58% Marketers increased Digital Marketing Budgets in 2012


Digital marketing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is experiencing tremendous growth, according to an Econsultancy report, which has found that 58% of marketers are increasing their digital marketing budgets in 2012.

Econsultancy’s second annual State of Digital Marketing in MENA report looks in detail at the use of different online and traditional marketing channels in the Middle East and North Africa.

The 57-page report is based on a survey of more than 400 B2B marketers in the region and reveals that over a quarter of marketing budgets (27%) are spent on digital marketing, up from 22% in 2011. According to the report, over half of companies (52%) are increasing their digital marketing budgets by at least 20%.

The research findings show that traditional marketing areas are used in conjunction with digital channels. Email (78% of companies) is the most widely used digital marketing channel, but businesses are also using other established digital channels including off-site social media and SEO (search engine optimization).

Social media is also contributing to the high rate of growth in digital. A third (36%) of companies report they have already experimented with social media marketing, while 81% of marketers are planning to increase investment in social media in 2012.

Econsultancy’s Research Manager, Aliya Zaidi, said: “It’s an exciting time to be an online marketer, as the research shows more companies are ploughing investment into digital in 2012. More companies are focused on how to measure return-on-investment, which is a natural sign of the industry’s rapid development.

“Marketers are becoming more realistic about the challenges associated with measuring value from digital marketing and are better at understanding where the gaps are.”

Zaidi continued: “The report also found that a lack of local talent is holding back some companies from making the most out of digital. There’s huge demand for Arabic copywriters in this region, and companies need to address the skills gap by investing in further digital education and training.”

The full results of Econsultancy’s State of Digital Marketing survey are being presented at Econsultancy’s Digital Cream Dubai event on 21st February in a keynote presented by Ashley Friedlein, CEO of Econsultancy.

Key survey findings:

  • SMS is the mostly frequently used mobile marketing channel or technology, with 52% of companies reporting that they are using text messaging for marketing.
  • Competitions are the most common type of content created on social media in MENA, according to 43% of companies surveyed.
  • Just over a third (36%) of companies create corporate blogs as part of their social activity, while infographics are created by 34% of organisations surveyed.
  • Companies are failing to focus on the basics of mobile optimisation, with only 6% using mobile- optimised emails or mobile commerce.

About this report

The 57-page report focuses on how companies in the Middle East and North Africa are currently using online marketing and allocating digital spend, and includes sections on:

  • Marketing budgets
  • Use of marketing channels
  • Social media marketing
  • Effectiveness and return-on-investment
  • Staffing and skills


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