The Watchful Approach
It has and continues to be a challenging market in 2016. With regional and global events driving uncertainty, such as the US Presidential Election, low oil prices in the Middle East, European uncertainty driven by Brexit and a China slowdown, to name a few, all have been affecting the overriding business atmosphere in the UAE and beyond. This has resulted in clients adopting a bit of a “watchful waiting” approach, which in turn has put pressure on advertising budgets. Despite client pipelines and aspirations being indeed promising going into Q4, one would expect this conservatism to continue to the end of the year.
The Integrated Service Offering
We do see a rise in specialised agencies offering creative and consulting (among other services) that have typically been offered by the incumbent retained agency. It’s because the incumbents have been to slow to adapt in the digital age. The overlap in capabilities between various agency players across the board are becoming more and more common and the lines between services have become increasingly blurred as we move into a digitally- driven economy. The challenge agencies need to overcome is to seamlessly move toward an integrated service offering, even if this means across multiple agency brands. It’s the agencies that have the least legacy and the ability to collaborate in this way, as well as have the capability to effectively harness data and technology for the benefit of their clients, who will be able to make that shift and adapt the quickest. November 2016