Following the announcement of Dubai’s World Expo 2020 win, global search engines and social media channels registered an unprecedented surge in Dubai-related keyword searches. Twitter’s #UAE and #DubaiExpo2020 were trending with unparalleled momentum. This surge heralds a new era for the local digital industry and opens up exceptional opportunities to monetise on the interest.
The figures say it all. Gartner Group projected that “The Internet of Things” or internet activities will contribute up to $19.1 trillion to the global economy and more than 30 billion mobile devices will be connected by 2020. According to Standard Chartered Bank, Dubai’s World Expo is expected to yield at least USD 23 billion dollars in revenue, a 5.5% GDP growth and the creation of 277,000 jobs.
Digital competitiveness has become a key factor in the race for economic leadership. Internet technologies, mobile devices, m-commerce, e-commerce, online presence, content marketing, social media, cloud-computing and new digital trends have transformed product/services delivery, import/export balance, costs/profits ratios and productivity/resource management.
But how will Dubai’s 2020 World Expo instigate digital change in the MENA region?
Reports showa mitigated outlook on MENA region’s digital trade and internet literacy, mobile device and internet technology adoption. The UAE, however, scored the highest ranking in 2013 in terms of mobile device and consumer electronics penetration; a trend that led the UAE government to invest $200 million in m-government service deployment.
From a public sector standpoint, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said in May 2013,”Today we want to move government information services to every phone and mobile device which will allow our constituents to place request from their phone wherever they are without waiting”.
Roberto Croci, EMEA Sales Director for Google Analytics, heeded the call for m-government, observing the tremendous opportunities brought by the explosion of smartphones.In light of Dubai’s 2020 World Expo win, Roberto believes the UAE – a tech-hungry nation, is now in an ideal position to claim the forefront spot on the global digital marketing stage by leveraging cutting edge technologies.
Andy Abbar, former executive at Microsoft and Yahoo and now managing director of 7awi.com (7awi.com owns layalina.com, waseet.net and arabsturbo.com), expects that the UAE will fast become the digital hub of the MENA region. “Dubai 2020 Expo will expose not only the UAE but also the MENA region, making way for impressive digital growth and innovation to the world. This is a great opportunity to foster inventiveness among MENA youth and businesses and create in the UAE, a knowledge center for sophisticated digital solutions”.
Bridging the gap between going digital and using analytics
Going digital is no longer a challenge. Opening an online store can be done in fifteen minutes, creating a web-page in even less and selling products through mobile apps is as simple as creating an email account. But how does one go from initiating an e-shot campaign with a few announcements on social media to developing an optimised and cost-conscious universal (offline, online and mobile) marketing strategy? What value are e- or m-commerce, informational or educational digital activities, without a clear understanding of visitor’s behaviors and experience?
“Empathy to care about the end-user experience and a customer-centric strategy should be the key drivers for any digital activity” states Eric Fettman, E-Nor’s Analytics Coach and the founder of GoogleAnalyticsTest.com, who has helped marketers for some of the world’s most recognised brands to better use and integrate Google Analytics into their digital strategy.
So how do digital analytics actually come into play?
Digital Analytics is a distinct marketing discipline that uses metrics toanalyze, measure, audit and assess the outcome of any marketing campaign across various interfaces, online or mobile. It aggregatestools to capture audience data, integrate reporting,enhance user experience, and improve customer satisfaction leading to increased cost savings and increased revenues.
A few years ago, Internet giant Google introduced Google Analytics to allow the likes of Intuit, Travelocity, Sony and governmental agencies, including the US government and educational institutions such as MIT and Stanford to diligently measure and improve their online marketing and communication efforts, engage with their audience, assess their clients’ behavior and increase their bottom line.
How about SMEs and start-ups?
The general consensus is that Google Analytics and other such digital marketing solutions are favored by Fortune 500 companies or large corporations with teams of highly experienced marketing, IT and web experts. Startups or SMEs however,despite dominating the UAE commercial landscape, might have challenges in scaling web analytics to their needs.
But Eric Fettman disagrees. “There are two versions of Google Analytics. One that is free and available to anyone out there and another Premium version for organisations with thousands to millions of online or mobile users. Now, if you are a small business and you experience high bounce rates from your website’s landing page, you should immediately change its layoutor you will continue losing clients. This is what Google Analytics helps you to realise. It is up to you to rectify your strategy or set up the functionalities for more concise guidelines.”
Google Analytics in Dubai
The steady demand for sustainable and cost-conscious digital solutions in GCC countries combined with the projected windfalls of Dubai 2020 World Expo gives Google Analytics a compelling incentive to introduce to the region its brand optimised marketing innovations.
Google Analytics and Silicon Valley-based digital marketing leader, E-Nor, have consequently decided to share their expertise by bringing this February to Dubai Google Analytics training in the UAE. Eric Fettmann, Roberto Croci and Andy Abbar are among the forward thinking innovators invited to join local marketers, IT & web managers who will spread the awareness on digital analytics and share their perspectives on the future of digital marketing. Google Analytics will also take this opportunity to announce the deployment of Google Universal Analytics, a new ubiquitous analytics option for hybrid web and mobile interfaces.
Nuummite Ventures, a Dubai-based venture firm in partnership with E-Nor, will host the event on 16-17 February 2014 at Al Manzil Downtown Dubai. Marketing heads, web, IT and communication directors across all sectors should pin these dates in their calendar and harness a new perspective on innovative marketing, digital commerce and increasing online revenues without incurring marketing costs.