Marketing and advertising in the MENA region tremendously changed in the last 15 years. Before then, business strategies depended on advertising through the conventional communication channeling, which was very popular and effective when it comes to achieving business objectives.

And somehow, direct marketing for companies who understand the effect of direct marketing for the businesses. Knowing that direct marketing is very technical and seeks a lot of information that is considered confidential such as data and customer base volume.

To add on to the above, there are only 7 to 9 global agencies who are competing with each other and each agency has integrated business partners to complete their 360-degree advertising plans.

Today there are not less than a thousand of local agencies struggling to acquire business among fierce competition, and a corporate side that lacks professional strategic communication staff and numerous agencies that do not have any skills to achieve brands and products objectives.

Advent of social media

Today, and after 15 years, and especially post the international financial crisis, things have been dramatically changed. Especially, when social media came on board.

Traditional agencies were not able to evolve themselves up to the market demand and were trapped with the past, and what was worse than that, is that the corporate side thought that social media could replace all types of communication, and that was a severe mistake till today.

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Social media for both agencies and the corporate side, missed a very strategic element that can properly activate the social media function, which is content creation. And that was the challenge from an angle and the appetite to fulfil and compete at a higher level in a region where Arabic is the only spoken language.

Strong appetite for content creation

The lack the knowledge of content development that has been significantly stirred among multiple users throughout the business arena. Having robust content creation process is crucial to crafting content for all communications channels. Experts focus in one way and another only on content creation and publishing, which does not harvest any results.

Target audiences who enthusiastically pursue the company content will look to read blog posts and social media pages, but the key question, is everyone of a company stakeholders exist on social media? No.

Because 360-degree integration is key to reach multiple audiences wherever they are and anytime. Without a doubt social media is a strategic part of communication, but does not achieve the expected business results on its own.

Beyond advertising

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Advertising and public relations are not enough to create a buzz and achieve business objectives. We are all certain that strategic content development advances efficiency and increases any business chances to prosper. Not to forget that through strategic storytelling content, businesses can purposefully engage with their primary stakeholders as a whole, and offer whatever matches their needs and resolves their struggles.

Comprehensive go-to market (GTM) strategy

Not to forget, having also a comprehensive tactical plan keeps the communications strategy consistent, which supports and maintains grip and shape confidence with the internal and external stakeholders.

Although strategic content is a must, however, the most decisive mandate prior to any content creation, management of any corporation has to determine to be aligned and attentive on what narrative story and messaging are aiming to convey throughout their public relations and communication strategy, starting with drafting the product and the company narrative story, and ending up with a strategic diversified key messages tailored to each identified key audiences that tackle various key features about both product and company.

Taking into consideration that narrative story is not changing the company brand strategy but converting business objectives into business achievements. And this is all strategic content.

In the end, the market is currently facing 3 key challenges:

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  1. Local content creation is limited.
  2. The digital advertising arena is not apprehended locally.
  3. Local talent is not extensively available and has led to a dependence on regional capacity to fill gaps.

Opportunities

The advertising landscape in the MENA region has undergone significant changes over the last 15 years, particularly with the rise of social media. Traditional agencies have struggled to adapt and the corporate side has made the mistake of thinking that social media can replace all forms of communication.

Traditional advertising methods, such as conventional communication channels and direct marketing, have become less effective in achieving business objectives.

Social media has presented new opportunities for businesses to connect with their target audiences, but also poses challenges for companies to adapt their strategies and create compelling content that resonates with their audience.

As a result, there has been a shift towards a more comprehensive approach to advertising, which includes a strong focus on content creation and a consistent communication strategy to reach various audiences effectively.

The key to success in this new and developing landscape is a strong focus on content creation and a comprehensive go-to market strategy that includes a consistent communications plan and tailored messaging for different audiences. Without this, businesses may not achieve their desired results.