After the experience of two years of slow economic growth in the region, it’s exciting to witness the Middle East reenergized in its thirst for technology. The adoption of the latest innovations is back on track and, we might even say, in hyper mode. Governments, business communities and consumers all understand the value of technology and how it directly impacts their lives, economic progress and overall future readiness on a local, regional and international level.
If we take the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alone, the 2020 National Transformation Programme forecasts that the IT industry’s contribution to the non-oil GDP will double to 2.24 percent. Landmark national initiatives such as the UAE’s Expo 2020, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s recently launched vision for 2030 and Bahrain’s 2030 Economic vision all have technology at their cornerstone.
Just recently, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) confirmed its plans to build the region’s first hyperloop line in Al Ghadeer and extend it to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Airports and beyond. First phase will see HyperloopTT construct a ten km line within Al Ghadeer that is expected to be operational by 2020.
What’s even more remarkable is the MEA region’s homegrown tech companies who are increasing in value year on year, making them extremely attractive to global tech companies and the most optimal way to enter the MEAs’ rapidly growing digital economy. The biggest headline news this year was Amazon buying Souq.com for an undisclosed amount, one of the biggest ever technology M&A acquisitions in the Arab world. Global tech leaders continue to expand to the prospering region and it shows the world is watching and taking note.
Public relations agencies have also gone through key transformational changes over the last few years. Traditional PR support and media relations no longer cut it. Rather, a more integrated approach is needed for agencies to record healthy revenue and deliver true ROI for their clients.
Businesses and consumers alike now go to different sources of information to make educated choices and decisions. With fake news, paid news and the digital overload, faith in available content has been shaken and often questioned.
Brands understand that to achieve their business & communication objectives, they need to target their audiences in a more engaging, focused and tailored way. A consistent and creative approach is needed to accomplish the desired impact and reach your target market despite the noise and mountains of information. Hence, we are observing the rise of the Integrated Marketing Agencies. These multi-skilled agencies are more dynamic in their culture, make-up, team, approach and expertise. They deliver more and drive clients’ campaign across multiple marketing channels rather than focusing within a defined “skill set”.
Incremental in any and all technology companies’, marketing strategy is the central role that public relations (traditional and non-traditional) and key stakeholder engagement play. Today, integrated marketing campaigns consist of PR, digital advertising and umbrella content strategies designed to communicate an organizations’ strategies to the target markets. After all, technology companies’ reputations are won or lost on their ability to deliver effective and efficient solutions to their customers that achieve target ROIs.
With consistently evolving technology, companies need to position themselves as experts, authorities and leaders in their respective solution sets and to the key industry sectors they want to service. It’s the swipe-right era and advertising alone is no longer sufficient. In fact, 59 percent of global companies now share common digital ad and marketing budgets and prefer using one team to build unified campaigns. This evolution is driven by the vital role of story-telling in creating integrated campaigns. A key narrative communicated effectively by collaborating with third party experts (media, influencers, industry experts) enhances the overall customer experience.
The writing is on the wall. Integrated marketing briefs from next-generation CMOs are becoming more and more common for PR and communication agencies. Digital campaigns consist of 66 percent of spend allocated to Google Search, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. With 65 percent of companies focusing on video content in their campaigns, visual content has become the norm rather than an exception. Moving forward, the most successful industry disrupters in tech will be the ones who are able to communicate their advancements to their customers effectively. This need for instant solutions in the tech sector is driving the demand for talented and experienced communicators who are agile and future-ready.
This article first appeared on www.activedmc.com