Ramadan is the third most important obligation on Muslims. Its significance is heighten since the Muslim holy book, the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month.
Ramadan is a season of increased consumerism and attention to shopping especially for a country like Bangladesh where the majority of the population is Muslim. Marketers need to understand how to effectively market during this season in order to take advantage of many of the opportunities it contains and to avoid Ramadan marketing mistakes that could be costly. In this guide, we briefly cover some of the various aspects of Ramadan marketing to help you be more successful with your seasonal marketing efforts in Muslim regions.
Ramadan 2019 Marketing
Before we get into various aspects of marketing during Ramadan we should mention that this year, Ramadan 2019, will take place starting May 6th in the evening. The Eid Ul-Fitr will take place after this period. Companies that are thinking of advertising during this period need to plan ahead because some publications can get booked months ahead of time. Though it is possible to even start marketing campaigns in some circumstances after Ramadan has already started, you may find that the outlets you wish to advertise with are understaffed or extremely slow to respond because of decreased working hours during Ramadan. We recommend that you start your Ramadan planning a bit earlier.
Times to market during Ramadan
It is important for marketers to understand that Muslims are fasting from consumables, not smoking and running low on sleep during the day because of night time Ramadan activities. In light of this, if your marketing activities can be set to certain times, day time might be best avoided. The best TV series tend to run during Ramadan and ad space is at a premium. Marketers should see this late time as an opportunity to increase ad spends so they can reach the widest audience.
Take advantage of the festive nature of Ramadan
If you’re into the restaurant, travel & e-commerce industry, Ramadan will be beneficial for making some extra bucks.
Restaurants should focus on iftar & sehri offerings and create a culture of community feasting & charity.
If you really want to stand out, encourage customers to reduce food wastage and instead pass it over to the less-privileged.
Travel industries & airlines should focus on connecting families across countries & promoting their Eid packages because of the rising demand for travelling home.
Although E-commerce websites might suffer a slump in the initial weeks, there will be a noticeable increase in website traffic and sales towards the end of the month.
Food-related ads garner positive reactions because people tend to search for pre-Ramadan recipes online as per Google.
During Ramadan: “Capitalizing on the public’s increased consumption of YouTube content, mastheads and videos on YouTube effectively communicate brands’ messages during Ramadan,” Google said.
B2B Marketing in Ramadan
Given that many countries have reduced work hours during Ramadan and many workers are much less productive during Ramadan B2B marketing during Ramadan isn’t advisable in most situations. Some companies may have some unique services or products that might appeal to other businesses during Ramadan but for most businesses this isn’t the case. Ad space is at a premium during this season due to increased consumer demand so B2B businesses may want to cut back on some of their marketing during this season unless it is focused on building good will for the brand.
1. Understand the importance of Ramadan
Recognise that Ramadan is a unique time for Muslims all over the world, and that buying behaviour increases and changes during this month. Products such as food, clothes, electronics, and jewellery are in particular demand.
Educate and train your employees about the religious and cultural implications of Ramadan, specifically those staff involved at key customer touch points.
2. Use iconic Symbols of Ramadan in your Advertisements
Dates are an essential part of the breaking fast meal each evening during Ramadan and due to this they can commonly be found in Ramadan ad campaigns. Dates are the first food that is eaten when breaking the fast and have been part of the Ramadan tradition going back to the origins of the religion.
The Crescent Moon
Widely seen to be one of the most common symbols of Islam today the crescent moon is used on flags for various countries, for many Muslim organizations, and even the Red Crescent. The first visible crescent moon marks the beginning of each month, including Ramadan and Shawwal which is the start of Eid Ul-Fitr. Given its clear connection with Islam in the minds of most people today the crescent is probably the most common symbol used in Ramadan ads and marketing today. If you are planning on doing any type of visual marketing during Ramadan consider using the crescent moon.
Lanterns are commonly strung up in many Muslim countries due to the late hours Muslims keep during this season. As a result of this lanterns have become iconic of the Ramadan season especially in countries like Egypt where the tradition began. Though the lantern isn’t as common as the crescent moon many marketing campaigns utilize lanterns in various ad formats to convey the spirit of Ramadan
3. Have a Ramadan specific campaign budget
Allocate explicit marketing budgets to target Muslim audiences with specific offerings. For instance, most companies in the Middle East region boost advertising spend during the holy month by up to 20 per cent.
4. Develop an integrated marketing campaign
In the digital age, marketing campaigns are more effective when both offline and digital media are integrated to communicate the same message.
Pay attention to hashtags in the run up to Ramadan as they will change. This year the hashtags #Ramadan2019, #Ramadan #RamadanKareem and #HappyRamadan all trended across the networks for over a week. Using the right hashtags will help you to get your Ramadan message across.
5. Be respectful
You want to attract the attention of your Muslim customers but by trying to have a catchy campaign some marketers may create something or say something that Muslims may find offensive. Marketers should be respectful to the Muslim religion and culture in all their campaigns.
Like any other advertising campaign, your goal should be to respect the culture of the market you are trying to reach. Before going live with your campaign, it may be wise to run it across someone familiar with Muslim customs and traditions. The Muslim world is especially diverse in terms of culture, language and preferences, so this should give you plenty of flexibility.5
In light of increase budgets for advertising during Ramadan, some of the best commercials come out during Ramadan. Below are a couple of Ramadan commercials we enjoyed.
successful marketers understand that Ramadan can be a very lucrative season when marketing campaigns are executed properly for the right products and services. These marketers know their target audience, respect their beliefs, and work to develop creative campaigns that align with the theme of Ramadan while driving new interest in their offerings.