Campaign Middle East
Time to start seeing results
The e-commerce boom is good news for results-driven campaigns, writes Snap’s Farimah Moeini
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.