Region’s Direct Marketing Industry Set To Capitalise On Massive Growth In Mobile And Internet Subscriptions
The emerging direct marketing industry in the Middle East is preparing to capitalise on the significant growth in mobile and Internet subscriptions throughout the region. Direct Marketing 2005, the region’s first conference for the direct marketing industry, being held from the June 11 to 15, 2005, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Dubai will focus on the increasing potential of targeting consumers through internet and mobile marketing.
According to recent Madar research reports, mobile phone subscriptions in the Pan Arab region will grow from the current level of 44 million to about 110 million by the end of 2008. The number of Internet users on the other hand is projected to increase to 52 million, from its current level of 17 million.
Steven Jones, Conference Director, Direct Marketing 2005 said, “The direct marketing industry in the Middle East will witness dramatic growth with the emergence of the latest mobile and computing technology. Businesses throughout the region have already recognised the huge potential of mobile and Internet marketing, especially for targeting certain market segments such as the youth market.”
“Mobile phone penetration in the UAE has reached 88 per cent, as mobile phones are now not only considered just convenient, but indispensable. Furthermore, the younger generation, in particular, tend to update their mobile handsets regularly, craving the latest trendy models and advanced features, for them it’s as much a fashion accessory as it is a communication tool. With companies constantly on the look out for innovative ways to target consumers, direct marketing is set to make a major impact in this market,” added Jones.
Several leading international experts speaking at Direct Marketing 2005 will provide insights and views on various aspects of direct marketing and present the scope of this medium in the Middle East markets.
“Demographics in the Middle East are changing at a rapid pace, which will be a key factor in the revolution of traditional marketing strategies in the region,” stated Simon Hammond, Head of the award winning SEE group of communication companies and an expert on social change and consumer behaviour.
“Over 50 per cent of the population in the Middle East, spend more time surfing the Internet and using their mobile phones than reading newspapers or watching television. This section of the population is well educated and media savvy and are more cynical when receiving advertising and promotional messages on their phones and on their email accounts. Ranging from pre-teens to mid 20s, the key to success with ‘Generation Y’, is to create brands that don’t look like they are market or sell, but rather merely exist within the real lives of youth consumers.”
“That means that choosing to market to mobile phones or over the Internet is only half of the challenge, the initial benefits of cost, speed and flexibility are clear, but the message needs to connect sincerely with the youth market or this uncompromising group will simply reject it” concluded Hammond.
Other world-class organisations represented at Direct Marketing 2005 include, Emirates Post, Xerox International, Air Miles, Johns Hopkins Medicine Interactive, Audi AG, as well as industry specialists such as ProAct World, Ogilvy One Worldwide, Arc Worldwide, ICLP and Your Best Year Yet!
“Direct Marketing 2005 will prove to be an ideal platform for regional and international industry players to come together and discuss current issues as well as the future of direct marketing in the region. The breathtaking development projects being undertaken in the Middle East and the enhancement of IT and telecom infrastructure, will provide the basis for the direct marketing revolution the region is set to witness in the near future,” concluded Jones.
Direct Marketing 2005 is being organised by IIR, and is supported by, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing (FEDMA).
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