Many UAE residents are spending at least 15 hours a week surfing the web for personal use, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA, part of the world’s largest custom marketing research agency. He said that as the online world becomes increasingly accessible through a variety of devices more and more consumers are turning to the internet for information. Hamilton-Clark‘s message is that brands are now faced with the challenge of embracing digital media channels right across their business, or risk losing relevance.

“It is not simply about being good at digital marketing. It is about the success of the whole business in a world that looks to have embraced digital for life,” he said.

Hamilton-Clark’s observations are supported by the TNS Digital Life global programme which shows that 69 per cent of internet users in the UAE spend at least two hours a day online. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of users nationwide use the internet for research.

The research also shows that 84 per cent of the global population belong to one or more social networks and 47 per cent of region-based respondents cited social networking as their most important online activity.

”We have been hooked and the trick now is for marketers to use this opportunity to really get to know their followers and provide them with relevant information as they gravitate towards an online experience that matches their needs.”

He pointed out that many brands, including media houses have indeed been fast to recognise the increasing use of the digital space for information, entertainment and social connectivity. He said that it is the task of online channels to keep us engaged, as well as to encourage complementary brands to join them in their space.

“Although markets differ in openness and infrastructure, the reality is that social networks are fast becoming a primary channel of communication. Brands have a golden opportunity to tap into the vast potential through compelling, relevant connectivity,” he said.


 A part of TNS global, the world’s largest custom market research organisation, TNS MENA was established in 1980 to cater to growing markets of the Middle East. TNS MENA shares and supports the vision of TNS Global. As the world's leading Custom Market Research organisation, TNS operates across a vast network of over 80 countries. Today TNS MENA is the largest full-service agency in MENA region with 150 research experts delivering accurate business insight and counsel to its 200 plus client base. Over last few years, TNS MENA has achieved a volume of over 650,000 quantitative surveys and 3,200 focus groups per year in the region, thus being the number one market research and intelligence company in region.

Image Credits: Jacub Krechowicz

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