General News, Market Trends

Interviewing Digital Advertising Expert: Naji Boulos

Interviewing Digital Advertising Expert: Naji Boulos

by Rayane Imad

Since 2020, Digital advertising is witnessing a tremendous change globally and particularly in Lebanon. The market is adapting to this new unpredictable era at  a fast-pace.

How has advertising changed and what are the main trends and challenges faced by advertisers nowadays? 

Let’s hear it directly from the professionals. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Mr. Naji Boulos, Marketing and Communication Consultant and Founder of Jicébé Creative and Innovative Consultancy, shares with us his perspective.

OLX: What is the biggest challenge in digital advertising today?

Naji: Privacy policies. This is a challenge because it is getting progressively difficult to measure digital campaigns return on ads across the different digital channels and platforms such as desktop, mobile, and applications. Third party cookies are slowly dying, which puts more pressure now on advertisers collecting their own first party data.

This leads to increasingly more advertisers asking for transparency when buying inventory, data safety and traceability.

OLX: How do you see Digital advertising post-Covid?

Naji: The attitude and behaviors of users have changed over the years. They spend more time on their screens unlike their time on traditional media. Digital advertising post-Covid is already on the rise and will continue to increase. More and more companies, including in Lebanon, are moving to e-commerce and are selling their products and services online. The name of the game is to put pressure on those businesses to advertise online, attract and engage with their customers. This is a shift in the way of doing business. In Lebanon, local advertisers still believe in the power of traditional media.

However, the economic turmoil has changed the rules of the game. The media scene has witnessed more than 50 media closures in the last three years, most of them are print media. Outdoor media is becoming expensive (high cost of printing of panels) and TV and radio do not appeal to young people. Digital is the most effective solution to reach the targets at the right time and right place.

OLX: What are in your opinion the main components of a successful campaign?

Naji: In my opinion there are two main elements;

1-The right creative that resonates with the right customer at the right time. Applying the right targeting to run the campaign to customers that are likely to engage with the ad and convert in return.

2-Going beyond demographics to understand the customers. People – of all ages and in all markets – are constructing their own identities. As a result, consumption patterns are no longer defined by “traditional” demographic segments such as age, gender, family status, location, income etc.

OLX: Where do you see OLX in the digital marketing landscape?

Naji: OLX is already a leader in Lebanon in the e-commerce sector.

OLX: Everyone is focusing on Leads lately, do you think we lost in the market the upper and mid-funnel activation era?

Naji: Digital marketing should not solely be focused on leads generation. Focusing on leads generation can be a short-term solution and not future looking. Increasing brand awareness has a high correlation with an increase of purchase in the long term. Especially since in the long-term TV still is the best medium to increase brand awareness.

OLX: What is your digital marketing philosophy?

Naji: Test and learn.

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