Colette Chibani: Regulating our industry is a starting point
How is the business compared to the previous year?
It’s obvious that there is a drop in the market, as business volumes are shrinking and this is mainly due to the volatility in the surrounded countries, which have affected the international brands’ budgets. As we speak locally, the instabilities lead to budgets’ decrease and major launch changes; nevertheless, small businesses are emerging with minimal budgets.
Successfully, we have scored a growth compared to last year while adapting to the market’s need and expanding services seeking a full fledge business solution for our partners and potential ones.
Do you still believe Lebanon ad business as a great potential?
We surely have brains and talents; those are our unique source of hope in the absence of a wise and clear vision to build a strong and competitive country by our leaders.
We will see the emergence of digital hubs, which will boost our industry, yet we have to know how to benefit from it and boost it to the maximum potential.
However, I have noticed a fragmentation within this industry where the focus is quite individualistic and not on growing the business and finding the right solutions to enhance the market potential.
What do you wish to see regulated within the industry?
I wish agencies and media align in pricing policies, including media pitch rates and direct offers.
What are some of the biggest challenges in 2018?
Challenges exist parallel to any business; regulating our industry is a starting point. By now we all know that data and content are king not only by possessing it rather having the analytical skills, which will make the whole assessment situation different.
What have you done to broaden your capabilities beyond the core creative or/and media buying services?
We are not a media buying agency, we invest in people, resources, systems, and tools to create “Moments” that matter and drive a competitive advantage for our clients.
Clients have the right to know that their ultimate cost efficient campaign is through a successful IMC (integrated marketing Communication).
The latter should encompasses experts to understand and study all available data, correlate between most appropriate ones, architect the right message and convey it to the right audience through relevant touch point. At UM, we believe that our people can make this happen and we’re already successful at this. Our underlying ethos is to get the best people and empower them within a process to consistently deliver pioneering work.
How the proliferation of small agencies and cropped off new startups have affected your business?
We can never compare multinational culture and know how with local peers.
Small startups or local entities focus on special services with better prices and they succeed in tempting the client to make the shift but again it is the secret success recipe through well studies IMC.
For strategic and consistent results, we are the cost efficient part and most accurate potential target founder to join hands with.
I wish agencies and media align in pricing policies, including media pitch rates and direct offers
Colette Cherfan Genaral Manager - UM Levant