How this Saudi advertising firm pulled in 200 clients

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Recently, an Arabnet study found that total online advertising spending in the Arab region reached $300 million USD in 2013, and is expected to pass the threshold of a billion dollars by 2017.

These numbers reflect the massive growth in the online advertising industry in the region, and hint at the potential that advertising firms have to benefit from a fast-growing market.

Among these is AdinTop, a company that has emerged to provide digital advertising services tailored to customers’ requirements. Rafaat Gabril, the company’s project manager, told Wamda that AdinTop began about ten years ago “as a collection of advertising services websites, when few companies in the region organized advertising campaigns. In 2012, Mohammed al-Maliki, who owns most of the sites, decided to combine them under one organization in Saudi Arabia, and to establish his own marketing company after obtaining the skills and experience necessary to manage such a business and be competitive.” 

Since its launch, AdinTop has succeeded in expanding its customer base. Gabril said: “In the first stages of 2012, we didn’t have a single customer because we wanted to focus on developing our products. But, over the course of 2013, we created over 600 campaigns for over 200 customers.” Gabril believes that quality and reach of his company’s advertisements has played a part in multiplying its customer base.

Among AdinTop’s specialties is mobile and video ad integration. He mentioned four advertising tactics that have been successful for AdinTop, and that he recommends for emerging digital advertising companies:

  1. Display Marketing relies on ad banners and comprises text, symbols, or images. It keeps track of the campaign’s daily performance by measuring comments and clicks in order to calculate the return on investment. “AdinTop uses this kind of ad on more than 30 of the most important sites in region which have attracted more than 23 million visitors a month who have left approximately 750 million comments,” Gabril says.   

  2. Affiliate Marketing helps increase the quality of sales and revenue. AdinTop is considered one of the first networks in the region that uses marketing collaboration, and it produced more than a million projects in 2013, according to Gabril.

  3. Email Marketing: Targeting models and growing a database helps to reach the lion’s share of customers. AdinTop has built a database of more than seven million email addresses. The company relies on secure marketing services like Mailchimp and SendGrid.

  4. Programmed Buying: (also known as auctioning) is a type of programmed marketing that through which software automatically purchases digital ads. Gabril tells us that “Adintop has incorporated the best products of real-time bidding (RTB) in the region (Google Adx and Rubicon) to provide this service.”

Today, AdinTop includes a team composed of 33 employees in four countries (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Morocco). The company primarily targets GCC markets.

AdinTop hasn’t taken any investments for the management of its operations, although Gabril hasn’t ruled that out for the current year in order to develop new products like embedded mobile and video ads.  

But AdinTop’s aspirations don’t stop with markets and products. The company is working on developing a group of projects that it will launch this year, including researching new products and technology, developing more sophisticated target models, and taking advantage of modern 5HTML technology to reach internet users more effectively.

There’s no doubt that AdinTop isn’t alone in offering digital marketing campaigns in the region. Similar companies include Y2D in Amman and Riyadh, and Mediascope in Jordan, although AdinTop may be distinguished from those companies, according to Gabril, “thanks to the ability of its websites to completely dominate content, work to improve publishers’ services in order to respond to customers’ demands, and exhibit flexibility in executing campaigns.”

The quick development of the digital advertising market in the Middle East and North Africa makes it necessary for new companies to respond to growing demand, and for existing companies in the market to develop their services and products lest the digital caravan pass them by. 

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