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Online marketing becomes strategic tool in communication plans of luxury brands

United Arab Emirates: Monday, June 17 - 2002 @ 12:18

Increasing Internet penetration has led to the incorporation of the World Wide Web into a global media strategy alongside print and audiovisual media.

“The online marketing industry is still in its infancy and did not meet our expectations in the first semester of 2002. This was mainly due to lack of awareness, as marketing professionals were still relatively unsure about the various methodologies available to use the Internet as a major communication tool,” said Christel Whelan, Managing Director of 121 Strategies.com FZ-LLC, an Interactive Marketing Communication agency based in the UAE. However “Current market feedback indicates that the market will gradually pick up during the latter half of 2002 or the beginning of 2003 with visible signs that Internet marketing will soon become an integral part of a full-fledged communication plan. It is estimated that currently 4.5 – 5 million Middle East residents have access to the Internet, which in the UAE only accounts for more than 30 per cent of the population. In an endeavor to create enhanced awareness about the industry, 121 Strategies.com has developed a specific industry portal www.interactivemarketing.info, which is a source of free information about internet marketing for marketing professionals,” she added.

Internet marketing is a brand new tool that comprises a host of specific features and characteristics that go a long way in giving it a unique and individual perspective. With strong one-to-one properties, it allows an extensive degree of targeting as well as provides tremendous amount of interactivity with customers and allows a greater degree of tracking and monitoring.

A recent example of how companies exploit Internet marketing has been provided by 121 Strategies.com, who has recently developed and implemented a comprehensive marketing campaign via the Internet for the prestigious perfume brand Davidoff Cool Water. The campaign that started on May 1st 2002 and is ending on June 30th 2002, has integrated the Internet with a general communication plan aimed at promoting a major marketing operation. The campaign comprised of advertising on Maktoob and Yahoo with links to a micro-site specifically designed for the campaign. It also included an email announcement to the members of the Davidoff Cool Water own e-mail list.

The objective of the campaign was to communicate on a market promotion ‘Win a jet ski with Davidoff Cool Water” and to drive traffic to the points of sale. Five countries namely KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon and Bahrain were specifically targeted during the campaign, which recorded in excess of 15,000 unique visitors to the website over the initial 4-week period. Radio commercials, street billboards, magazines, advertisements in the media have also been utilized to support the operation, develop awareness and increase the level of participation

“The success of a first campaign run last year in December 2001 only reiterated the power of the Internet and encouraged us to move on to a second campaign,” said Berengere Luciani, Davidoff Fragrances Middle East Brand Manager at Sogedimo LTD. “We ensured that the Internet was fully integrated into the global media strategy. This campaign’s objectives were to reach our young target audience between the ages of 15 and 25, who are more techno savvy and cannot be reached easily by traditional advertising. We also aimed to build a comprehensive database and to further establish Cool Water as a trend-setting brand,” she added.

“I am pleased to announce that the Davidoff Cool Water campaign has been a major success on Maktoob with click through rates reaching up to 15 per cent in countries such as the UAE,” said Husni Al Khuffash, Regional Advertising Sales Manager, Maktoob.com.

“The success of the campaign may be explained by the use of rich media adverts as no traditional top-of-the-page banners were displayed, but instead flash ads in large rectangle and monster formats on Yahoo Mail as well as top layer ads on the Maktoob home page,” concluded Christel Whelan.

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Monday, June 17- 2002 @ 12:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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