FIFA World Cup, November Sales, and Dubai Shopping Festival – The occurrence of these events in a successional manner have created unexpected happy moments for marketers and brands. Campaigns with discounts and offers have been the go-to formula for marketers. 

These ads, coupled with sporting or festive fever, have even made consumers more than willing to spend. In fact, as per MoEngage’s survey, 34% of consumers spent on shopping, grocery, and clothes in the last 6 months. 

Now, brands will look to bring this busy festive season to an end with a gigantic splash. Consumer brands will soon start campaigns catering to the mega-event of Ramadan. Interestingly, as per Khaleej Times, brands in the GCC region keep almost one-third of their marketing budgets for this particular festive event.

And why not?

Ramadan is a pious period. It is a cool breeze comprising of empathy, care, and sharing that instills a feeling of community across the region. Friends and family come together to pray, break fast, or travel.

Ramadan is also a period where creative designs on campaigns revolve around images of lanterns, dates, moons, and prayers, or it is a period where brick-and-mortar stores (small and big) have a ‘Ramadan Kareem’ greeting. 

While these creatives and greetings do create a sense of festive season but is it enough?

The obvious answer is No. It is almost like scratching the surface. Brands will need to further deep-dive and understand its customer and their intent. However, it is easier said than done. 

Today, with the evolution in technology and the martech stack alone, brands are capable of creating segments, doing analysis, and providing personalized experiences. 

But what will really make you stand out as a brand is how accurate is your insights, what is the level of accuracy of your predictions?

To answer these questions with sound knowledge, brands should try to follow the below-listed fundamentals, which are the foundation for any campaign.

Forget Precious Metals; Data, Metrics, and Talent are Your Priceless Resources

  • Customer Data and Customer Engagement Go Hand in Hand
    For ages, brands have been focusing/trying to focus on customer experience. Terms like engagement and personalization have been part of various marketing strategies. At the same time, brands are sitting on a heap of customer data.

    To stand out or have a competitive edge, brands will need to redefine KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER, and that can happen if brands are able to tie up data with engagement. Insights derived by tying all data together can really help brands grab that podium finish.

    In fact, as per Sanjeev Nichani from Apparel Group, three things that marketers should keep in mind are:
  • What the customer is responding to (in terms of offerings)
  • When they are responding to it and
  • What channel(s) are they responding on”
  • ‘Know Your Campaign Time’ is the new ‘Know Your Customer’
    There are no second thoughts around the fact that measuring your campaigns during any period (festive or off-season) remains imperative. But it is also important for the brand to assess how previous year’s campaigns have performed.

    Using such historical insights can also help brands premeditate trends during Ramadan this year and the next.

    Moreover, metrics like conversion rates, average order value, or baseline numbers can really set the path for setting up campaigns post the holiday season when consumers are not as willing to spend.

    For example, Mohit Depala recently in an article mentioned that many travelers, despite the festive season, prefer traveling during the offseason. While the purchasing decision can be post-Ramadan, it is quite possible that the intent of the customer was shown during a festive season. In such a case, brands can leverage insights and create price drop campaigns and discount campaigns post the holiday season to engage and retain the customer.
  • Your Talent Makes 1+1=2
    The fact that talent is a premium is beyond debate. But at the same time, it is your talent that acts on the insights and ideates relevant campaigns. It is your talent which acts on the first two fundamentals.

    However, in today’s uncertain time, brands will need to strike a balance between hiring talent and hiring the right talent. 

Overall, as we move forward in 2023 and beyond, brands will continue to build campaigns, some relevant, some not so relevant. The brand, which builds on, by keeping these three fundamentals as a hub, will end up running the longer marathons.

On the Parting Note, my Two Cents on Ramadan 2023

The UAE government declared 2023 as the year of sustainability. Even before 2023, sustainability has been a theme across various prominent discussion forums at a global level.

Amongst many other causes, customers are now sensitive toward their environment and would respond to related campaigns with a positive outlook. Not just their affinities, it’s important to understand each customer’s social or CSR interests as well. 

With Ramadan being a period of empathy and care, a brand will only stand out if it is able to evolve its seek out every relevant insight and evolve their personalization capabilities into individualization capabilities.