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Smart Marketing Essentials

Private Sector Magazine


We all know the basics of marketing – product, price, place and promotion. 4Ps, or nowadays even more Ps, are essential in developing a brand. Once you develop the brand and make sure it is different, relevant and has a promise (the first 3Ps), you then move to the last P. Now the question is are SME’s in Qatar promoting their brand?

The online marketing arena in Qatar has experienced significant growth over the past few years. Traditional marketing is still strong but not feasible for some SME’s. With online and social media, SME’s are able to control and discover key revenue streams and make the right decisions with advanced reporting and tracking technology. However, the mistake SME’s make in marketing is making everything so difficult for consumers to understand that they don't get it. And if consumers don’t get it, they usually don’t feel compelled to act and buy.

Marketing is about informing consumers about your products and services and telling them why they should pick you over your competitor. Are SME’s in Qatar doing that?

SME’s sometimes try to imitate multinationals and big corporations with their marketing strategies when in fact they've missed the core elements that will get a person to buy their products or services. SME’s should find their own market!

How do you do this? It's by moving a customer from the point of just attracting their attention to inspiring them to actually take action which is making a purchase.


A few tips

1. Get their attention, be different

Get the attention of your consumers. Speak to their needs and inform them of the solution that you provide. Being able to distinguish yourself from competitors will increase recognition. If you don't provide a solution – it’s time to get back to the drawing board.


2. Never over promise

Never over promise if you can’t adequately live up to that. You will lose customers and more importantly your business.


3. Create a marketing message

You know your solution, now you have to create a message that conveys that to your consumer. Craft your marketing message so it's easy to understand. Your marketing message has to speak about the solution as well as creating urgency for the need.


4. Evaluate different media channels

You have to evaluate the different media channels and really evaluate which ones will work for you. For example, do you serve a market that is more drawn to Twitter? Does your consumer spend more time watching television or surfing the Internet? Be aware of and informed about different media channels and which ones will work with your market. It's not a one size fits all deal.


5. Use media channels that are visible to your consumer

The reason you need to evaluate the different media channels are so you can select the media that is more visible to your potential purchaser. Why spend money on television advertising if your consumers are spending more time surfing the Internet? When you select the media channels, you create a placement that your potential consumers will see.


Qatari entrepreneurs should benefit from the vast resources that this country’s wise leadership has put in place by using clever and creative marketing strategies. In that manner, they will successfully grow both locally, regionally and maybe even internationally. Why not?




Aref El Nakadi is Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at the Ahli Bank. Aref, a seasoned marketing professional, has over 15 years of marketing experience in the region having served grow, a branding and communications agency in the capacity of client director. Aref started his professional career with Bank Med, formerly Allied Business Bank, in Lebanon as a Marketing Officer and project manager.

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