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Forum to discuss digital marketing strategies

Dubai, October 13, 2013

The Digital Strategy Forum, being organised as part of the upcoming Gitex Technology Week, will provide a roadmap on how best to exploit revenue opportunities opened up by the digital revolution.

Huge appetites for connectivity and social media interaction are forcing businesses in the Middle East to radically rethink customer engagement and go-to-market strategies, said a statement.

According to www.internetstats.com, internet use in the Middle East rose 2,000 per cent between 2000 and 2012, with Ipsos reporting that the UAE tops the regional penetration rate table with 71 per cent, followed by Kuwait (62 per cent), Qatar (61 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (60 per cent), it said.

Recent figures by Dubai School of Government reveal that the Arab region now boasts around 125 million Internet users, 53 million of which actively use social media, whereas social media analyst State of Search states that 80 per cent of Internet users in Mena spend more than one hour each day updating their social networking channels.

The Arab Social Media Report, meanwhile, recently found that Arabic is the fastest growing language in Twitter history. According to the social media experts The Social Clinic, Saudi Arabia alone has more than three million active Twitter users, recording a world-leading growth rate of 3,000 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

Google figures show that there are 100 million YouTube video playbacks in the region every day, as well as an hour’s worth of video uploaded every minute.

Dubai School of Government’s recent study, Social Media, Employment and Entrepreneurship, suggests that online engagement and interaction on this scale simply cannot be ignored, said the statement.

In what is the largest survey of its kind to date, 90 per cent of respondents said that social media could significantly boost branding and marketing, while 85 per cent hailed its ability to tap into wider markets. In addition, 85 per cent said social media could engender more customer satisfaction, 86 per cent believed it could inspire intra-agency collaboration and 85 per cent claimed it could prompt innovation, it said.

Running from October 20-24, Gitex Technology Week is responding to such trends with its most powerful Digital Strategies Forum yet.

The event, which this year features Gemalto as a strategic sponsor, is already considered the most informative and influential of its kind. It will examine how mobile, social networks, big data, and emerging customer touch points are changing the way enterprises and brands engage with customers.

Highlights include spotlights on the digital megatrends redrawing the business landscape, methods of effectively mining data for strategic gain, how to integrate mobile and social. Attendees will also learn about the make-up, motivation and skills of the new breed of marketers embracing digital media, as well as how to build effective digital advertising strategies, glean customer behaviour, and devise multi-platform engagement programmes. The event will feature a presentation by Booz & Co and a series of panel sessions.

“Social media driven digital engagement is a disrupting force that is among the most significant factors driving business today,” said Trixee Loh, senior vice president at Dubai World Trade Centre, which organises Gitex Technology Week.

“Users are more empowered and vocal than ever, which presents unique opportunities and completely redefines the concept of ‘business as usual’. The pressure to adapt is immense, and this year’s Digital Strategies Forum will provide the most insightful look yet at how businesses can add new dimensions to their go-to market strategies, build brand integrity and ensure long-term, sustainable profit.”

Hisham Surakhi, general manager of Gemalto Middle East, said: “We are living in an increasingly connected society and securing the digital world has become a top priority for most businesses in the region. At Gemalto, we support this growing demand for digital security solutions by providing Middle Eastern banks, mobile operators, enterprises and government bodies with devices and solutions to secure and simplify people’s day to day personal digital interactions. More than 1 billion people worldwide are using Gemalto’s products and services on a daily basis, be it to communicate, transact, cross the border, shop online or securely access their corporate network.”

“At Gitex, Gemalto will be showcasing for the first time in Middle East its ‘POPWings’ NFC powered digital business card solution, enabling people to enjoy even more the digital revolution in a secure and convenient way and increase their network on the spot, with a simple tap of their mobile phone,” added Surakhi. – TradeArabia News Service
 




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