Marketing strategy has mirrored each leap in technology.Â Most changes have happened once a decade, giving both the technology and the marketing professionals time to bed in their marketing strategy.Â But it's probably the last decade that's bought with it the biggest and fastest changes.Â The launch of communities and networking sites for just about every topic known to man on vast platforms not least of which are Facebook (www.facebook.com) , Twitter (www.twitter.com), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), MySpace (www.myspace.com) , Friendster (www.friendster.com) Bebo (www.bebo.com), Netlog (www.netlog.com), hi5 (www.hi5.com), PerfSpot (www.perfspot.com), Orkut (www.orkut.com) and Badoo (www.badoo.com) allow us to find and talk to our customers on a personal level, not seen since the marketing strategies of 1900s.
But it's understanding how to talk to them, when to talk to them and how to build this into your traditional marketing strategy that worries most marketing professionals.
Here we speak with the heads of marketing for three quite different Middle East companies and ask them how their marketing strategy has changed and how online marketing has gone from being a nice to have to a must have.Â You'll hear from Abu Dhabi Airports Company, AW Rostamani and Al Naboodah Insurance Brokers.
Their top tips include:
- Consistent brand messages build brands
- Use blogs to bring your customers to you
- Get your whole team involved with blogging
- Interacting with your customers through social can help you get closer to understanding customers and improving revenue
- Surveys are a great way of gaining insight into your customers
- CRM strategy should strive to acquire and retain customers whilst increasing share of wallet
- The biggest mistake businesses can make in social is not being there
- Have a clear strategy on how to use the information you get from social
- Experience + personalised communication + loyalty programme = loyal customers
- Honest communication with customers drives loyalty and improved experience
- Content marketing can secure brand loyalty and revenue more than sales messages
- Hire the right people with the right mindset and commit to training them
Communities specifically targeted at the Middle East include, Yadig (www.yadig), Koora (www.koora.com), AreebaAreeba (www.areebaareeba.com) and Fatakat (www.fatakat.com).