Campaign Middle East

Time to start seeing results

The e-commerce boom is good news for results-driven campaigns, writes Snap’s Farimah Moeini

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E-commerce opens up a world of possibilit­ies for performanc­e marketing campaigns, writes Snap’s Farimah Moeini.

T he MENA region is going to be the next big growth market for e-commerce. We have started to see this with the success of regional online players such as Namshi, Noon and Souq.com. Bain consultanc­y has predicted that by 2022, the market could grow to an astonishin­g three or four times its size from just a few years ago. This growth is truly unpreceden­ted and opens up lucrative opportunit­ies for the region’s digitally minded marketers.

But this positive trajectory is not without its obstacles. An explosion of new micro e-commerce platforms, heightened competitio­n from cross-border players and a thriving brick-and-mortar retail industry are only a few of the things that can make it difficult for brands today to capture – and hold – consumers’ attention.

Yet with more shopping now online (and on mobile), performanc­e marketing is entering a new golden age in MENA. Today, ‘performanc­e marketing’ generally covers all results- driven campaigns with hard performanc­e KPIs and metrics. These campaigns may be based on acquiring new customers, driving purchases or retaining customers – keeping in mind the most efficient cost-income ratios for the campaign.

While performanc­e marketing is nothing new in itself, it has now come to maturity in verticals such as e-commerce, and across innovative ad products primed for e-commerce.

Augmented reality (AR) is one such format that has become essential for brands to cut through the competitio­n. AR offers an unrivalled creative canvas with which not just to connect with audiences shopping online, but also to engage with them on a much deeper and more memorable level. Stan Brunais, vice-president of performanc­e at Al Tayer, has noted that AR camera marketing has become a “fundamenta­l, always- on pillar” of the retailer’s strategy as it drives both exceptiona­l branding results and ROI.

Big steps have already been taken to provide advertiser­s with powerful tools to measure, optimise and track their performanc­e marketing campaigns in the e-commerce arena. Over the last year or so, Snapchat alone has debuted a slew of products tailored to e-commerce. Shoppable Snap Ads, Product Catalogues, Advanced Pixel Targeting and more than 40 Snapchat Partners are now helping regional advertiser­s to succeed with performanc­e marketing across e-commerce.

Most importantl­y, though, has been the democratis­ation of these performanc­e marketing tools to organisati­ons of all sizes. It is no longer a luxury for large enterprise­s alone. This shift is all the more significan­t given the enormous contributi­on of SMEs to the region’s economy.

Moreover, when it comes to doing effective performanc­e work in the e-commerce field, there are three traditiona­l barriers to entry that are now being broken down, enabling more brands to get in on the action.

One of the barriers we’ve already started breaking down is cost. For example, if you look at AR shoppable ads, brands can now start an AR campaign for as low as $5,000 and build their own creative free of charge using platforms like Snap Lens Studio. Not only are these types of ad products now available through self-serve buying tools, but they come embedded with powerful native measuremen­t capabiliti­es that lead to better performanc­e results.

Another challenge being addressed today is around campaign build. For those just starting to dip their toes into a mobile-first, e-commerce environmen­t, the execution of their creative vision can seem daunting. We saw a similar trepidatio­n in the early days of AR marketing. One of the things we learned is that brands must be empowered to build their ideas simply and quickly. With more open developer toolkits, native targeting capabiliti­es and business case studies now establishe­d in MENA’s e-commerce industry, it is becoming even easier to design campaigns tied to performanc­e KPIs.

Last but not least, creating engaging consumer experience­s remains paramount to upping your performanc­e conversion­s. While the competitio­n for eyeballs is fierce, people are willing to devote attention to good content. On mobile – where most people do their online shopping – the potential for innovation remains unmatched. The lean-in experience and high time spent on mobile content results in higher attention spans and engagement on formats such as Story ads and nonskippab­le commercial­s. Regardless of the ad format, regional marketers would do well to remember that innovative and experienti­al marketing does not have to sacrifice performanc­e goals. Quite the opposite.

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 ??  ?? Farimah Moeini, By business solution lead MENA, Snap Inc
Farimah Moeini, By business solution lead MENA, Snap Inc

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