PHD MENA launches a brand new podcast series with the aim to support marketers and business professionals in helping to build the next wave of challenger brands. As the popularity of podcasts grows in the region, the agency regards the format as an ideal way to share industry knowledge with clients, partners and the broader industry. Communicate spoke with Luca Allam, Managing Director of PHD UAE, to learn more about what kind of content to expect from the series.
What will the podcasts be about? What are you planning to achieve?
The ambition for our podcast series is to drive conversations and thought leadership on the latest industry developments, sharing this knowledge with fellow industry professionals and those wanting to take their brands to new heights. We as an agency have a strong track record and pedigree in thought leadership and our most recent book Overthrow II (in collaboration with eatbigfish) is the latest line of how we should approach building strong business growth. The book’s focus is on a redefined challenger attitude, and since its launch, it has been a powerful eye-opener and generated much interest from many of our clients. With our podcast, we will dig further into this new thinking for brands to build growth when they need it most.
How long have you been working on this?
We started planning the podcast series at the very start of this year, so just a few months ago, but it is something we have been looking at doing ever since the launch of Overthrow II in June of 2019. The book is eminently accessible, inspirational and compelling. It breaks down best brand practices, behaviors and strategies allowing for readers to get a firm grip on what being a challenger brand involves. The keyword here is adoption. It must be fully embraced and not ‘aped’. Overthrow II describes 10 ways in which this can be done by brilliantly personifying the characteristics of a challenger, as an individual and as a business.
Our aim was to take all this great thinking and to share it with a wider audience, whilst injecting tools and innovations we are seeing in the industry into the conversation. For example, our first episode is about demystifying the power of data and how to be ‘effective over efficient’ when utilizing this data; a challenger commonality that is explored in the book. David Barnes, our Director of Data and Analytics at PHD and Rania Hatoum, Regional Digital Lead of Arla Foods analyze case studies, trends, and news about data, technology, and analytics. They also discuss future technologies, the rise of eCommerce, successful campaigns that were born out of data and the wider impact of data on business practices.
How do you decide the guests to speak with?
For our first episode, we wanted to focus on data and how harnessing its power is more critical today than ever. Our data specialist, David, was best placed to lead on this discussion, and we wanted to invite Rania to join the episode and really ground the topic with real-life case studies. It was a very natural and authentic choice. Future episodes will feature marketing and media specialists across our PHDers, clients and business partners who want to share their expertise, passion, and insights with our listeners.
Who are you targeting?
Anyone or any business that is interested in [learning] how to grow their brand. PHD MENA has a decade-long history of sharing knowledge with its stakeholders and business partners through events like BrainScape, and now we are adding podcasts as a platform to reach an even wider audience. A 2019 study estimated that there were 1.3 million regular podcast listeners in the UAE alone. As this listenership grows thanks to the rising number of podcasts in, for or about the region, coupled with the need to work from home, we regard the format as an ideal way to share industry knowledge with clients, partners and the broader marketing industry.
Who did you work with to develop it? How do you view the podcast market in the region?
We worked with The Marketing Society for the launch of our first episode and Markettiers are our production partners. Markettiers have been great at sharing podcast best practices and data insights, for instance, Cheryl King, Managing Director of Markettiers recently shared the following with us, “Very soon, the UAE could lead the way in world podcasting. Data shows that the medium is quickly taking over hearts and minds here, with our data, powered by 4DC showing that 16% of the population is now tuning in at least weekly. In listenership terms, the UAE is on par with the UK, and creeping up behind the USA – for now the world’s premier podcast market. But the UAE is sprinting ahead of other world markets in terms of the podcast trust factor. As a medium, podcasting is, among regular listeners, now the most trusted form of media; despite its young age.”
You can listen to the podcast here