Gareth Deere: Dig­i­tal Au­di­ence in UAE – The Full Pic­ture


The De­vice of Choice

The Emi­rate has one of the high­est In­ter­net pen­e­tra­tions in the world with 93% of adults (6.5 mil­lion) in the UAE us­ing it an av­er­age of three hours per day. This has im­por­tant im­pli­ca­tions for those work­ing in mar­ket­ing who want to com­mu­ni­cate mes­sages about brands, prod­ucts and ser­vices. In other words, the smart­phone is the de­vice most likely used to reach more cus­tomers, which has the added ben­e­fit of be­ing utilised in a con­tex­tual and real-time geo-lo­ca­tion tar­get en­vi­ron­ment.

When con­sid­er­ing their dig­i­tal bud­gets, ad­ver­tis­ers typ­i­cally study var­i­ous op­tions re­lated to on­line video, so­cial, dis­play and search to op­ti­mise their ad spend across th­ese dig­i­tal plat­forms. In or­der to make in­formed de­ci­sions about how to di­vide their bud­gets, ad­ver­tis­ers first try to understand how their cus­tomers be­have on desk­top and mo­bile. The ad­ver­tis­ers then con­sider the best third party ser­vices be­ing of­fered and part­ner with th­ese to com­mu­ni­cate their branded mes­sages.

To bet­ter understand the ever-chang­ing dig­i­tal land­scape, Ip­sos em­barked on a pro­gramme of build­ing re­search pan­els on smart­phones and desk­tops us­ing ded­i­cated mea­sure­ment ap­pli­ca­tions dis­trib­uted to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of pan­elists who are re­warded with ei­ther cash or dis­count vouch­ers.

The in­sights col­lected have demon­strated some im­por­tant dif­fer­ences be­tween desk­top and mo­bile us­ages. Search has by far the high­est num­ber of users on desk­top, with Google be­ing the search ser­vice of choice for 78% of re­spon­dents. Face­book has around 60% monthly reach com­pared to Youtube’s 52%. Mo­bile mes­sag­ing dom­i­nates with 82% us­ing What­sapp at least once a month fol­lowed by Youtube (69%) and Face­book (69%). Im­por­tant brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­forms such as In­sta­gram (34%) and Twit­ter (15%) also fea­ture in the top 20 mo­bile apps used. On the mo­bile browser, search dom­i­nates, with Google used by 79% of users. The browser is also where re­gional pub­lish­ers and ser­vices achieve sig­nif­i­cant reach, in­clud­ing du­biz­zle (14%), (13%) and Gulfnews (8%). We see some im­por­tant dif­fer­ences by de­mo­graph­ics es­pe­cially na­tion­al­ity, age and gen­der as we delve fur­ther into the data. Mo­bile App vs. Browser

One of the key ques­tions for those em­bark­ing on a mo­bile strat­egy is how to reach cus­tomers via mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, via the mo­bile browser or both. For ad­ver­tis­ers, this de­tail im­pacts the choice of avail­able ad units. For pub­lish­ers, it im­pacts in­vest­ment de­ci­sions in terms of op­ti­mis­ing their web­site for mo­bile when build­ing their own smart­phone apps. We saw how lo­cal pub­lish­ers use the mo­bile web to help them gen­er­ate the high­est reach. We also know that a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of time spent comes from us­ing apps com­pared to the browser. Con­tent Consumption

Go­ing a step far­ther, Ip­sos an­a­lysed the con­tent con­sumed by Youtube users to find some in­ter­est­ing facts. We saw that those ac­cess­ing the chan­nel through their desk­top are most in­ter­ested in lis­ten­ing to mu­sic 36% com­pared to 22% on mo­bile. When it comes to us­ing mo­bile, the peo­ple and blogs cat­e­gory fea­tur­ing user gen­er­ated con­tent scored high­est at 36%. We also no­ticed that af­ter­noons and early evenings were prime­time slots for mo­bile Youtube view­ing. Morn­ings, lunchtime and mid evening slots peaked for desk­tops. That said, mo­bile gen­er­ates the high­est peak over­all.

Fi­nally, the smart­phone de­vice doesn’t need to be con­sid­ered in iso­la­tion. It presents enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties for mar­keters to lever­age cross me­dia cam­paigns in­clud­ing TV and on­line with 80% of UAE adults us­ing their smart­phone while watch­ing TV, com­pared to 31% for desk­tops.

The find­ings, are a clear indi­ca­tor that smart­phone use is still an un­der-utilised plat­form for brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions in the UAE de­spite be­ing the con­nected de­vice of choice for lo­cal In­ter­net users. And with in­no­va­tions such as ‘buy but­tons’ on Google, making a pur­chase di­rectly from search ads has be­come in­creas­ingly easy for con­sumers. To date, data about how users spend time and en­gage with ser­vices on their smart­phones, es­pe­cially in app, has been hard to come by at a mar­ket level. Ip­sos has plugged this gap and is de­liv­er­ing the data ei­ther as a stand-alone ser­vice or as part of our cross me­dia fu­sion ser­vice along­side TV and on­line in Xplan for me­dia plan­ners.

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