About Rasha El Ghoussaini, Head of Industry – Luxury, Travel and Tech at Snap Inc. in the MENA region

Rasha El-Ghoussaini is the Head of Industry – Luxury, Travel and Tech at Snap Inc. in the MENA region. Having joined Snap in May of 2017, Rasha was the fifth hire for the company and overlooked relationships across various agency groups. In 2019, Rasha was promoted to Head of Industry, and is currently one of three business leads setting the company’s strategy for continued business success. 

Since 2020, Rasha has also represented Snap Inc. MENA as a board member of the Unstereotype Alliance, a UN Women program aimed at eliminating gender bias in advertising and media. She also supports the SnapWomen Employee Resource Group (ERG) in driving the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) agenda in the region. 

Rasha started her career in 2003, where she joined the PR firm Manning Selvage and Lee. In 2005, Rasha relocated to Dubai to work with Leo Burnett as a communication executive. In 2008, she held the position of communication supervisor where she handled Diageo and Philip Morris across the GCC and Levant. In 2012, she was promoted to a communication director, and by 2016 she was a group communication director responsible for leading P&G’s Always accounts along with MAX Fashion, Kellogg’s, and du. During her tenure at Leo Burnett, Rasha received multiple awards including a Silver Effie in 2009 for the “Oasis Water for Africa Campaign”. She was a Leo Burnett ‘Worldwide Star Reacher’ nominee in 2010, receiving the award in 2011. She has also taken home awards in programs like MENA Effie and Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity. 

Rasha holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing from the American University of Beirut. 

A wakesurfing fanatic, Rasha is also the first Arab female competitive wakesurfer, currently holding the second place in the 2022 Asian Continental Championship as well as the third place in the 2022 Wakesurfing World Championship within the Masters Female Skim category.

About her thoughts for the industry

Leveraging technology while staying grounded in reality

There are loads of conversations about what’s next in marketing, media, and technology. As these debates continue, it’s important to recognize that concepts that many may consider “futuristic” are actually being used by millions of people each day! Innovative technologies are already creating new value for businesses, assisting governments in their strategic roadmaps, and raising the quality of life across local communities. 

So what are some of my aspirations for the marketing industry in 2023? 

With nearly all industries facing increasing economic pressure, I hope to see a revived focus on measurement, defining what success actually looks. It is encouraging to see more brands now focusing on measurement solutions beyond pixels and MMPs, but rather, the return they are achieving across the full marketing funnel–from brand lift to online and offline conversions. In parallel, I think we’ll start seeing a higher adoption of conversion APIs, market mix models, cross media studies, and conversion lift studies. It’s all about the data. 

In addition, I think technologies like augmented reality (AR)–which began as a playful tool for self-expression–are now truly transforming how businesses grow. AR is the next big technological advancement that’s going to significantly impact every industry, from entertainment and culture to travel and media. It is estimated that by 2025, 75% of people across the globe and nearly everyone with a smartphone will be frequent AR users. Closer to home, almost all of the Gen Z and Millennial population in Saudi Arabia, and 65% of the UAE’s population, will be frequent AR users by 2025. Those companies and brands who are late to AR will find themselves facing a daunting challenge to catch up.

A third trend I see picking up is brands reconsidering their targeting strategies. For example, addressing gender stereotypes in fields like automotive and financial services is vital for companies to expand their customer base, especially as women become more involved in the job market and flourish within the SMB scene. Similarly, while those referred to as Gen Z might not necessarily drive immediate sales across high-end categories today, this generation will be the purchasers and loyalists of tomorrow. They already hold incredible influence on household purchasing decisions. Based on conversations I’ve had, brands will do much more to use technology and data to build brand love amongst these audiences in 2023. 

As a final point unrelated to technology, I hope that all of us in the marketing industry remember to make time for ourselves outside of the office. It could be a sport, art, dance, anything! In my case, I find wake surfing to be my personal meditation. It helps me to disconnect, reflect, build patience, and establish confidence. A lot of attributes that I then apply in the workplace. If we all do this a bit more in 2023, our industry will have an even more impactful and positive influence in society.