I came across some recent stats on Digital Marketing in the Middle East which made some very interesting reading and helped reinforce some of the evidence we’ve seen on the ground.

 We already know that

  • SharePoint 2010 is very capable at supporting outside the firewall activities with huge focus on WCM, DAM, Analytics, Mobile and Multi language support, building on the existing great feature set
  • More and more of our customers are trying to do more than just a web site, it needs to be a channel, an end to end business that supports and delivers against core business objectives

 but the information gleaned is hugely important and the highlights include

  • Across the Middle East $90 Billion goods and services are done online (increase of 37%)

Basically If you are not doing it, your competitors almost certainly are, the time to start was yesterday, the time to improve is today!

 

  • 32% of people in MENA purchase online

And these people are the ones with money and purchasing power, stop thinking about the raw numbers and start thinking about the money that is being spent and the impact that on marketing, loyalty and experience that is being missed

 

  • Companies spend 22% of their annual Marketing budget on Digital

SharePoint allows them to maximise their investment and to do more with less, Kraft saves $2.2m in agency fees over 2 years!

 

  • 58% are increasing their digital budgets this year

We’ve all seen the huge increase of people trying to do more than just a simple web site... this growth will continue and accelerate.

 

  • 23% are using ‘on site’ social media

Yet another out of the box, enterprise integrated feature that SharePoint Delivers

 

  • 53% are increasing budgets for mobile marketing

Something that is reinforced in every meeting and once again something that SharePoint Excels at

 

  • 51% are increasing video marketing

Drag and Drop? Bit Rate Throttling? Streaming? Why yes of course SharePoint can deliver that!

 

  • Company Culture and Reliance On Traditional Marketing are the top two reasons for not investing more but perhaps more interestingly, lack of infrastructure is the 3rd!

One of the biggest challenges is that our customers don’t always know what SharePoint 2010 can deliver.  This can be the fact that IT & Marketing are not talking / listening to each other or a by-product of our unbelievable success inside the firewall.

 

  • Men & women have very different buying habits (see slide 13 & 14)

The requirement to segment, tailor and personalise has never been more important! Online you can do this to an infinite level including personal recommendations. SharePoint is a great unifying platform to help customers achieve this.

 

  • Product websites and Web 2.0 are more than twice as influential as newspaper, TV or Magazine or even Web Advertising

Spending money on traditional advertising is basically failing to understand how the market and customers have changed. Organisations need to ensure they inform, engage and retain especially online.  Every single person is getting a user experience, you need to make sure it is a good one, doing nothing is not an option.

 

I love being in the Middle East at this time, the market and the technology are well matched and SharePoint is, to my eye, a perfect Unifying Platform, a one stop enterprise grade technology supporting people, processes and allowing our customers to do more with less; to cater and segment to wider audiences in this changing and ever more competitive world.

Make no mistake, we live in exciting digital times ...