Wednesday, 30 April 2008

What website has the biggest Internet audience in the Arab world?

An audit in November 2007 about internet audiences was conducted and it has confirmed's leading position as the largest and most popular Arab online community in the Middle East with a monthly audience of almost 7 million unique users.

Ive never actually seen the site; Ive heard about it though. Now that Ive read that its the largest and most popular in the Middle East, I think I'll have to check it out for myself.

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Facebook as an internet marketing tool

In the UAE, telecoms operator du has been using the social networking site. Sherif Safwat, Executive Director of Brand Marketing Communication at the company believes that if companies fail to recognise the importance of using social networking sites they would be bumped out of the market very soon. 'We invested $1m on online marketing and advertising this year and find that there is a huge appetite for online media in the UAE and worldwide. We have to adapt to this new trend and unless we do so we'll be out of the market.'
The article further talks about how companies are using Facebook to promote themselves and their clients. Additionally, it talks about how facebook can work for you and also against you, like for example, creating groups against a certain company...
To read more about social networking sites(specifically Facebook) serving as a marketing tool and its powerful effects, click on the link below:
Retrieved from decreasing its rates

The site, which has seen a 200% increase in business over the last year, announced that the rates for employers to post jobs on will be lowered starting February 1.
The cuts come at a time when the cost of living in the Gulf, and the price of doing business here, is on a sharp upward curve. That the company should buck this trend in such dramatic fashion represents a remarkably bold, characteristically innovative and somewhat counter-intuitive move, given the jobsite's consistently strong performance in the market.
'If airlines were to cut their fares by 40%, you'd expect to see a lot more people flying,' said CEO Rabea Ataya, explaining the reductions. 'We expect the price cuts on to have a similar stimulating effect on the employment market. This is a shot in the arm for the regional economies and a real effort on our part to exercise our social responsibility as one of the region's leading corporate citizens.'
Ataya pointed out that a recent survey conducted by showed that 63% of employers sourced professional candidates online. 'The Internet now plays a central role in every company's recruitment process,' he said, 'and has long been a leading player and technological pioneer in this area. We are the region's number one job site and the first job site to offer a fully bi-lingual on-line platform coupled with a physical network of offices that stretches from the GCC to North Africa. It follows, then, that is in a position to make a positive contribution to the market, and that is what these cuts are intended to do.' currently serves 1.8 million registered jobseekers and 26,000 employers, with over 2,500 new jobseekers registering every day from across the globe. Ataya said that offering affordable packages to employers will allow the company to give something back both to its jobseekers and its clients, many of whom are reeling under the increased cost of doing business in the region. 'With presence and profitability comes responsibility. These cuts will be a good thing for us, a good thing for our jobseekers and clients alike and a good thing for the overall economy,' he said.
Under the new pricing structure, the charge for job postings on will be lowered a full 40% discount on current prices. These on-line postings remain active for a minimum of 30 days, have no limitations on size or amount of detail provided, and can be accessed by both the site's 1.8 million registered users as well as the unregistered users that contribute to the over 50,000 visitors the site enjoys every day. Established clients and newly registered employers alike will benefit from the reduced prices pan-regionally from February 1.
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UAE internet Users fear online shopping

An annual survey was conducted in the UAE to gain a better understanding of UAE internet user patterns,behavior and security fears affecting online usage.
Symantec's annual consumer survey of more than 400 UAE residents who regularly use the internet revealed that 75% of respondents do not shop online due to fears that the Internet is 'unsafe' and 'too risky'.
The survey also revealed a shocking 78% of respondents who transact online do so with no protection. These findings are a worrying increase compared to last year's results which found only 47% of respondents had security solutions in place.
Additionally for the second year hacking and credit card fraud remained a front of mind security threat even though 92% of respondents have never experienced any form of fraudulent activities.
Symantec's latest spam report stats that spam now stands at 78.5% of all email traffic and will continue to increase in 2008. Hence education about such threats remains key to staying secure. Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report, October 2007 backs up these findings by stating that the UAE still remains a prime target for malicious online activity, ranking the country 40th for the number of bot-infected computers, 66th for phishing hosts, and 51st as a source of spam.
Consumers need to realize that online protection is not a difficult and time-consuming task that requires constant vigilance.
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Monday, 28 April 2008

Online Marketing increases Consumer Purchase Intent

According to a Forrester Research report, Companies have a difficult time justifying investments in online branding and Web site usability. But a new tool sheds light on the relationship between effective design and strong business results. What was the findings? That online branding drives purchase intent — as long as sites meet basic usability standards.

Interesting findings from Forrester included:

  • Two dimensions related to brand have the strongest effect on purchase intent. The two brand dimensions, Brand Impression and Brand Authority, correlated most with intent to purchase. This findings show that it ’s possible to put a dollar value on making an emotional connection with customers through improved online branding.
  • Poor usability lowers purchase intent, but great usability does not increase purchase intent. The study found that basic usability is a cost of entry because sites with a poor user experience decrease the likelihood that visitors will buy. Interestingly, the study also found that improving usable sites to make them even more usable did not increase purchase intent. Taken together, these conclusions indicate that companies should first invest in getting basic content, navigation, and presentation right, then switch gears and work on creating emotionally engaging experiences.

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