ArabAd talks to Filip Jabbour, CEO of GroupM MENA about the growth strategy of the agency in the region.
Media management Investment operation, GroupM, has set up its MENA Operation in Dubai with Filip Jabbour as CEO, leading the regional office. GroupM, which offers integrated planning and buying services, marketing science, technology, and consulting, is serving as the parent company to WPP media agencies in the region including, MEC, Mindshare, Mediacom and BPG Maxus. GroupM’s progressive expansion reflects their ardent belief in the MENA region. The company is currently investing in resources to maximise the performance of its media agencies.
Filip Jabbour is responsible for developing GroupM’s strategy to broaden the group’s service and to accelerate the growth of its media agencies.
“ We are the last major communications group to be officially formed in the region. Our agencies have always been around, but as GroupM, we are the latest entry into MENA with a clear objective to serve and facilitate clients.”
He asserts that the chief aim is to build the group into one that is “future facing and digital focused, achieved through exceptional data management.” Jabbour further emphasises that GroupM is being given extensive guidance and attention from their global network to help in their mission to “support and facilitate their media agencies across the region by identifying areas of opportunity and prioritising them.”
As regional leader of GroupM, Filip Jabbour and his team are striving to attain better accountability for data. “The game changer is in the digital space, where we are seeing a fast acceleration to store and access more data.” Jabbour asserts that GroupM intends to provide offerings to their media agencies that optimise consumer and customer engagements. “Each of the agencies have their own tools and strategies and we are looking to leverage that to accelerate growth.” Jabbour affirms the fact that the region and the world at large is working very much in a digital age, which further denotes the importance of embracing a select team of individuals with specialised technological acumen.
Jabbour reiterates the aim to “serve client interests for the better, by introducing new trading models that are in-keeping with the demands.” It is more apparent that media agencies have shifted to a unique position at the intersection of technology and the consumer, where they will become their clients’ key strategic partner, as big data and technology become primary elements in the framework.
Jabbour mentions that the current state of the region and the macro-economic factors may impede growth for media agencies. Businesses are feeling the strain due to the financial constraints caused by political turbulence in the region, and in the process “has become more challenging to accurately forecast spending sentiments and investments.” However, the MENA CEO, expresses with much optimism that the market has evolved significantly, which paves the way for more development and contribution to digital and multi-media platforms. “Digital has surpassed other mediums. We are seeing increased levels of digital penetration, which adhere to the demands of the young generation in the region.”
Jabbour’s appointment adds to WPP’s ongoing investment in the region, which holds testament to the company’s commitment to best serve clients' marketing in the Middle East and North Africa. Jabbour highlights GroupM’s regional introduction into the market as a move to attract and retain the best talent in the industry, to leverage GroupM’s accelerated development of media agency offerings, digital, technology and data management, creating enhanced value and drive advantages for clients.
Jabbour concludes that, the group, via its agency brands, is looking to accelerate their knowledge and capability in the spaces where the clients’ consumers are navigating into, in order to earn the right for valuable engagement with them, which ultimately drives value to the clients’ businesses.