Experiential marketing carves a niche beyond conventional strategies

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  • Growth of social media endorses the concept
  • Total Marketing summit to address this new paradigm shift in marketing

Statistics reveal that internet advertising spend in the Middle East is expected to rise to 4.5 percent – around US$266 million (AED977 million) – from the existing 1 percent – US$56 million (AED206 million) – by 2013. Mobile retail marketing is predicted to rake in US$15 billion in 2012, a 50 percent growth from 2011. Also, companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are spending 22 percent of their annual marketing budgets on digital, while 58 percent of companies are increasing their digital budgets this year.

These statistics reveal the growing momentum in the marketing sphere, while simultaneously signifying the changing dynamics propelled by the social networks. “Marketing is no longer restricted to conventional promotions and direct advertising. Today, the concept of experiential marketing is gaining ground, driven primarily by the growth of social networks. Consumers are voicing their opinions on products and driving the way companies position their products. Brand awareness has also become a norm,” explains Mohammed Bin Rashid Abaalkheil, Head of Marketing and Communications, Bank Albilad, KSA and speaker at the Total Marketing Summit.

Experiential marketing is being pegged as the fast-growing trend for 2012, wherein consumer experiences of a product decide its success or failure. Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have also provided an impetus to viral marketing. This trend in particular has witnessed strong acceptance in industries such as retail, FMCG, entertainment and media.

“Today, marketing is consumer-driven, which is given a further boost due to growing use of technology. While experiential marketing is effective, companies need to be aware of influential biased opinions and preconceived notions. Trust is another factor that needs special attention,” according to Vikram Krishna, Head of Group Marketing and Branding, Emirates NBD.

The summit, to be held from 20–23 November 2011 at The Address Dubai Mall Hotel, will highlight forthcoming trends in the marketing sphere for 2012, and key areas such as digital marketing and retail marketing will be discussed and debated at the summit.

“We cannot ignore the influence of social media, which is a strong channel for marketing and is growing fast,” added Krishna. A recent industry study on Digital Marketing in the Middle East estimates that 56 percent of companies are using off-site social media (Twitter, Facebook), while 23 percent are using on-site social media (blogs, forums, ratings and reviews).

Speakers from across the Middle East, Europe and Asia will be converging at the renowned event, to discuss the future of marketing and the latest consumer and research trends, as well as providing practical solutions for marketers in the industry by identifying key trends. A series of case studies will be presented and numerous networking opportunities will be available at the event.

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