There has been a steady increase in digital marketing approaches in recent years in Iran’s marketing and advertising industry. From a USD 17-million-dollar business in 2014 up to a USD 144 million in 2017. This trend is expected to grow exponentially, to an approximate 426-million-dollar market in 2020. Logically, there is also a major shift happening from outbound to inbound marketing, as an increasing amount of businesses realize its value and the fact that conventional outbound marketing is simply not as effective as it was anymore. The following breaks down the shifting elements in conducting inbound marketing in Iran.
The global paradigm shift from outbound to inbound meant that a lot of businesses with an older corporate philosophy needed to change their marketing strategy as younger small businesses were capable of direct competition with those because the shift itself allowed for a wide spectrum of highly successful, comparatively low-budget digital marketing campaigns to take place. As younger businesses have younger HR and therefor are more tech-savvy, applying inbound marketing to their strategy was less of a big deal than for larger enterprises with a marketing paradigm that stuck with the company for a very long time. This development helped to leverage the power struggle of smaller firms against established enterprises, which isn’t so bad considering the wide scale of influence larger enterprises tend to have, giving a better fighting chance to small businesses. This shift is also happening within the Iranian marketing segment. The change in philosophy is not taking place rapidly, yet inbound marketing will eventually replace old habits and pave way for more innovation within the country.
Iran’s startup scene is growing into some very important business for the country. Within the past 5 years, there has been quite a variety of successful startups, offering goods and services to a dynamic market that was in need of more innovation and proper marketing throughout domestic target audiences. Categories include telecommunications, automotive, real estate, gaming, business acceleration, food & beverage, infrastructure and retail. Inbound marketing can help those startups gain organic followers by efficient online presence and audience communication. Eventually, startups can focus on their major priorities instead of using time-consuming outbound strategies for their lead generation.
E-commerce as the digital kind of business probably has not boundaries in enjoying the full scope of benefits it derives from inbound marketing. There are no virtual limits to a virtual way of business and as such, e-commerce has changed everything. Hence, it became the new standard and by now also an essential asset to every successful business. E-commerce not only reaps the benefits of inbound marketing, it becomes whole through inbound marketing. The concept of inbound has been explained, now a marketer only needs to try to imagine the possibilities, which are endless! Data-based control over user traffic to an e-commerce shop can be an invaluable asset and skill for an employee. It might never be a direct one (well we are not slavers!), but by knowing customers and what they respond to, the faith of a business can be wrapped around. Current platforms for e-commerce in Iran include Digikala, Bamilo, Snapp and Snappfood among others.
Social Media Marketing can be a great standalone service and also a very awesome addition to an inbound marketing strategy. More sources to gain visitors and eventually buyers from, while having the ability to directly interact with customers. It widens the spectrum of inbound marketing sources extensively and paves the road to more choices for types of ads and the creative solutions to those. Most Iranian agencies, including some of the classic offline advertising agencies, are going digital and making extensive use of the possibilities of social media in Iran. As a highly tech-savvy nation, this strategy proved to pay off very well for all types of ad agencies, which is why most of them are shifting their focus to digital marketing.
Content and inbound marketing go hand in hand, none of them would exist without the other, yet they are treated as separate entities. That is because in essence they are different and both have their own individual focus. While content marketing focuses on creating quality content in order to grow an audience and create interest within a brand or product, inbound marketing is a paradigm in marketing which states that it contacting potential customers has become ineffective, which is why a business needs to make leads contact them in order for things to work out, by using digital means such as SEO. Content marketing fulfills the task, inbound marketing attunes the mindset, the key performance indicators and the target. There is always a little delay in marketing shifts in Iran as they are implemented once they have already been changed on global scale, though that delay is of very short nature and Iranian marketers tend to work quickly in aligning their industry with global standards.
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