How to develop your marketing strategy for Ramadan: Essential insights and considerations

During the month of Ramadan, 1.6 billion Muslims around the world practice their religious duty to fast from sunrise to sunset. Mobile marketing inevitably changes user behavior throughout the period. For example, 20.7% of Muslims consider themselves to be more generous throughout Ramadan. This requires you to develop your marketing strategy for the best results. Here’s what you need to consider when accounting for Ramadan in your overall strategy.

Ramadan: Essential insights for mobile marketers

There are several ways Ramadan impacts the mobile marketing industry. This ranges from the total ad spend to the number of downloads and in-app purchases. Criteo analyzed over 111 million shopping transactions in Malaysia and Indonesia during the Ramadan season and found a sales uplift of  68% for mobile ads and 53% on desktop. The same study showed a surge in sales 10 days into Ramadan, which sustained throughout the two weeks before Eid al-Fitr. Speaking about the study, Alban Villani, Criteo Managing Director for SEA-Pacific at Criteo explained that “Ramadan represents a notable cultural shift in consumer behavior, with the Middle East and Southeast Asia being key regions […] the global Islamic economy is also growing year-on-year, estimating to reach $3 trillion by 2023. Given the growth potential of the halal industry, retailers should leverage Ramadan to engage Muslim shoppers.”

Forbes reported that downloads for shopping apps increased by 40% the week before Ramadan. They also found that in-app purchases increased by 35%. In an effort to capitalize on these shifts in user behavior, the average ad-spend also increases by 20% during Ramadan. With more competition for ad space throughout the period, it is more important than ever to use data insights to target high-value users who are most likely to convert.

3 things to consider when marketing throughout Ramadan

Implement your strategy early

Unlike many other religious occasions, which are celebrated for a shorter period of time, Ramadan lasts for 30 days. Despite this, it is always smart to implement your strategy before Ramadan begins. This gives advertisers more time to reach audiences and capitalizes on shifts in user behavior that occurs in the run-up to Ramadan. According to Facebook statistics, “83% of global Ramadan observers plan their purchases at least one week in advance and 50% at least 3 weeks in advance.” Starting early also gives you time to A/B test for the best results.

Get into the spirit on Ramadan with your creative

For Muslims all over the world, Ramadan is a time for reflection and introspection. Many brands will get into the spirit of Ramadan with their ad creative and campaign messaging. Forgiveness, harmony, and the importance of family are all common themes you might expect from ads during Ramadan. 

Target untapped audiences with OEMs

Mobile marketers can use OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to reach untapped audiences and gain a competitive edge. These are companies that manufacture their own devices, have their own apps and independent app stores. Companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo – which have huge market shares in many countries with a large Muslim population – are directly distributing applications to their customers via their own dedicated stores. For example, 87% of Indonesia’s population is Muslim and, according to Statistica, Samsung is the leading mobile vendor in Indonesia with approximately 26.16% of the market share. This is followed by Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Oppo.

There are several advantages OEMs offer that can be effective throughout Ramadan. For example, OEMs enable marketers to grow on a global scale by reaching new audiences and accessing new markets that cannot be accessed via social, search or SDK networks. OEMs also offer higher user-acquisition whilst paying lower CPI (cost-per-install) – an important factor considering the increase in ad spend during Ramadan.

Moreover, a year-round benefit to working with OEMs is that you can access a fraud-free ecosystem. This is because there are no additional layers between the budget holder and the OEM, and reach advertising placement is fully controlled by the OEM.

How Avow can help

As experts in OEM mobile inventory, AVOW partners with OEMs across the globe. We help our clients with a consultative approach through the whole campaign cycle, from getting apps listed on the respective OEM stores to distribution, tracking, and performance optimization. Mobile marketers can expand their reach and unlock new revenue streams with Avow’s OEM partnerships – which covers 42% of the global Android market.

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