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Meet the Leader

Anis Zantout, Regional Digital Director-Cheil MENA

“In the age of multi-touch points, marketing solutions are not available by conventional communication. At Cheil, we produce practical and agile digital solutions via integration of ATL campaigns, experiential, and retail which are the most required to move consumers and the market. “Said Anis Zantout, Regional Digital Director-Cheil MENA in an interview with MediAvataar Middle East.

Here is the complete Q&A………..

MediAvataar: What is your vision for Cheil MENA’s digital department?

Anis: My vision is to position Cheil to offer full service digital marketing services with strong cutting edge media, content, and technology result driven solutions 

MediAvataar: What do you consider has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?

Anis: The fact that I started my career 10 years ago with a digitally focused ambition allowed me to continuously learn and shape the dynamics of agency offerings and client digital transformation. I continue to learn and I don’t think I’ve reached the epitome of my career. 

MediAvataar: How would you describe the region’s digital landscape?

Anis: I believe the region is heavily led by media conglomerates and key publishers who control most of the digital budgets. The rise of social influence, content curators, and creators have sparked agencies and clients alike to pursue digital content marketing and co-creation channel investments apart from search and online video which continue to be heavily dominated. 

MediAvataar: What differentiates your firm in its approach to its work?

Anis: Cheil Worldwide is full of great ideas. Ideas that change lives, affect markets, and bring success to our clients. 

MediAvataar: You are competing against a whole range of communication specialists – from social and advertising agencies, to in-house teams and freelancers. How do you stand out to win the pitch?

Anis: A major factor is our ‘Tu:hon’ Spirit (Making the Impossible Possible) a South Korean way of working. Aside from that, we offer comprehensive and specialized marketing services that align with the constantly changing digital environment in order to deliver the best solutions for our clients and their marketing goals.

MediAvataar: What’s the secret to attracting the best talent and keeping clients happy while balancing the books?

Anis: While digital is infused within company culture, the mere fact that Samsung is our core digital client, is the biggest attraction given the rewarding experience. We have internalized capabilities and an organic collaboration system to deliver the most optimized solutions to meet the needs of our clients. 

MediAvataar: Cheil MENA has a proven track record in the Creative/Digital World, What’s one of the most a) gratifying and b) bizarre experiences so far?

Anis: The most gratifying experience was working on a TV show called Coke Studio. I’ve witnessed the team work evolve from a community management scope to an innovative content marketing piece that could be coined as the cornerstone of social TV content development. A bizarre experience is the amount of ideation that gets spilled in a room for one campaign which sometimes gets out of hand. 

MediAvataar: How have the roles of media, marketing, and communications changed or evolved in the region? How has this change affected the work?

Anis: In the age of multi-touch points, marketing solutions are not available by conventional communication. At Cheil, we produce practical and agile digital solutions via integration of ATL campaigns, experiential, and retail which are the most required to move consumers and the market. 

MediAvataar: Where do you see the future of digital media in the region heading?

Anis: Programmatic and native advertising have been talked about over recent years now with agencies evolving their skillsets to attain for such growth. We at Cheil, have invested in a real-time planning and buying platform called ‘MediaCube’ with global coverage being connected to over 25 Ad exchanges internationally and locally allowing our clients to conduct cross-channel advertisement with display, mobile, social, and video ads. It is based on Mediamath, Ranked #1 by Forrester, a multi-channel easy to use platform that boasts excellent algorithmic optimization capabilities where its multichannel media and data access are both broad and deep. 

MediAvataar: What global market trends over the last year do you think will progress branding and advertising in MENA region?

Anis: Content and agile marketing is something to look for. We have recently taken content strategy and agile content planning projects while investing in publishing tools and hiring content editors and strategists to evolve brands to publish and co-create content for consumers   

MediAvataar: What is you forecast for 2015? How should marketers go about speeding up their digital bandwagons?

Anis: Understand the role you will play in a fast paced paid, earned, and owned ecosystem. Marketers should learn how to collaborate and delegate decisions across multi-level specialists who should be working in an agile mode to achieve your objectives in order to stand out from the rest, be relevant, and engaging with your consumers. 

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