Gitex, social media and sleepy UAE brands

As the Middle East propels itself well and truly into the digital age with major growth in e-commerce, online payments and social media penetration, it’s interesting to see where things still fall short in 2015. One key area is in social media – many brands are present but they’re not all there. As in, they’re at the party but not paying attention.

In a recent test, I decided to see if any major electronics brands were going to pick up on my tweets in relation to their upcoming presence at Gitex Shopper. The idea was to see who was listening, who would respond first and how would they respond. After all, I’m a consumer in their target market who is keen and tweeting about something topical. All brands chosen in my little test have promoted their attendance at Gitex so that’s how I decided which brands to include.

This was my tweet:

As expected, only JadoPado responded (but they’re very clued up and proactive on social media so this came as no surprise). They were quick and guided me to a relevant page on their website to do with their “Spring Sale”. All this whilst they aren’t even exhibiting at Gitex. No responses received from any other brands however ObiMobilesMena favourite the tweet however an actual response would have been better! Not content with the lack of interaction from the brands, I waited a bit and tried again, this time a day before the event:

No response from anyone however one twitter user favourited the tweet which doesn’t help. These are all huge brands who can afford to pay for social listening software and for someone to monitor it but they all failed miserably. One of the biggest consumer events is about to happen, consumers are tweeting about their brands and Gitex and no one was able to respond.

Gitex is a huge event. I’ve been once before and the nature of the deals borders on the insane in some cases. So much so, promo staff resort to crude hand made signs and pushy tactics to get people interested in sales and it can get quite loud. It’s nothing short of hectic and in a place like Dubai where surprisingly, there isn’t much price competition (from my experience), it becomes quite cut throat. On my last visit, I wasn’t in the market for any electronics but this time round, I’m in the market for a new mobile phone and I have no idea whether to go down the iOS or Android route (the plethora of Android options makes the decision even harder). So I’m looking forward to some hands on demos of phones so I can make up my mind. A sweet deal would not go astray either, hence my tweets.

It’s disappointing again to see big brands miss out on a potential sale or two. I’m clearly a potential customer with intent to buy. These brands are exhibiting at Gitex with the intent to sell as much as they can. So why are they missing out when people like me are actively seeking answers on social media? I’m not a huge spender but I’d like to think that one happy customer would tell all their friends where to go if they got a damn good deal.

I understand that unlike JadoPado who are not exhibiting, these brands can’t go into a lot of detail due to competition but surely someone could have responded, even just to acknowledge my tweet and that they indeed had the best deals – maybe with a bit more specific info relating to their deals for example, every mobile phone sold will come with a free accessory pack or something along those lines. It’s the little things that really matter and for me, a brand that cared would easily jump to the top of my list.

I guess these brands have all missed out. Not just on my business but on countless others who have the same questions as me.

I’ll be going to Gitex Shopper and hope to document my experiences and hopefully come out of it with some sort of a bargain and a shiny new mobile phone.