By Ganesh Iyer, managing partner, FLC Group
The Holy Month of Ramadan is the time for increased consumerism and attention to shopping. It also brings significant changes in the landscapes of marketing activities among brands.
With the rise in digital media consumption and the growing popularity of shopping online, marketers have their tasks cut out for them, trying to keep up with changing consumer behavior.
In order to effectively market their products during this season, it is vital for marketers to study spending patterns during Ramadan. Many research and surveys reveal that consumers increase their spending during the Holy month across various activities including food & beverages, travel, gifting and personal shopping, with top purchases being food and groceries.
So, how do marketers reach out to consumers effectively during Ramadan?
It is imperative for marketers to have a holistic approach when planning a marketing campaign. Researching consumers, and using these insights to chalk out a strategy and ideas that work effectively online as well as offline, are vital for a campaign to be successful.
According to the consumer behavior research conducted by YouGov, 53 percent in the UAE, Saudi and Egypt spend more during the fasting month, of which 93 percent increased their outgoings on regular household items such as food and groceries. The findings also showed that the majority of consumers were less likely to be brand loyal when it came to food and drink products, despite the attractive promotions and offers; while 40 percent of the respondents claimed they would always by from brands with the best offers.
Marketers must also take into account consumers’ online habits. As cited by Hootsuite, as of January 2017 the UAE alone has an Internet penetration rate of 99 percent with 9.2 million social media users, and 88 percent with 8.2 million mobile social users. These figures indicate an impressive 47 percent growth in the use of social media, up by 44 percent in mobile social media over a 12-month period.
Marketing campaigns that use videos tend to attract more consumers and drive brand awareness and increase brand/user engagement in this region. Video marketing statistics for 2016 show a staggering 310 million views per day, making the MENA region No. 2 in the world, in terms of video views. There are more than 70 percent of smartphone users in Saudi Arabia and the UAE who watch videos on social networking websites at least once a week, compared to the global average of 65 percent.
While the ultimate goal of all marketers is to create advocacy for their brands and products, especially during Ramadan, it is of utmost importance to have the right marketing mix, teamed with the right use of media channels, in order to reach their target audience. These research findings clearly present both marketers and brands with the ammo they need to achieve the desired results and improve brand performance.