The Big Interview: Looking Up

Elie Khouri, chief executive of Omnicom Media Group Middle East is adamant the industry will start to recover in 2018

In his latest interview with The National, Elie Khouri continues his message of optimism and points to a series of growth drivers for 2018.

Rising oil prices, a weakening dollar, a resurgent global economy and a buoyant stock markets, as well as reforms in Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy. Omnicom Media Group MENA’s CEO is positive that all these things will counteract the impact of VAT in the GCC.

He admits the past three years have been challenging, but our holding group still managed to grow both its market share (because the overall market shrank) and its workforce. As the industry buckled under economic pressure, Omnicom Media Group MENA took steps to rationalize costs.

While overall spend on advertising has been shrinking, when broken down by medium, digital is witnessing substantial growth and has now overtaken traditional channels. In response to this, Omnicom Media Group MENA is investing in three main areas: data analytics, content, and programmatic trading.

He also explained how the industry is moving towards a consulting rather than trading model. It’s no longer just about buying as cheaply as possible, but about how we reach consumers to convert them into loyal customers.

Clients are much more performance-led now. They want to know what measurable business results media has brought to the table.

He added that about half of the digital investments overseen by the group are made through programmatic trading, and this is expected to rise to 100 percent in future.

Omnicom Media Group MENA is continuously growing the team, bringing in data analysts, data architects, software developers and coders from as far as the US, Canada, Scandinavia and Europe.

“There are lots of skill sets we don’t have in this part of the world,” the Elie Khouri says.

Read the full interview in The National:

https://www.thenational.ae/business/the-big-interview-looking-up-elie-khouri-chief-executive-of-omnicom-media-group-middle-east-1.707325

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