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When seeking to target any region of the world online it is a good idea to have an understanding of which regional search engines you need to target. This is no different when targeting countries in the Middle East. Unlike many other regions in the world the Middle East does not have an alternative to Google that dominates the region. Despite this there are some important observations to make about Middle East Search Engines that we will go into more detail about here.
Arab Americans and other multicultural consumers compose a disproportionate share in the United States market. Arab Americans move across the world, carrying parts of their cultural identity with them while assimilating to the host country’s culture. Molding marketing messages to tackle multicultural or bicultural groups in society allows companies to tap into this lucrative market niche. Knowledge of the Arab American culture and ethnic backgrounds is essential to understand how to craft marketing messages to them as an audience, whilst avoiding points of conflict.
Visually-led social networks have grown exponentially in the Middle Eastern region, with Snapchat at the forefront of the social media trend. According to Snapchat user data, the mobile app currently has about 33 million users in the Middle East. Company growth in this region has far out-paced growth in many other countries.
Saudis are among the highest active daily users of Snapchat, with residents of Riyadh and Jeddah using the camera 40 times a day on average, and spending approximately 35 minutes a day surfing snaps. These figures are huge when compared to Snapchat’s global average of 25 times a day and half an hour of surfing, respectively. In fact, more than a third of Saudi respondents say they use Snapchat video tools, making it the highest market adoption of the app by any nation. Snapchat has even opened its first Middle Eastern office in Dubai, with rumors of a second office in soon to open in Riyadh. (more…)
In light of the fact that I have found it difficult to find an online resource that provides multi-lingual Internet marketers with Arabic translations of commonly used SEO terms I went ahead created such a glossary in this blog post. Since the SEO industry is still relatively young in the Middle East some who read this post may use other SEO jargon not listed here or may have alternate Arabic translations or definitions for the vocabulary below. This list is a work in progress, so your suggestions are welcome in the comment section below in English or in Arabic. Also, new jargon comes into use on at least a yearly basis, so if you see a new term missing from this list be sure to post let me know. (more…)
In the business of online marketing in the Middle East, our company frequently receives questions about Arabic domains. How do Arabic domains work? What is their history? And most importantly, does my business need one? Marketers and online business owners need to understand how to effectively answer these questions as they relate to their businesses.
There are many unresolved questions and currently not enough information available on the Internet to answer them. As this is the first real guide that delves comprehensively into this topic, we hope to answer many of the burning questions you may have. (more…)
Social media influencers are users of one or more social media platforms who have amassed large followings that are continuously engaged with their content. Coming from a variety of backgrounds – with some of them being reality TV stars, makeup artists, or fitness gurus – they curate and post content that highlights items, hobbies, activities, or places.
Often, influencer posts are sponsored by larger companies who offer payments for the advertising service or offer commissions based on the activity of people who have engaged with the social media posts and then completed the action desired by the company. These actions could include purchasing the advertised product, attending an advertised event or subscribing to a service. (more…)
Those who live within the Middle East or have spent time there have no doubt encountered difficulties using internet services to contact people outside the region. In a GCC country, you likely found that calls via WhatsApp, Facetime, and Skype were blocked. Likewise, if you were trying to reach a local in one of these countries, you may have experienced an unusually poor connection due to a short bandwidth.
In general, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services are completely free or relatively cheap, making them an appealing option in emerging market regions with large expat populations. However, many countries in the Middle East have instated wide-spread VoIP bans which render phone calling features of popular apps such as WhatsApp, Viber and FaceTime inaccessible. These conditions make it expensive and difficult for businesses and individuals to conduct long-distance voice calls.
With more shipping boxes on doorsteps, packages on trucks and products in the air than ever before, the global ecommerce sector is booming – and the Middle East is no exception.
According to market trends, more than a quarter of Middle Eastern consumers now shop online every month. 36 percent of shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 shop online at least once a month, a substantial increase from previous generations.
Better pricing, product selection and convenience are often listed by these customers as the reason for selecting ecommerce over traditional brick and mortar purchases. With increasingly more youth than previously in most Middle Eastern countries, these trends are only expected to continue.
Coffee and coffee shops are an integral part of Middle East culture, with many claiming that the ancient roots of coffee consumption rest in the Arabic-speaking world. A classical Arabic Abd al-Khadir ode to coffee claims it to be “the beverage of the friends of God.” Enter Starbucks, an utterly American Seattle-based coffee chain with over 600 stores in 12 Middle Eastern and North African countries, with a client base that is growing every day, and surging revenue throughout the region. How has Starbucks blended ancient Arabic culture with modern marketing into a delicious success? And why does the Middle East love the Starbucks brand?
In this guide, we will give an introduction to the world of the high net worth Arabs and ultra high net worth Arabs. We are concerned with how these individuals have achieved their great wealth, what types of projects, investments, and causes they spend their money on, and what type of foreign investments they are likely to hold or in which they are likely to take interest.
We will briefly analyze the spread of “HNW” (high net worth) Arabs throughout the Middle East (those holding liquid assets worth more than $1 million) and look at how their growth, methods of achieving wealth, and foreign investments differ from those of ultra-high net worth Arabs.. Throughout the article, we will make frequent reference to “UHNW Arabs” (ultra- high net worth Arabs) and “UHNWIs” (ultra-high net worth individuals). Ultra-high net worth individuals are defined as those who hold liquid assets exceeding $30 million. In this article, we will generally exclude from analysis those ultra-high net worth Arabs who hold wealth as government caretakers rather than as individuals – e.g., members of royal families. We will discuss the wealth and spread of UHNWIs in the Middle East, introduce some of the wealthiest individuals in the region, then delve into how they tend to spend their money and how this information could be of use to the marketer. Feel free to skip to sections that most interest you.
The strategy of influencer marketing uses a personality or celebrity to promote your brand to a larger audience, some well-known examples include Serena Williams for Gatorade and Jennifer Aniston for Emirates Airline. Hiring celebrities as brand ambassadors has been a successful marketing strategy for some time but as social media gains popularity, companies are choosing alternative ambassadors over the significant cost of A-list celebrities.
Across several channels, countless social media profiles have gained loyal followings. With thousands, sometimes millions of viewers, these profiles have significant power and influence, making them an attractive investment for companies looking to increase brand awareness and product sales. This practice is beginning to take off in the Middle East in particular, as social media usage is skyrocketing in the past five years. For the purpose of this article, we will look at YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat and identify what makes these platforms opportunistic as well as looking at specific examples of users who are promoting brands on their accounts.
According to the Northwest University Qatar estimates in their Media Industries in the Middle East 2016, the total ad market in the Middle East was valued at 5.5 billion USD in 2015. While it only accounted for a small percentage of global ad spend in 2015, the market in the Middle East is ripe with opportunities for marketers to expand their advertising. Though the current market structure differs greatly from that of the global market, or even other underdeveloped markets, the MENA region is seeing a gradual shift into the modern era of digital marketing, an area especially pertinent to the region’s 141 million internet users.
Arabic magazines both in print and online have continued to pop up over the past 2 decades throughout the Middle East. In this article we will discuss various aspects of Arabic magazine advertising in the MENA region.
Any marketing copywriter for the past century will tell you that calls to action are essential to getting your target audience to respond to your ads. This is true with the Arabic language as well. If you’re not asking Arabic speakers to take some sort of action in response to your ads you are very unlikely to have success with your marketing campaigns. The problem is a great deal of Arabic marketing done today is often either translated directly from English by translators who don’t properly translate the tense of calls to action or alternatively the ads are written directly by Arab marketers who haven’t studied calls to action and their power to drive marketing results.
Any market entry plan should include strategy and tactics for reaching your target audience effectively within that region. How a product is marketed in some regions of the world may be very different from how it should be marketed in the Middle East. In this post we will examine some of the unique ways you should be marketing and selling your products to Arabs.
Arabs are considered to be collectivists. Collectivists show a high degree of loyalty commitment to their group, family, and tribes. They are committed to their extended family unit and they feel a strong responsibility as a representative of their group. The group as a whole and individually takes responsibility for each member of the tribe.
When optimizing and designing your website to target collectivist cultures like Arabs you should apply these tactics
Below are some examples of these principles.