2020 has been a tough year all around, across geographies and sectors. And the UAE is no exception. But after a series of forecasts and corrections, the GDP for UAE is set for a growth + 3.5% in 2021. And that makes UAE one of the exceptions, which is a result of excellent crisis management by both government and non-government entities in UAE.
UAE and specifically Dubai prides itself as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations. But travel & tourism and its associated sectors have registered a negative growth this year. There are concerted efforts by all stakeholders to start an accelerated recovery path. GITEX 2020 was the only major live, in-person event this year, globally. UAE is one of the few countries that is taking the right steps in striking a balance between economy and safety in the ongoing COVID response planning. The recently announced ‘World’s coolest winter’ in UAE campaign therefore is a timely step. UAE has been steadily developing outdoor attractions across all of its emirates.
With many countries at various stages of lockdown and travel restrictions, UAE is tapping into the latent desire in people to enjoy the outdoors. Not just the tourists but the residents as well. This is an amazing opportunity for business owners to step up their marketing efforts and capture this demand. The increasingly positive outlook for the future, especially with the assured access to vaccines, has raised the consumer confidence.
Businesses have been conservative in their marketing investments this year. Not surprising, because the disruption brought on by the mass migration of consumers to digital channels has forced businesses to rethink their business models. Many have responded by adding ecommerce functionality and/or joining the online marketplaces. With a robust enough digital infrastructure, businesses can leverage the power of data to target consumers across the purchase journey. Now is the best time to start investing in advertising and marketing initiatives, when there is a general uplift in market sentiments.
Below are 3 key areas to focus to drive higher revenues, especially for those in travel, tourism, leisure, and retail sectors.
- Focus on Mobile: ‘Year of the Mobile’ has been predicted and debated over the past few years. PubMatic reported a 71% y-o-y increase in global mobile advertising spends in Q2 2020. The advances in ad formats, experiences, and technologies like 5G have made this screen an unparalleled choice. In-game and In-app advertising is growing at a rapid pace. Furthermore, content production for mobile is more cost effective than for the larger screens. The shopping features offered by social media channels are designed as mobile-first and move consumers between engagement and transaction seamlessly. Designing a mobile-first marketing campaign requires a mix of attention-grabbing visual communication, data driven targeting and performance focused deliveries. For the SMEs with limited marketing budgets, this screen provides access to a large audience at relatively lower costs. The high penetration and high-speed internet in UAE make mobile an effective marketing channel. Mobile search campaigns are exceptionally successful for local brands.
- Invest in tech: Investing in digital marketing without a strong tech set-up is money wasted. Start with basic Google Analytics integration with social media channels. If the App is an integral marketing channel, integrating it with Google Analytics provides a unified view of customer engagement.
- Location Tech: It might not be viable for all businesses to invest in hardware like beacons. But geofencing the business location is an easier way to pull the natural footfall into the stores. There are many 3rd party service providers that provide ‘location-based targeting’ tools. Lifesight is one such provider that offers device ID based location targeting. They have their own DSP to plan and target across media channels. It is not enough to invest in the tech alone, choosing the right type of messaging is equally important. Contextualise it to the environment, time of day while creating value focused messaging to ensure action.
- Ad Tech: This aspect of digital marketing is changing almost by the day. Choose the right tools to ensure campaign viewability and effective targeting. Better customer segmentation using the data owned by businesses allow for tailor-made messaging. Resulting in higher conversions. Move beyond native tools offered by social media channels to segment audience. Use tools that allow access to like-minded audiences as the customer base. SilverPush is an AI powered tool that recognises moments within YouTube videos to push relevant messaging, ensuring brand safety.
- Leverage Social Media: Every aspect of travel and leisure is influenced by social media. From planning to sharing experiences. The leading social media channels offer highly engaged audience segments, focused on travel and leisure. Leveraging this audience is effective and cost efficient, especially when the budgets are low.
- Paid Media: Organic reach of social media channels are no longer sufficient to move business metrics. Multiple ad formats with different bidding/pricing techniques are available across all social media channels. Choose the best mix that fits the brand narrative as well as business objectives. Use brand building formats like Carousels, Canvases, Video and Stories to showcase product / experience offerings. Complement with e-commerce led formats like FB Collab Ads, Google Shoppable Ads and Snap Collection ads to drive transactions
- Influencers: Travel and leisure category boasts a number of influencers – celebrity as well as micro influencers. Not every business can or should recruit celebrity influencers. It is worthwhile to search, locate and recruit a micro influencer that resonates well with the brand values. TikTok is a fast-growing platform offering influencer outreach, with a competitive price range. Rich full screen ad experiences complemented with an engagement led #Hashtag challenge can provide the right visibility during this period.
2021 is just around the corner. People will be embracing the new year with optimism and determination to regain some of the lost momentum. How businesses respond to this sentiment will decide how far on the path to recovery they travel. PHYGiTALNOW is committed to equip our clients with the right insights and timely advice to make this journey a successful one. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to start your journey.
PHYGiTALNOW is a digital marketing consultancy based in Dubai focused on transforming businesses for sustainable growth. The primary focus is to realise the full revenue potential by providing best-in-class Digital Marketing Services – Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Website and App Development, Social Media Strategy and Activation, Email Marketing and Digital Advertising. We also provide E-commerce specific services – Online Marketplace Management, Conversion Optimisation and Basket Analysis. We tailor-make our consultancy packages depending on the digital maturity of the business.