OMD collaborates with business intelligence agency

OMD MENA has announced an exclusive partnership with MEA-based business intelligence and research firm, Emerging Markets Intelligence and Research (EMIR). Through the partnership, OMD, part of Omnicom Media Group, aims to offer its clients effective marketing strategies and better business results with the help of market and governmental intelligence, insights and analysis.

“Our ‘Insights.Ideas.Results’ motto has always been our guiding principle and philosophy at OMD, so naturally we strive to sharpen each of these facets with the best resources available,” says Nadim Samara, CEO, OMD UAE. “Today, we operate in a world that is rich with data and insights and it’s our role, as a strategic partner to some of the world’s biggest brands, to access this intelligence and extract its value for our clients. This allows us to collectively make even more impactful decisions going forward and, ultimately, deliver better marketing performance and business results.”

OMD appoints Head of Analytics

OMD MENA has welcomed Walid Hadid to the newly created role of Head of Analytics, Previously Head of analytics at OgilvyOne, Walid has over 20 years of experience in developing, implementing and leading analytics solutions. In his new role, he will be working to provide clients with a holistic, integrated service delivering business results as well as media performance.

“We have developed a strong experience in data and analytics to better inform our clients’ investment decisions for well over a decade now,” says Nadim Samara, Managing Director, OMD UAE and Lower Gulf. “An appointment of this caliber reflects our ardent commitment in this field and will see us strengthen the data and analytics conversation with our clients. Thanks to the expertise, systems and processes we have in place, we can help them extract even more from their marketing initiatives.”

Walid adds “I am really excited by everything that I’ve seen at OMD so far with regards to the talent and systems they have built to date. I look forward to extending this impressive analytics offering and stimulating our client’s growth further through stronger data partnerships that provide timely and powerful insights.”

OMD UAE appoints new Associate Director

Natalie Haynes has joined OMD UAE as Associate Director – Digital for the network’s luxury unit. Previously, Natalie worked in media in Los Angeles handling key accounts such as Beats by Dre and brings over eight years of media experience to her new role. As Associate Director – Digital, Natalie will manage the digital deliverables for the LVMH portfolio.

“Moving to the UAE and joining such a great team has been an incredible experience,” says Natalie. “I was really impressed with OMD’s approach to fresh thinking and their strong workplace culture. Being names as one of the best employers in the country also made a strong case for me to make the move. I look forward to this new challenge and working to raise the bar further with OMD.”

OMD UAE partners with Pi Slice

OMD UAE announces its partnering with Pi Slice, the web-based social platform channeling funding for Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs). This comes as part of the media agency’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and its continuous contribution to developing the region’s economies and improving the lives of its people. OMD UAE and Pi Slice have launched a ‘lending page’ to promote micro-lending opportunities to its stakeholders and the wider community. Individuals can view a list of micro-financed projects and provide support to the initiative of their choice.

Through this collaboration, OMD UAE and Pi Slice bring a unique proposition to the UAE, linking individuals who wish to invest with Pi Slice’s MFI partners in the region, which, in turn use the funds to provide micro-credit to their customers. Micro-lending allows individuals to build a sustainable future for micro-entrepreneurs, as well as a supportive ecosystem for development at the macro level.

“We’re delighted to have found common ground with Pi Slice,” says Nadine Samara, Managing Director of OMD UAE & Lower Gulf. “We share the vision of a brighter future for entrepreneurship, to help alleviate poverty, stimulate development and improve the lives of many. Supporting ambition is hugely rewarding for both individuals and organisations, so we hope many around us will join us in this endeavour.”

OMD Arabia undergoes internal restructure

In response to the significant increase in billings in 2014, OMD Arabia has undergone a management restructuring and named new General Managers for its offices in Riyadh and Jeddah.

Toni El Rahi, previously General Manager of OMD Riyadh, has taken the role of Business Development Director for OMD Arabia’s parent company, Omnicom Media Group Saudi Arabia, reporting to CEO Choucrallah Abou Samra. In this role, he will capitalise on his vast network of connections and his talent for identifying and securing the best client relationships across the group. Toni will also hold the general management responsibilities of PHD Riyadh.

Faisal Shams, most recently a Business Unit Director at OMD UAE, has been promoted to General Manager for OMD Arabia, additionally managing its Riyadh office. Having gained significant experience climbing through the ranks of planning with the agency, Faisal will be responsible for building the business, strengthening the brand and deepening client relationship across the Kingdom and Riyadh.

Finally, Hani Dajani has been appointed as General Manager of OMD Jeddah, reporting to Faisal Shams. Most recently holding the position of Head of Planning, his primary objective in his new role is to maintain the network’s leading position in the Jeddah market and drive its digital and innovation agendas forward.

“At a time of rapid expansion, these new appointments strengthen our position to embrace the challenges and assignments that await us,” says Choucrallah Abou Samra, CEO, Omnicom Media Group Saudi Arabia. “With his experience, Toni is ideally placed to steer growth for the whole group. Faisal has managed some of our most demanding clients in the past, demonstrating unique leadership skills, and Hani has always led from the front with clients and prospects. I have full confidence in their ability to navigate our growth and pioneer the way forward for our clients, partners and the industry.”

OMD launches study to explore ‘Future of the UAE’

OMD has launched a study to explore future behaviours of UAE consumers. The survey, called ‘The Future of the UAE’, aims to assess the impact of changes to the country’s population and socio-demographics on lifestyles, shopping, technology and media consumption. It will also explore consumers’ expectations and attitudes towards life in the UAE and the country’s role globally.

The fieldwork for OMD’s study on the future state of the consumer society in the UAE is already underway, including face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of 2,000 residents in the country.

OMD UAE is partnering with Integral-OMG, the research and consultancy arm of Omnicom Media Group MENA, to conduct in-depth qualitative and quantitative research, exploring consumer values and attitudes in the UAE today, as well as the changes in the modern household and their impact on decision-making and media consumption.

As well as dealing with societal issues, ‘The Future of the UAE’ study will delve into consumers’ attitudes towards technology, including smartphones, mobile and e-commerce platforms, media consumption and technological advances, as well as their expectations from brands, key sentiments and values that resonate with them, and their lifestyle aspirations for the future. Based on this intelligence, brands can derive affirmative conclusions on how to better communicate with their consumers in the face of change.

“Technology is constantly transforming our industry worldwide, and in the UAE that velocity is much higher given consumers’ seamless adoption of anything new,” says Nadim Samara, Managing Director, OMD UAE & Lower Gulf. “Catalysed by both the government’s pursuit of technology, along with a higher average purchasing power parity by the UAE residents, these future behavioural habits of consumers are an area of vast interest for brands and one that is particularly hard to predict. This is why we have decided to undertake this study, with the goal of gaining valuable insights on the future for us to make more effective and impacting decisions for our stakeholders; our intimate knowledge of ‘where we are heading’ is paramount to navigating the consumer pivots successfully.”

‘The Future of the UAE’ is part of a global research initiative by OMD, with some 15 studies either already completed or currently underway. Based on a consistent model, they allow for international comparisons, making the project relevant for both local and international marketers.

OMD Predicts 2014 to focus on trends in marketing

The 2014 edition of the OMD Predicts conference will focus on the aggregation of the three most fundamental trends transforming the practice of marketing. The sixth in the series of events designed to help marketers and media professionals future-proof their strategies, OMD Predicts will explore the way innovation, content and technology are reshaping marketing. Scheduled to take place on November 10, 2014, the conference will be held at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Music Hall and is expected to gather more than 250 delegates.

OMD Predicts will bring international and regional experts to share insights and best practice to help marketers embrace and capitalise on the trends of content, technology and innovation – the three threads that are profoundly altering the way brands communicate with consumers. Guy Hearn, Chief Innovation Officer, Omnicom Media Group APAC, will discuss how showcasing media creativity in brands’ communications will separate the leaders from the followers. He will also highlight how to harness the innovation process and how it impacts advertisers, agencies and the media.

Content is becoming less the context for brand messaging and increasingly the message itself. In keeping with this, Shawn Amos, Founder and CEO of Freshwire, will focus on how brand storytelling and content marketing is evolving to add value to both brands and consumers, particularly in the context of evolving and emerging technologies.

Technology, perhaps the most transformational trend of all, will be the topic of a session presented by Whetson’s Founder, Thimon De Jong. Drawing from his experience on human behaviours, Thimon will explore the three most significant technological shifts that will alter not only brand communications but also business models.

“Planning for the future is never an easy task, but with OMD Predicts, we are aiming to establish a solid foundation from which one can start,” says Nadim Samara, Managing Director, OMD UAE & Lower Gulf. “Thanks to the knowledge and vision shared by this year’s speakers, future-proofing communication strategies will become a lot more achievable and fruitful. Rather than anxiety, this knowledge will allow us to look to the future with agility, anticipation, excitement and confidence.”