Brand Activation, Strategies

Marakez surprises Zamalek residents

To celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, real estate developers Marakez and Tatweer Misr have decided to go a different route when…

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To celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, real estate developers Marakez and Tatweer Misr have decided to go a different route when it comes to the usual month-long marketing bonanza of Ramadan.

While real estate brands mainly focus on having as many billboards and TV spots as possible, community oriented marketing is not a common sight. It seems these developers aim to change that by putting the spotlight back on the people.


Putting in the effort to build communities

Following last year’s Christmas decorations placed on Marakez’s Zamalek premises, the building is currently decked out with a gigantic crescent moon and other Ramadan-themed lights and décor. The company has not taken to social media or made any press release blasts to show off their work.

Soon after, real estate developer Tatweer Misr followed suit, also decorating their Zamalek office.

Although it’s custom to celebrate Ramadan by decorating homes or hanging lanterns and small decorations in shops and streets, large examples of festive decorations have long been missed in corporate locations.

For several years now, decorations for holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Ramadan, in corporate locations and even in some malls, have deteriorated and decreased in quantity everywhere, leaving Egyptians with less and less festive spirits each year.

Even hotels, known for extravagant events and decorations during Christmas and New Year’s, which used to be a great way of bringing the community together during special occasions and holidays, have decreased efforts in recent years.


Cultivating new trends in real estate

Could this be a new trend for the real estate community and other corporates in Egypt? Perhaps, but it is clear that this gesture of brightening up streets and moods is an important element that other companies have forgotten.

Do you think other real estate companies should aim towards community building rather than billboards and direct sales? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Featured Stories, Inspiration, Marketing, Strategies

Step into 2018 with a plan; 10 easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed…

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed from the winter weather. As we prepare to move forward to a new year, we’d like to help you out with a few ideas.

We’re all looking for to reach out KPIs and goals through out the year. We try this and that to improve our content, to improve our rates and etc.

So, to help you out, here are some content marketing tips and ways to improve your content for the brand-new year!


1- Have the Looks and the Feels

2017 was the year in which marketers scrambled to push visual content.

It was a year where we saw many companies move from text or simply images to well-polished designs and posts.

If 2017 was the year of the visual, 2018 moves it into another level.

A new tactic that is bringing its way to the social market are Tactile photos.

Create and distribute images that not only touches the visual senses, but the other senses as well. Create images and content that make us hear, remember the touch and sensation of an object, or let us feel the wind in our hair.


2- Lend a helping hand

For those new into Content Marketing, or may need a small reminder, Content Marketing is all about providing your audience with information and content they are searching for.

Sometimes, without them even knowing they wanted it in the first place.

Millennials and Gen Z (Millennials’ children) are skeptical about marketers. The main ways to get around their expectations?

Give them content they are searching for, or better yet, align yourself with a cause they can get behind.


3- Talk about the pain, and let them know you’re here for them

Content themes save you a lot of trouble.

They save time, effort, and brainstorming whenever you have a content plan to fill, or new content to create.

Many of us have our themes on backwards apparently. Raise your finger, so no one else sees, if you’re themes are centered about marketing your product/service and its many benefits.

Let us say, we saw you, and we’re here to let you know you’re not alone.

For 2018, let’s take a step back and truly look at our consumers.

What are their issues? Their problems? What can we do to help? Sure, we ask these questions when creating the product or service, but now we have to think about it during our content process.

Directly talk to your consumer next year. Tell them you understand and you’re here to help.


4- Augment and change the world

Augmented Reality (AR) has definitely made an impact this year, even stronger than its top contender Virtual Reality.

Both Facebook and Google released AR services or products this year at their respective annual developer conference. Not to mention that Snapchat’s success came from their innovative use of AR.

Take a look at IKEA’s successful IKEA Place app, which uses AR technology to help users see how the brand’s furniture will look at home.

From either simple AR photo-frames to crazy face-changing AR filters on FB or Snapchat, Augmented Reality is popular and here to stay. Not only that, it’s cheaper than making stickers to hang out the city, and cheaper than an extensive paid campaign on social.


5- Get Personal. Really. Please do.

Although we marketers may say that brands need to become more grounded, more in-touch with consumers, many actions may not be heading in that direction.

This year, a lot of platforms are coming to our aid.

With Facebook Live really starting to show off its power, to Instagram’s stories, getting personal with consumers are getting easier and easier.

Creating dynamic content, content that makes the brand “alive,” gets easier with these new tools. Tools also include the new Live Photo feature by Facebook, and FB stories.

While recorded and pre-prepared videos are still a great way to promote your brand, personal live-videos are an even better way to connect with people.

Behind the scene videos, behind the curtain, or even the people behind the brand, are all dynamic video content-types that you could use to get in-touch with your audience.

People want to purchase from brands they care about, so let them know you so they can.


6- Or don’t get personal, get others to influence them instead

While influencer marketing in Egypt is still a growing field, there are many other ways to spread content around the web.

Creating content strategies that include using 3rd party websites and influencers is still going strong.

In 2018, we are going to see an even larger growth rate, especially as more and more content websites and social pages pop up and grow in credibility.

Don’t be afraid to have other people review, video, test, and write about your products/services. If you’re confident in its quality, then this should be a no-brainer.


7- Updating Communication

Communication channels keep growing with each new step and technology we create. A new channel that not many leveraged this year is through online messengers.

Facebook’s Messenger’s chatbots, as well as AI website messaging, are making a strong case this year, and they’re here to stay.

Content marketing with Messenger’s chatbots is easy to do. Simple tap on the Discovery tab for inspiration, from restaurants to online stores, there is a wide variety of uses.

Website AI messaging can help aim customers through your website as they go through their buyer journey. A cleverly written script and direct questions can lead your customer from browsing to buying, answering all (or as many as possible) of their questions on the way.


8- Break it Down

One of the main ways to fill out a content calendar?

Update, reuse, break down.

Update, reuse, and break down large and deep content into separate content pieces.

If you want to go into 2018, you have got to have a plan. If you don’t have enough content, then plan ahead by breaking down already existing content.

A Press release or informatic video can be broken down into multiple pieces of content. Videos can be broken down into articles or multiple image posts, and etc.

Why spend more when you can do more with less?


9- Stop closing the box and be open to the long-term

Although Content Marketing has become one of the top buzz words in our community, as well as quickly becoming one of the industry’s top strategies, we are still treating it as if it is advertising.

It’s not.

Most companies still push content in the same way as an advertising campaign, locking themselves in a box without more opportunities. Create short term content, such as a 6-episode video series, market it through the usual channels, and then when it finishes we stop.

What should be happening is a complete switch. Content marketing may be cheap, almost to the point of free, but it is something that takes long-term planning to truly appreciate it.

Plan at least 6 months ahead to truly capture your target audience. Get your content rolling, and keep it rolling! Show 2018 that you have your content down, with only a little bit of planning, and a lot of faith and data.


10- Let’s get on it!

There you have it, easy ways to improve your content without a lot of work.

The new year is right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare?


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Brand Activation, CAMPAIGNS, Featured Stories

SICO Technology launches the first promo video for Nile X Smartphone

As the launch of the Egyptian-made phone comes near, their marketing campaign has kicked into gear, and with that comes…

As the launch of the Egyptian-made phone comes near, their marketing campaign has kicked into gear, and with that comes their newest video release.

A 49 SEC to the point video announced the release of the first Android phone that is actually “Made In Egypt”

The video starts with a technology marked pyramid that opens up and showcases the phone’s features and lists the phone’s specs that highly matters to any phone user such as the internal memory, the display screen size, the dual camera resolution, internal memory, processor and Android version.

The phone coming out of the pyramid implies that it is the outcome of a long journey full of challenges that only Egyptians could overcome and flash out what they reaped in pride.

The usage of the pyramid is of course a classic cliché but somehow it fits the occasion. Also showing Cairo’ Tower on the phone’s screen gave and extra sense of a home grown product.

Despite the cliché the video shows a very attractive modernly designed phone that promises to meet a lot of high end expectations. That’s a Jack pot but has to be proven on ground.

The video has done it’s job but still the phone has to deliver a satisfying user experience to Egyptian customers who won’t go easy on the phone or it’s after sales services. Yes they are willing to buy and are also determined to criticize…viscously…so…good luck.


First made in Egypt smartphone was unveiled at Cairo ICT

Over the past 20 years, Cairo ICT hosted over 5,000 exhibitors from 44 countries. Cairo ICT brought together key market players in the IT and communication industries to present their latest innovative products and new technologies.

The first ever made in Egypt cellphone was presented on Sunday at the 21st session of Cairo ICT – a regional technological trade fair – in New Cairo, with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi present for unveiling.

Under the brand name of “Nile X”, the 4G smart phone’s price range generally costs less than imported phones of the same capacity, varying between LE 1000 and LE 4200. Sico’s feature phones will be sold at LE 200.

The phone, which will start retailing from December 15, has some pretty exciting specifications, which include a 13 megapixel dual camera, fingerprint sensor, 4GB RAM, 64 GB storage, 5.7 HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, fast-charging feature, and comes standard with lighting-quick 4G technology.

45 percent of the components of the smartphone will be manufactured in a Sico technological park factory in Assiut, with the park’s investments currently valued at LE300 million.


Who is SICO Technology?

SICO started back in 1951 by building its own bottling plant in Cairo. SICO started its very own Egyptian brand for soft-drinks offering a verity of flavours includes; Orange, Lemon and Mandarine.

Today, SICO bottling is the bottling arm for Coca-Cola in Egypt.

Sico bottling

SICO Technology has been working in the electronics sector since 2003, and has been commissioning Chinese factories to produce its products, importing them under SICO’s brand for four years.

SICO offers a total 360° technological solution to retail and business clients. With the company’s increase in production rate and enlarging market, building a factory in Egypt has become a feasible project and it is currently being built in cooperation with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, with funding from Chinese investors.

SICO is currently building a new 4,000 sqm state of the art mass production facility in Assuit in partnership and full support of the Egyptian government with a huge production capacity started at 1.7 MM in the first year and reaching 2.7MM by the third year.

SICO Technology is the first Egypt based technology and handset manufacturer of reliable and affordable 4G smartphones.The first phones are to be 45% locally produced, with the aim of reaching 70-72% within the first year and to be increased on the long run.

The Nile X smartphone “Sico-manufactured” will be available in the market by 15 December 2017.

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Brand Activation, Egypt

Meet first Egypt-made smartphone NILE X

Egypt’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has unveiled today the specifications of the first Egypt-made, Nile X, smartphone at…

Egypt’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has unveiled today the specifications of the first Egypt-made, Nile X, smartphone at Cairo ICT 2017.

Manufactured by the Ministry of Communication-affiliated SICO Technology, the smart phone was made with 400 million Egyptian pounds in investment in the company’s factory in Assiut.

Having five production lines spread over 4,520 square meters, the factory has a capacity of producing 1.8 million devices per year.

The telephone was presented by the Egyptian Minister of Communications, Engineer Yasser Al-Qadi, to President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, the first of four lines of production.

NILE X Specifications

The First Egyptian Made Cell Phone is an Octa Core CPU Dual Camera 4GB RAM, 64 GB storage, 5.7 HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat.

The new smartphone name is Nile X to be launched with 4G technology, fast charging feature USB Type-C, 13 mega pixel dual camera and fingerprint sensor.

Expected to be priced at an average starts from LE 2,000 up to LE4200, the foreign component in the device is provided in partnership with China.

NILE X Ambition and Future Plans

SICO Technology aims to capture 5 percent of the Egypt’s mobile market during the first year of production. In addition, SICO mobile phones are now considered to be the first local brand in the industry as the percentage of 58% local component.

Moreover, The company’s technical centers will exist in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Assiut, Sharkia and Luxor governorates.

Egypt’s Nile X smartphone, produced by SICO, will be available on the market on December 15, 2017.

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Brand Activation, Featured Stories, International

Cultural Marketing: Barbie finally makes a Hijab wearing doll

While most young girls around the world are accustomed to playing with Barbie dolls that are dressed in fashionable and…

While most young girls around the world are accustomed to playing with Barbie dolls that are dressed in fashionable and sometimes sexy dresses.

Hijabs and Niqab have become an international discussion, usually due to bad situations. Well, they are back in the news, but finally the international community is celebrating another side of the Hijab and Niqab story.

Barbie’s manufacturer, Mattel, has just released a new Barbie doll, and this time, it is definitely newsworthy.

Recommended Read ► What marketers can learn from Nike “Pro Hijab Collection”

Barbie has always been the same since its launch in the 1950s; tall, white, slim and blonde has been Barbie’s most memorable traits for decades. But in a world filled with multiple cultures, multiple looks, Barbie’s old look just doesn’t seem to fit.

Mattel’s newest strategy?

To rebrand itself, not as the slim tall blonde of the pack, but as a pack leader of a diverse and strong group.


Bringing the future, lifting the spirits of young girls around the world

First hijab-wearing Barbie launched inspired by Olympic fencer. Meet new and improved Barbie, with beautiful dark skin and a sleek hijab. She says the doll is a “childhood dream come true”.

Based off of the USA’s Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic Fencer who became the first US Olympic team member to compete in a Hijab.

The Olympic Bronze winner played for team USA in Fencing. She also won gold in in 2014 at the world fencing championships in Russia.

Now she has made history again by having the very first Hijab Barbie modeled after her.

Barbie’s marketing vice president Sejal Shah Miller said in a statement: “Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented. By honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”


The Barbie has quickly become a visual reminder that we now live in a multi-cultural world, and a self-esteem booster for many Hijab wearers.

Ibtihaj herself said that she loved playing with Barbies when she was young, but had trouble with the fact that they didn’t look like her. So, she started to sew hijabs to put onto her dolls.

Now she hopes that young girls around the world will be inspired “to embrace what makes them unique.”


It’s not only about the Hijab

Ibtihaj made sure that the doll wasn’t simply a covered up classical Barbie; thick sports trained legs, strong arms and dressed in full fencing gear, this Barbie is definitely far away from the stereotypical Barbie.

The Fencer is featured as part of Mattel’s “Sheroes” line, in which they are inspired by real women.

According to Mattel, to be considered for Shero status, a woman needs to have broken boundaries, inspired girls and played with Barbies as a girl herself.

Ibtihaj isn’t the only Olympian on the Barbie Shero roaster, fellow team USA Olympian Gabby Douglas also has her own doll as part of the line.


Tell us, do you think this is the right step to the future? Comment and share your thoughts with us.

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