The year 2021 ended on a high note for the YourTarget team. YT saw climacteric turnovers throughout the months with a prominent growing presence in the Middle East as well as new and productive partnerships. We acquired and retained new clients, helping them grow their online presence and unlock their full brand potential through content marketing treasures like case studies, guides, unconventional digital marketing strategies, best practices, value-adding blogs, and powerful social media campaigns.
YourTarget successfully communicated the error in the ways of traditional marketing tactics to numerous brand owners of the Middle East. Cold emailing, cold pitching, and cold marketing strategies have lost their effectiveness long since the emergence of SEO and shift in consumer behaviour. A typical internet user now likes to consume content on their own, without being forced or proactively reached out to. Like a magnet that draws in, the present-day internet user wants to be attracted instead of pitched and convinced.
UAE Social Media Statistics 2021: An Eye-Opener for Building Digital Footprint in 2022
We gathered some key findings that illustrate the astounding surge in internet activity of the Middle Eastern population in 2021. Many eye-popping figures, including daily social media usage bordering to 3 hours, an explosion in YouTube usage, and as many as 91.75% of the population owning a smartphone all catalyse the effectiveness and relevance of inbound marketing in the Middle East.
The UAE Social Media Statistics 2021 report revealed that there are 9.94 million people in the United Arab Emirates, out of which a massive 98.99% are active social media users – just one million excluded! There is a 1.6% annual growth of internet users with 7.5 hours of internet usage recorded daily and 3 hours of social media.
YouTube topped the list as the most used social media platform of UAE in 2021 – a whopping 87.40% usage, whereas Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followed close respectively. WhatsApp was crowned as the most popular messenger app. The social media advertising audience profile topped the most for 25 to 34-year-old males and females.
Apart from the obvious reasons, other factors that have fuelled this growth are long-term contributors.
- Smartphone prices in the UAE have dropped significantly, resulting in a massive increase in the purchase.
- Super-fast internet connectivity at very low prices and availability in public places.
- Reinvention with novel updates of WhatsApp drives customers to keep using the product.
And more interestingly, 52% of the UAE population aged 16-64 actively use social media to gain awareness and information about products and services. With the right inbound tactics applied, your brand can establish a strong online prominence, convert leads from social media, and grow phenomenally across the internet to acquire 99% of UAE’s mobile users as returning customers.
YourTarget’s Growing Presence Across the Middle East: A Recap of 2021
Under the dynamic leadership of Sabrina Princigalli, veteran growth marketer, brand positioner, co-founder, and CEO at YourTarget, the marketing and sales agency has expanded its roots from Abu Dhabi to the Middle East and onward to supporting the entire MENA region in merely 5 years of its existence.
At YourTarget, the highly skilled and experienced team of designers, marketing experts, sales specialists, and content creators believe that content is the king (and queen) of almost all industries in this digital age. Our international team with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds customise tailored development strategies for every new client to draw them in with a personalised approach. YT has lead generation experts who are capitalising on the rising demand for helpful content as well as internet users in the MENA region, positioned across all social platforms and the web with industry-leading expertise to accelerate growth.
Owing to our super-fast success in expansion and completion rate, YourTarget established a new coalition with one of the leading business consultancies in Saudi Arabia, BOST, as well as onboarded our new partner, Tarek I. Al Naji, the CEO of YT in the MENA region.
The partnership is shipped as YourBOST (YourTarget x BOST) that has proven to be an all-inclusive, 360-degree consultancy for clients who want to make a decades-long impact with their online presence in the UAE. BOST’s leadership team in Saudi Arabia with a 36-year track record in providing high-level business expertise and consultancy when combined with YourTarget’s industry-leading digital marketing strategies bring about an unassailable service for building brand growth.
Our new partner, Mr. Tarek – CEO of the MENA region – has been providing marketing consultancy for over 20 years. He is a strategic thinker and operational planner, who draws upon his years of experience to develop innovative, high-impact communication strategies, leveraging a diverse network of contacts to optimise exposure and results. Throwing out the NeuroMarketing approach, he decided to become a consultant focused on delivering targeted, streamlined, and dynamic strategies with creative flair and laser-sharp precision. This move is the result of years of experience and passion, with thoughtful, high-value marketing at its heart.
YourTarget is excited to kickstart 2022 with these new partnerships, amplifying our role as the leading marketing experts of MENA.
Exclusive interview with Sabrina Princigalli and Tarek Al Naji – Insights from the CEOs and plans for the future
What better way to get inspired than reading the interviews of leaders in the digital domain sharing their professional, ripe perspectives?
We are grateful to Sabrina and Tarek for sparing some time to answer our questions about inbound and forecasts for 2022 regarding the online presence and digital marketing.
Interview Part 1 with Sabrina Princigalli, CEO and Founder of YourTarget
QUESTION: Hi Sabrina! Thank you so much for your valuable time. First thing first, can you share with our readers how YT started and expanded in the Middle East and UAE in 2021?
Sabrina: I actually started thinking about the Middle East several years ago, when YourTarget did not yet exist. In 2020, during the full lockdown in our country, Switzerland, I took up this thought again and started to discover this new market. The beginning was certainly not very easy, and my English was all over the place. I tried to understand the needs, the requirements, but despite this, I remained a completely unknown female entrepreneur in the midst of a sea of companies and entrepreneurs who wanted to be understood. I'm stubborn and I haven't given up for a moment, and I owe this to my team, which has always supported me. It took me a year to map out a relatively correct path, I started in the UAE and then went to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In 2021 I really got to learn a lot from these countries, I tried to get closer to their cultures, their customs. So there was also a personal aspect. I became attached to these people and we were able to kickstart and expand our operations in the Middle East.
QUESTION: That’s great! More power to you. So, what were the highlight projects of YT in the Middle East this year? If you can share some bits…
Sabrina:Now that I know the general approach a little better, it is my intention to first place YT in the UAE and this is also thanks to Tarek. But not only that, I also intend to collaborate better with our friends at BOST in Saudi Arabia. There's a lot to do and I personally don't intend to stop for a day to learn and to pass on what I know to companies who want to trust us. The concept of inbound marketing is often confused and here too I want to be able to support companies through training. However, I don't want to put too much on the fire, first of all I know I have to focus on the culture, I have to respect it and they have to recognise it.
QUESTION: You’ve recently formed an alliance with Mr.Tarek Al Naji. Can you share some details with us? How did it come about and what will this new partnership bring for YT?
Sabrina: The partnership with Tarek is very important to me and YT. I know that thanks to him I can and we can learn how to move better in the UAE. In the Middle East, I personally remain a foreign person, a European willing to create a strategic bridge. This is an approach that can be appreciated but can also be annoying. Thanks to Tarek, I have the opportunity to transfer this international strategic concept also into Arabic. As I said before, I respect Arab culture very much and if I have chosen to involve Tarek in this ambitious project of mine, it is precisely because I respect the limits that are very often placed on my work.
QUESTION: What are your plans for YT in 2022? How do you forecast digital marketing in the Middle East in the next 5 years?
Sabrina: Digital marketing in the Middle East is very different and it is perhaps also this detail that drives me on a daily basis to have physical or virtual meetings with local entrepreneurs. There is really a lot to be done, in the Middle East social media is the master and very often it is used in a bad way, without great strategies. Not to mention websites. Nowadays people certainly don't have much time to invest in the web, they don't want to read, but I still think that if a company decides to go online, it must do so with clear parameters, a global strategy, with objectives. Otherwise, all the work is just a waste of time and money. I have seen so many startups being born without a financial basis, without a real strategy, and that is a shame. Because they think that social media can be the medicine and after a few months, maybe a year, they are forced to close down. But it's wrong. That's why I insist on a different application of the concept of digital marketing.
Today, any buyer does not accept promises, they demand clear solutions and transparency. That is why companies must learn to take action with non-destructive but interactive approaches.
In short, there is still a lot to be done, and perhaps too often there are discussions about a budget that makes sense and about partly unfair and unformed competition. But I'm positive and I'm certainly not giving up.
Interview Part 2 with Tarek Al Naji (CEO of YourTarget for the MENA region)
QUESTION: Can you share with us your motivation for onboarding YourTarget Team?
Tarek: First of all, I would like to thank YourTarget for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their team. And to be a role player in their operation in the MENA and globally. I’m really excited to be on board with this super team and I’ll be assisting them with my experience from the 20 years that I’ve garnered working in different sectors of marketing, whether it’s in finance or construction or, as recently, in operational, governmental and private sectors. I am humbled and excited to be a major role player in YT operations and drive success for our clients.
QUESTION: So, what do you like the best about Inbound Marketing as compared with traditional outbound marketing?
Tarek: The best thing about inbound is how it has changed the marketplace. Previously, it was all about the marketers looking for customers; and now, it is about customers seeking the seller. This is because today’s customers have become more educated. Inbound has changed things for the better, and we can say that there’s somewhat a balance between customers and suppliers, you know. Now the customer is in the position of authority as he knows what’s in the market, which allows him to choose the best deal or the easiest solution for himself. So, basically, inbound makes this operation easy, without any friction, for the customer to have the services. A successful brand, using inbound, removes this friction and makes things easier for present-day’s educated customers.
QUESTION: This partnership looks extremely promising for the upcoming year. What particular benefits can companies in the MENA region get by going Inbound?
Tarek: The biggest benefit to companies and customers is education, you know. Giving them information about what they like, and in return, the prospect is getting more information about the customer. And understanding what kind of information they can send to these customers. It’s more about trust and the relationship between prospects and customers. It’s not just a one-time thing. Inbound basically builds a trustworthy, lasting relationship.
QUESTION: That’s true, indeed. So, what is your “Vision 2022” for YourTarget in MENA?
Tarek: My vision 2022 for YT in MENA is, let’s say, a cornerstone for a bigger vision that Sabrina and I were planning to have in the MENA region. We are going to have as many prospects as we can from different sectors, from MENA and global. We are going to make YourTarget the leader in not only inbound but in marketing and consultancy as well. And we hope to provide these services with the same passion, love, and expertise that we have shown in all these years to our clients.
QUESTION: That sounds amazing. Last question, how do you plan to lead YT operations in the region?
Tarek: After the pandemic of 2020, 2021 was a tough year to understand for people. YourTarget partnership in MENA is going to be launched in 2022 and we are anticipating huge requests to grow the customer base. Businesses have become eager to acquire and retain more customers organically. So, we plan to reach out to maximum prospects in MENA and globally, and become their comprehensive consultants. That way they can meet their targets and build a trustworthy relationship with us, as well as their customers. We hope 2022 will be a very good year for YourTarget in terms of customer acquisition as well as in becoming the industry leader in the MENA region and globally.
YourTarget is also going to release an exclusive eBook on the Digital Marketing Forecast and Trends in 2022, in the month of January. If you’re a marketing enthusiast or looking to see how digital marketing will shape up in the future, don’t forget to grab your copies.
If you enjoyed this special feature and are curious to know how YourTarget can do wonders for your company, book a FREE consultation today to discuss your targets with our inbound experts and experience the magic for yourself! Happy 2022!