By Afreen Khan
The luxury world’s biggest conference in the MENA region, Arab Luxury World, returned for its 5th edition on the 12th of June 2019 with a changed perspective on the marketing of luxury goods. One that is described as not only more inclusive but also open minded and forward-thinking, targeting a newer and relevant audience.
Tatiana Dupond, Head of Luxury at LinkedIn discussed the necessity to target millennials and Generations Y and Z, as they are expected to make up about 55 per cent of the luxury market by 2025. The younger generation is highly focused on ideas of sustainability and the protection of the environment. Their focus will very often negatively or positively affect their consumer-habits depending on a brand’s ethical code, transparency and intent.
The theme of Arab Luxury World placed an emphasis on not only ideas of ethics and sustainability, but also the importance of using data to analyse and correctly market their products. Luxury brands, all these years, have valued and depended upon the quality, craftmanship and authenticity of their products and expected their reputation alone to sell itself, which has worked for them over the years. However, with the millennials and younger becoming a larger part of the luxury market, brands have had to “gain their trust” by being transparent in their ethical standards to address their audience’s concerns.
During the conference, at the panel discussing data driven marketing, the audience was polled on their opinion on whether or not they feel luxury brands have been slow in adopting data driven marketing and almost 90 per cent of the audience agreed to the statement. Rachid Ait Addi, VP Advertising Luxury Fashion Beauty of Teads MENA, also mentioned in the panel that, “80 per cent of luxury brands are not leveraging data at all.” He added that this affects the “10 per cent that are having a TMP or data strategy, but their internal corporate culture doesn’t allow them to really leverage data to get results by becoming constrained by certain brand guidelines.”
He explains further that around 10 per cent of the luxury brands have started to take up this new approach of looking at data.
Panelists such as Sofiane Haddadi of L’Oréal Middle East and Amit Rawal of Ounass.com discussed how they have approached data driven marketing to cater to the newer audience. Rawal expressed that “data is like oxygen,” therefore, it is necessary for companies to engage with customers by personalizing and prioritizing.
The panellists collectively expressed great interest in a more “holistic” form of marketing and business, which would include wholly integrating data and making marketing decisions and choices according to it. Jonathan Siboni of LuxuryNSight, spoke in detail about the importance of data integration, saying that, “Data can enrich your vision of the market, what’s going on. Data is for everyone, data is about transparency, data is about immediacy.”
Making investments in data and data collection was also a topic that the panellists discussed, as it is not only important to have a good and reliable source, but to make investments in them so as to ensure the availability of the data. Usage of softwares such as Google AdSense, TechCrunch and others were mentioned by Siboni, as he believes that without the data there can be no strategizing which would mean there would be a lack of proper functionality.
There are still many luxury brands that wish to not steer away from their unprecedented practices and to stay true to their brand, customers and clientele. However, many brands and companies are starting to see the benefits of the usage of data-driven marketing, not only for attracting a larger audience, but in order to remain and survive in this constantly changing market.