Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Survey: Traffic Transparency Would Help Internet Advertising

| March 13, 2009 – 9:05 pm | comment 5 Comments

Web TrafficA recent survey by the market research company Real Opinions shows that 87% of those involved in advertising or marketing for their organisations in the Middle East said that transparency in website visitor numbers and profiles of visitors would be influential in increasing their usage of the Internet for advertising.

Put into perspective, 58% claim their budgets for marketing and advertising have decreased, but the current economic climate has encouraged them to look online for maximizing their impact, with 37% claiming their interest in the Internet has increased (50% claim no change).

Dan Healy, the CEO of Real Opinions who conducted the survey commented, ‘With decreasing budgets, organisations appear to be looking around for new paradigms in which to conduct their advertising and marketing activities to help them reach their goals. They are looking at the Internet advertising industry and websites to help them justify a new approach.’

‘As the Internet allows users to follow their special interests, websites have the ability to accurately show how unique their visitors are and how it can match an advertiser’s target market they wish to reach with communication. It’s shouldn’t just be how many visitors a website receives, advertisers want to know the profile of these people. This in turn can provide a very cost efficient advertising model for many organisations to achieve the return on investment they seek in this economic climate,’ Dan added.

Mobile Internet Users On The Rise In The Middle East

| March 5, 2009 – 11:38 am | comment No Comments

Mobile InternetMore Middle East business people used mobile devices to hook on to the internet last month, compared with February 2007, while fewer used computers, a just released survey showed.

The survey, presented to the Digital Marketing Conference in Dubai by the Dubai-based research company Real Opinions, said computers were still by far the main way to connect to the internet.

The percentage who regularly logged in to the web with their mobiles increased from 33.5 per cent to 40 per cent.

Numbers of people using desktops to log in decreased from 63.50 per cent to 58.93 per cent, while those using laptops slid from 82.80 per cent to 81.35 per cent.

Mr Dan Healy, the chief executive of Real Opinions, said mobile device users tended to be professionals and high-end targets for advertisers.

“This is a select group of business internet users,” he said. “These are people with authority and relatively high disposable income, which are the target group for the travel industry, the hotels and the airlines. “This gives advertisers more creative ways to access them.”

The survey, of 446 business internet users in the region, also found they spend far more time using the internet than they do with any other kind of media.
The survey said users spent an average of 3.51 hours a day surfing online, compared with 2.28 hours watching television.

But it found that, while internet use dominated other media in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon, radio was stronger in the morning rush hour, and television was stronger in the evening.

Most respondents, 58 per cent, said the current economic climate had affected their organisation’s budget for marketing and advertising, but 37 per cent also said it had increased their organisation’s interest in internet marketing.

[Source: The National]

Media Experts Think 80% Of Arab Advertising Will Go Digital

| March 2, 2009 – 8:59 pm | comment 2 Comments

Media experts believe that the current financial crisis, in tandem with the fast changing demographics of the region will turn as much as 80 per cent of advertising to digital platforms such as internet and mobile phones.

Speaking at a conference, titled “Coping with Change, Yes, We can”, at the Dubai Press Club, some of the region’s media experts conveyed that the current projections for ad spent on print media will hold on to a mere 20 per cent, while digital platforms will grab the rest in a few years’ time.

Echoing the findings of the latest edition of the Arab Media Outlook 2008-2012, some speakers said that broadband would make a strong impact on the media scene, bringing better efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

The new edition of the Arab Media Outlook, the media analysis recently brought out by Dubai Press Club in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, has revealed that demographic factors are among the principal reasons why the Arab World is most suitable for the growth of new forms of media, such as digital media and mobile TV.

The report based its conclusions on extensive research in 12 Arab countries, says that one common feature across all 12 markets is that young people make up a relatively high percentage of the population. “Over 50 per cent of the population in Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt are estimated to be currently less than 25 years old, while in the rest of the countries the under-25 ‘net generation’ makes up around 35 per cent to 47 per cent of total population,” said the report.

The seminar, which saw a detailed discussion on rapid changes in the media industry and the challenges posed by the current financial meltdown, was addressed by Richard Withey, Dr Ali Al-Assam, Managing Director of KnowledgeView Ltd, Francis Matthew, Editor-at-large, Gulf News and Magdi Hannah, Press IT supervisor, Abu Dhabi Media company.

Personally, with all due respect to the speakers and their opinions, and even though I’m pretty optimistic about the outlook for online advertising in the Arab world over these coming years, and am on the side that thinks this financial crisis will grow the market of digital advertising, I still think a growth from around 1% of overall advertising budgets to 80% in just a few years is a bit exaggerated, and neither is it healthy.

Cyber Gear Launches DIYads For Self Serve Advertising

| February 17, 2009 – 10:00 am | comment 4 Comments

Cyber Gear, a UAE based web design and online marketing firm, has just launched, a new “do it yourself” online ad creation, placement and performance analysis service for the Middle East.

The service is targeted at advertisers who are on a budget, and need to cheaply put together an online display ad, and get it out there as quickly and easily as possible. At prices start at US$ 99/month for up to 5,000 banner impressions.

Currently, online campaigns created through the service can be run on, another service by Cyber Gear, with the company aiming to add new sites to the DIYads publishers network in the coming weeks.

Sharad Agarwal, CEO of Cyber Gear, said in the company’s press release that “Self serve display ads are the ‘killer app’ of Web advertising. We have developed a proprietary real time ad customization tool and intuitive web-based interface that deploys XML Feed to create more engaging display ads using Flash technology. The new tool will enable advertisers select from a number of ad targeting factors such as geographic, demographic and various user interest categories.”

The new service comes at a time when many companies are cutting down their advertising budgets, and many people are expecting a bigger push towards online advertising; so it should be interesting to see how well it does.

I wouldn’t expect the system to create some really awesome or ultra creative banner ads, but it still could be enough for someone making an entrance to online advertising, with a limited budget, and wanting to test the waters.

Middle East Online Ad Spend Set To Grow By Up To 35% In 2009

| February 1, 2009 – 5:53 pm | comment 5 Comments

Regional spending on online advertising is expected to grow by 25-35 percent as a result of the downturn, as we witness a greater shift from print to online advertising, according to a study titled “Game Not Over”, that was recently released by global management consultant firm, Booz & Company.

According to Gabriel Chahine, a partner at Booz & Company, “Online advertising is cheaper compared to other mediums such as television and print and is far more targeted. It offers better investment and a better return.”

The report says that around 90 percent of marketers are focused on campaigns that are cross-platform and inclusive of digital media while 80 percent believe insights into consumer’s digital behaviour will become more important to their brands.

Online advertising spending in the GCC-Levant countries remains below 1 percent of the total globally, according to a recent study by Madar Research

Chahine thinks that growth of online advertising is hampered in the Middle East by a lack of supply of regional products and that companies head to Google, Yahoo and Facebook for online advertising because of a lack of compelling offerings from the Arab world.

On the other hand the report states that just 25 percent of marketers consider themselves savvy enough to capitalise on opportunities in online advertising, which I think is the bigger reason why online advertising hasn’t taken off in the region.

The report says that marketers’ key concerns include the efficacy of digital metrics, the need for greater education and new models so they can build a more effective advertising presence online.

[Source: Arabian Business]

TigerFish Network Aims To compete With Google and Yahoo

| January 10, 2009 – 10:15 pm | comment 12 Comments

H2O New Media

H2O New Media, the UAE based social media agency, recently released a bit more details about its TigerFish Network, previously covered here.

The TigerFish Network, is promoted as the first Middle East based social media advertising network, which will allow advertisers to target their online marketing strategy based on user profiles and user defined preferences. This advertising network will be offered to H2O New Media customers and publishers, giving them an opportunity to generate revenues from their online publications and social media websites.

The TigerFish Network will be implemented across all social communities owned and operated by H2O New Media and those of its customers.

H2O New Media hopes TigerFish will enable it to strongly compete with companies like Google and Yahoo, hoping that by being a local online advertising network that crosses different social media channels, they can provide a higher rate of return for publishers in the region, offering them targeted regional advertising based on users profiles.

“In 2009, the focus for TigerFish Network will be to expand our advertising sales team and recruit local publishers into the network. Our aim is to work with existing social media platforms in the UAE and into migrating them from Google on to TigerFish Network. We foresee significant workload in this transition however our relationships with media and PR agencies in this market is expected to boost the launch of this platform. We will compete directly with Google for a share of the UAE’s online advertising market as we are leaders of social media development and we provide a holistic and consultative service to clients and users” said Mr. Steve Vaile, CEO and Founder, H2O New Media.

The TigerFish Network is scheduled to open business by mid January 2009. The product is currently implemented on a number of social media platforms with a reach of over 300,000 unique users per month across a mix of platforms.

H2O New Media To Launch ‘Tiger Fish’ Social Media Advertising Platform

| December 30, 2008 – 11:45 pm | comment 9 Comments

H2O New MediaDubai-based H2O New Media announced plans to launch the region’s first dedicated social media advertising platform next month, allowing advertisers to target users based on their online community profile.

The platform, called Tiger Fish, is planned to offer advertising services similar in concept to those provided by Facebook and MySpace.

“The Middle East is the second-fastest growing market for social media behind Africa,” Steve Vaile, the chief executive and founder of H2O New Media, told The National. “I think the region needs its own online advertising platform, which is why we have been developing the Tiger Fish network. It will allow advertisers to target the users who want to view their ads.”

Although Tiger Fish claims to have access to more than 300,000 locally based consumers on both English and Arabic content platforms, Mr Vaile said the focus would be mostly on those who speak English. The new platform would offer businesses that previously would have taken products from the US or Europe the opportunity to have local support and consultancy. “There’s a lot that goes into an application like this.”

There isn’t much more detail out there about Tiger Fish yet, but my understanding is that it’s based around the different social media communities H2O New Media has built, leveraging the database of different user profiles in this network of online community services to offer advertisers the chance to target specific segments more precisely.

Report: MENA Advertising Growth To Double In 2009

| December 10, 2008 – 9:08 pm | comment 1 Comment

An industry report released by ZenithOptimedia, a media-buying arm of one of the world’s largest advertising firms, Publicis Group, says 2009 advertising growth for the MENA region will grow by 10 percent, nearly the double of this year’s expected growth rate of 5.8 percent.

Egypt should be a strong contributor to the growth of advertising in the region, with most of the gains coming from the GCC and the growing pan-Arab advertising market.

This stands out against a gloomy worldwide outlook, forecasting a 0.2 percent drop in advertising spend next year, with the North American market taking the worst hit, expected to decline 5.7 percent. 

Internet advertising is expected to grow 18 percent next year though, both globally and in the North American market, taking a 15.6 percent share of global ad expenditures in 2011, 5.2 percentage points ahead of magazines and 5.6 points behind newspapers. The gap between internet and newspapers currently stands at 15.1 points.

Reduced advertising budgets are expected to help boost internet advertising, which costs fractions of what it costs to advertise via traditional media, and offers advertisers a clear way to track audience.

The report also expects television to do relatively well in the downturn, making up a record 38.5 percent of global ad expenditure in 2010 and 2011.

Middle East Economic Slowdown To Boost Online Advertising

| November 19, 2008 – 4:28 pm | comment 6 Comments

The economic slowdown in the Middle East is expected to accelerate the growth of online advertising in the region, reported The National, as companies opt for less expensive web ads over pricey traditional media.

Advertising online costs fractions of what it costs to advertise via traditional media, and makes it easier to measure the impact of advertising campaigns. 

The market now accounts for up to 20 per cent of total ad spending in developed economies, and is the driver of virtually all growth in advertising spending.

On the other hand, spending on online advertising in the Middle East is estimated to be as low as US$50 million, translating into less than 1 per cent of total advertising spending, which is one of the main factors holding back the growth of startups and web businesses around the region.

Google, which has become a giant in the area of online advertising, and which has been pushing hard into the Arab market, say they are seeing faster growth in regional demand as advertisers look for ways to increase their reach while limiting their spending.
“In an economically cautious environment, people need to continue to grow their business, making people aware of their product while also cutting costs,” said Mohammed Gawdat, the managing director of Google for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Every technology adoption follows an ‘S’ curve: it starts slow, then grows exponentially, peaks and tails off,” he said. “The Middle East is definitely in the hockey-stick part of that curve right now. Our numbers show that it is growing at a tremendous pace.”

Mazen Halawi, the corporate sales manager of Ayna, an Arabic search engine, recently said that large corporate advertisers in the region planned to put a larger percentage of their advertising budget into online media next year, with some planning for almost 10 per cent of total ad spending to go to the internet, up from just 5 per cent last year.

Globally, total advertising spending is predicted to grow by approximately 5 per cent next year, driven almost entirely by the online market, which will grow by 15 to 20 per cent according to some estimates.

# Source: The National

Up To August, 1.2 Million Dinars Invested In Online Advertising In Tunisia In 2008

| October 13, 2008 – 4:20 pm | comment 1 Comment

TunisiaAccording to estimative numbers released by Tunisian market research firm Sigma Conseil, that cover the first eight months of 2008, a total investment of 1.2 Million Dinars  (US$ 930,000) has been made in online advertising, a third of which is by the Telecom sector, followed by the Financial and Automotive sectors.

The study shows that Tunisiana, the private mobile operator that is a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom, is on the top of the list of online advertisers, followed by the Arab Tunisian Bank (ATB), TopNet (an Internet service provider), Hannibal Lease, ANG Consulting and Tunisie Télécom (Public mobile and fixed line operator).

In a previous study released in the beginning of 2008, Sigma Conseil estimated the total investment in online advertising in 2007 at only 2% of the total advertising budget in Tunisia which was estimated at 100 Million Dinars (US$ 77 Million).

So mainly, even though there was a 1% growth in online advertising in Tunisia from 2005/2006 to 2007, according to Sigma Conseil’s numbers 2008 isn’t showing that much growth so far in comparison to last year.

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