Digital Agencies in Lebanon: MAD MOUSE on Navigating Turbulent Waters to Foster an Endless Stream of Creativity
Posted on 2023 Oct,09  | By Christina Fakhry

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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 Alana Natalia Elbakht Boulos, Managing Director of MAD MOUSE, 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 this fast-moving digital world, success reveals itself through a collection of keys, each unique but all blending together seamlessly. It all starts with applying the experience gained from prior opportunities to a worthwhile goal, followed by continuous research and eagerness to progress and finding consistent motivation and positive thinking. Honoring the mental wellness of your team as well as yourself is also of primary importance. Being able to combine all digital services under one roof all while staying madly innovative and creative helped us stand out from the pack amid Lebanon’s cluttered digital market. The rapid rhythm at which we conceive ideas, dedicate efforts and translate ideation into action also played a key role in our journey, in addition to cultivating genuine and exceptional relationships with our clients to keep up with their vision and interests and ensure beautiful results. Finally, being encouraged by an amazing team and a supporting family has also been a defining factor in our success.


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?

There is never a single direction or service we solely offer our brands. With every new endeavor, we embark on a comprehensive journey of thorough study, diligent research and thoughtful decision-making. Our goal is to provide brands with guidance on how to enhance their growth and achieve success. In a landscape where businesses come to us to build a robust social media presence, we tailor strategies that align precisely with their unique goals. Amid today's rapidly changing world of social media where algorithms shift constantly, the importance of strategic media buying cannot be overstated. This is where our brainstorming takes center stage with a focus on creating compelling visuals and innovative ideas. It is with a sense of pride that I value the innate talent of the Lebanese people. With our ability to transform dreams into tangible beautiful realities, Lebanese talent has tremendous potential, not only to thrive locally but also to blossom on the global stage.


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?

One word: curiosity. We are curious about new trends; we stay up-to-date and follow what’s hot to create even hotter ideas. Successful campaigns are analyzed and shared internally to help expand our findings. The team is informed on every part of every project, from conception to completion, and we are curious about one another's work. Each one of us researches a topic and shares with the team via enlightening and dynamic workshops that allow us to stay in sync with current trends.


"It is unfortunate to see the Lebanese market witnessing a downturn, yet as an entrepreneur I believe that with every challenge comes an opportunity."



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?

It is unfortunate to see the Lebanese market witnessing a downturn, yet as an entrepreneur I believe that with every challenge comes an opportunity. It all started when I quit my job due to the recession and decided to start working on my business on a table in an unfurnished space. Thanks to the small and loyal team I managed to find, we were able to grow together and have a bigger team at a lively office. I am extremely grateful to where we have come today and appreciate each and every one who supported us in the process. The workflow at Mad Mouse is based on serious organizing. We built an internal system set in place to facilitate day-to-day management.


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 is always subjective; the team comes from different backgrounds and our blended culture helps us with the final outcome. The challenge here is to maintain as dedicated of a team as possible by supporting each person’s system while also providing them with a flexible and motivational workspace that is based on respect. Only a homogeneous team can get the message out there in the mad-dest way. And one last thing not to forget, MAD are called those who think outside the box.

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