Explosive growth of digital platforms seen

The Kingdom has witnessed staggering growth in the digital platform in the last couple of years, according to Mohamed El-Mehairy, managing director of Connect Ads.
“Saudi Arabia is currently one of the largest digital markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with one of the highest Internet populations, making it a highly attractive market for international publishers,” El-Mehairy said during the “Saudi Connection 2013” held in Riyadh earlier this week.
He said that approximately half of the Saudi population uses the Internet and that this leads to a greater number of advertisers and brands adopting the digital platform as part of their overall marketing scheme.
He added that the amount of money spent on digital advertising in the Middle East is forecast to grow dramatically in the next few years as the region moves in the direction of Western markets.
“With an Internet user base of over 13 million in Saudi Arabia, the country has one of the highest penetration rates in the region. Popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have cult following in the Kingdom,” he said.
According to a recent report conducted by the Saudi-based social media agency “The Social Clinic,” the Kingdom has more than 3 million active Twitter users tweeting 50 million tweets per month.
“Saudi Twitter users recorded a 3,000 percent growth from 2011-2012, which is much higher figure compared to the global average. The digital boom in Saudi Arabia has dramatically impacted the advertising world. Brands are now looking at more creative techniques to generate revenues and interact with their customers using the digital platform,” he said.
Al-Mehairy added that brands from a very wide range of industries and sectors in the Kingdom are already harnessing the power of digital media to interact and steer conversations with their customers.
“Digital platform such as Twitter and MSN Arabia on the international side and Al-Riyadh on the local side are all apt mediums for brands to promote their products and services in the region,” he said.
He added that Connect Ads represents all these brands and “we have extensive regional experience in helping local and international brands gain visibility and generate revenues using these platforms.”
During the conference, Twitter Inc. announced the availability of its products in the Saudi market and that it will work in partnership with Connect Ads, an OTVentures portfolio company in MENA, to keep companies and brands tuned in on the pulse of their consumers through Twitter’s suite of advertising and sales products.