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28 March 2024
#Internet marketing

Ramadan Marketing in the Middle East: Strategies and Campaign Examples

Ramadan is one of the most significant events in the global Islamic culture. Moreover, it’s an excellent opportunity for marketers to grab the attention of their customers towards their product or service.

Below, we will delve into marketing in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the KSA and UAE. We will also showcase examples of advertising campaigns on this topic.

What is Ramadan

Ramadan is a sacred month in Islam when, according to beliefs, the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. For Muslims, it is a time of prayer, gratitude, and attention to the community. From dawn to sunset, believers observe strict fasting, after which they break their fast with the iftar meal.

The beginning and end of Ramadan are determined by the appearance of the first crescent moon. In 2024, Ramadan will begin on March 10 and end on April 9.

The beginning and end of Ramadan 2024

The end of Ramadan is marked by the holiday of Eid al-Fitr. It begins with a special prayer and is accompanied by feasting and the exchange of gifts.

Ramadan in the Middle East

Ramadan in 2024 will be observed by 97% of the Muslim population. This sacred month holds immense significance for Islam followers, serving as a time for prayer, fasting, and reflection. Furthermore, it is the most anticipated season of the year for 96% of respondents worldwide, primarily cherished for the opportunity to spend time with family (92%).

Ramadan in the Middle East

62% of respondents plan to gather with loved ones and wake up early for pre-dawn meals (suhoor).

Additionally, over 30% of those surveyed intend to participate in other cherished traditions, such as shopping and watching television programs during Ramadan.

Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

In 2024, Ramadan celebration in Saudi Arabia remains a time of unity and cohesion for the local population. The overwhelming majority, 98%, actively participate in the festivities, as evidenced by their preference for family meals and cooking together (97% and 90%, respectively).

Furthermore, the spirit of unity is demonstrated by the desire to visit friends and relatives (89%) and engage in shopping for holiday preparations (83%).

Ramadan in the UAE

In 2024, the tradition of celebrating Ramadan has become an integral part of life for local residents in the United Arab Emirates. Approximately 96% actively participate in this sacred event.

Moreover, the spirit of unity extends beyond families: 89% of respondents find time to visit friends and relatives in their local communities, while 82% engage in shopping to create a memorable and enriching Ramadan experience.

The significance of Ramadan in the UAE goes beyond religious rituals and encompasses communal values and acts of generosity. This year, a significant portion of expenses (45%) is allocated to food and beverages, while 22% of respondents prefer to allocate their funds to charitable causes, prioritizing them even more than transportation and gifts.

What content is needed during Ramadan

Attracting attention during Ramadan requires special consideration. Here are some tips.

  • Create educational content

In addition to entertainment, provide the audience with useful tips and recommendations related to Ramadan. For example, guides on organizing festive events or advice on spiritual development.

  • Offer special promotions

During Ramadan, companies can run promotions, discounts, or special offers to stimulate purchases. This helps to stand out among competitors and attract more customers.

  • Use mobile content

Many Muslims actively use smartphones during Ramadan: a total of 81% use mobile devices. Of these, 74% use them for social media, 64% for watching videos, and 50% for reading newspapers and blogs. This makes creating mobile content crucial.

Video content, especially culinary and gift ideas, is highly popular among 78% of Muslims. Considering this trend, experts recommend developing polls, quizzes, or games related to Ramadan to enhance audience engagement.

activity in the Middle East during Ramadan

Target Audience During Ramadan: Who to Focus On

During Ramadan, it’s crucial for marketers to target various user groups effectively. Viden experts have categorized 8 types of audiences that show heightened activity during this period and warrant attention:

Target Audience During Ramadan
  • Families: They prioritize spending quality time together and participating in offline gatherings.
  • Youth: They exhibit interest in the spiritual aspects of Ramadan and may engage in offline events.
  • Working Professionals: With limited time for religious practices, they value content aiding in work-life balance.
  • Students: They seek entertaining content and resources for personal growth.
  • Elderly Individuals: They appreciate content tailored to their age and religious beliefs, aiming to enhance their lives.
  • New Converts to Islam: They seek educational content about Ramadan and Islam.
  • Non-Muslims Observing Ramadan: They engage in interfaith dialogues and seek information about the significance of the holiday.
  • “Spiritual Seekers”: They look for content facilitating spiritual growth and fostering a deeper connection with the divine.

Moreover, at BYYD, we specialize in configuring precise targeting parameters to reach your desired audience effectively. Learn more about our capabilities here.

targeting in BYYD

Phases of Consumer Behavior During Ramadan

During Ramadan, people tend to increase their purchases due to changes in their lifestyle. It’s a time when they actively seek gifts, ingredients for festive meals, and other holiday-related goods.

Understanding how users behave during this period is crucial for successful advertising.

There are four main phases: pre-Ramadan, the first two weeks of Ramadan, the last two weeks of Ramadan, and post-Ramadan. Each phase requires a tailored advertising strategy.

marketing during Ramadan
  • Phase 1: Pre-Ramadan

During this period, there is an increased demand for products and services related to Ramadan preparations. Interest grows in recipes, decorations, and purchasing necessary items.

  • Phase 2: Weeks 1-2 (Ramadan)

During this stage, purchases related to preparing festive meals and charity activities are active. There is a surge in food-related queries and recipes.

  • Phase 3: Weeks 3-4 (Last Two Weeks of Ramadan)

As Eid approaches, interest in gifts, beauty, and entertainment rises. The search for gifts and entertainment peaks, and there is also an increased interest in travel and pilgrimage.

  • Phase 4: Post-Ramadan (Eid)

After Ramadan, there is a return to normal routines, and active searching for entertainment increases. Online gift purchasing sees a rise.

Mobile Advertising During Ramadan on the BYYD Platform

According to the TGM Global Ramadan Report 2023, mobile content plays a crucial role in attracting customer attention during Ramadan.

As no one else, we understand why, as we have been helping to place advertising in apps for 9 years. This includes those related to Ramadan. Today, we want to share with you 3 tips that will help launch a successful in-app campaign on the BYYD platform.

marketing practices in Ramadan
3 features of marketing during Ramadan according to GM Global Ramadan Report 2023

  • Tip 1: Targeting is Key to a Successful Campaign.

We pay special attention to selecting the target audience and the optimal timing for placing ads on our platform. We have various targeting parameters in our arsenal, from socio-demographic to device language.

During Ramadan, it is especially important to choose the timing for displaying ads. We offer the option to set the frequency of ad displays, allowing you to limit displays to specific hours or periods of the day.

This is particularly relevant for FMCG brands, as people are interested in ads in the evening when preparing dinner and may not respond to them at other times of the day.

fmcg market
  • Tip 2: Capture Attention with Creative Content.

The effectiveness of in-app promotion depends heavily on creative content. It is important that it is simple, clear, and engaging. To achieve this, we recommend incorporating elements of Ramadan into the design – lanterns, crescents, and other holiday symbols.

When it comes to formats, we only use the most popular ones in our work: from Fullscreen to Video Interaction. The choice of format depends on the goals and preferences of the client.

When promoting on our platform, creating creatives is a bonus! To learn more, contact us at 

  • Tip 3: Choose App Themes Wisely.

Undoubtedly, the theme of the apps for advertising affects the effectiveness of promotion. For example, during Ramadan, it is wise to run ads on platforms related to the sacred month.

We have over 5.4 million visitors from the UAE interested in religious topics and 20.7 million unique visitors from Saudi Arabia interested in religious topics. Considering that around 97% of the population of the Middle Eastern countries observes Ramadan, we can offer advertising to a broad audience.

However, to maximize results, we recommend not limiting to just one theme.

Ramadan in the UAE

If you want to be seen and heard by your target audience during Ramadan, pay attention to mobile programmatic advertising. Check out our case studies here.

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