TNS Executive Forum discusses Mena’s digital and mobile landscape

February 10, 2014 5:23 am

Understanding how people tick is still a competitive advantage, according to Matthew Froggatt, chief development officer at TNS, a custom market research organisation.

Froggatt explained to more than 50 UAE-based delegates at the recent TNS Executive Forum that content remains one of the most important ingredients in marketing communications. “In today’s digital and mobile world ‘context is king’, especially in the social context, digital enables inherent human behaviours, resulting in a new era for chief marketing officers.”

He observed that using social channels, in the context of campaigns, we see more activity on the same or less budgets. During the 2008 Olympics, Coca-Cola ran eight activities and four years later in 2012, it ran more than 250 on the same budget.

Froggatt went on to explain how from “observe and tell” approaches, marketers must now learn to “listen and interact”. He explains: “Human behaviour is complex, correlation is not causality and Big Data is incomplete, however, behavioural data is context neutral. Customer relationships change and customer experience research must change as well.

“However we must be mindful that changes in customers’ lives impact their relationships with companies – this is key. Their expectations change and grow, but the rules of the game have not changed, [you must] save shoppers’ time, money and angst.”

The Mena region, in particular, is a high-potential market for social media, especially Facebook, according to regional statistics that reveal 31 million people connecting on Facebook on a daily basis, of which 17 million are online via mobile, while monthly figures stack up to 59 million online and 36 million on mobile.

The panel expressed that Facebook is at the centre of the shift to mobile. Ninety per cent of smartphone owners read their News Feed at least once a day, while 63 per cent read it several times a day or are constantly checking it.

TNS Mena CEO, Steve Hamilton-Clark,also urges marketers to embrace the power of predictive survey. “Big databases help when it comes to brand and advertising research and enriching the customer experience,” he says.