Beirut-based digital agency, Triangle MENA, has been established only three years ago. It has yet gone a long way in such a short time. Nadim Bou Yazbeck, the captain of the Triangle ship, has started this company from the ground up. Over the years, he has learned and evolved considerably especially in the realm of digital marketing methods for offering maximum reach and revenue for his clients. His experience with diverse brands from Lebanon and the region, helped him in gaining tremendous knowledge of the field, successfully. In a talk with ArabAd, Bou Yazbeck shares some insights.
How would you assess the Lebanese market in the servicing of online advertising?
The Lebanese market is a fast growing and promising one, very competitive due to many positive and negative factors, although the IT infrastructure in the country is not yet developed and not helping on many levels, not to mention the lack of support from official authorities to back up startups and companies working in this sector.
What's the edge of Triangle MENA over the digital arm of big ad networks? Do you think digital specialist shops form a big threat to full-service ad agency?
We all know that the digital arms of big ad networks rather focus on big brands and businesses while small and medium businesses cannot afford to be on the table. If some are ready to pay, they won't get the time and the attention allocated to big brands, thus, they won’t enjoy the service and won’t be treated as they should.
Conversely, we take good care of all our big, medium and small clients and treat them equally. We also believe that working with small enterprises who never had any experience in dealing with digital agencies gives us big experience in client servicing, communication with client, how to make them understand stuff they are not familiar with, which empower our experience with bigger enterprises, using everything we learned from dealing day to day with small enterprises and how normal people think.
Brand leaders want a partner who can work seamlessly across the whole spectrum of paid, owned and earned media as well as all the new and old platforms. Don't you think clients would rather work with their traditional ad agency where everything is under one roof and fully-integrated, as many tend to believe that digital marketing cannot be a silo, yet it must be integrated with a brand's total communication program. What's your say?
We totally agree… Recently, we conducted a strategic business and market study to know where we stand, where are we heading and what we should offer in the near future. We concluded that offering a full journey experience for our clients is what is needed during this period. Nowadays, clients tend to deal with agencies who can offer everything under one roof, thus, we are currently in the process of refining our business model by creating mashups to empower our offerings. In a continually changing digital environment, it is important that our strategies adapt and maintain relevance according to our clients’ prescribed business objective.
How would you describe the demand for social media marketing in Lebanon? Do clients usually know what they want ?
Social media marketing became the strongest means to communicate and engage with users in Lebanon. Brands through social media are able to connect with specific target demographics, increase the engagement rate and ROI with minimal budgets comparing to other advertising means like outdoor or TV advertising.
One thing though client always want is a the return on investment (RO)I, but they don’t know how to achieve it, thus, they deal with agencies like ours to create for them the full digital journey, which serves their interests.
Are brands in the region becoming increasingly comfortable with social media and digital advertising on the whole? If so, where is the budget and attention being focused on the most?
Yes, with years, brands in the region became more and more comfortable with social media and digital advertising. They have come to understand the value in developing digital marketing strategies to promote and grow a brand. The budget is mostly spent on Facebook and Google AdWords.
What do you think brands should capitilise on the most?
Focusing on good content, creativity and simple communication is what brands should focus on to make the most out of their online marketing plans. It is well known that people tend to engage with creative and simple advertising that speaks people’s language and reflects their culture more than engaging with very high and sophisticated ones that shows how fine is the brand, but doesn’t leave any trace in users’ minds because it doesn't relate with them or their culture.
What has been the biggest barrier for clients to plan and implement integrated digital campaign?
Simply the budget.