Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Adnan Arnautlija
In the series of interviews which we prepared ahead of the Days of Communication festival, which will be held from March 28 to March 30 this year in Rovinj, we talked with one more lecturer from the extremely rich roster this year.
A visionary for digital marketing and one of the best lecturers at the Cannes Lions International Festival, Yousef Tuqan Tuqan, has been inspiring new generations of Arab tech entrepreneurs for years.
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan is the Global Design & Innovation Principal Director at Accenture Interactive – a consulting company that operates in 120 countries and 40 industries and is one of the strongest companies in providing digital, technology and operational services to top companies such as Nestlé, Microsoft, American Express, Visa and many other major clients.
At the festival he will hold a lecture titled “The New Tribes”, which will talk about the emerging Arab market and digital connectivity in the Middle East and the ways in which young Arabs – one of the most dominant YouTube groups (with 510 million views a day!), with big penetration of social networks and the increasingly strong representation of women – function in times of political turmoil.
We discussed these topics with this fascinating man who is on the forefront of dictating new digital trends of the future.
Media Marketing: Social networks, and digital channels in general, are experiencing great growth. How big is the role of mobile in this growth?
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan: The role of mobile cannot be underestimated in the growth of digital and social media consumption in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. For many of the Arab Digital Generation, the smartphone represents a new level of freedom, privacy and empowerment. If we consider a key market like Saudi Arabia, this is evident in not only the extremely high levels of smartphone penetration (54%) but in the meteoric rise of mobile-first social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
Media Marketing: Privacy issues and fake news are the most pressing questions when it comes to digital channels (especially social networks) across the globe. How are these issues reflected in the everyday life of a marketer?
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan: Privacy and fake news are an especially sensitive topic in the MENA region, given the cultural sensitivities around personal privacy and the fact that most governments have very strict laws around libel and free speech. MENA audiences are very wary of most news sources and according to the 2019 Arab Youth Survey, for the first time, more young Arabs say they get their news on social media (63 per cent) rather than via television (51 per cent). This marks a major shift since 2015 when only 25 per cent cited social media as a source for news, compared to 60 per cent saying they were getting their news on TV.
Media Marketing: There are numerous stereotypes and prejudices when it comes to these markets, and it seems that no one has a clear picture. As someone who knows the market through and through, how would you describe it and what are its main traits?
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan: My first statement would be to say that the MENA region is a rich tapestry comprised of individual countries, cities and people, each with their own beliefs. There is no “one size fits all” picture of the modern Arab citizen. However, I do believe that the Arab Digital Generation are united by three key behaviors: Connected by the highest levels of digital and social media usage in the world, Lost in a turbulent region of shifting borders, conflicts and alliances, and Confused by how they can reconcile their traditional values with a new generation raised on YouTube and Facebook.
Media Marketing: Many believe that markets of the Middle East are highly conservative, and you are known as an advocate of brave and creative communication. How brave and creative is communication in these markets, especially in digital channels?
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan: To be honest, the majority of communication in these markets is generally safe, predictable and designed to cater to the widest possible audience. Given this landscape, the potential for brave brands to make an impact and be noticed has never been greater.
Media Marketing: What would be the best way for brands to communicate with the youth and what traits in communication can help them in that?
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan: My first advice would be to be sincere – Arab youth know when brands are being inauthentic. My second advice is that Arab youth love brands, they just don’t love bad advertising. Use communication as way to add to their lives – be funny, be entertaining, be useful.
Media Marketing: Is there a global brand that you would single out as an example of doing a good job in communicating with the markets?
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan: I’ve always been an admirer of McDonald’s social media strategy in the MENA region. Despite being an American global brand, regionally they have developed an authentic voice, speak to different cities and countries with localized teams, and have developed a trust and respect with their audience that is the envy of most big brands.