Brand Awareness Aside, Mobile Marketers Eye AI


MENA marketing professionals are expecting growth in their mobile budgets. MMA conducted a survey with WARC to showcase the region’s mobile marketing strategies

Increased focus on agility and effectiveness has been a key lesson for marketers in the last year, and brand awareness has turned out to be the most common objective when running mobile marketing campaigns in MENA. So what does mobile marketing look like in 2022?

MMA (Mobile Marketing Association), a global marketing platform, conducted a survey in association with WARC to showcase the region’s cutting-edge mobile marketing strategies with data from advertisers, agencies, media owners and tech vendors. The report highlighted that habits and brand strategies have evolved during the pandemic, but also that conventional wisdom still prevails. Sixty-five per cent of MENA marketing professionals are still focusing on brand awareness when marketing on mobile.

It also examines mobile capabilities, budgets, privacy concerns and new technologies and trends in mobile, to assess how marketers in MENA are using mobile in their marketing strategies.

Two in three MENA marketers say they have adapted a mobile-first approach with their marketing strategy. Messaging has adjusted thematically, with brands articulating and demonstrating a more understanding and caring tone. In fact, 86 per cent of respondents agree that the pandemic has improved mobile marketing capabilities. This is likely the result of the pivot to online as consumer behaviour changed.

“The overall mobile market is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. Mobile advertising is now the key success driver for advertisers. The value drivers for mobile advertising have been proliferated through the pandemic. With people relying on their smartphones and other connected devices to stay in touch, we have seen a significant upswing in mobile engagement levels, with increased session times. Consumers also demonstrated an increased willingness to conduct transactions on mobile phones, with a spike in App downloads and an acceleration of the growth of online shopping. Social media and Mobile Gaming have also emerged as clear winners, with time spent and discovery spiking,” said Warrick Billingham, Head of Revenue EMEA & LATAM at AdColony.

MENA marketing professionals are expecting growth in their mobile budgets. WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit found that the majority of marketers need to invest further in marketing technology as 40 per cent of respondents said they do not have all the tools they need and do not fully use what they already have.

Meanwhile, around 77 per cent expect an increase in budget, indicating more confidence in both market conditions and in mobile as a channel. Social is by far the most used marketing channel with mobile. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents are using social in their mobile marketing strategy. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter are the platforms most used for display marketing. M-commerce and mobile gaming is one of the most important industry changes during COVID-19.

The speed of innovation within digital marketing continues to drive mobile marketing forwards. These innovations are linking offline and online together like never before, and marketers are making significant investments in mobile marketing technologies to ensure they keep up with their competition. Nearly half of the respondents stated that AI will be a good future investment.

While chatbots are one of the most important technologies today, it might not be so in the next five years. AI, machine learning, mobile wallet and DOOH are predicted to be the biggest technologies in 2026. AI and machine learning, the fourth most used technology today (25 per cent), is predicted to be the most important in five years, alongside mobile wallets. But will AI turn out to be even bigger in the future?

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