UAE retailers need more time to master their digital visibility


Retailers in the UAE have agreed to e-commerce, at least since last year. But they have work to do to refine their digital visibility and their marketing signals.
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Advertising has long been the holy grail of marketing. When we look at it now, social media and digital are a different and more powerful extension of the Grail. Gone are the days when a media planner presented a bunch of ad options above and below the line with no data to prove future sales increases.

A more data-driven approach with a granulated metric is preferred, resulting in most of the budgets planners spend on digital ads. The ability to exchange ideas with consumers and communities via the free web has opened up new avenues for e-commerce, gaming, and entertainment.

The influence of the Internet as a cornerstone of today’s retail business has spurred a revolution in content and advertising, and by extension, in the consumer experience.

The potential to track, measure and redesign digital campaigns and the ability to measure the success of ad spend make it a must-have marketing tool. Total ad spend worldwide was nearly $ 586 billion, of which digital ad share was around $ 378.16 billion. According to Pwc’s Interactive Advertising Bureau report, digital ad spend rose 12.2% due to e-commerce and the rise in door-to-door deliveries over the past year.

No more deniers

If we take a closer look, the region, which has cutting-edge digital infrastructure, has fully benefited from this wave. Most retailers and large corporations are heavily focused on their digital presence. Although they often don’t have the expertise in-house, they turn to outsourcing specialist services that require a more concerted effort.

Even previously hesitant segments within retail are embracing using this platform as the only way forward. The point that emerges is that retailers find their formulas for success within their budgets.

On the ad agency side, industry players are offering a range of advanced digital options to clients and spending a considerable amount of resources to organize new data-driven initiatives. Whether it’s content creation, ad management, or even influencer marketing, agencies offer retailers the benefit of adopting an agile mindset.

Let go

Another result is an increase in active training in the industry. We have witnessed significant interest from young media professionals to hone their skills and be prepared to work in an environment that mixes traditional and digital practices.

This is probably why studies show that digital ad spending in the Middle East is expected to grow faster and to over $ 5 billion this year. But there has been an increase in disinformation, fraud and hate speech, tarnishing the image of social media.

This negative impact requires a restart of the system with regulatory measures in place and a greater emphasis on delivering factually correct content. Retailers have a greater responsibility to build trust beyond public engagement.

As we see the decline of traditional media and retailers go digital, it is essential to recognize the broader meaning of the digital space. There’s no denying that a digitally-driven, data-driven approach is the blueprint of the future, but greater collaboration between retailers and agencies – to leverage innovative solutions supported by metrics, measurement and results – remains essential.


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