How MMS is helping brands drive growth
Posted on 2021 Sep,14  | By Iain Akerman

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Ramzi Ghanem, the commercial director of MBC Media Solutions (MMS) KSA, MBC GROUP’s commercial arm, talks content excellence, data-driven thinking, and partnership-led solutions

Whats the market like in Saudi Arabia at the moment in terms of commercial activity?

We are currently witnessing a growing market. Vision 2030, coupled with new social reforms and an increase in the Saudi private and public investment funds, brought about tangible growth in all sectors, especially non-oil revenues such as entertainment, tourism, media and much more. I expect that it will pick up further as we continue to witness newcomers to the Saudi market, especially in platform business models (which are business models that focus on helping to facilitate interactions across a large number of participants).

Platform models are taking over every industry and are slowly becoming a part of our everyday lives. Our dependence on these platforms is growing, we use them to shop for our clothes, order food and even to get a ride. We are currently seeing more businesses – startups and well-established companies – adopt this model in Saudi, be it food aggregators, marketplaces, financial apps and other service apps. These businesses are looking to make a mark in the Saudi market and to have their brands resonate with customers – and this is where MMS’s tailored solutions come in. Since inception, we have been providing data-driven advertising, content and measurement solutions for clients and agencies through transparent and collaborative partnerships that drive collective growth.


How are you making sure that MBC attracts an increased share of marketing budgets during this time of great change in the country?

By giving brands the opportunity to connect with their customers through premium content that drives growth. Our solutions, which rely on data, tech and talent, help brands leverage MBC GROUP’s high-quality premium content, to best resonate with audiences across various age groups. Our suite of tailored and innovative solutions, which range from TV, VOD and audio solutions to branded content and integration, to name a few, help brands forge consumer connections and drive business growth. Offering Saudi businesses these unique solutions and providing them with the opportunity to leverage the Arab world’s leading broadcasting group (MBC Group) gives us an upper hand in attracting marketing budgets in the Saudi market.


What is the role of TV in modern Saudi society, and how has it changed over the past few years?

With all the groundbreaking changes being witnessed in Saudi Arabia, I would say that the role of TV is stronger than ever. Saudis will be looking at TV to learn about the pioneering changes and developments that are happening in the country – be it in the form of events being covered on TV or the latest projects and regulations being discussed on TV. 

At MMS, we have noticed a healthy and consistent growth in TV investments, with clients revitalising their marketing campaigns. This, we believe, is driven by the premium content offered on MBC GROUP platforms, which ensures to cover events and issues and creates content that is relevant to viewers of all ages, keeping with today’s modern Saudi society.  The change that we have been witnessing over the years is the evolution of platforms used by viewers to watch content. For example, data shows that Shahid users have a mobile-first mindset and increasingly consume content on smart TV. 


How are you commercially competing against digital streaming platforms and other sources of content? 

MBC Group’s VOD platform, Shahid, is the MENA’s number one premium video service, reaching up to 25 million unique monthly users with over two million paid subscribers. This success can be attributed to the high-quality Arabic-centric and original content the VOD service provides, as Shahid users watch primarily Arabic content complemented with a regional and an international variety.

Furthermore, the solutions MMS offers on the VOD platform distinguishes it from other competitors. Its high-quality new formats and genres, as well as its flexible brand integrations, creatively pushes boundaries to deliver brands’ messages to engaged audiences as they watch content they love. Harnessing the power and impact of the streaming generation to leverage Shahid’s premium content, and continuing to roll out innovative and effective ad formats on the platform, will aid Shahid in keeping ahead of the competition.  


“With all the groundbreaking changes being witnessed in Saudi Arabia, I would say that the role of TV is stronger than ever.”


Where do you see new and exciting opportunities?

The increase of the Public Investment Fund, SME funding, non-oil GDP and the launch of Vision 2030 projects in Saudi Arabia created an attractive environment for local and foreign investments. We are expecting a lot of entities, especially SMEs and government, to lean on media solutions to connect with their customers.

The tourism and entertainment fields are another area of opportunity, especially as the Saudi government plans to invest more on entertainment in the coming 10 years. Entertainment, cultural and sporting events pose attractive opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences. Market newcomers, such as platform models (as mentioned earlier) who are looking to make a mark also present an opportunity. To meet this expected demand, MMS is presenting bespoke and accessible solutions that address businesses’ specific challenges and helps them successfully implement TV solution investments to maximise their return on media investment.


How are you working with brands to provide more effective and efficient commercial solutions?

Working closely with our clients and internal teams enables us to better understand their marketing challenges and provide better integrated solutions. We are also utilising the latest data measurement technologies to provide solutions that are accurate and efficient. These data-driven solutions further aid our clients in planning their marketing strategies and foreseeing future opportunities to achieve outcomes that deliver on their expectations. Furthermore, our focus on quality and relevant content gives our clients an advantage as we deliver on innovative and creative solutions that engage with our audiences.


 “Our solutions, which rely on data, tech and talent, help brands leverage MBC Groups high-quality premium content, to best resonate with audiences across various age groups.” 


What is MMSs strategy for Saudi in the coming year?

Our goal is to continue providing solutions that rely on content excellence, data-driven thinking, and partnership-led solutions to help brands attain their goals. This can be achieved by having a strong customer value proposition and defining what we aim to offer in the market across three pillars: content excellence, data-driven thinking, and partnership-led solutions. We also aim to continue diversifying our offering to our clients across all MBC Group platforms and focusing on diverse talent from sales to data scientists, underpinned by processes and automation.