Hana Khatib: ‘The return to normalcy remains a small prospect’
Posted on 2024 Mar,16

“It is no secret that Lebanon has been facing economic and political challenges that took a toll on all local businesses. Four years later, returning to normalcy remains a small prospect,” writes Hana Kaddaha Khatib, Chief Operating Officer, Efficiency Hubs, GroupM MENA / Regional Managing Director, GroupM Levant. Khatib explains how at GroupM they were able to overcome the local circumstances, as she speaks of the factors that come into play for their 2024 planning.

‘Rebuilding a thriving advertising industry in Lebanon would require economic stability, political reforms, addressing infrastructure issues, fostering a business-friendly environment and efforts to restore investor and global advertiser confidence. All of that would require collaborative efforts between government, businesses, and international stakeholders.

Yet, the Lebanese, as usual, adapted, survived, and found opportunities amidst the darkest times. I genuinely believe that Lebanon’s true wealth is in its human capital: educated, energetic, smart, adaptive, perseverant, and creative people. That coupled with the emerging trend of remote working and a unified approach to digital marketing provided solutions.

We were able to overcome the local circumstances by acting as the region’s planning and digital operation hub. E-commerce, on the other hand, and the fact that local businesses can attract regional and global consumers provided opportunities for the local clients and the local ad industry professionals equally.

Planning for 2024, we need to keep in mind global economic conditions, geopolitical developments, and technological advancements. Utilize emerging trends early one to diversify our offerings to clients beyond the classical services.


“The Lebanese, as usual, adapted, survived, and found opportunities amidst the darkest times.”


For example, finding solutions to emerging threats like increased privacy concerns and regulations, evolving consumer behaviors shaped by new technologies, heightened competition in the digital space, and the ongoing impact of global events on consumer sentiment. Staying adaptable, prioritizing data security, and leveraging innovative strategies will be crucial for navigating these challenges and finding sustainable sources of growth.

Another example is embracing the global trends and the widespread adoption of advanced AI and machine learning for personalized marketing, the rise of new communication channels or platforms, the influence of augmented reality in advertising, and increased emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility. When clients need to embrace these trends to find opportunities, our focus as advertising and media agencies should always be on helping them building and maintaining strong relationships with audiences.’