at the merge of customer service teams and community management. “Customer service teams will lose their reputation for starched-collar-stuffiness, while community managers will gain authority to act on behalf not just of the brand, but also of the organisation,” says the report.
Digitization of retail
With the advancement of technology, there is huge potential to “delete the middleman” and “see retailers move upstream and become content and product manufacturers, and downstream to own the glassware in your pocket or living room. If they don’t, they may face a challenging time ahead.”
But how much?
The upcoming year will be a breakthrough year for campaign measurement and particularly in the establishment of standards for measuring social media focused activity. Partly, this will be due to the sharing of knowledge and best practice among social media marketing professionals.
Fatima el Malki, digital communications manager at Active, says in a press statement, “We’re very excited to present our very first Digital Trends Report for the Middle East. Through many interactions and conversations with our Clients and fellow specialists in the fields of communications, public affairs and technology, we noticed a lack of thought leadership focused on digital such as our report. Reading reports and articles comprising of various percentages on social media behavior are educational, our report however focuses on how to leverage on these trends as a brand or communications professional”.
Sawsan Ghanem, editor of the report and managing partner at Active, adds: “Digital is literally changing the way we all look at things, and the way we behave. The Digital Trends 2014 report is designed to provide a taste, and an insight into how much of an impact digital communications has on society both worldwide and in the Middle East”. Read her exclusive Q&A with Communicate here.
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