Major leadership changes at Edelman DABO

Communications and marketing firm, Edelman DABO has undergone major leadership changes in the region following mass layoffs earlier this year. Camilla and Lucy d’Abo, founders of Dabo & Co, which in 2015 was acquired by Edelman and rebranded as Edelman DABO, will step down from their current roles and leave the agency. After seven years of working with the brand, Managing Director, Jason Leavy will also depart Edelman DABO to pursue new opportunities in the PR and publishing industry.

The new management transition will see Jason Galucci, previously CEO at Lexis UK take on the role of Managing Director, Brand at Edelman UAE. In his new role, he will oversee the combined Edelman DABO team and its operations across the country.

Alex Apthorpe will also be joining the agency’s new management team to take on the role of Director of Brand Experience and Creative for Edelman DABO. Previously Senior Vice President and Joint Managing Director for Jack Morton Worldwide – Middle East, in his new role, Alex will oversee the experiential team reporting to Galucci.

Out with the old in with the new

Jacqui Hewett, General Manager, Tonic International, tells TMN what she thinks about the evolution of the region’s marketing industry from traditional to digital and offers some rules to help marketers through the transitional phase…

To say that we are spoilt for choice nowadays when it comes to marketing solutions is an understatement. In fact, the abundance of choice can be totally overwhelming for marketing professionals, especially when they are looking to transition from the traditional marketing space into the digital marketing space.

“Marketing plans now need to be multi-faceted, linked to real business deliverables and agile whilst always being consumer centric.”

Long gone are the days of the four P’s directly translating into a cookie cutter solution, agencies have been peddling with the usual suspects of below-the-line marketing (BTL), TV and some additional out-of-home advertising (OOH) support. Marketing plans now need to be multi-faceted, linked to real business deliverables and agile whilst always being consumer centric.

With this in mind, there are four rules of thumb that I like to focus on with clients that are making the sometimes-daunting transition from traditional to digital marketing much easier:

Keep it simple

Consumers have short attention spans and are spoilt for choice – just because you can use every new digital platform and technique to execute your campaign doesn’t mean that you should. I have a test that I run with clients and colleagues when we are crafting the big idea into an executional plan, if it takes you more than two minutes and more than two slides to explain the concept and how consumers will participate, the idea is too complicated. When an idea is too complicated, consumers lose interest – marketing directors need to encourage their agencies to design campaigns that are simple, engaging and responsive.

Measure the right things

We all know digital is exciting because it’s so measureable, this is one of the main reasons clients are shifting focus away from traditional into this space. However, too much of a good thing can have a negative effect and one of the most common mistakes clients make is to want to measure, investigate and analyse every single metric. This inhibits the process and usually translates into agencies spending more time explaining which metrics are important and which are not versus spending time optimising and adjusting the campaign based on the key result factors. Clients need to be thoroughly involved in setting up the measurement plan so that it links directly to their business key performance indicators (KPIs). They also need to ensure they understand clearly what metrics are significant and why, then focus their attention on those metrics.

Work with experts

The shift from traditional to digital marketing usually means that clients are learning new skillsets, techniques and mediums quite quickly. This can result in feeling a bit like a jack of all trades, master of none — take the time to select your agency partners carefully. You do not need to be ‘all knowing’ across digital, but you need to trust that the agencies you have supporting you are experts in their field. Look for partners who come recommended for solving your particular problem, ask for specific case studies and client references, and understand from them what kind of results can be expected prior to launching.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Even writing the word ‘fail’ is scary — especially when your marketing investment usually represents a significant portion of the company’s revenue. The advice here is ‘NO’ to bet it all in red, and hope for the best. What clients need to do is test, test and test! Set aside testing budgets not just at the beginning, but also across your campaign so that you have the flexibility to explore different techniques whilst isolating any loss of opportunity. If you don’t give your campaign and your agency the ability to seek out new ways of doing things, eventually growth will stagnate.

In conclusion, change is good and evolving your marketing strategies will only ever reap rewards in the long run. Embrace the change and don’t be afraid to ask questions — the digital space is here to stay so marketing directors need to understand and benefit from it.

CPI launches online technology platform

CPI Media Group has launched online technology platform, The new platform will cover stories from the technology industry as well as offer technology decision makers and business leaders across the region an online forum to express their opinions and share stories about the industry. will also include CPI’s online technology publications such as, Computer News Middle East (CNME), Reseller Middle East and Security Advisor Middle East to create a digital home for readers across the region granting them access to the latest news, data and analysis under one platform.

“The launch of is a hugely exciting new development for CPI Media Group and its long-established technology brands,” says Natasha Pendleton, Publishing Director, CPI Media Group. “By unifying our current digital offerings under one new platform, we are consolidating up-to-date technology and business transformation news from across the region, whilst offering new fantastic opportunities through original video content generation, thought leadership editorials and digitally focused events.”

Festival of Media MENA reveals award winners

Winners of the Festival of Media MENA Awards 2017, in partnership with Mediaquest, has been announced following the conclusion of the third edition of its conference on April 26, 2017. Held at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel, the awards focused on the evolution of the media industry to celebrate the best in media thinking and communications across the region. The event saw major wins for Starcoms winning Agency Network of the Year, OMD UAE for Agency of the Year and MEC MENA for Campaign of the Year, while other winners also include Garage 366 for Best Use of Mobile, Magna Egypt for Best Engagement Strategy and MediaVest | Spark for Best Social Media Strategy. The winners were judged by a panel divided into two groups and chaired by Asad Rehman, Director of Media at Unilever MENA and Nick Graham, Director of Global Digital Marketing and Media at Huawei for the event.

“It is a privilege and a great responsibility to be asked to chair an awards ceremony that is as prestigious as the Festival of Media MENA,” says Asad Rehman, Director of Media, Unilever MENA. “Too often we are in the office with our heads down, but judging gives us the opportunity to open the windows and see what else is happening in the region.” launches new look

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has re-launched its men’s online lifestyle publication, The revamped website will include an expanded e-commerce platform to offer a range of clothing, footwear, accessory and grooming products. The platform will also feature a stronger synergy between the magazine’s editorial content and products in its online store for its readers, suppliers and advertisers to access from across the region.

“The website boasts of a carefully curated mix of items that fit the magazine’s DNA and align with its mandate of offering readers access to luxury lifestyle content and products,” says Darren Hodgkin, CEO, Pinpoint Media Group. “This means readers get the high-quality editorial content Debonair is known for supplemented by products related to the articles.”

Dan Cotter joins MCG Associates

Digital and creative recruitment agency, MCG Associates has welcomed Dan Cotter to the role of Associate Director. With a diverse experience in the media and public relations industry, Dan previously worked with Sky Sports as Producer, at BBC as a Journalist and most recently with TOH PR as Group Account Director. In his new role, he will look after the public relations desk specialising in the recruitment of agency and client-side communication professionals.

‘I’m very excited to join MCG Associates – as I love working with creative, ambitious people who demand a challenge,” says Dan. “The communications sector is a dynamic industry with highly intelligent, driven people. MCG Associates has a great reputation in the industry and when I decided to make the move, they were top of my list of companies to work for.”

FleishmanHillard ME makes new appointment

Communications firm, FleishmanHillard Middle East has appointed Jared Carneson to the role of Regional Digital Director. Jared joined FleishmanHillard South Africa in 2012, where he worked as Senior Account Manager and most recently held the position of Global Social Innovative Lead, where he worked on building the digital and creative business units for the agency and with clients such as Barclays Africa, Dulux and Microsoft. In his new role, he will work on facilitating FleishmanHillard’s labs and intelligence streams across the agency’s portfolio of clients. He will also oversee and work on embedding digital as a part of the agency’s regional growth and expansion plan to increase their offerings to clients.