Digital Agencies in Lebanon - Rami Saade of SWOT: ‘We did not just survive, we thrived through the chaos.’
Posted on 2023 Sep,29  | 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, Rami Saade, Managing Partner of SWOT creative Hub, shares his 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?

Think of it as a matchmaking dance in the digital realm! The primary key lies in delivering authentic value and fostering genuine connections. Crafting unique value propositions and creating engaging customer experiences are paramount to distinguishing oneself in an overcrowded digital market, especially within Lebanon.


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's data indicates a surge in demand for personalized content strategies fueled by data-driven insights. Brands are increasingly prioritizing branding and production, often focusing on concise videography and animation. This direction is indicative of the local and regional markets’ gravitation toward more interactive and visually engaging content.


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?

We are not only attending webinars and networking events in Doha but also practically becoming the digital life of the party there. Staying ahead is not just a strategy, it is our groove! Our approach involves active participation in webinars and networking events where we gain insights into the evolving trends. Continuous learning through these engagements, along with adapting to the changing algorithmic landscape, aids us in staying ahead and attracting brands and clients like Kempinski, Marriott, Indevco, 7 Management, NokNok and Luxury KSA.


"Staying ahead is not just a strategy, it is our groove! "


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?

Founded in 2019 amid the crisis, Swot Creative Hub grew despite the challenging circumstances with over 40 employees forming a cohesive and collaborative team. A key strategy was ensuring team stability by emphasizing growth and effective communication over monetary concerns. Our work strategy and streamlined communication played a vital role in maintaining efficiency throughout. Productivity and proactivity were very smooth since we ensured a healthy, professional and friendly community that pushed us to thrive for the best. We did not just survive, we thrived through the chaos.


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?

In today's digital landscape, creativity involves combining artistic flair with adaptability. The challenges agencies must address include crafting the right recruitment team, staying attuned to evolving algorithms and embracing adaptability to maintain efficient workflows. Overcoming these challenges secures a better future by allowing agencies to keep pace with the dynamic digital landscape. 

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