Written by Eric Mirabel
Arab Luxury World, the region’s largest conference on the business of luxury, took place on 1-2 June, 2016. OMD was present throughout the event with speakers participating in numerous panels and seminars. Here, we bring you all the insights and driving themes from this year’s edition.
Luxury across generations in the Arab world
What are Arab Millennials looking for when it comes to luxury and how do they differ from Generation X? This was the focus of a private break-out session hosted by OMD, featuring key insights from our research study on the subject. Maya Bou Ajram, OMD’s Senior Director-Planning on the LVMH portfolio, presented the findings and then introduced a panel discussion with marketing leads from Infiniti and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. “We wanted to understand key differences across generations – how they differ in terms of consumption, motivation, influence and media triggers – and ultimately learn how we can better influence desire for luxury,” said Ajram about the study. “Millennials do make more emotional purchases while Gen X is driven by a need to replenish or enhance their existing collection. Millennials are about aspiring to be who they are while Gen X are validating who they are.”
Effective data management
The conference featured a panel discussion on the effective use of CRM and omni-channel planning to develop smooth customer journeys. OMD’s Head of Analytics, Walid Hadid, was one of the speakers and he opened the discussion by describing the transformation of data across the decades, from slow-moving data collected in a notebook in the ’60s to the rapidly changing data we collect from digital platforms today. “Social engagement with content changes massively and rapidly. The role of us as marketers today is to decipher that data and link it together in order to allow brands, and particularly luxury brands, to compete more effectively in a crowded marketplace,” said Hadid.
Digital trends for luxury
This year’s digital strategy panel featured Stanislas Brunais, OMD’s Head of Performance Marketing, who explained how digital now acts as the first touch point in the purchase journey for luxury consumers. Francesca Ciaudano, Deputy General Manager Marketing & Public Relations at Infiniti Middle East, further emphasized that 96% of consumers start their search online, hence the importance of adopting a multi-channel approach in today’s environment. Jean-Pierre La Calvez, Head of Global Alliances, Partnerships and Customer Marketing at HP Inc. added to this, stating that technology impacts the whole value chain today, including product creation, supply chain management and consumer engagement. “Luxury brands have prided themselves on personal relationships and technology enables that personalization on digital,” audiences heard.
The rise of influencers in the region
Given the massive rise of influencers in this region, the conference featured a dedicated panel to discuss the value and ROI generated from this channel as well as best practices. OMD’s Senior Director, Maya Bou Ajram, was one of the panelists and shared key insights from regional campaigns she has executed for brands such as Sephora. “It’s not about the number of followers an influencer has but rather, it’s about marrying brand values with that of the influencer,” stated Ajram. “The influencer should reflect exactly who I am as a brand. Authenticity is key and brands should not force content on influencers; this is something we struggle with in luxury. Instead, we need to share our DNA and co-create content with them.”