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The demand for digital marketing professionals is set to rise in the Middle East.

The latest white paper by CTPartners Executive Search Inc., reveals that Cutting-edge companies across the Arab World recognise that digital marketing holds the potential to redefine the playing field in sectors and regions across the globe.

These organisations are taking a variety of steps to position themselves to thrive in this brave new world, first and foremost by adding executives who combine proven consumer, technology, and marketing expertise to the leadership team.

There are a number of reasons why digital marketing has become such a vital element in a company’s toolkit. The pace of consumer online activity keeps gaining momentum, as consumers become comfortable with purchasing an expanding range of goods and services by smart phone or tablet as well as computer.With ecommerce revenues skyrocketing, companies are gaining a greater appreciation of digital marketing as a major revenue stream, ROI channel, and, quite simply, competitive advantage.

Digital media will more than double its share of the Arab world’s advertising market by 2015, according to a recent study by Deloitte. Its Arab Media Outlook said digital is the fastest growing media platform in the region and accounted for 4% of the total advertising spend in 2011.

The Deloitte research is evidently reaffirmed by the recent movements of top notch social media giants into the Arab Region. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, all have started operations in the region.Facebook and Linked have opened their first offices in the Middle East. Twitter has also joined Facebook and LinkedIn in boosting its operations in the Middle East and North Africa, having appointed a local representative to handle sales.

Deloitte said it expects digital to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35 percent over the next three years, generating about $580m across the region by 2015.The growth of social media across Mena is one of the highest in the world, paving the way for growth in digital advertising. Capitalising on the digital boom, Forward-thinking Arab companies are now bringing in digital marketing executives, tasked with the mandate of developing an in-depth understanding of their customer demographics and buying preferences.

The ultimate goal is to engage these customers in the most effective and convenient way, thereby achieving a profound competitive advantage in the market. This new breed of executive typically reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer, while also being closely aligned with each business unit leader. After all, it is essential that digital strategies are in sync with the varying needs of each business.

Digital marketing executives will be expected to drive all product engagements toward customers via online channels. These will include CRM, SEO, SEM, Paid Media, Social Marketing, and Display Advertising. While performing this multi-faceted role, the executive must work collaboratively with the rest of the organization’s marketing team and its communications arm, in order to ensure that all messaging to customers is well integrated and consistent with the company’s branding.

Additionally, this executive will be responsible for managing the data analytics team to ensure that the company has the right technology and data-oriented strategies in place to gain an accurate view of customer behavior, preferences, and buying habits, with processes also in place to extract and utilize data that measure ROI.

The talent profile for such an executive is complex. Successful digital marketing executives are well versed and experienced in areas relating to consumer, technology, and marketing. They will be expert in developing integrated, outbound marketing campaigns that leverage multiple channels and disciplines. Such executives must be capable of handling marketing responsibilities across multiple geographies, with the ability to leverage global capabilities while maintaining regional flexibility.

Fluent in consumer marketing within mobile and social channels, they must bring to the management table an in-depth understanding of the participants, community dynamics, and architecture of different digital media platforms.

Above all, the right digital marketing executive will be able to develop and execute successful multi-channel, integrated marketing plans with consistent, brand-designed positioning and messaging across channels and be able to produce quality content both in English and Arabic. The pool of such executives is limited, so competition for them is fierce. But as with any high impact, high-reward position, digital marketing executives are too valuable to overlook.

An interesting and humorous Star Trek parody infographic - A HubSpotter’s Guide to the Galaxy from hubspot.com on the different roles required to prepare your Marketing crew for exploring the (social media) galaxy.

Here’s an interesting and humorous Star Trek parody infographic – A HubSpotter’s Guide to the Galaxy from hubspot.com on the different roles required to prepare your Marketing crew for exploring the (social media) galaxy. Image-hubspot

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