Interview: Osama Romoh, Director of Media at RBBi

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Arabian Gazette’s interview with Osama Romoh, Director of Media at RBBi, where he shares his thoughts on the MENA digital landscape.

RBBi_Osama Romoh_Director of Media
Osama Romoh, Director of Media at RBBi

The regions first User Experience, User Interface and Performance Marketing agency RBBi has appointed Osama Romoh as the Director of Media.

Having previously worked as the Head of Media at Dubizzle, the Middle East’s top classifieds website, Osama brings 9 years of digital marketing experience with him to the role. He has also been previously crowned as the best Arabic language blogger in the world.

“My aim is to change the way media agencies in the region operate to become more ‘people orientated’ rather than ‘account orientated’. I want to turn RBBi into a school of digital excellence and ensure the staff gets the highest quality of training to tap into their innovative minds,” says Osama on his new role.

Arabian Gazette caught up Osama to get insights into the MENA region’s digital landscape. Excerpts from the interview:

You were previously crowned the best Arabic language blogger in the world. What are your secrets for becoming a successful Blogger?

I was one of the early adopters in the Arabic blog-sphere back in 2007, social media was still being introduced to this region and I took advantage by utilizing social media to attract readers. I didn’t have money to spend on any kind of advertising so focused heavily on vitality and organic reach. I illustrate my opinions in a sarcastic way, and I think people like to laugh.

On how the Digital Marketing is shaping up in the MENA region

Comparing with the US and the UK, for example, digital marketing is still a young girl in this region but she’s growing faster than before. Through my observation, companies are approaching digital now as an integral part of their business success. I can say “we’re still in the awareness and learning phase of digital media in general and entrepreneurs play a big part in positioning MENA as another hub for digital excellence.”

Opportunities abound for Digital Marketers in MENA region

There is a clear shortage in this region in skilled and competent people when it comes to hiring for digital marketing roles. We’re headhunting from abroad. There is a gap in the market between demand and availability of the digital brains. Entering the digital marketing field doesn’t really require any fancy university degrees, it can be learned. When we hire, we look for those who are enthusiastic, energetic, ambitious and hungry to learn and grow.

On his ‘People Oriented’ vision to change the work culture

Before I joined RBBI, I always heard horror stories about the work environment in agencies, how task-oriented and profit focused they are, and that no one loves their job there except the guys up there in the chain of command. Well, I found this as a challenge for me to try to either change this status quo if it’s a reality or change people’s perception. I can say that my career purpose is to grow people in digital marketing so they become the market leaders of the future. I find RBBi to be sharing the same mentality which provides me with the ground to make my ambitions happen.

Trends shaping the digital media landscape

The digital life is now taken for granted, you don’t ask people whether they are on Twitter or not, instead you ask for their Twitter handle. The biggest trend in MENA’s digital media is mobile apps, but we sadly lack research, statistics and analytics.

On how SMEs with limited budget take advantage of digital marketing

SMEs can benefit from the rising number of small media agencies in the region. For those small agencies, any client is welcome. But I think there’s a sense of hesitation from both sides, they need to approach each other and establish a relationship of a strategic alliance rather than agency-client relationship.

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