Researching Markets in Southern Europe & MENA

Demitrius Goods, Finance & Marketing Major

The experience in Greece and Cyprus was one of a kind! Being able to travel across the world to present about market opportunities in such radically different environments than the U.S. was an eye opening experience. For myself, researching the digital marketing industry in a variety of different countries really opens one’s perspective of the world. There are similarities to American marketing, but with so many factors present in the Southern European and MENA (Middle East & North African) regions that we just don’t think about everyday, researching took a lot of time and effort.

The project surrounded which countries we believed that SocialWay eServices, a digital marketing company in Nicosia, Cyprus, should enter. We based our results on the value, size, competitiveness, etc. of each market and our own evaluation of how well the company would do in each given market. My research centered around the digital advertising market in Egypt. My team and myself utilized a key statistics, trends, PESTLE & Five Force analysis to break down each market and explore the opportunities in each segment. I was blown away by the differences from the Egyptian market compared to Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus. They were all so close together geographically and even considered under one title: MENA. However, for example, Egypt is undoubtedly less free than those other countries and I didn’t realize the effect a country’s political landscape can have on an industry. There was a lot of potential in Egypt with over 101 million people and increasing use of social media, yet there was an insane grip of censorship by the government and the internet was 10x slower there than anywhere else in the country. Egypt’s untapped potential made me think of all the opportunity someone in an American market could achieve with a segment this size, yet when you look at other factors like internet penetration (49%) and the freedom rank of this country (22/100) it makes you realize that there are so many factors that play into global marketing than just having a good business idea and marketing plan. The landscape of a market plays a crucial role in company success and this project gave me a deeper understanding of how research plays a vital role when trying to expand your business.

In all, this project was a wonderful experience due to an amazing amount of work and effort put in by my team for months leading up to the presentation. Dr. Daspro was an amazing advisor that helped glue our points together and guide us on a trip of a lifetime. I am forever grateful for SIBC in giving me this opportunity to be able to enjoy this experience that I am sure I will take with me for the rest of my life.