In the first two parts of our Ramadan Insights series, we talked about the importance of data mining and insight generation, to help you with thecreative development of a campaign. So what happens once you’ve got a great idea based on great insights? Welcome to Part 3 of our series: Designing a Campaign. Here, we focus on the digital marketing strategy of any campaign that is crucial for its success in order to meet your marketing objectives.

Defining Media KPI’s:

In the near past, KPIs were offline only; however with consumers moving to digital (+180% increase in YouTube Ramadan watchtime between 2013 & 2016), defining clear, achievable digital KPI’s can be the difference between failure and success. Objectives can vary by advertiser/brand. Below is a list of the most common ones:

  • Reach Maximization: YouTube reach in Saudi Arabia is 94% of smartphone users and key YouTube content verticals have witnessed a rise in viewership (+318% increase in watchtime for the Musalsalat, a hub for Ramadan TV series). This objective becomes critical for advertisers aiming to increase mass awareness of their brands and break through the clutter (TV clutter increases by 99% during Ramadan).

  • Achieving Media efficiencies: With the tough macroeconomic environment persisting in MENA, advertisers are scrutinizing their media investment to make sure they are efficient and measurable.Though diligent optimization is always recommended, the utilization of different ad formats can significantly contribute to increasing the efficiency of a media plan. Introducing a MastHead and bumper ads to the product mix is guaranteed to drop the overall plan CPM.
  • Capturing a high impression share: For brands with products such as soups and stews that operate in categories that witness a search spike during Ramadan (+90% in the UAE), capturing a high impression share will ensure that the brand is capitalizing on this change in consumer behavior.

UAE Soups & Stews query evolution during 2016

Executing a Media plan:

There are several essential steps involved in building and executing a media plan with the process becoming more dynamic as digital allows for more flexibility; advertisers can optimize on the flow, increase investments mid-campaign if data suggests that objectives are being met, and change the product mix if a product is not performing well. They can also introduce creatives on the go and A/B testing to ensure the best performing creatives are adequately supported:

1. Determine the size of the pie:

If you are an advertiser looking to maximize the reach of your YouTube campaign vs. a specific target audience, then figuring out the size of that audience and the budget needed to reach them is what you need to do first. Same applies if you are a retailer as you want to make sure that you have sufficient search budgets to cover for the query growth in your specific category. Google can help in both scenarios.

Sample of a YouTube reach curve in the UAE

2. Decide on your product mix:

After the objectives are properly set and the opportunity adequately assessed, deciding on your media plan is next. Mixing different YouTube advertising products helps achieve multifaceted media objectives. Below is an example of how Google Preferred and TrueView compliment each other to serve different objectives.


Ensuring campaigns are properly optimized is the bedrock of success, however some optimization techniques become more important during Ramadan. An example is pacing. As search activity is not uniform throughout the time of day (+144% between 13:00 and 19:00); as shown below using UAE food delivery queries as an example, pacing your campaign spending in a way that ensures budget availability across the month and across day times will ensure that your are there whenever it matters.

Food delivery query evolution across the day (UAE)

Another example revolves around food and cooking video consumption during Ramadan. As consumption of this particular genre of video content decreases as Ramadan progresses (-44% decrease of viewership between the first and last week of Ramadan), front loading video investments around this important category will ensure that the brand takes advantage of the viewership spike (+25% vs. non Ramadan)

So in all, a clear definition of media KPI’s in addition to thoughtful media planning and diligent optimization can help you make the most out of your campaign. Happy planning!

  • Source: IPSOS & Google internal data (KSA)