JEDDAH: As part of the ambitious Riyadh Strategy 2030, the government wants to attract hundreds of international companies to set up their regional bases in the city, create around 35,000 new jobs for Saudi locals, and double its population.
In a bid to make the Riyadh masterplan a reality, marketing experts will be a cornerstone of the strategy, as outlined by Dr. Eman Al-Shammari, the deputy dean of the college of economics and administrative sciences at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University.
“Riyadh is a golden opportunity. One day it will be a global destination, competing with big metropolitan global cities. That is why marketing is important,” he said.
Al-Shammari, who is a marketing consultant at the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat), said the right marketing was vital and would be the backbone of the strategy’s success.
“It’s important to identify the cultural dimensions, including education research, habits and traditions, historical museums, tourism, arts, sports, industry, and investments. Marketing of cities is important for development.”
As a result, recruitment experts in Saudi Arabia have seen a spike in demand for marketing executives in the Kingdom.
According to the Global Salary Survey by recruitment agency Robert Walters, the demand for digital marketing managers in Saudi Arabia has increased by 40 percent in the last year and this trend is set to continue as the Kingdom looks to attract more industry talent.
Bryan O’Grady, associate business manager for Saudi Arabia at recruitment consultancy firm Hays, said demand for marketing professionals has increased since the start of the year.
“Changes in consumer habits with regards to online purchasing has evolved rapidly and is here to stay for the future. As a result, we have seen employers invest in their digital marketing capability to maximize online presence and drive sales. With all of this in mind and with Vision 2030 continuing to drive investment in Saudi Arabia, we are seeing strong demand for experienced marketing professionals and expect this to continue throughout 2021,” he told Arab News.
O’Grady added that while salary levels had not taken off yet, he expected this to take off once things begin to return to normal after the pandemic.
“Those receiving the highest pay and who are most likely to be awarded with pay rises are senior-level marketing professionals, such as ‘heads of’ and director roles with experience in those skills mentioned above,” he said.
Earlier this week, Hays reported that more than half of Saudi employers and employees expect salaries to increase this year. The 2021 Saudi Arabia Salary & Employment report surveyed around 600 Saudi employers and employees in late 2020 and found that 53 percent of employers surveyed said they predict they will award pay raises to their staff.