Digital Agencies in Lebanon: CREATE on Navigating Turbulent Waters to Foster an Endless Stream of Creativity
Posted on 2023 Sep,27  | By Christina Fakhry

It is no secret that Lebanese-born digital agencies have been subjected to enormous, albeit existential, challenges for the past few years amid the country’s ranging crisis climate and full-blown economic collapse. And while many grappled with changing times strictly in survival mode, others were able to turn the odds in their favor by making bold moves that helped them not only stay in the game but also solidify their market share. From expanding the scope of their digital services to occasionally venturing into new markets, both new and existing agencies fought the current to maintain a healthy flow of creativity and adaptability. As the local market continues to bounce back, we reached out to the founders of some of the country’s prominent digital agencies for key insights and impressions, all while discussing the future of creativity. In the following interview, Rouba Kreidy, Founder & CEO of Beirut-based Create creative agency, shares her take.


Based on your extensive experience, what is the key to success in today's digital landscape and how can you stand out from the pack in a cluttered digital market like Lebanon?

In today’s dynamic and fast-growing industry, consistency is always the key to success. Client-obsession is a term frequently used at Create, as we believe it is one of the most important factors in this field. In addition to that, continuous analysis, data-driven insights, strategic and creative content creation, authentic storytelling and engaged interaction are surely a must. Following and integrating the latest technologies is also crucial. Finally, the strong bond created between our talented, creative and committed team members is also one of the things that makes us stand out. 


What digital services are brands seeking the most lately according to your agency data? In what direction do you see the local/regional market going?

Our agency has observed a pronounced demand for a spectrum of digital services, prominently including social media strategy and management to foster brand engagement and community, content marketing to deliver valuable and relevant information, influencer partnerships for real endorsements and e-commerce solutions for seamless online transactions. The world is getting more and more digitalized and the demand for content marketing, paid ads and e-commerce services is growing by the day.


How can you keep up with the latest digital and social media trends in an ever-evolving digital landscape that is moving faster than ever before?

Keeping up with the latest trends in this fast-growing digital landscape requires a proactive approach to perpetual learning and adaptation. Through dedicated research, collaborative knowledge sharing, continuous training and attentive client feedback, our agency ensures a responsive alignment with emerging trends. Our team is always ready to join in on any emerging craze and add its own touch of craziness to the latest trends.


In what way(s) did Lebanon's crisis climate in the past few years affect your agency business and how do you optimize your internal process to maintain a smooth workflow?

The crisis was extremely tough to deal with for almost everyone. It even was the main cause for many agencies to shut down. However, the fact that Create was founded amid the crisis, in January 2021, made it a bit easier for us than for agencies that already existed before the crisis. This is because we entered the market already knowing the case at hand and the financial situation. We built our team accordingly and dealt with our clients based on that as well. We took into consideration the economic situation and were very flexible with clients on that matter. In addition to that, the market saw a huge demand for marketing and advertising services, notably when it comes to the F&B industry. This gave us a huge boost and made the F&B industry our main focus since then. The beginnings were surely tough and maybe slow, yet through consistent hard work and unwavering commitment, in around two years, we are thankfully here now. And more is yet to come.


How would you define creativity in today's digital landscape? And what are the biggest challenges agencies would have to cater to in order to secure a better future?

Creativity for marketing and advertising today transcends pure innovation. It is the art of creating genuine, deep narratives that seamlessly merge with evolving technological platforms. Creativity means crafting immersive, emotional experiences that leave impressions amidst the digital noise. Agencies striving for a better future must tackle authenticity, create standout content amid information overload and redefine roles in the AI era. Adapting to emerging technologies is key and requires continuous upskilling. Modern creativity connects aesthetics with genuine experiences and AI integration. By embracing these, agencies can shape a brighter digital future.

This article is part of an interview series conducted with six Beirut-based Lebanese digital agencies.