Arabnet Dubai is recognised for being one of the largest digital conferences in the MENA region held over two days. This year the event held over 35 panels, case studies, workshops and keynotes!

Here are our top key takeaways from the event:

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Marketers across the world have been banging the ‘integrated marketing’ drum for a while now, the MENA region being no exception. As different channels of communication continue to grow and develop, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that marketing campaigns speak to the target audience of your business across different channels in an integrated way. While many businesses still struggle to do this, there is certainly no lack of buy-in for integrated marketing in the MENA region, in fact 86% of senior level marketers agree that it is important to create a cohesive customer journey across all touch points and channels. If you haven’t got your integrated marketing houses in order, it’s time to act now before your customer choses your competitor!

Arabnet 2015

The State of E-commerce

We got some great stats and key takeaways from Iyad Kamal (COO, Aramex International). According to Iyad, the majority of people that buy in the GCC are women purchasing apparels, beauty and shoes predominately through cash on delivery. We also heard that 43% of internet users in the GCC are purchasing online once a month, however interestingly most people are making purchases from other countries. This begs the question, why are customers in the GCC region buying products from other countries? This is due to the fact that we can’t find what we are looking for! So why are ecommerce businesses not seeing this as huge opportunity? Retailers should cease this moment to get more products online to increase sales.

We also learned that 45% of returns are due to the customer not being at the delivery address for the time of delivery! So what are companies doing to fix this? Aramex now have an app that will help combat this allowing companies to capture data and achieve live tracking of your delivery. This will allow Aramex to speak with customers directly and insure that their products are delivered to the cutomer.

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Dominance of the Marketplace

2015 has see various exciting movements in the MENA marketplace already. We all heard the big news this year that Alibaba completed the largest IPO ever in the New York stock exchange. We also found out this year about the landmark acquisition of Talabat for $170M as well as Tursjeys’ Yemeksepeti, (foodOnClick) for a staggering $589M. With business booming right now along with lots of stiff competition, how do organisations differentiate themselves from each other? Jean-Pierre Modalek (GM UAE, Uber) mentioned that many companies live and die by reviews and rating systems. They pride themselves on the quality of the service. With their recent partnership with The Entertainer, Uber also feel that one of the keys to success is finding the right partners. Ronaldo Mouchawar (CEO, argued that it’s all about data and ensuring that there is always a flow of products to sell. In summary, you need to be able to provide an excellent user journey, have enough products and ensure that ratings are high through great customer service, as well as insuring you have the right partnerships is key to success! Not exactly brain surgery but sometimes easier said than done!