Managing Director Memac Ogilvy
THE STATE OF THE AD BUSINESS
The current economic and political stalemate is affecting the marketing and creative industries as a whole. The role of advertising is directly affected as brands are focusing more and more on tactical and promotional content as compared to investing in brand building and customer lifetime value.
In that context, and in that of digital and technology shift, brands require more and more digital content, which benefits their brand’s influence, along with a mix of marketing technologies to generate leads and engage with their audience through analytics and digital tools. A strong indication of that trend is the significant increase of online media spend, which is forecasted to surpass TV media spend in 2019; and the investments of leading Agencies in Adtech and Martech (ref. for example Memac Ogilvy’s latest launch of MENA Martech Center of Excellence)
The challenges we are facing the most are related to talent and In-sourcing. 1. Talent: Our biggest asset is the quality of our talent. However, the decline of the situation is contributing to the “brain drain” that Lebanon has been known to suffer from as we continue to export talent to the world. Despite the few initiatives by the Central Bank to reduce that brain drain and attempt to “recall” talented Lebanese expats back to their homeland; today it seems the country needs a drastic uplift in the situation to retain and attract talent.
2. In-sourcing: With the rise of digital marketing, clients are looking for cost efficiencies by integrating creative resources in their marketing departments. While this is a good costefficient solution for Clients who look to create quick content for their digital touch-points; it still falls very short from the strategic capabilities, disciplines and expertise of agencies. Client budgets are subsequently becoming limited, which is affecting communication plans that are geared towards brand building.