About Carla Klumpenaar, GM Marketing, communication & interior design Al-Futtaim IKEA, UAE, Qatar, Egypt & Oman

I joined Al-Futtaim IKEA in December 2011 and have been a part of the global IKEA group since the year 2000. I started my journey as a Communication and Interior Design Manager. Over the years, I have been a part of various innovative communication and design concepts across IKEA stores around the world. 

I currently lead the Marketing, Communications and Interior Design team in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman. My role involves developing strategies, creative directions and concepts for the brand regionally. My experience working across global regions has definitely given me larger perspective of the design world and ignited my creative vision over the years.

About her thoughts for the industry

The marketing industry is constantly evolving. Having worked across so many disciplines over the years, I  can confidently say that staying up to date with the latest trends and statistics is essential for any business. 

Regardless of campaign or activation, to succeed in this highly competitive market, my brief and guiding principles to industry players revolves around three key pillars:

  • Creativity and out of box thinking: 

A normal business day may get very monotonous for us. Often, we can become focused on our brand and don’t always thinking out of the box and experiment with different solutions and methods. We must consider each challenge as a new and consider how it can be approached creatively. The key is to stand out as a brand, truly own your campaign and ultimately deliver something different that adds value to our customers and helps achieve the final business goal. 

  • Simplicity is king: 

Sometimes the best ideas come from a simple insight or solution to a business challenge. Solving problems require boiling complexity into simplicity. In the same vein, we all struggle to find the hours in a day to get everything done that we need to; so, presented with an idea that feels like a heavy lift will automatically create a barrier. Effectiveness comes from simplicity so if a campaign or idea can be explained simply and is easily executable, it’s half the battle won. 

  • Deliver ideas that have a direct impact on business goals:

While it’s always a bonus to have campaigns that make waves and get talked about, ultimately ideas should result in moving the needle and creating value for our brand and delivering on our business objectives. Being able to demonstrate this is what will truly makes an idea stand out. 

Our region is full of ambition, opportunity, and potential. I was blown away by the standard of work I have seen in 2022 by some of the best creative minds across the best agencies and brands here in the Middle East. It makes me happy to know that we are not far in the race and are inspiring each other to think over and beyond. 

As our founder, Ingvar Kamprad, once said, ‘The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to think every evening what can be done better tomorrow.’’