Sometimes, very rarely, you feel great about Your choice of profession. Today is one of that for me.
I am currently attending an ESRI conference on GIS maps and how to integrate the data sets coming from user interaction, system administration etc for data driven decision making.
What has pleasantly surprised me is the interest of diversified set of audience ( CEOs, analysts, engineers, system administrator). And also the fact that public sector in Middle East is actually one of the key players who is using data sets. Don’t get me wrong, when I say GIS I not only mean Urban Planning etc. I also mean statistics Center and how are they using GIS. That’s what I think is cutting edge.
Looking at some of the technologies and software displayed here, it is not hard to say that very soon in Abu Dhabi’s public sector GIS maps will be one of the most common data visualization tool.
Telecom operators of other countries might benefit from this step. As telecom operators in other countries continuing to provide such services, users who believe that such services are indispensible to their business or lifestyle may be tempted to use the roaming facilities of such players. “Roaming charges in India are pretty cheap,” said an Indian expatriate in the UAE who currently uses the BlackBerry email service extensively for business purposes. “I am going to get the cheapest Indian SIM card and use it here”
Iphone price is an entry barrier for Blackberry users and thus small scale users will opt for other solutions for wi-fi internet. It can possibly be the wi-fi internet offer of Etisalat.
Mobile commerce and mobile access to social networking sites will be directly affected as these are one of the key activities of mobile internet users.
Change has always been the only constant, especially in the United Arab Emirates. A country which is only 39 years old but has attracted global attention in terms of growth rates, construction marvels and is leading the region on many fronts.
Following are a couple of thoughts on activities/projects which will probably bring some major changes in the media consumption and marketing front of UAE.
The three big changes that I have identified are
Abu-Dhabi getting traction
I have uploaded my views on slide-share FYR. Hope you find them useful
I have received multiple requests from people who are seeking trends and insights (facts and figures) into UAE consumer. Before we move toward more meaningful insights it is important to know some basic facts, following is the compilation of few basic facts. Hope it will add value to your daily jobs. Continue reading →
I have tried to compile the learning’s from across the globe in this document (public engagement in public services), I hope you will find it useful.
I personally believe in identifying the challenges first because that stimulates the thinking as to how these challenges can be addressed. Below is an extract from the document, it highlights the key challenges
A broad target segments: Unlike private sector Government reaches out to everyone equally. Now this involves lower & higher SECs, hard to reach audiences, opinion leaders and followers, literates and illiterates, segments with vested interests etc. This together broadens the scope of community engagement for public services and makes it complicated to ensure unbiased results
Accountability, information access and federal government:- Unlike private sectors in public sector – community and citizens have all the rights reserved to access the information they shared at all levels. But it is very difficult from Governments’ perspective to share information at all levels, especially in the absence of web 2.0 technologies. Governments are also centralized and decisions take a lot of time before implementation. This results in distrust of communities on the Governments and consequently people feel that their input is not being valued.
Generic community management issues:- Addressing the destructive impact of ‘bad participation’, where negative attitudes to community involvement lead to poor engagement practices, causing increased hostility, decreased trust and poor experience and outcomes not only for communities, but also for officials and politicians, thus further reinforcing negative attitudes and behavior. Recognizing the catch-22 faced by residents who take on responsibilities as community leaders, but find their legitimacy challenged precisely because they ‘stand out’ – becoming labeled as ‘unrepresentative usual suspects’.
Inconsistent vocabulary: - The term ‘community participation’ is understood and applied differently by different statutory bodies, and by different officers within those statutory bodies. These variations can make it hard for different bodies to work in partnership with each other and with communities.
Lack of available statistics on how community engagement helped Governments gain popularity, enhanced their positive image and got re-elected also acts as a barrier from government officials view point
Managing expectations: – increased community engagement results into high level of expectations. So it at times become a catch 22 whereby increasing satisfaction through involvement Governments can lead to dissatisfaction by inconsistent policy or by not incorporating the community inputs
In a tax-free environment, the first question which Government as a service provider asks is the depth of community engagement. Why and to what level people should be engaged? On top of tax-free environment, high turnover rate of expats (which constitutes the major part of the population) complicates service delivery, satisfaction levels and result oriented community engagement
A unique mix of expats from different parts of the world results into different level of satisfaction and expectations across different segments. It becomes increasingly difficult to understand the cultural, lingual differences in involvement and product delivery.
We are living in a world where almost 1 out of every 5 person is a Muslim. The degree to which they practice religion is subject to debate, but the fact that is important to understand that Muslims are too big a niche to be ignored.
One question that I was asking myself for quite some time is what is I want to launch an internet concern, a social media company or something on the digital revolution lines in UAE. What will help me succeed? I am trying to answer that question in this blog entry, hope you will find it useful.
Question 1 – Why consider launching a digital company in UAE
When it comes to MARCOM, I am basically a product of JWT. I follow their tools and techniques for almost all branding and communication problems that come my way. Now JWTs basic principle is that brands should bank on key consumer desires. The desire should be universal not related to brand/product itself. (I can explain this in greater depth, but that is beyond the scope of my this blog entry)
JWTs basic principle is that brands should bank on key consumer desires
Talking about emerging consumer desire, here is my take on UAE’s consumer. I plan to keep on adding insights about UAE consumer, so hopefully you will hear more often from me on this front
In one of the recent forums that I attended I had a pleasure to listen to Martin Newland and one point which he made was that people in UAE are extremely content hungry and with more and more crappy & ripped off information that revolves around them. The more they want to have useful nuggets of knowledge, valid argument.
Applying it to brands; Nestle UAE in their recent studies found out that people expect Nestlé to host video content on their website, strange but true. Nestle is undertaking appropriate measures to follow consumer’s desire, I will upload it once it is publicly announced.
In a nutshell, Identify what is valuable to your consumer - In a world of 200million blogs, numerous TV channels, and 3G phones and twitter obviously the demand for information is higher than the supply. People would crave for more and more valuable ‘content’ in the coming times. Caution value is a relative term, a research study is valuable to a scientist but it may not be valuable to your consumer. But the basic point stays the same, create content that adds value in the lives of your consumer. If you add value through your communication you will add value to your brand.
Bird’s eye view of what a consumer in UAE is searching for these days: I ran a search on Google insights for search and the outcome validates Nestlé’s finding i.e. craving for downloads (in a nutshell craving for content). It also highlights the need for networking/community building. So how your brand is adding to this new urge of consumer. Either you provide them with content or you provide them with a network that enriches their understanding about that content. I suggest, you provide them a topic to talk about because that is directly correlated with your brand image and recall
Creation is expensive, consider integrating content from multiple sources (including individual bloggers)
Distribute it everywhere, make it easier for the users to find you ( in case you are wondering whether United Arab Emirates is ready for this kind of activity or not, have a look at the UAE internet & mobile statistics that I shared in my earlier post). Caution: You can be of value to your consumers regardless of their connectivity status based on your objective. Don’t confuse value with distribution channel.
According to Grey’s Eye on Asia – Asian’s value financial comfort, family bonding and locally produced products/concepts. Asians account for a huge expat majority in UAE hence I added insights about Asians.
I am as of now conducting an experiment i.e. analyzing the popular brands of UAE in the light of Social media. And when I started working on that I stumbled upon some interesting facts about UAE internet landscape.
Following are the facts that you should know about UAE digital landscape
UAE is the top ranking Arab state in terms of e-readiness
Following are key questions which were raised in the session plus in the recent survey which i conducted online about internet marketing research. I am thankful to everyone who participated in the survey and also to the participants and organizers of the media forum. I am trying to answer key queries to the best of my knowledge. Hope you will find the answers useful.
Question 1 – Online marketing research is cheapand in many cases it is free etc ?
ANSWER – First thing first, cheap is a relative term. In labor intensive markets technology is expensive and vice versa. This theory applies to MR as well, in most countries of Asia the cost of face to face is lower than a scientific sample driven online survey instrument.
Cost of a survey is dependent on the following
Target audience: the difficult the audience i.e. the lower their ratio in population the higher the cost
Depth of questionnaire: the deeper, longer the questionnaire the higher the cost
Cost of the survey instrument development: printing, software etc
Quality controls: the usual quality control is 20% back-checking at each stage; however it varies on client demand. The higher the check the higher the cost
Free! There is no such thing called free lunch. Either there are hidden costs or hidden implications. Continue reading →