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Mobile IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Tim Fujita-Yuhas, Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan

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Gitex 2013 – Gemalto’s New End-User Survey Reveals Strong Potential for Mobile Marketing in the Middle East


Mobile Marketing in the Middle East: the Golden Rules (Photo: Business Wire)

Mobile Marketing in the Middle East: the Golden Rules (Photo: Business Wire)

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, has published the results of a new survey conducted by IFOP in Dubai that reveals the willingness of respondents to engage with mobile marketing – provided that businesses respect the ‘golden rules’ of messaging, and offer real and immediate incentives to those who respond. The research shows that Dubai residents are particularly receptive to targeted campaigns, and highlights the untapped potential for businesses to build closer links with their consumers via mobile marketing.

The survey underlines the fact that mobile messaging is already part of everyday life in the UAE, with 99% of those interviewed receiving messages from chains, brands and their mobile operators. The study also shows that consumers have clear expectations regarding the way mobile marketing campaigns should be run: the overwhelming majority insisted that their permission is asked before texts are sent, that the sender is clearly identified, that an opt-out facility is provided and messages are pertinent to individual interests. Overall, 83% of respondents stated that such solicited text messages would be well received.

Another key finding of the research is the UAE residents’ preference for immediate and tangible benefits out of mobile marketing campaigns; 46% favored instant rewards or discounts and 32% showed appetite for regular updates from preferred brands.

Finally, the research indicates that two-thirds of the adult population would be won over by mobile marketing that respects the ‘golden rules’: successful mobile marketing is about meeting customers’ requirements for relevant messages and implementing strategies that put the end user in control of the conversation. Furthermore, for those companies that are already observing these straightforward guidelines the results speak for themselves. For example, large mobile operators in Saudi that have started using Gemalto’s Smart Message solution have reported a sixteen-fold increase in the number of subscribers to the services being promoted.

Whilst the lessons learned in this survey are just as applicable to other parts of the world, it appears that the mobile phone is particularly well-suited to be the medium of choice for mass marketing in the UAE. As Nadia Gonzalez, Vice President Mobile Marketing at Gemalto explains: “Given the UAE’s diverse population and vibrant media industry, the mobile phone can genuinely claim to be its true common denominator. With a remarkable penetration rate of 171%*, it offers brands, chains and mobile operators the potential to turn mobile phones into the primary direct marketing channel to reach out to individual consumers across the country.

*Source: UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, 2013

Editor’s Note: IFOP’s survey, conducted on behalf of Gemalto, was undertaken in July 2013 and involved seven hundred face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of Dubai mobile phone users aged 18 and over.

Specific Date, Time and Location

Gitex, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai - 20th to 24th October

Gemalto is this year the official sponsor of the Digital Strategies conference with a speaking slot on:

Wednesday 23rd Oct at 10:30am: Mobilize your Customer Relationship Strategy
Taking into account the specificities of the Middle Eastern market to transform your mobile CRM into an engaging one-to-one relationship strategy
Nadia Gonzalez, Vice President Mobile Marketing at Gemalto

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2012 annual revenues of €2.2 billion and more than 10,000 employees operating out of 83 offices and 13 Research & Development centers, located in 43 countries.

We are at the heart of the rapidly evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain and work – anytime, everywhere – in ways that are enjoyable and safe. Gemalto delivers on their expanding needs for personal mobile services, payment security, authenticated cloud access, identity and privacy protection, eHealthcare and eGovernment efficiency, convenient ticketing and dependable machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. We develop secure embedded software and secure products which we design and personalize. Our platforms and services manage these products, the confidential data they contain and the trusted end-user services made possible.

Our innovations enable our clients to offer trusted and convenient digital services to billions of individuals. Gemalto thrives with the growing number of people using its solutions to interact with the digital and wireless world.

For more information visit,,, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

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