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 Ruqayiah Al Usman, Media Director at J3 AMET. Ruqayiah will present a dual keynote address around "Why collaboration is a key survival skill today."
What has the pandemic changed in terms of marketing effectiveness?
While a lot of brands had started investing sizably in online media, not everyone was looking at a consumer's online shopping journey. With the pandemic, marketing evolved from being an offline media, in-store and POS-driven framework to become a more digitally-focused journey meant to enhance a consumer's shopping experience and allowing them to make a purchase wherever in their purchase journey they are. A lot more focus was given to ROI and ROAS, with businesses ensuring every single dollar spent was as effective as it could be, giving way to testing new partners and formats that would otherwise remain on the sidelines.
What has been a salient case of creativity and effectiveness in the last year?
With the pandemic in focus, J&J's Adult Anti-Bac launched comms to support our silent heroes keeping us going in the midst of Covid-19. We invited consumers to share their acts of gentleness with us via our #powerofgentle hashtag. The range saw great success during this period, being one of the essential products consumers were after from a protection against Covid-19 perspective. It was based on consumer insights and driven by the context of the current market dynamics.
In a crisis, who reaps the biggest rewards and why: the brave or the cautious?
The brave, I would say. In a time of crisis, there's usually a lot more to be gained than lost. If you're able to take calculated risks which even slightly have the chance of being your savior, then go for it. In marketing and media, it doesn't have to be a big risk. Start with small amounts of investment and test the waters, slowly but surely getting to your goals with the right plan in place.
What does the new normal mean to you?
It’s all about agility. We need to be prepared to adapt and turn things around quicker with constantly changing market dynamics. While we can only hope for the end of the pandemic to be near, we're still very much living this phase of uncertainty with daily changes to the economies and consumer behaviors, which eventually have an impact on our brand strategies and investment decisions. Gone are the days of annual planning. It’s about living in the quarter now and, in some cases, the headline of the day.
How prepared were you for the unexpected and how have you adapted to uncertainty?
Luckily for J&J, we had already adopted a transformation approach at the beginning of 2020, which allowed us to shift our focus to profitable business portfolios. This also meant e-commerce was given more weight. When the pandemic hit, it was more about expediting the delivery of our plans in, say, three months versus the initial 12 months.
Some argue that limited budgets enhance creativity. What do you think 2021’s creative output will be like?
I agree. When you've got lesser to play with, you need to make every cent work harder for you. We saw a lot of precision and addressability in 2020. My expectation is for this to only get better in 2021. Businesses and marketers are getting a lot better at understanding the impact on ROI delivery when creatives are more accommodative of the various consumers you have, versus a blanker approach of one size fits all.
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.