Middle East voter response to online brand surveys

If you’re a first time visitor to our blog and have been through our April-May 2011 archives you might be forgiven for thinking that we are carrying out the first of its kind people’s choice award for the most authentic Arab brands across the Middle East. That’s because we are. You can find more details here.

We’re hoping insights from this survey will offer Arab brands a better understanding of what consumers want and also enable brand managers to guage how their marketing strategies to date may have influenced customer perception.

Run entirely online until its conclusion on June 9th the primary promotion approach has been through social media channels; specifically through our own Zaman Branding Facebook page as well as our Twitter profile which have been outposts for the primary campaign site. Voter response to the campaign in terms of traffic to the official site has been amazing. Over a four weeks period we’ve had over 15,000 site visits, of which 11,500 are unique visits, with Facebook as the lead traffic referral site. In terms of voter demographics, main sources of traffic have been the UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt. Even as far afield as the USA and Canada; the former contributing the fourth most amount of site visits.

Mirroring the Facebook’s ‘Like’ button and forgoing a registration process, the ease of voting has been a definite plus. To date we’ve received a well over 3500 votes and counting! Unsurprising though given that recent online market trends show the Middle East is among the fastest growing regions on Facebook. The uptake on twitter has been a bit slower, with most responses in the form of retweets by the nominated brands also present on twitter.

All in all, this initiative is really the most honest & genuine type of feedback that brands would be well to pay attention to and act upon. Consumers have enjoyed the interactions with the brand so much that they, of their own volition, are incited to head to our campaign site and vote for the brand. The key lesson here for brands is that experiences in the “real” world definitely have an impact on brand affinity. The conversations are happening 24/7 and brands need to realise not partaking in the conversations is a missed opportunity.

Image source: Flickr