Marketing in Cyprus Moving Forward

Marketing in Cyprus has always been very traditional with mediums of print advertising, direct mail and TV very much dominating for big local brands but as the proliferation of media continues, and globally people spend more and more time online, local companies in Cyprus have started to seriously explore the arena of emarketing and how it can help their bottom line. Increasingly local companies’ websites are becoming more interactive, consumer brands are doing SMS campaigns to promote new products and more online campaigns are surfacing in the market.

Driven by the need to justify their departments and budgets, Cyprus marketing managers also need to start to consider accountability and measurement of ROI of individual campaigns, something which becomes increasingly easier with online marketing initiatives. The need to effectively compete in a global market and also expand to reach clients outside a small local island base is another incentive for embracing emarketing.

The challenge? The older generations in Cyprus are not all computer literate, and the percentage of ‘silver surfers’ apparent in other countries has not materialized yet in the market. There is also a lot of fear associated with the internet also, especially around ecommerce and mistrust with online payments or claims made by companies online.

In line with global trends however, this view should begin to change, as more Cypriot companies begin to offer customer value and benefits online which entice the reticent users to venture onto websites. Once good levels of customer service and great user experiences begin to appear around Cypriot firms’ websites actually targeting customers in Cyprus, this should help improve the proportion of locals willing to go online and even purchase online.

Once the target market is more active online, companies will need to become more emarketing-aware and begin to invest in not only understanding and appreciating planning an emarketing strategy, but also integrating it with their offline strategy and familiarizing themselves with emarketing tools such as web analytics, crucial for measurement of success and diagnosis of problems.

Younger generations in Cyprus are very active online; currently in over 10% of the population has a Facebook profile, largely due to the younger market, which is embracing technology. Mobile phone take up in Cyprus is almost 100% and mobile internet access is growing very quickly with the recent introduction of more providers, increasing competition and providing better charges for the consumer.

This provides a great foundation for the future of emarketing in Cyprus, as this generation of younger technologically-aware locals matures, they will be more receptive to online campaigns and buying online. Brands need to be ready to target them successfully by learning and testing online techniques now and perfecting their performance.

This needs to be done before they meet the future Cyprus consumer: the time-poor, sophisticated user who is very marketing-savvy, can fast forward through his adverts with his digital television, only listens to music downloaded online, ignores banners, disables pop up ads and throws direct mail in the bin, and who only visits sites which ultimately have a direct interest or benefit to him.

Cypriot firms need to be ready to not only provide an offer this customer cannot refuse, but to be able to target him in a way that he is happy for them to target them with, and in future, emarketing initiatives will be the only ones providing not only the returns but the ability to effectively measure returns, and also to form a more long-term mutually beneficial relationship with the customer.