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Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Opinion

About time

Digital advertising in the Middle East is one of the fastest growing industries in the region. Even in the past five years, we have seen a big shift from declining television and print commercials to smart online, mobile and in-app campaigns. Brands are realizing new ways to utilize their budgets across B2B and B2C sectors and are now placing greater importance on the power of the digital medium.

Digital strategies are yet to be fully encompassed by many advertisers, as there are still some who are testing the waters and slowly building the confidence to embrace the proven western trends. On the other hand, various savvy marketers already know the benefits of digital advertising and have been adopting the latest technologies and products the industry has to offer. Then there’s marketers who are are keen to experiment but have not yet gripped the benefits of a fully rounded campaign. As a leading digital ad network, born and bred in Dubai, it is our role to first listen to the advertisers’ needs and expectations, and only then can we truly advise a targeted and performance driven digital campaign that results in positive ROI for the client.

As we move towards 2015 there are a number of areas that should be educated and encouraged to allow marketers to keep up with the latest wave of digital marketing. Interactive video, native ad solutions and rich media are gaining traction in the mindset of both clients and agencies; these should be a key focus for the industry next year. Back this up with utilizing levels of data and it shows how we are evolving as an industry.

Video technology has taken a big step forward over the past 12 months; the creative element within video now demands engagement from the user. Clicks are still important, but having the user engaged with your brand is becoming more and more paramount to video based ad campaigns. Interactive based ad creatives are at the forefront, allowing advertisers to tailor-make engaging campaigns that give the end-user the flexibility to control their viewing based on their interests.

Providing advertisers with refined data and solutions to reach targeted needs is crucial in driving digital advancement. Re-targeting methods are not new to the industry, but remain an integral part of its growth. Continuing to develop by using more in-depth data collection and analysis techniques to create specific user segments and custom audiences will be part of our digital make up for years to come. 

Rich media design is another evolution from traditional web advertising that ensures a better return for advertisers across online ads, multimedia banners, video and social content. By using more interactive formats advertisers are inviting the end-user to engage and immerse in a brand’s messaging and benefit from an improved direct response.

Native advertising solutions are also fast becoming an integral part of any digital campaign. Using exclusive technology designed to create a smooth transition between website content and sponsored advertisements, we can now offer advertisers optimal audience engagement by matching the right user, with the right content.

And finally, one area that remains crucial to any brand building exercise is content. Whatever the choice of media, the content creation should be meticulously thought out to ensure that audiences buy into the vision, thus resulting in premium returns for advertisers and in turn publishers.

All in all, 2015 is going to be an exciting year. The market is growing, products are becoming more engaging, and clients are beginning to understand the true potential of digital based marketing. It’s about time.

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