Marketing and Advertising for the Middle East. Dos and Don’ts. A holistic safe communication solution. Part 1
Each country within the Middle East has its own dos and don’ts vis a vis executional. This is driven by either local market customers insights and or country own ministry specific regulations (influenced by own religious beliefs and practices).
For multinational and or international businesses looking in, looking to expand and or launch operations in the Middle East. This article represents Integrity Marketing opinion on how to best approach a holistic solution by following a bullet point set of rules.
- Rule number four: stay up to date and trendy, but do not neglect local cultures and habits. Don’t assume understanding one country local habits and culture is enough to categories the rest of the Arab world. Do attempts to understand the difference between one Arab country versus another, and in the process do not neglect the political sensitivities toward each other Arab countries and toward the west. Be compassionate and a good listener to own local customers, then analyze and focus on those common grounds, inner feelings and believes versus what divides them.
- Rule number five: Create brand essence and reason to exist in people lives that travels across borders but don’t create the same executional solution to fit all. . This would help you spend the company’s marketing dollar more efficiently. However, for the execution of portraying local customers one need to pay extreme attention to local dress codes, behavior. What you can feature in Saudi does not at all apply to markets like that of Lebanon and Egypt. Accordingly, companies divide their communication production budgets to create different and separate executional campaigns for Levant, Arab Gulf, and North Africa.
- Last but not least, rule number six: Don’t translate copy but copy-write copy. Double check with Arab customers and friends if the copy is understood, relevant and if it connects. This is versus solely trusting your advertising agency creative team. Many copy writers are translators by origin and lack imagination, and are afraid to move out of the English copy handed over to them by western born creative team and or western educated Arab expatriates who also write copy using the English language.