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The holy month of Ramadan is upon us, which means three things for businesses in the GCC: shorter working hours, decreased energy and productivity at the workplace, and a large portion of the population taking annual leave. With this being the case, we explore in this post the various ways one can boost efficiency in the limited time that companies have to operate, as well as making full use of the month with regard to marketing activities.
But firstly, what is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar, during which Muslims fast from the break of dawn till dusk. This month is of great significance in most Muslim countries, especially in the Gulf region, as all activities are shaped around the holy month. However, the common sentiment that surrounds the month is that productivity levels fall during Ramadan, due to decreased working hours and employees being in the state of fasting. At the same time, a large portion of the population chooses this time to travel out of the region.
So, how do we ensure that our businesses not only survive, but thrive in this unique season?
1. Respect the rules We need to keep in mind that there are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to the holy month. Marketers would need to adapt accordingly with respect to content and time of marketing activities. Refrain from showing images of food during fasting hours, or advertisements with models in indecent clothing.
2. Look out for the silver lining Considering the factors mentioned above, there is an increased pressure on the staff employees, who are generally more determined to work harder to compensate for the shorter hours, in order to guarantee they are free to leave on time. Provide your team with clear tasks and timeframes to keep them on track, and ensure they are using their shorter workdays as efficiently as possible.
3. Capitalize on the season Ramadan is a huge opportunity for marketers to generate business, much like Christmas and Thanksgiving may be for Western cultures. There are various ways in which companies can work with religious symbols to better position themselves and attract more customers. Incorporate Islamic elements into marketing activities such as the crescent, Arabic inscriptions, etc.
4. It’s all about the family Another underlying value that is very strongly promoted during Ramadan is that of brotherhood, compassion, and unity. Marketers should be able to create content that is based on these values in order to target customers effectively. People are in the spirit of giving so everything becomes more family and community-related, which in turn is a great opportunity for marketing products. If you’re a B2C company, try targeting family-friendly channels to reach your core audience. If you’re B2B, use this time as an opportunity to express your consideration for your client’s family values.
5. Seize the day If the nature of industry that you operate in means that you will inevitably see a drop in business during this season, it is important that you do not waste the extra time that is available to you. Although this may not be the best time to spend additional funding on marketing, this may be a great opportunity to retrain your team, build corporate community and culture, reflect on current processes to identify opportunities for improvement, and build up digital assets such as imagery, video content, website design and user experience.