[Pictured above: The Chain Reaction team]
The MENA Search Awards are a regional awards program celebrating the achievements of the search industry in the MENA region. The awards are open to both, regional companies as well as those based outside the region but servicing clients within it.
The 2018 awards, held on September 20 in Dubai, brought together more than 25 regional and international judges to assess work across 26 categories including the titles of Young Search Professional and MENA Search Personality of the Year, which were awarded to Shubham Gaur of Artefact MENA and Saif Jarad, founder and CEO of Chain Reaction, respectively.
Chain Reaction won big this year with a total of seven awards – out of 12 shortlists – including five awards for Axiom Telecom, Real Pilates, Jamalon, Baqala in addition to the title of Best Integrated Agency and, of course, the agency’s founder being named the MENA Search Personality of the Year.
“These awards reflect the commitment of Chain Reaction in delivering award-winning services to our clients. Fostering a customer-centric culture and active employee engagement are amongst the key critical success factors for Chain Reaction. This is indeed a group effort, a team; that believed in their abilities and were determined to do more, clients; who gave us their trust, and partners; who believed in us and were always ready to support our journey towards success,” says Jarad.
SEO Sherpa and RBBi both earned three awards. While SEO Sherpa was named the Best Large SEO Agency in addition to two other awards, Best SEO Campaign for JA Resorts & Hotels and Best Use of Search – FMCG for Pets Delight, RBBi bagged the title for Best Small SEO Agency in addition to Best Use of Search – Finance for Internaxx and Best Use of Search – Travel/Leisure for Jazeera.
Commenting on the win, Caroline Dickin, CEO at RBBi says, “We are honored to be recognized by the MENA Search Awards for two years in a row. These awards reaffirm that we have the best strategists and practitioners as well as first-rate proprietary tools and technologies to provide a digital experience to our clients, which is not only aesthetically superior but is also sustainable and functional.”
Tools and technology are a big part of an effective strategy for any search company and SEMrush came out on top in that area by winning awards for the Best Software Suite and the Best Search Software Tool.
The Best Software Innovation award, however, went to Back Azimuth’s HREFLang Builder, a cloud-based application that builds HREF XML files to help search engines understand the country, language and regional nuances of a client’s content.
The title of the Best PPC Agency went to Latitude Digital Marketing, which also won the award for the Most Innovative Campaign for flynas.
Although most of the winners offer search and related offerings as a primary service, it is worth mentioning the two media agencies on the list. Magna Global’s work for Dubai Properties won for Best Use of Search – Real Estate & Property while MediaCom Worldwide’s work with Bose won the Best PPC Campaign award.
Magna Global’s approach focused on improving the overall account health with data-driven audience targeting leading to the design of new tools and work processes, which integrated experts from different teams.
Commenting on the win, Dounia Baha, digital marketing director, Dubai Properties says, “The search industry in the region is a very competitive one, especially in the property and real estate sector, so this award is a testament both to our innovative and results-driven approach, and to our great working relationship with the Magna Global team.” Bassem Massoud, Magna Global’s regional managing director, adds: “This win is proof that when you combine a fantastic brand like Dubai Properties with Magna Global’s skill in bringing together teams and creating new approaches, you can deliver better performance results than specialist agencies’.
Other winners include Nexa, which won the Best Use of Search – Health for GMC Clinics and Best Integrated Campaign for Seawings; Kubix Digital, which won Best Mobile Campaign for Tuerk Telekom and Best Use of Search – Third Sector for Women.Digital; and Wisoft Solutions, which won Best Use of Social Media in a Search Campaign for Manipal University Dubai.