With submission for entries for the 2018 WiM Awards now open, we shine a spotlight on some of the WiM Award Judges…
Christina Ioannidis, CEO of Aquitude shares her experiences of marketing in Dubai and the Middle East…
WIM: Christina, tell us about marketing in Dubai and the Middle East
CI: I have been working in Dubai for 10 years and Marketing is in some ways very sophisticated and advanced. There are, however, areas where Marketers are being limited by their portrayal of their largest consumer group: women. Women are estimated to hold $930 billion of wealth in the Gulf Cooperation Countries; yet they are often still portrayed in very old-fashioned ways in a region where women are actually very sophisticated and very active. There are more women in the UAE Government, for example, than in many governments in the West. Entrepreneurship is also rife, women setting up their own business whilst also working in full-time roles. Marketers have to become braver and more creative; they have to fight off stereotypes as women in this region are getting tired of being pigeon-holed as traditional home-creators and mothers. They are much more than that. The dynamism and passion of women in Dubai, and this region overall, has staggered me – this is why I continue to educate our clients and work with them on pushing the envelope. For example, with our Top of Her Game platform (www.topofhergame.biz), the first of what I call a Social Movement Marketing platform we help brands make grass-roots change, whilst at the same time obtaining reach and engagement from local Arab women. The results have been resounding!
WIM: What key elements are you looking for in an Awards entry?
CI: WiM entries have to be marked by boldness and risk-taking. Women are excellent communicators, and at times they fall prey to hiding behind their own shadows. There are women have been so brave in the marketing world – and this is one of the areas I look for.
WIM: What advice would you give to someone entering WIM Awards for the first time?
CI: Take the opportunity of the nomination to be in the spotlight – you need to be recognised for your amazing work! Don’t hide!