Brands are constantly shifting and evolving to catch up with today’s increasingly digital world that demands new strategies and techniques to stay relevant in the game.

We’ve exclusively interviewed Nihal Abdel Aziz, Deputy General Manager of Magna Egypt, for her insights on how digital transformation can be a maker or breaker for brands of today. 

BB: Digital transformation has become a necessity as brands across the world face digital disruption. Can you shed some lights on how Magna defines the term?

NA: Digital actually shook the boat, it made people stand and think. It’s distributing in the way its defined against other mediums, but it’s transformative in the way it’s defined against the consumer and it was  actually very overdue.

Nihal Abdel Aziz – Magna MENA

 Technology served different ways of messaging, consumers became more selective, more in control of what kind of message they choose to receive, when to see it and the format in which they want to receive it. 

For the longest time, consumers were fed info and treated as clusters, totally neglecting the individual parts and so messaging became a bit redundant and passed on.

So Digital actually pumped blood back life into the Communications world, it served as a challenge at first, then the magic started to happen, once the endless and creative ways started to unfold, we started seeing amazing results. 

BB: Brands are embracing the digital revolution, rethinking what customers value most. How can brands with a concrete digital transformation strategy redefine their industries and reshape customer value proposition ?

NA: It’s about listening well, always being up to date, constantly upping their game, and not being arrogant, businesses need to adapt to the consumer wants, needs and appetite. The speed at which technology is advancing is almost proportional to how fast the consumer is also getting smarter and more selective in what they choose to digest and spend time on.  If brands are doing things the old way, the ‘it worked once so I’ll just do it again’, then their brands will die in the everyday ever-changing Business world that is today.

The old consumer is dead, the new consumer has wide eyes and ears and chooses what they want. And the brand that is smart enough to keep reinventing itself is the brand that will give the consumer what they want. 

BB: While brands are able to reach consumers throughout many moments in their lives, competition for their attention is becoming stiffer. How can digital transformation help brands stay competitive ?

NA: It’s a creative and media game, it’s not just about when/where the message is getting served, It’s also about what is being served. Again, the old ways of creating a message doesn’t work anymore.

The digital transformation and continuous enhancements have not only been on the media angle, the creative angle is also a deal breaker. 

Consumer psychology and attention span studies are always factored in year on year as digital is transforming, so both angles have to be hand in hand in order to stay competitive. 

Lipton and Close Up, in association with Angahmi, created Dynamic audio ads, with the consumer consent on the app, they were served personalized messages on Anghami , where they were greeted in the morning with their name, good morning/evening greetings and the weather status, creating an association between the consumer and the brands. A personalized message is one that lingers on in the brain. It was also the first in the Region. 

BB: The world has entered a new era, oceans of data are flowing from every device. Brands are required to tap into this wealth of data to derive insights that can help in getting a better understanding and better engaging with customers. Please comment. 

NA: It’s all about honest data.  The dynamic audio ads mentioned in the above example is a true reflection of that, digital is momentarily evaluable and measured. Insights, trends and favorability are easily scored. Again, the consumer of today is smart and alert, there needs to be an honestly about how the data is collected. 

BB: One of the main impact facets of digital transformation on brands is reshaping their experiences. Can you explain how brands can leverage digital transformation to create a customer-centric digital experience ?

NA: The new age is all about the experience, not just an on-ground experience as before, but the one-on-one association  with the consumer.

Over the past few years, we worked on more than one project that would not have been possible without the digital and technology  aspects.

During the World Cup, Rexona served ads on the spot depending on the match outcome: different scenarios of football actions were pre-planned, and on the spot the message relevant to what was happening live was served: Rexona bottle with a Red Card, Yellow Card, Goal…etc

Another example is a digital show ‘Confessions’ (with Fremantle)  (Rexona, Sunsilk, Lipton) was adopted for the Egyptian market . The show, even from the production stage, was created for the today consumer. Vertical shots, live sessions with the stars of the show, competitions, consumers comments and polls on the episode day to day situations.