‘Effectively targeting customers leads to action’

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Ziad Rahhal, Head of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, MENA, on how LinkedIn is evolving its platform to make it easier for brands to measure and capture the impact of their campaigns

With you being appointed as the new head of marketing solutions, what does it mean for LinkedIn and its business in the region?

With the recent announcement of LinkedIn reaching 500 million member globally and new marketing solutions products and updates, it really couldn’t be a better time to join LinkedIn!

The marketing landscape is changing drastically in the region – more and more MENA consumers are relying on brands’ digital messages than ever before to guide them through a purchase journey.

In such a scenario, LinkedIn, through its Sponsored Content, want to make it easier for brands to build their presence, reach the right audiences, and then measure programs to optimize their impact.

In the complex world of B2B buying, we are looking to help brands not only engage with our massive professional community, but drive, and convert leads.

What new plans or strategies will you bring to the table?

Our marketing and advertising solutions enable brands to engage a large and highly targeted audience of influential and affluent professionals and connect them to relevant products and services.

LinkedIn is continually evolving its platform to make it easier for audiences to access content and for brands to measure and capture the impact of their campaigns.

It recently launched new marketing solutions features such as Conversion Tracking, Matched Audience and Lead Gen Forms; we will continue to create awareness about these solutions among marketers.

Can you comment on the current marketing landscape of the region? What trends are you seeing being adopted by marketers and which ones are working well in the region?

Businesses in the region are now looking to experiment with their digital strategies, they are increasingly exploring non-traditional advertising formats that more closely correspond to their audiences’ media consumption habits.

According to a survey by Think Google, MENA consumers rely more on brands’ digital messages than ever before to guide them through a purchase journey. Ninety-one per cent of online consumers in the UAE and 88% in KSA have taken action after seeing a message (an online ad, video, or website content) from a brand that is relevant to them.

Data shows that effectively targeting customers’ moments that matter leads to action, especially on mobile devices, with mobile apps marketing becoming the new way to acquire new buyers.

The explosion of smartphones in the region has also contributed to another massive increase: the popularity of online video. Businesses are shifting their budgets to rich media content and distribution, especially on websites such as YouTube and heavily investing into video campaigns.

Tell us something about the new LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions- what products/solutions have you launched in the region and how can it help marketers in their daily tasks?

LinkedIn recently launched Matched Audiences that can help brands and agencies engage key accounts, prospects, and audiences that matter most to their business with three new capabilities: Website Retargeting, Account Targeting, and Contact Targeting. LinkedIn has also made it easier for businesses to generate leads from Sponsored Content on mobile devices with the roll out of its new Lead Gen Forms feature.

Lastly, top marketing tips/advice from LinkedIn

In today’s digital age marketers have a better opportunity than ever to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message, however, what is needed is highly targeted audience segmentation. Two points that marketers need to keep in mind 1) improve the efficiency in reaching customers, and 2) improve the relevance of messages.