Business marketers in the Middle East have been talking about BMA since a regional chapter launched in May. Their conversations have helped grow a 40-member organization with representatives from companies including 3M, BPA Worldwide, Elcome International, Gyro, Jack Morton Worldwide and Pixelhunters.
“We have utilized online channels to the max,” says Annette Fernandes, client services director at Fifth Ring. The Dubai-based marketer founded the chapter and doubles as its first president and its VP-marketing. “Direct email blasts, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter attract followers and [drive] interest. Our launch event was a successful recruiting campaign. But word of mouth and referral has been our biggest driver.”
BMA Middle East has organized four events to date and will host a B2B Rising conference in October. The chapter is working with event partner Right Selection Group to build an agenda that raises the profile of B2B marketing communications and the BMA, while addressing the challenges and opportunities of digital marketing.
“The B2B Rising theme fits very well in this region,” Fernandes says. She expects the event to yield new recruits. “I believe we will see our membership double.”
Fernandes has spearheaded marketing outreach in the chapter’s first six months. The marketing communications plan includes PR, direct mail and social media outreach. Partnerships with relevant events and associations in the region will also help grow the chapter, she said.
“We just need to ensure we keep our members engaged and rejoining next year by providing consistently great events and added value,” she says.
Board of Directors:
President (and VP-marketing): Annette Fernandes, client services director, Fifth Ring
VP-membership: Rana Said
VP-events: Ani Atanasova, CEO, Pixelhunters
VP-training and development: John Alee, senior lecturer of marketing, American University of Sharjah
Secretary: Abi Firth, client services director, Gyro
Treasurer: George Shashati, audit manager-Middle East, BPA Worldwide
Event strategic partner and member: Gautam Ganglani, managing director, Right Selection Group