Shaping The Future Of Technology For Business


2017-18 might just be the most exciting time to be in marketing, in Dubai.

As we head towards Expo 2020, 2021 innovation initiatives, DSM 2030 emissions reduction initiatives, and with the recent addition of government accelerators, Museum of the Future, Dubai Future Foundation et al housed at Emirates Towers, Dubai is positioning itself as a global innovation hub. Innovation is not just alive, it is thriving here.

As a marketer, and particularly one who’s passionate about technology and understanding what drives innovation – what it means for business, consumers and how exponentially accelerating technology impacts the user experience – there is no place I’d rather be.

As an agency that handles government, semi-government and private clients, we’re incredibly well placed to understand the Dubai landscape, and help brands navigate this new and somewhat daunting ecosystem.

Operating in a city fueled by such an aggressive innovation agenda creates a unique set of challenges for brands. For example, when the government sets a target for all services to be on blockchain within 3 years, what are the practical implications for a government entity? For a real estate conglomerate? For an airline?

Most businesses won’t even have heard of blockchain, yet they’re expected to be fully compliant and switched to the platform by 2020. These are next generation challenges, and we’re excited to partner with our clients to help solve these complex puzzles.

We’re in a very unique position, where we’re able to create a dynamic layer between such initiatives and our clients, guiding them strategically on the best ways forward, as well as providing the tactical, tangible solutions to help them realise the opportunities such innovations afford.

As we look to the future and the real-world potential of autonomous helicopter taxis flying down Sheikh Zayed Road by this time next year, it’s fascinating to consider how life in Dubai will change, and how this impacts what it means to do business.

Big Vision = Big Mission

Big vision is exciting and headline-grabbing, but the practical, daily application of business and marketing tactics is often overlooked. But this is the work that enables innovation to flourish. The strategies, creative thinking, problem solving and integration across the user experience of simple, clear communication, makes innovation useable.

These are key questions we consider when talking to our clients. What are the practical steps brands can take today to prepare them for the world of tomorrow? How can they ensure they are part of that next conversation? What is it going to take for them to be a part of the massive technological acceleration? What does their business look like on blockchain, in 2021, 2071? How are their consumers changing? What does a 2030 customer want, in a world of door-to-door drone deliveries, smart cities, smarter government, and cashless transactions?

These are not just big ideas, they are practical questions that businesses need to understand and have answers for if they’re going to survive in the longer term.

We are excited to see the willingness of the Dubai government, and by extension, our clients, to really push the vision of what’s possible; to begin experimenting, testing and iterating new ideas, technologies and innovations, to do business in a whole new way.

These are exciting times, and we are thrilled to be a part of this journey into tomorrow.

Chris McLean is Head of Innovation for Alsayegh Media. Born Analogue, raised digital, he founded his first agency in Melbourne, Australia, in 2002. A 5-time futsal MVP and winner of too many participation ribbons to mention, outside of agency life Chris provides butler services to 4 cats and a dog.