Meet the MENA Effie Thought-Leadership Program's speakers.
The pandemic has turned life and business upside down, challenged plans, and tested processes. In this context, companies need to seriously raise their game to be effective and succeed. The MENA Effie Thought-Leadership Program is your chance to Rise and Shine. Two mornings of sessions that will show you how to improve your performance and impress the Effie jury.
Leading up to the event organized by Mediaquest on May 18-19, Communicate presents a series of interviews with the speakers on what effectiveness in marketing means in 2021.
Today, meet Rouba Abbouchi, Head of Marketing for Tryano & Saks Fifth Avenue ME at Chalhoub Group. Rouba will lead a keynote address on "The new customer experience."
What has the pandemic changed in terms of marketing effectiveness?
What has changed is the approach and strategy rather than the effectiveness. Pre-pandemic, e-commerce was important; however, when the pandemic started, the focus [on e-commerce] increased significantly as it was, for a time, the only channel that gave access to customers. The situation forced marketers to ensure that content was effective online and to consider ways to engage guests without having physical contact. This accelerated the online presence of many luxury brands and the prioritization of e-commerce as a selling channel.
What has been a salient case of creativity and effectiveness in the last year?
What we have found to make an impact are live engaging sessions with interesting guests and topics. We have also found ways to take our planned activities and adapt them to the situation. The creativity was really focused on finding ways to adapt, to be flexible in our plans, and to understand that this is not a dire situation but instead an opportunity for us to gain from. It was really about what our guests wanted at this time and we were ready to go above and beyond for them (home-shopping experiences, live sessions, etc.).
In a crisis, who reaps the biggest rewards and why: the brave or the cautious?
Definitely a combination. There has to be an element of bravery, since some things had never been tried before. However, the key is knowing your audience and understanding what they want in order to be cautious in the approach. It was a critical time for retail and the ones that made it combined new ideas with a level of caution to not invest too much. As a brand, we have been building a strong relationship with our guests for a few years and we benefited from that in this situation.
What does the new normal mean to you?
It means investing in a seamless journey for our guests. It means really going the extra mile to form lasting relationships. If this situation taught us anything, it's that in order survive any challenge, we need to ensure that our guests come first – their needs and their expectations need to be met. In fact, it should be about providing them with an experience they are not even expecting.
How prepared were you for the unexpected and how have you adapted to uncertainty?
I don’t think anyone was prepared. It caught everyone off guard and we had to react to ensure we stayed relevant during a challenging time. The takeaway really is that in certain situations, we need to be flexible, agile, and use a collaborative approach to be able to navigate challenges and reduce the negative impact.
Some argue that limited budgets enhance creativity. What do you think 2021’s creative output will be like?
For 2021, it is a combination of limited budgets and certain restrictions that are in place (whether it’s the ability to put on large-scale events, regular changes in the guidelines, etc.) that have led teams to become more creative and agile in their approach. But most importantly, it is the customers' expectations that have pushed marketers to ensure content, events, activities, and any form of interaction are relevant, engaging, and memorable.
What are the top three skills the marketer of the future will need?
To attend the MENA Effie Thought-Leadership Program, book your tailored experience now.