While digital marketing is bigger than ever in the US and Europe, we can’t negate the fact that it is also becoming increasingly important in areas such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In fact, digital marketing in the Middle East
is showing some interesting trends that really transform the landscape. Native advertising at the forefront
Native advertising is perhaps the most used digital marketing tool in the Middle East. Agencies are working with bloggers, site owners and influencers in marketing brands and products through native advertising. Unlike in the US, where native advertising in strictly regulated, agencies in the Middle Eastern countries still have a lot of room to use native advertising in different campaigns.
The results are some very interesting campaigns. AdZouk, for instance, now has its own platform for native advertising called the Zoukontent. It takes dozens of metrics and optimises native advertising for maximum user engagement. Local knowledge as strength
It is also interesting to note that the local agencies – and their knowledge of the customers and the area – are performing incredibly well in the digital marketing landscape. International brands are trusting local agencies like DMC, the largest digital advertising company in Iran, and giving them more freedom to work with campaigns that can really inspire user engagement.
Paired with targeted campaigns, local SEO and geo-targeted mobile advertising, the digital landscape in countries like Iran is looking very good indeed. Anetwork – and its experience in creating digital solutions – is leading the charge. The company started life as a CPC ad network in 2010 and has since grown into the largest digital media agency in Iran
On the other hand, companies like Adro are pivoting to real-time advertising with their ad networks. The shift allows brands and business owners to not only create and maintain their own campaigns but also get real-time analytics to help them make fine adjustments. The next step
As the world starts to turn to video content, advertisers and users in Middle Eastern countries are taking the same steps towards video too. In countries like Iran and some parts of the UAE, the infrastructure – namely the internet connection – is more prepared for videos. Iran-based companies like ADAD are leading the way with monetised apps, something which wasn’t possible in the past due to the infrastructure. ADAD is now the largest mobile ad network in the country.
It won’t be long before the digital marketing landscape in the Middle East attracts more international brands. Companies like Sony and Lenovo are already well invested in the market. More tools are being introduced by the day and a lot of resources are now accessible, allowing even smaller companies and local businesses to take advantage of this new set of trends. In fact, just three years ago only 1% of ad budgets were spent on digital marketing, but it is believed that figure will grow to 12% by 2018. It will certainly be very interesting to see how far the market will expand with digital marketing as the main marketing instrument.