Rita Makhoul | @ram­pur­ple

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Business -

In the bank­ing in­dus­try to­day, the ques­tion no longer is whether the in­dus­try will be trans­formed and dis­rupted, but how it will be trans­formed. Un­til re­cently, most peo­ple would have not imag­ined that peo­ple would be trans­fer­ring money through their mo­bile phones, de­posit­ing cheques at smart ATMS, and com­plet­ing shop­ping trans­ac­tions with­out car­ry­ing plas­tic cards or cash.

The in­ter­na­tional digital se­cu­rity com­pany, Ge­malto, es­ti­mates that mo­bile bank­ing users in the Mid­dle East and Africa will ex­ceed 80 mil­lion by 2017, and ac­cord­ing to “The Digital Bank­ing Adop­tion in MENA” re­port, con­ducted by OMD and Arab­net, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with OMD De­vice Re­search, dis­closes that 62% of over­all bank ac­count hold­ers in the re­gion are adopters of digital bank­ing.

With cus­tomers ex­pect­ing con­sis­tent ser­vice across all chan­nels, banks across the re­gion have felt the need to step up to the plate and stream­line their pro­cesses when it comes to cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tion.

We sat down with Tariq Al-os­aimi, As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager Head of In­no­va­tion & Dig­i­tal­iza­tion at the Na­tional Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Op­er­a­tions & IT Group to gain valu­able insights on the digital bank­ing sec­tor, in par­tic­u­lar to Kuwait. How are ad­vance­ments in tech­nol­ogy afffff­fect­ing the bank­ing in­dus­try, and in par­tic­u­lar to Kuwait? If I may quote Mr Pierre Nan­terme, CEO of Ac­cen­ture ‘Digital is the main rea­son just over half of the com­pa­nies on the For­tune 500 have dis­ap­peared since the year 2000.” This is a ma­jor in­di­ca­tor of the im­pact dig­i­tal­iza­tion and tech­nol­ogy has played in all as­pects of busi­nesses. This trans­for­ma­tion that was ini­ti­ated in the 1990s with the birth of the In­ter­net un­til to­day, had us all adapt­ing.

No in­dus­try can es­cape digital dis­rup­tion—and bank­ing is in the thick of it es­pe­cially in Kuwait con­sid­er­ing that mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion is ex­tremely high, and 70% of our pop­u­la­tion is made up of tech savvy youth. Cus­tomers want om­nichan­nel bank­ing op­tions. Dig­i­tally savvy new en­trants are shak­ing up the ser­vice propo­si­tion. Digital dis­in­ter­me­di­a­tion has be­come the norm. And it is ac­cel­er­at­ing at a rapid pace. We at NBK have been rein­vent­ing our­selves to the new era of tech­nol­ogy.

Our mo­bile channel is ex­ceed­ing our on­line bank­ing chan­nels, which is not sur­pris­ing in Kuwait. This has be­come our num­ber one channel that our cus­tomers use. NBK Man­age­ment rec­og­nizes this and have set up the mo­bil­ity strat­egy to bet­ter serve our cus­tomers.

Tariq Al-us­aimi As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager Head of In­no­va­tion & Dig­i­tal­iza­tion at the Na­tional Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Op­er­a­tions & IT Group. He is re­spon­si­ble for lead­ing the Bank’s digital strat­egy and man­ag­ing In­no­va­tion op­er­a­tions. His ini­tia­tives in­clude im­prov­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery through em­brac­ing ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient use of tech­nol­ogy; cre­at­ing busi­ness mod­els for de­liv­er­ing new ser­vices such as dig­i­tal­iza­tion of busi­ness pro­cesses; pri­vate cloud; vir­tual desk­tops; vir­tual servers; pro­mot­ing on­line de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease self-ser­vice ca­pa­bil­i­ties; mo­bil­ity; and lead­ing strate­gic ini­tia­tives to trans­form the tech­nol­ogy depart­ment to be flex­i­ble, adapt­able and re­spon­sive to cus­tomer needs.

Daily time spent watch­ing videos will in­crease by 19.8% in 2016, while mo­bile video con­sump­tion is grow­ing at roughly five times the rate of non-mo­bile de­vices, com­pris­ing more than half of on­line video con­sump­tion, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Zenithop­ti­me­dia re­port. As more and more peo­ple in­creas­ingly live out their lives on­line, digital video is serv­ing as a key means for peo­ple to sat­isfy their in­for­ma­tion and en­ter­tain­ment needs and it is no won­der that ad­ver­tis­ing has fol­lowed suit. Since the 1940’s and the first TV com­mer­cial, video has shown its ef­fi­ciency in the field of ad­ver­tis­ing and has been claim­ing its dom­i­nance in the on­go­ing digital era.

To­day, ad­ver­tis­ers are pump­ing more money into so­cial video, which seems to stem from the rise in video on var­i­ous plat­forms: Youtube & Face­book to name the ob­vi­ous, as well as Snapchat, Periscope, and In­sta­gram on mo­bile. Cisco claims that, by 2017, video will ac­count for 69% of all con­sumer in­ter­net traf­fic. On­line video has been chang­ing the way au­di­ences engage with con­tent, ads, and brands, so it comes as no sur­prise that small busi­nesses and en­ter­prises alike are start­ing to take ad­van­tage. As more de­vices are plac­ing cam­eras in the hands of con­sumers, videos are be­com­ing a new way for peo­ple to com­mu­ni­cate, as well as a way for busi­nesses and brands to com­mu­ni­cate to their au­di­ences.

While videos pro­vide the per­fect com­ple­ment to on­line mar­ket­ing, video ad­ver­tis­ing does not come with­out its chal­lenges which range from mea­sur­ing cam­paign per­for­mance and achiev­ing suf­fi­cient reach to tar­get­ing, cre­ativ­ity, cost and mon­e­ti­za­tion. Keep­ing up with Frag­men­ta­tion Video ad­ver­tis­ing was once con­fined to a sin­gle box. To­day, it is frag­mented across mul­ti­ple screens. Since the in­tro­duc­tion of the In­ter­net, there has been a dra­matic shift in con­sumer view­ing be­hav­ior re­sult­ing in a steady de­cline of time spent watch­ing TV, and an in­crease in digital view­er­ship. Ac­cord­ing to Ac­cen­ture’s Digital Con­sumer Sur­vey, glob­ally the TV has lost 13% of its au­di­ence for long-form video con­tent in the past year. More­over, 87% of con­sumers are now us­ing TV and a sec­ond screen (smart­phone, tablet, ebook, or lap­top) to­gether. While digital video is help­ing to build reach that is com­ple­men­tary to tra­di­tional TV view­ing, this shift in digital view­ing has caused sev­eral forms of frag­men­ta­tion that in­clude con­tent, screen, tech­nol­ogy and data frag­men­ta­tion.

Con­tent frag­men­ta­tion has frac­tured au­di­ences’ at­ten­tion across tens of thou­sands of web­sites and de­vices, cre­at­ing a more com­plex me­dia plan­ning process with many more chan­nels to con­sider. ‘It’s a whole lot com­plex now, be­cause you’ve got one too many choices from a plat­form per­spec­tive. Video is no longer just be­ing con­sumed on Brands should plan cross-screen, but think of mo­bile first. Amongst all de­vices, con­sump­tion of video is shift­ing to­wards mo­bile de­vices as users up­grade to higher qual­ity de­vices, screens grow and net­works sup­port larger data loads. Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­ac­tive Ad­ver­tis­ing Bureau or IAB (an as­so­ci­a­tion for the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try that de­vel­ops in­dus­try stan­dards, con­ducts re­search, and pro­vides le­gal sup­port for the on­line ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try), 48% of con­sumers use mo­bile and mo­bile apps to view video. ‘Peo­ple are watch­ing and en­joy­ing a lot more video on many difffff­fer­ent plat­forms but par­tic­u­larly in mo­bile and we know that as much as 25% of mo­bile time will be video within the next cou­ple of years’ said Ian Man­ning, Head of Agen­cies at Face­book MENA.

While mo­bile ac­counted for more than half of digital ad spend­ing in 2015,

agrees, adding that ‘A creative agency’s busi­ness mod­els are re­ally built around longer for­mat…and they haven’t re­ally shifted quickly enough to un­der­stand that they need to make more snack­able con­tent, shorter ver­sion con­tent that con­sumers can engage in a short space of time’.

In ad­di­tion to tai­lor­ing con­tent to de­vices, mar­keters must also tai­lor con­tent to their au­di­ences through tar­get­ing. With more and more brands cre­at­ing and dis­tribut­ing video ads, au­di­ences have grown im­pa­tient and less re­cep­tive to­wards video ads, es­pe­cially those that are ir­rel­e­vant to them. While this ap­plies to all medi­ums, the time frame for suc­cess is much shorter on mo­bile de­vices. Tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing that fits con­sumers’ in­ter­ests and brows­ing habits in­creases the chance that they will pay at­ten­tion and watch a video ad in full. In ad­di­tion, lo­ca­tion-based mar­ket­ing, which is gain­ing trac­tion, pro­vides mar­keters with the tech­nol­ogy to de­liver con­tent to con­sumers based on where they are at any given mo­ment. The Pur­suit of Mon­e­ti­za­tion Tar­get­ing and con­sumer en­gage­ment also play a big role in the mon­e­ti­za­tion of video ad­ver­tis­ing. In or­der to gen­er­ate money, video ad­ver­tise­ments need to be rel­e­vant to both the au­di­ence view­ing them as well as the con­tent of the page on which they are lo­cated. This is even more ap­pli­ca­ble to in-stream video, where ads need to work with the length, style and sub­ject of the video with which they are served. To en­sure max­i­mum rel­e­vance and viewa­bil­ity, pub­lish­ers need to pro­vide de­mand sources with as much de­mo­graphic and con­tex­tual data about their au­di­ences as pos­si­ble, as well as de­tails of the con­tent around which the video ads will be served. In ad­di­tion, video ad place­ment and func­tion­al­i­ties such as auto-sound (which can be po­ten­tially ir­ri­tat­ing) need to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion to avoid alien­at­ing au­di­ences.

Per­haps one of the big­gest chal­lenges faced by pub­lish­ers is find­ing the bal­ance be­tween cre­at­ing mon­e­ti­za­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties (and more elab­o­rate ad­ver­tis­ing so­lu­tions) while adding value to the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence. One com­mon prob­lem with video ad­ver­tis­ing is pre-rolls that can be quite in­tru­sive and are one of the ma­jor rea­sons peo­ple in­stall ad block­ers. How­ever, ‘if you use that me­dia in a way that pro­motes ex­clu­sive new branded con­tent like you use a teaser in­side your pre-roll these can ac­tu­ally trig­ger and drive traf­fic to your ac­tual branded con­tent’, said Vic­tor Ho, Global Mar­ket­ing Man­ager of Daily Mo­tion. Ad­ver­tis­ers can also make use of na­tive video ads which are seam­lessly in­te­grated in the feed of the con­tent rather than forced to the user.

The so­lu­tion, ac­cord­ing to Man­ning, is as sim­ple as cre­at­ing con­tent that is rel­e­vant to view­ers while giv­ing them the choice of watch­ing the ad or not. ‘It’s quite easy to skip ad­ver­tis­ing…but if you make the ad­ver­tis­ing tar­geted to that in­di­vid­ual, you use the data that you have avail­able to en­sure that you’re tar­get­ing the right peo­ple…and com­ing up with the right type of creative mes­sag­ing to tar­get that in­for­ma­tion’. Giv­ing the user the choice with how they want to engage in the ad (whether

Waseem Afzal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of In­te­grated So­lu­tions at OMD Ian Man­ning, Head of Agen­cies at Face­book MENA

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