Advertising saturation traditionally hits a peak in the MENA region during Ramadan, but that might not be the most effective approach for brands, according to a new WARC white paper.

MENA’s Anatomy of Effectiveness takes a regional perspective on last year’s global Anatomy of Effectiveness paper which WARC launched at the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival and which identified five considerations that improve a brand’s probability of success.

One of those is the need to balance spending – for long-term effects and short-term ones, for brand building versus performance marketing, for broad market reach against targeting likely buyers.

This was a live issue even before the current coronavirus crisis; globally, only 51% of global advertisers are confident their organisation has the right balance between long-term brand building and short-term sales activation, according to Kantar.

In MENA, the relative low cost of digital and its promise of data-driven techniques to drive performance have seen many marketers invest more budget into activation campaigns, the white paper notes.

This year, however, when traditional Ramadan gatherings will be curtailed and families will be spending most of their time at home, brands may consider that the scale and cost efficiencies of linear TV advertising could be the most effective way of both building brands and generating sales – with a little help from digital.

While digital and social media consumption have grown significantly in MENA over the last decade, much of this growth complemented TV rather than replaced it; similarly, multi-devices and multi-screening have become a key driver of today’s MENA media landscape.

Research from Brand4mance, a Choueiri group brand, showed that TV advertising led to 60% higher conversions than usual on a mobile device, 55% higher conversions than usual on paid search and a 30% higher conversion rate overall of new users.

Brands will have to find their own balance although the 60:40 brand-to-performance spending ratio remains a good starting point.

But, crucially, they also need to consider whether they should go all-in during Ramadan. “Brands might have more effectiveness with an always-on campaign to keep the brand front of mind rather than focusing all efforts on the holy month where Muslim populations are fasting and concentration is low,” the white paper argues. 

Download MENA's Anatomy of Effectiveness to read more on the five themes that will help local marketers get a return from their budgets: investing for growth, balancing spend, planning for reach, planning for recognition and being creative.

The report is published in partnership with Choueiri Group and Kantar.

Sourced from WARC