Magna Global’s Hatem Fakih Reveals Strategies for Thriving in GCC’s Media Landscape
Hatem Fakih, the Business Director at Magna Global, brings a wealth of expertise to the dynamic world of media and advertising. His leadership navigates the complexities of the industry, ensuring growth, profitability, and a forward-thinking approach. In this exclusive interview, his insights delve into navigating GCC markets, leveraging technology, and fostering collaborative success.
Your tenure in the media and advertising industry has been long and varied. Could you share your reflections on how your journey has evolved along with your learnings and how these have been applied in your roles?
Throughout my extensive tenure in the media and advertising industry, I’ve navigated the dynamic GCC markets, rich in diversity and evolving consumer behaviors. An essential insight for me is the significance of understanding cultural intricacies shaping consumer preferences. The diverse demographics in the region demand a nuanced approach to media strategies.
I’ve learned to tailor campaigns to resonate with local values, ensuring genuine connections with the community. My journey highlights technology’s pivotal role in shaping the media landscape. The rapid adoption of digital platforms and the prevalence of social media emphasize staying abreast of technological trends. Leveraging data-driven insights and innovative digital marketing approaches is crucial for effective audience engagement.
In various roles, I’ve applied these learnings by fostering adaptability and innovation. Encouraging a forward-thinking mindset and openness to emerging technologies is vital for staying ahead in this ever-evolving market. Collaboration is a cornerstone of success in the Gulf market. Building strong relationships with local partners, influencers, and media vendors enhances campaign reach and deepens understanding of market dynamics. This collaborative approach navigates the intricacies of the GCC market, fostering long-term success.
As Magna Global’s Business Director, how do you ensure that all the strategies you create align with your clients’ visions and marketing goals? What KPIs do you monitor and how do you ensure that they are met?
As the Business Director at Magna Global for the Gulf market, aligning strategies with clients’ visions and marketing goals involves a multifaceted approach.
i. Client Collaboration: We regularly engage with clients to understand their business objectives, long-term visions, and specific marketing goals. This includes conducting comprehensive briefings and workshops to gather insights and align expectations.
ii. Market Research & Analysis: Our delivered strategies are customized and tailor-made to resonate with market dynamics and target audiences and stay on top of market trends and advertisers’ activities.
iii. Customized Strategies and Agile Strategies Adjustments: Our approach is based on customized strategies that seamlessly integrate with clients’ brand identities, resonating with the GCC market’s cultural nuances. We ensure these strategies address specific challenges and opportunities unique to the region. Additionally, we remain agile and ready to adjust based on evolving market dynamics.
iv. Continuous Learning: We stay updated on emerging trends, technologies, and best practices in marketing to continually refine and enhance our strategies for optimal results.
How do you navigate the intricacies of the media landscape and keep updated with the current market and consumer trends?
Navigating the media landscape and staying updated with the current market and consumer trends in the Gulf region demands a multilayered approach, including but not limited to research, media consumption habits, local partnerships, cultural adaptability, and data and analytics.
Publishers are divided on Google’s third-party deprecation and whether it is a strategic mistake or something to embrace. What is your take?
As a professional, I see this as a significant development towards greater privacy, a user-centric approach, and data protection. However, in our region, we face certain challenges. This will affect our ad targeting and was evident when Apple updated their IOS, restricting advertisers without consent. Nevertheless, I also perceive this as a call for innovation within our industry—whether through new technologies or inventive approaches to reaching our audiences.
As a consumer, I’m becoming increasingly conscious of privacy, and there’s a growing demand for transparent and privacy-friendly practices. Media agencies and advertisers that embrace privacy-enhancing technologies may be viewed more favorably by users.
Changing spending habits, omnichannel shopping, and much more are changing how modern consumers or “zero consumers” shop. How can companies attract them and gain an edge over their competitors?
The concept of “zero consumers” is relatively new definition for a diverse group characterized by omnichannel shopping habits, simultaneous frugal and extravagant spending, and a lack of brand loyalty. Health and sustainability concern this group, though it doesn’t always translate into a willingness to pay more. Ignoring their preferences risks rendering companies irrelevant.
Consumer companies face the challenge of understanding and meeting the needs of zero consumers while staying ahead of technological, talent, and competitive trends. There are some defined imperatives to gain an edge over this group including reimagining the omnichannel experience, overhauling consumer propositions, scaling up personalization, and reshaping societal impact. The success of these strategies hinges on proper execution and adaptation to the changing landscape marked by evolving technology, talent competition, and shifting consumer behavior.
In recent years, big brands all over the world have adopted CGI or FOOH advertising because of its cost-efficiency and low engagement levels. How do you think this trend will progress?
CGI technologies empower brands to craft visually stunning and attention-grabbing content without the logistical challenges and costs tied to traditional methods. As technology advances, the quality of CGI continually improves, potentially driving increased adoption as brands seek more realistic and immersive ways to showcase their products or services.
Additionally, brands may leverage CGI for highly personalized and targeted advertisements, providing a more engaging and relevant experience for audiences. Another avenue is integrating CGI with AR and VR to create interactive and immersive experiences, fostering more engagement with out-of-home (OOH) advertising. However, this integration poses the challenge of differentiating between real content and CGI content.
Brand-building isn’t enough in today’s consumer market. Consumers need unique brand experiences to keep coming back. What are the benefits of emotions being incorporated into marketing?
Presently in media, we’ve begun examining the attention metric, focusing on eliciting various emotions to create memorable and emotionally charged experiences. Associating positive emotions with a brand leaves a lasting impression, increasing the likelihood of consumer recall and future engagement, fostering brand loyalty. Consumers appreciate brands that showcase genuineness and a human side.
Addressing emotional needs can significantly enhance overall customer satisfaction. Brands attuned to and responsive to the emotional triggers of their customers are better positioned to craft products, services, and experiences aligning with customer expectations. This understanding plays a pivotal role in decision-making, influencing purchasing decisions and shaping consumer behaviors.
Emotional experiences possess a viral quality. When consumers have a positive emotional reaction to a brand, they’re inclined to share their experiences, contributing to word-of-mouth marketing and potentially creating viral content. This emotional connection amplifies the brand’s reach and impact.
If there is an ongoing or upcoming advertising/media trend that you would never want to bring back, what would it be and why?
Disruptive advertising formats and approaches are something that no one would like to see making a comeback. As media evolves, focusing more on entertainment, consumers are becoming selective in their content consumption. Disrupting this journey can lead to a negative perception of the brand or product being advertised.
- Neha Mehta
- Neha started her journey as a financial professional but soon realized her passion for writing and is now living her dreams as a content writer. Her goal is to enlighten the audience on various topics through her writing and in-depth research. She is geeky and friendly. When not busy writing, she is spending time with her little one or travelling.
- Interview and Guest PostFebruary 23, 2024In Conversation with EssenceMediacom’s Soumak Banik: Media Insights Unveiled
- Interview and Guest PostFebruary 16, 2024Havas Maher Saad El Din: Navigating Media’s Shifting Landscape
- Interview and Guest PostFebruary 9, 2024Madison World’s Milan Modi Speaks: Crafting Success in Digital Advertising
- Interview and Guest PostFebruary 1, 2024VML’s Karim Sioufi: Transformative Insights in Marketing Excellence