82 > qatar today > august 2013
hile they continue
to invest in tradi-
tional ways of ad-
vertising and mar-
keting, the ...
qatar today > august 2013 > 83
page to engage with the audience it has
been growing fast, from 40 fans in 2009 to
18,000+ ...
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Article in Qatar Today - August 2013


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Article i wrote on digital marketing and impact on family businesses in Middle East for Qatar Today

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Article in Qatar Today - August 2013

  1. 1. 82 > qatar today > august 2013 W hile they continue to invest in tradi- tional ways of ad- vertising and mar- keting, the new age media aren't get- ting the attention of most of these traditional family-run/owned businesses, which are still shying away from using this medium to reach out to their audience. Most of these companies were largely dependent on service and some local ad- vertising to grow their presence, and with loyal customers up their sleeves, word of mouth was the best and only form of mar- keting they believed in. However, the new generation is more technology-friendly and is looking to associate with brands that are aspirational; they are low on brand loyalty, which means that a lot of family business- es are getting left behind. While traditional marketing media are cost-intensive, digital marketing is the need of the hour for these family-owned businesses to build a brand, come closer to their customers, engage with the audience and position themselves as ambitious, new-age and adaptable. How to have a global presence? Start with the basics and get yourself a web presence. A website today acts like an online business card and will help your po- tential customers know more about your brand, adding tremendous value from a business perspective. Get yourself listed on different web portals that drive traffic, like Yellow Pages, Google Places etc. These plat- forms have large volumes of users checking for their requirements and have in the past helped SMEs to generate a large number of leads. Once the website is in place, expand your reach in digital media. If your audi- ence is on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, then reach out to those platforms to connect and engage with your prospective clients. If you are a B2B business, you might want to position your- self on networks as a thought leader and hence build content like brochures, white papers and case studies to be used and broadcast on social networks. Share your customer experiences and testimonials on these networks and also through your own blog, which can help to build a stronger brand. Success stories In 2008, when ictQatar created an account on Facebook, there weren’t many people from Qatar who were present on the me- dia. But since they launched their Facebook Digital Marketing and Family Businesses in Qatar Family-run businesses in Qatar have played a vital role in the nation’s growth and economy, but the future success of family businesses isn’t guaranteed, as they face challenges on numerous fronts including marketing and brand positioning. development > tech talk
  2. 2. qatar today > august 2013 > 83 page to engage with the audience it has been growing fast, from 40 fans in 2009 to 18,000+ fans today. A strong Facebook pres- ence is helping ictQatar not just to reach out to Arab fans but also to engage with them on a continuous basis with updates on activities. This also helps them drive traffic to their website and blog and hence build further knowledge and brand equity. ictQatar has also been active on Facebook applications further interacting with users on varied topics and content. While ictQatar is a non-family busi- ness example, family businesses like the Al-Jaidah family, originally trading food products across the Middle East, have a strong business portfolio today. Although widely known as an automotive leader in Qatar, the family is very successful in other sectors such as industrial equipment, oil- and gas-related businesses, heavy equip- ment, technology and many more. Two of the most prominent and successful Jaidah family businesses in Qatar are Jaidah Group and Al-Jaidah Brothers. Jaidah Group has been active on digital media with a well-segmented website showcasing products, services and offerings to different stakeholders. However, with over 50 people from management on LinkedIn, extending to business networks like LinkedIn to build a stronger brand should be the next step for Jaidah Group. Al Siddiqi International Group, on the other hand, has a website, a presence on networks like LinkedIn and use of corpo- rate videos to reach out to the masses. The portfolio also plays a big role, and with Al Siddiqi having some B2C brands, digital is the obvious way forward for them. Globally, family businesses like Bata and Clarks have taken to digital marketing very strongly. Clarks is one of the oldest foot- wear brands across the globe and is head- quartered in the UK. With stores across the globe (including Doha), Clarks have a strong digital marketing presence coun- try-wise. While their global Facebook page has around 156,000 fans with very high en- gagement levels, they have been focusing strongly on countries like India with activ- ities on social media, search engine market- ing, e-mail marketing etc. Clarks India has around 90,000 people visiting its Facebook page. Clarks Qatar, which recently went on Facebook, is still grappling and has around 90+ people on the page. Another global brand that has ventured into Qatar, Nando's has started to show signs of a great engagement plan on social networks (for Qatar). While Nando's has a strong online presence in Doha, its Face- book page is very recent and has around 3,000 fans whereas the global page has over 120,000 fans. Generally we have seen that businesses with a fan-base of 501 to 1,000 fans have 3.5 times more traffic than those with 1 to 25 fans, while businesses with over 1,000 fans have 22 times more hits Manik Kinra Co-founder and CMO, Jade Magnet Maximum traffic online registered users in Qatar = 10,000 using Facebook for brand marketing of businesses using this channel to promote their offerings of small businesses do A quarter of businesses in Qatar use the Internet to conduct business- to-business (B2B) transactions sell online 8% I4% II% online advertising of large businesses advertise online 40%