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When Did Digital Marketing Start in the Middle East ?

The elitism of marketing has been abolished by digital marketing/New Age marketing. Marketing has become more equitable in recent years. In the days before internet marketing, the brand with the bigger stick had the upper hand.

Today's power relationships have shifted. Brands and businesses may now invest in digital marketing campaigns regardless of their budget, pay per user action/intent, fine-tune targeting matrices, and track reactions in real time.

Traditional push marketing has been defeated by pull-based marketing. Marketing is now on an equal footing with other professions.

Take a look at some startling statistics concerning the rise of digital marketing in the Middle East.

Smartphone Penetration

Mobile phone usage is soaring across the Middle East and Africa, according to eMarketer's latest Global Media Intelligence report, and the area is predicted to have the world's second-largest mobile phone population.

Smartphones have grown common in the area, accounting for 65 percent of mobiles in the top three markets (KSA has a 63 percent smartphone penetration, Qatar has a 70 percent smartphone penetration, and the UAE has a 74 percent smartphone penetration), and over 40 percent across the region.

This provides a great opportunity for marketers to reach out to their customers on the road, as information becomes more readily available to them.

Digital Advertising Market

The ad industry in the Middle East continues to expand as the region's population becomes increasingly internet literate.

According to a global report on the state of the media and entertainment industry by consultants PwC, internet advertising spending in the Arab world is expected to rise from $707 million in 2013 to $2.46 billion in 2018, as the number of Arabs using smartphones continues to rise and more advertisers buy space next to online videos.

Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the wider Gulf drive mobile, display, search, and video ad expenditure.

In the United Arab Emirates, mobile advertising revenue is predicted to exceed $494 million, four times that of display advertising.

The share of ad expenditure in the Middle East within the global ad expenditure

Search Engines

When it comes to search engines, Google has a 90% market share.

Yahoo Maktoob – Yahoo bought Maktoob (a prominent online site) in 2009 and now has the second-largest market share behind Google.

Bing - Due of Microsoft's reputation and Arabs' unique affinity for Hotmail, Bing has also been considered.

Baidu, China's largest search engine, and Yandex, Russia's largest search engine, have just taken their first cautious moves toward accessing the Middle East market.

There are several transliteration platforms among the top search engines that allow users to enter Arabic without an Arabic keyboard, transforming words written with Latin letters to their closest Arabic equivalents, such as Yamli, Eiktub, and Yoolki.

Social Media

The Middle East's social media explosion has aided the region's overall digital development. Aside from ordinary users and businesses, governments have seen this media as a valuable tool for connecting with citizens.

The UAE government took the lead, launching a single Instagram account that promised "behind-the-scenes" footage of government activity, as well as "on-the-spot information" from Cabinet meetings.

Below is a quick fact sheet about social media explosion in the region :

- The internet is used by 40.2 percent of the Middle East's population.

- Social networking is used by 88 percent of the internet population on a daily basis.

– Men account for 65 percent of users in the Middle East, while women account for 35 percent.

- 36% of them are between the ages of 18 and 24.

– Facebook is the most popular social network in the Middle East, with 94 percent of social media users using it.

– The Middle East has around 5.8 million LinkedIn members.

– YouTube receives 258 million daily views. Saudi Arabia is responsible for 90 million of them.

– The Middle East has 6.5 million Twitter users, with 3.7 million of them being active.

– Every day, Arabs send out around 10 million tweets.

– The UAE has the highest Facebook penetration rate (44%) in the world.

– Twitter has a penetration rate of 33% in Saudi Arabia. It has the greatest Twitter penetration in the whole world.

The photo-sharing website will see a quicker adoption curve in several sub-markets, thanks to smartphones and a fondness for visual communication. It will overtake Twitter for the first time in some markets, such as Lebanon, to become the second most popular social network.

Aside from the big social media platforms, personal messaging applications are rapidly growing in popularity. WhatsApp and Snapchat already account for 10% of mobile data traffic in the area, with this figure anticipated to rise in the following year.


One of the world's fastest-growing internet populations and e-commerce marketplaces is in the Middle East.

According to the PayPal Insights: e-commerce in the Middle East research, the Middle East's online commerce business rose by 29 percent from $7 billion in 2011 to $9 billion in 2012. The internet commerce industry is expected to reach $15 billion in 2015, with YOY growth indicating that the market is on pace to accomplish its targets. A significant increase in the Middle East's online commerce population, as well as a flood of local shops going online and providing local consumers what they could previously only get outside the area, drove the rise.

According to the survey, over 30 million consumers in the Middle East shopped online in 2012, an increase of 20% over 2011. Given that there were more than 110 million internet users in 2012 (and more than 120 million in 2013), about 30% of these users are now active online purchasers.

In Saudi Arabia, e-commerce is expected to grow from 1.00 billion dollars (3.8 billion SAR) in 2012 to 2.70 billion dollars (9.9 billion SAR) in 2015. M-commerce in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow from little under 0.10 billion USD (0.4 billion SAR) to over 0.70 billion USD (2.6 billion SAR) in the same time period, owing to an increase in tablet sales. Smartphone users made up 26% of mobile buyers in Saudi Arabia, while tablet users made up 13%. In 2012, 66% of KSA internet users made purchases online.

In Qatar, e-commerce is expected to grow from 0.70 billion dollars (2.6 billion QAR) in 2012 to 1.25 billion dollars (4.6 billion QAR) in 2015. M-commerce is expected to grow from a little less than 0.1 billion USD (0.4 billion QAR) to over 0.45 billion USD (1.7 billion QAR) in the same time period, owing to an increase in smartphone sales. Smartphone users accounted for 4% of mobile buying activity, while Tablet users accounted for 6%. In 2012, 28% of Qatari internet users made purchases online.

E-commerce in the UAE is presently worth 2.90 billion dollars (10.7 billion AED) and is predicted to reach 5.10 billion dollars (USD 18.7 billion AED) in 2015. M-commerce is expected to expand to almost 1.50 billion dollars (5.5 billion AED) by 2015, led by an increase in Tablet penetration and purchases.

Travel, consumer electronics, computers, jewelry/watches, fashion, food & drink, and other areas are among the most popular online purchases.

It is always good to have a strong and creative digital marketing agency based in your country to deliver great results for organic and paid campaigns.

Main Source: PayPal | Fetch Source : EduPristine

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