Promofix spearheads the digital transformation of the KSA media industry and beyond - JGroup's CEO Imad Jomaa explains
Saudi Arabia’s rapidly transforming advertising landscape has proven to be an exciting journey for agencies with feet on the ground and the foresight to be technologically prepared. In an interview with ArabAd, Imad Jomaa, founder and CEO of JGroup elaborates on the AdTech landscape specific to the KSA, explains how Promofix, the subsidiary and digital arm of JGroup, is fairing in a digital-savvy market like Saudi Arabia and speaks about how JGroup’s $15 million investment in FoxPush, which launched a programmatic performance technology platform, leaves them primed for the coming AdTech trends.
Digital advertising and media is a challenging game and it keeps on evolving. How, in your opinion, has the AdTech landscape evolved in KSA and will evolve in the coming years?
Digital media is a dynamic industry that keeps on evolving to achieve better targeting and conversions. In the past few years, the Saudi market has put together several agreements with international and regional players to boost the country’s high-tech ambitions and is expected to spend $24.7 billion on technology by 2025.
That’s why we at Promofix have focused on unique AdTech solutions that cater specifically to the Saudi market and the MENA region, and understand the language that this region celebrates along with a unique multi-layered targeting capability.
Our proprietary tech solution was born in the MENA region, allowing us to have a deep understanding of user behavior This helped us during COVID and post-COVID, when most of the media spend in Saudi Arabia shifted to performance marketing that focused on ROI, and put us ahead of the competition in various sectors, and particularly e-commerce.
How would you assess the overall pulse of the Saudi ad and media industry?
Historically, Saudi Arabia has always been the biggest market in MENA, and most of Pan-Arab media was primarily targeting the Saudi market, which accounted for 70 percent of the total spend from the region.
It is the only market in the GCC that is dominated by nationals rather than expatriates, and planning targeting is essentially built around them. Even brands have adapted their products to be suitable for the Saudi market.
What in your opinion distinguishes the Saudi media landscape from other media scenes in the region?
The market was vastly dominated by the OOH scene. However, in recent years we have witnessed big changes in the ecosystem and a lot of budgets have been shifted toward digital and lately to performance, especially with the emerging of local e-commerce platforms that are working hardily to create a proof of concept and get the needed investment to go from local market to regional, and maybe even global.
“We do believe that the youth of Saudi Arabia will lead the main change in the media industry.”
What sets Promofix apart from the competition?
We have a wide range of digital solutions that cater to the full funnel, from awareness to conversions. Our products are centered around providing an unparalleled experience to the advertisers in the region, providing a resourceful environment wherein they can easily and seamlessly target the right audience through best-in-class technology solutions, data strategies and platforms.
With our local-born cookieless proprietary technology “FoxPush,” we are the unique technology and largest network in MENA that can run Arabic contextual targeting, ensuring relevancy and brand suitability in a cookieless environment. We have also kept “flexibility” at the core of our proposition to enable tech adjustments that align our model with ever-evolving client needs, with a special focus on Brand Safety, Transparency and Creativity.
How has AdTech impacted the traditional sales and marketing funnels?
AdTech has evolved in so many valuable ways, in my opinion. Transparency here is maintained from the supply side to the agency and client side, ensuring full alignment across the advertising ecosystem. It has also provided a dynamic model that brings a lot of efficiencies in terms of time and resources.
We will soon enter 2023. In your opinion, what will be the biggest AdTech trends next year?
Ability to identify and therefore target relevant users in a cookieless world will remain a key focus in 2023. Today, with our “FoxPush” proprietary technology, we can identify users and target them in a cookieless environment.
How can clients keep up with technology and buying methods when best practice is always changing?
I have mentioned that digital is a very dynamic industry and keeps on evolving, but so do we. And we are always keen on updating our AdTech capabilities and aligning with our partners through an ongoing “share it on the go” approach, during which we share the latest tech updates as well as listen to clients’ requirements as part of the feedback loop.
Our technical support ensure that advertisers are always supported through specialized technical teams that can contribute to the success of any campaign.
In this new world of opportunities for the Saudi advertising and media industry, how do you see Promofix positioned in KSA media space in the years to come? What’s your vision for the company?
Being physically present in the market has allowed us to be at the heart of this remarkable evolution, positioning Promofix as one of the main players in innovating an AdTech solution that is able to be close to the market and evolve in line with it.
We do believe that the youth of Saudi Arabia will lead the main change in the media industry. That’s why investing in humans, and especially local Saudi talent, remain at the heart of it.
Our focus is to pioneer the digital transformation of the media industry across the Middle East and beyond.