Apr 15 - 2013

Memac Ogilvy Celebrates Role of Entrepreneurs on World Entrepreneurship Day

SMEs advised to adopt PR and Social Media strategies to increase exposure.

Memac Ogilvy would like to commend SMEs for their role in driving the UAE economy, and is optimistic that they can play an even larger role if they adopt Public Relations (PR) and social media strategies as part of their regular business operations, ahead of World Entrepreneurship Day on April 16.

A successful entrepreneur for 30 years, Chairman and CEO of Memac Ogilvy Eddie Moutran knows how important a company’s image is to a small enterprise. Moutran turned a small business of four people, one client and $13,000 in Bahrain in 1984 into Memac Ogilvy, a MENA network with 13 offices that is part of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, a global communications network with over 450 offices in over 100 countries.

Moutran said, “To grow a small business entrepreneurs have to use every tool at their disposal to market themselves. With the right mix of traditional and social media, business owners these days can reach out to their audience in real time and stand out in a crowded market.”

David Mackenzie Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, was also an astute businessman. At the age of 38 he was unemployed, a college dropout and former cook, salesman, diplomatist and farmer. He knew nothing about marketing and had never written any copy. Yet three years later he became one of the world’s most famous copywriters, and in due course built the world’s tenth largest communications agency.

There are currently more than 230,000 SMEs in the UAE, which contribute more than 40% of the country’s GDP and over 42% of its workforce. SMEs are well positioned to take advantage of the benefits of PR and social media, with less layers of management and processes than larger companies.

Implementing an effective PR and social media plan catered to the particular needs of their company, SME leaders can engage influencers from traditional (print, broadcast and radio) and social (examples include Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin) media to create and maintain a positive brand image.

This includes conducting interviews with media and placing thought leadership articles to position themselves as experts in their field, as well as directly engaging key online influencers and potential customers.

These strategies can be leveraged and measured at any stage in a business’ life cycle to meet business objectives, whether it’s creating brand awareness, launching a new product or service or driving traffic to a company site.

Social media as a business tool is becoming increasingly important in the UAE, with the region’s highest Internet penetration rate at 75% as well as one of the world’s highest smartphone penetration rates at 61% (according to a 2013 Ipsos study MENA Internet Usage and Consumption Habits). This high rate of adoption is being converted into sales according to Google’s Our Mobile Planet 2012 report, which states that 48% of smartphone users in the UAE call a business after a local smartphone search.

Memac Ogilvy is part of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, a communications network with over 450 offices in over 100 countries.

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