FP7 tackles new online marketing medium

Fortune Promoseven hopes to add value for customers with the expansion of its media department to include the addition of a new specialised online division

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By  Barnaby Chesterman Published  January 31, 2001

“The consumer is moving to surf the Net, so we need to move with him,” says Chareeka Jolly, associate media director of Fortune Promoseven LLC (FP7), a Middle Eastern PR agency.

FP7 recently expanded its media department to include a new online division. The move comes at a time when a growing number of advertisers in the Middle East are turning to the Internet as the latest marketing medium.

“Recognising the growth of the Internet as an advertising medium to rival the more traditional platforms of TV, (written) press, outdoor, radio and cinema, we have diversified our media department to include specialist services in Internet advertising,” says Jihad El Sibai, FP7’s deputy vice president for media.

Jolly is leading the new initiative, which aims use the medium to promote sales, assert brand identity, encourage traffic for online bookings and compile customer databases for FP7’s clients.

Jolly believes that the high growth rate of Internet usage and awareness in the region, between 150% and 300% in the last year, has made this the right time to introduce Internet advertising to her clients. “You’ve got to keep up with the trends and what the consumer is doing because my target is the consumer,” she says.

Jolly also believes that the Internet opens up new possibilities for advertising that aren’t available in traditional mediums. “All other mediums are about interruption marketing,” explains Jolly. “The Internet is about permission marketing.” She adds: “If you’re interested in me, you’ll click and go onto my site, whereas in other mediums, I was trying to get into your life.”

Another advantage that Jolly attributes to online advertising is targetability. Jolly says that using the Internet advertisers can target specific groups or types of people, to the extent that no others can see the advert. “If I only want to target people in the finance industry in France, I can do that,” she explains. “Your reach is a lot broader and there’s no wastage.”

The new section merely forms a new part of the existing media division and Jolly expects online advertising to encompass only one or two percent of a company’s advertising budget. And she also expects Internet advertising to take a support role in a grander advertising campaign. “Today consumers are not only reading the newspaper or watching TV, they are doing all these things,” she says. “So for me to target them I need to be everywhere. It doesn’t matter what the brand is, there’s always a multiplier effect over several mediums.”

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