It is around a year by now that I work as a European for a company in Iran. It has also been around a year we translated our website into English, customised it for an international audience and write corporate blog content in English at Sisarv Marcom Agency, in order to accommodate an international audience and inform them on Iranian advertising developments. It has been a very vibrant year for me, for us all. Digital Marketing in Iran currently is in a very dynamic development process. No other market segment in Iran is so filled with motivation and drive right now. This is also the case on international level as it is a very young industry. There are certain points where Iran still needs to follow up and certain points where digital marketing in Iran simply operates differently than in other countries, as Iran has a very unique kind of economy. At the ease of doing business index, Iran is among the toughest countries, yet has huge room for a lot of opportunity for both domestic and foreign businesses. What is required to tap into those opportunities is, according to many Iranian or foreign experts on the Iran-subject, less scepticism and more proactivity, to summarise it. This article should help Iranian and foreign businesses alike to know about the bigger digital marketing developments in the past year, the arisen opportunities and notable obstacles, in order to tap into a huge market that has an outcome worth the time and the investment. I write this as a European person (I am Italian but raised in Germany) who went to Iran on a great journey where I have learned a lot. Maybe this article will help the international community to throw away some of the rather unnecessary scepticism towards doing business in Iran.
1.Iran’s Booming Startup Industry
The Iranian startup industry is being closely eyed by startup accelerators, investors and digital marketing agencies in Iran. When the Iran-deal was signed, it paved way for a lot of ideas to be thrown into a big pot that calls itself the Iranian the startup scene. Efforts in Digital Marketing in Iran is part of that movement, which is an important player in accelerating business results. As marketing got revolutionised through inbound marketing, services such as SEO, content marketing in Iran and social media marketing in Iran through highly used platforms are becoming more and more of essential value to startups and the Iranian advertising industry alike.
Foreign businesses offering email marketing memberships are also entering the market on competitive level, in order to boost opportunities for email marketing in Iran, which again can be of essential value to startups struggling to build an audience. Both Iranian and foreign accelerators are giving Iranian startups a helping hand in meeting their objectives with success. What could yet be done that is of high value to make startups and other businesses thrive in Iran are venture capitalists, as they yet do not have a decent presence in Iran. Recently, the Iranian government also decided to give its support to startup accelerators across Iran, in order for them to improve their services to startups.
Digital Marketing is one of the most valuable strategies for increasing return on investment, create more brand awareness and gain more customers for a broad range of business of both Iranian and international origin, that want to thrive on the Iranian market. They play a very central role since they are great at combining technology with entrepreneurship. They offer their expertise on the Iranian market and local knowledge to both domestic and international businesses in order to set a strong foot in Iran, and can help them growing with their new Iranian branch- or operate as an accelerator in order to help a newly founded startup as well.
The advertising industry has been wrapped around and completely overhauled in its philosophy on international scale. Advances in inbound marketing and a brand new approach on how to gain customers and sales funnel optimisation have caused a huge paradigm shift in the marketing & advertising industry. As a very young industry, digital marketing can be well adapted by a skilled digital marketing agency in Iran and become competitive enough to be compared with other marketing agencies across the globe. Successful digital marketing agencies in Iran are able to offer a wide range of services to their clients: They offer full social media campaigns and marketing strategies, such as 360° marketing and communications campaigns, integrated marketing communications, branding and rebranding services, along with efficient asset audits and the means to optimise them, such as through SEO.
3.The Value Of Local Knowledge
Current professional knowledge on the Iranian market is a factor that cannot be overstated. Agencies such as Sisarv can act as a great catalyst and partner for international businesses of all kinds to step into the Iranian economy. The Iranian economy and business culture is very different from that of other countries. It is very unique on all aspects. Finding the right agency that can consult businesses concerning all steps for opening business while walking along with the business through all the obstacles and challenges is of great importance. With an agency at the side, many risks don’t have to be taken, and eventually many mistakes will not be done, while businesses can be introduced to Iranian business culture and how to navigate through a difficult yet opportune market. With the right consulting, less uncertainty is involved in the process, businesses can set a stable foot, while having a strong Iranian partner at their side.
Iran’s ICT sector is pot for many new advancements. Many services that exist in the international ICT sector are successfully being implemented in the Iranian ICT sector, such as mobile number portability (MNP). The 3g and 4g network is also continuously being improved. And with the new deal between Iran and Nokia, new technologies can pave their way to Iran. This is an important factor for businesses as new deals of this size can bring new opportunities to be seized.
With the the numbers found in the internet and mobile penetration rates, more and more businesses favour users who search for data on their smartphone rather on their laptop. This further emphasises the importance of responsive web-design along with customised features for smartphone users. For digital marketing this means that mobile web design is further on a rising trend along with social media marketing, integrated marketing communications and integrated 360 campaigns, along with customised landing pages for mobile internet penetration. The Iranian ICT sector is going to be a force to be reckoned with globally, considering the current rising numbers in usage, internet penetration, availability and current developments throughout Iran.
5.Medical Tourism Meets Digital Marketing
Medical tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry that is on a fast-track of getting more and more into trend among patients. When. comparing the healthcare system of many countries, some or famous for particular medical treatments, some again for different ones. Western countries offer cutting edge treatment services with robotic surgery. A luxury some MENA countries cannot afford because of sanctions. It is noteworthy that countries such as Iran have great medical practitioners. In fact, Iran in particular is very renown in the medical world for its great contribution. As EU sanctions are removed, US sanctions are still in place. Many licenses and robotic surgery devices need to be brought from America. There are enough surgeons in Tehran who studied abroad and even got training in robotic surgery, but cannot make use of their skill since robotic devices cannot be imported into Tehran.
This is where medical tourism comes in: Some Iranian patients preferably got to other countries in order to receive treatment there, if a particular treatment such as with robotic surgery is not available. There are several advantages in the midst of US sanctions that this brings to Iran. Through digital marketing, effective branding, website design and SEO can be done for both Iranian and non-iranian hospitals in order for the good hospitals to receive more patients. Sisarv Marcom Agency for instance helped Erfan Hospitals in many of their digital marketing projects, helped in finding investors in order to expand the hospital in order to treat a higher amount of patients. Sisarv also worked with other hospitals in the MENA region, to send patients with highly difficult medical conditions to them, where for some of them robotic surgery is a routine.
For digital marketing this means: A whole new market segment waiting to work with agencies that know how to win a target audience and eventually make a hospital more renown. This naturally needs a correct amount of business ethics in order to actually promote reputable hospitals. For medical tourism this means more annual market growth and better brand identity through advancements in digital marketing and make people recognise the great advantages of implementing medical tourism. Sisarv Marcom Agency, as one of the pioneers of digital marketing In Iran, has been making use of this opportunity since its very first day of business. Today, our team at Sisarv works with several very renown hospitals throughout the region.
6. The Business-to-Business Market
The B2B sector was and will be a very essential market to consider for the growth of the Iranian economy and that of the MENA region as a whole. In fact, it has never been more important. In order to thrive in a country where doing business is very tough compared to western countries, companies of all sizes need to learn to reinforce each other, learn to cooperate, work as partners on mutual projects and increase ROI through mature and planned teamwork.
Considering the chances and ideas that have arisen within the past years, it is a very opportune time to work and grow together. Imagine a digital marketing agency in Iran that works together with distributors, new foreign partners and foreign clients: It will mean a major boost for the economy, it will mean thriving businesses, it will mean stability and a better future. Implementing content marketing in the MENA region, social media marketing In Iran with an international target, promote international businesses through advertising in Iran can contribute to a big growth in business.
Dubai is considered to be a very essential business hub in the Middle East. Digital marketing agencies in Dubai are very well established and a lot of communication channels among business partners can be done better when working along digital marketing agencies in Dubai. As one of the top digital marketing agencies in Iran, foreign businesses can find a valuable partner in Sisarv Marcom Agency with their entrepreneurs having more than 16 years of experience in marketing and advertising.
Overall, the Iranian market has seen very positive industry developments. The country is more and more opening up and as European business person, I can without any doubt remove all the scepticism involved among European peers in making business in Iran. The EU sanctions have been removed, many very interesting startups can use some backup. Digital marketing agencies in Iran can help you with more things effectively than one might think at first. There is a lot of room for ideas, brainstorming and implementing them. If you are interested in selling your quality products, drop us a message!
Written by Ario Giancarlo Cecchettini
International Marketing Coordinator