Mar­more: GCC busi­nesses use so­cial media to achieve their mar­ket­ing ob­jec­tives

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

KUWAIT: Mar­more MENA In­tel­li­gence, a sub­sidiary of Kuwait Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre “Markaz”, re­cently re­leased a re­port dis­cussing the us­age of so­cial media byGCC busi­nesses.The re­port pointed out that from 2000 to 2015 the in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion grew by CAGR of 27 per­cent in the MENA re­gion, reg­is­ter­ing sec­ond high­est growth be­hind Africa. From 2010 to 2014 the in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion of the GCC coun­tries grew at a CAGR of more than 6 per­cent with Oman be­ing the high­est at 18 per­cent.

Mar­more re­port stated that based on the in­creas­ing in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion, grow­ing young pop­u­la­tion and mo­bile sub­scrip­tion rate, it is ev­i­dent that the num­ber of so­cial media users in GCC will grow and hence it could be ex­pected that the ac­tiv­ity of the busi­nesses on so­cial media will also in­crease and also take on new forms of in­ter­ac­tion with the con­sumers.

The re­port added that over the past decade, so­cial media has ex­hib­ited an ex­po­nen­tial pen­e­tra­tion into the daily lives of in­di­vid­u­als, the op­er­a­tions of busi­nesses, and the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween gov­ern­ments and their re­spec­tive peo­ple. The in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion in GCC coun­tries is on an in­creas­ing trend, and is catch­ing up with the de­vel­oped coun­tries. This in­creas­ing in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion and in­creas­ing pres­ence of youth on so­cial media are open­ing up new av­enues for com­pa­nies to mar­ket their prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Like in the de­vel­oped coun­tries, the busi­nesses in GCC are also be­com­ing more aware of so­cial media mar­ket­ing. The busi­ness in GCC can lever­age the so­cial media for achiev­ing ob­jec­tives such as busi­ness growth, brand en­hance­ment and as a mar­ket­ing tool. Re­tail, tele­com, e-com­merce, elec­tron­ics, air­lines, FMCG food, and re­tail food are some of the in­dus­tries that have en­gaged the most with their cus­tomers us­ing so­cial media. In Saudi Ara­bia, on­line en­ter­tain­ment has tasted suc­cess, in the form of huge pop­u­lar­ity of chan­nels such as Sa7i and Eysh Elly on YouTube. Re­tail in­dus­try is one of the top in­dus­tries on Face­book in al­most all the GCC coun­tries.

As an in­creas­ing num­ber of in­ter­net users uti­lize so­cial media to in­ter­act with and reach out to brands, the busi­nesses in GCC are also in­creas­ing their pres­ence and are be­ing very ac­tive on so­cial media. The most used so­cial media chan­nels for busi­nesses in the re­gion are Face­book, Twit­ter and LinkedIn. How­ever, Face­book is the most pre­ferred medium in the GCC re­gion. In GCC coun­tries, the twit­ter us­age is rel­a­tively high com­pared to coun­tries like Ger­many, In­dia and USA. The av­er­age num­ber of fol­low­ers for top 20 brands in twit­ter in Saudi Ara­bia is much more than that of UK, Ger­many and In­dia. Also the so­cial media pres­ence of Gulf SMEs is on the rise in the re­gion. LinkedIn con­ducted a study in 2015 on 260 SMEs, to know their pres­ence on so­cial media. Ac­cord­ing to it, 92 per­cent of the re­spon­dents are al­ready on so­cial media plat­forms, with a fur­ther five per­cent pre­par­ing to es­tab­lish a pres­ence.

Mov­ing away from tra­di­tional media, digital media has been in­creas­ing and has be­come the pre­ferred medium for mar­ket­ing of the prod­ucts and ser­vices. Ac­cord­ing to the es­ti­mates by McKin­sey, by 2019, the digital spend­ing will ac­count for more than 50 per­cent of over­all media spend. By 2017, digital mar­ket­ing con­sist­ing of in­ter­net and mo­bile ad­ver­tis­ing will sur­pass the TV and will be­come the largest ad­ver­tis­ing cat­e­gory. Among all the re­gions North Amer­ica spends the high­est amount on digital ad spend­ing fol­lowed by Asia-Pa­cific. The digital ad spend­ing in Mid­dle East & Africa is lowest among all the re­gions. Even in terms of digital ad spend­ing per net­work user, North Amer­ica leads with $197 per in­ter­net user in 2015 fol­lowed by West­ern Europe. The digital ad spend­ing per net­work user in the Mid­dle East & Africa is lowest among all the re­gions. How­ever, the en­cour­ag­ing fac­tor is the growth in ad spend­ing on so­cial media is high­est among the MENA coun­tries. Note: Es­tab­lished in 2010, Mar­more is a re­search sub­sidiary of Markaz, an in­vest­ment bank and as­set man­age­ment firm that cel­e­brated 40 years of busi­ness in 2014. Mar­more caters to the grow­ing re­search and in­for­ma­tion needs of or­ga­ni­za­tions in the MENA re­gion. The com­pany pub­lishes re­ports and con­ducts re­search on de­mand.

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