Founded by Ayman Fakoussa and Dipesh Depala in 2010, with a client list that includes Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Berluti and Rimowa, as well as local brands such as Namshi and La Ville Hotel, The Qode is well placed to understand the specificities of the Middle East market.
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“As with anything, each market has its own idiosyncrasies, its own way of doing business and cultural sensibilities.
The media are very different in each region and require a different approach.
Furthermore, we offer clients insights into the nuances of each country within the GCC, which can sometimes have significant differences,” says Fakoussa.
“This market is also different from other markets in that the purchasing power of customers is substantially higher, and we see from some of our online clients that the average basket of shoppers on their sites is significantly higher than other markets in which they operate,” Depala adds.
“Also, it’s worth mentioning that campaigns often need to be adapted to this region due to cultural sensitivities and this is something which we as an agency often have to give insight into.”
Just as the fashion, luxury, PR and events industries are changing around the world, so too in the Middle East, where the prolific uptake of digital platforms, along with the growing prominence of bloggers and influencers, have added a new sense of immediacy to the way that information is disseminated.
Otto maintains that influencers will be a permanent fixture in the media landscape, but suggests that there may be some kind of market correction on the cards.
“Influencers are obviously here to stay but, as in any business, the market for influencers will continue to evolve and to a large extent normalise. There has been a lot of inflation on influencers’ sponsorship agreements, in particular in Asia, with some influencers possibly posting too many ‘ads’ without thinking how it potentially impacts the long-term engagement of their fans.”
Whatever the future holds, Otto, flanked by her growing band of global collaborators, will be ready for it. She shares her tried-and-tested recipe for success: “Always be curious and open-minded. Always have an open ear for new ideas and drive to explore new possibilities. Surround yourself with the best people. Think global.”
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