Retail of the Future – Interview with Ghadah Al Talal
Welcome to the third installment of “Women in Transformation and Experience Management,” where we bring you inspiring leaders, valuable industry trends, and shape the future of customer experience. In this interview, we are thrilled to feature Ghadah Al Talal, Director of Marketing at Tamimi Markets, a renowned retail company driving innovation and customer-centricity.
In this exclusive interview, we delve into Ghadah’s remarkable journey, uncovering her insights, strategies, and vision for success in the dynamic world of retail. Explore how she has spearheaded Tamimi Markets’ transformation, prioritizing exceptional customer experiences and implementing cutting-edge approaches in collaboration with New Metrics.
Discover Ghada’s expertise in creating superior customer experiences through marketing, leveraging data and personalization for enhanced shopper engagement, and harnessing the power of social media platforms to foster brand loyalty.
Gain valuable insights into navigating the evolving landscape and explore the exciting future of retail powered by the partnership between Tamimi Markets and New Metrics.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this interview represents the views and opinions of the interviewee and is for informational purposes only. The information provided does not constitute professional advice or endorsement. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Retail Industry Strategies
Maya Omeiri: What strategies did you implement to differentiate and grow the brand in the disrupted retail industry, considering the retail sector is among the top three most disrupted industries globally?
Ghadah A Talal: Staying true to ourselves, our brand and our customers is a fundamental rule I follow. Understanding our customers’ psyche is crucial for measurable growth. We leverage affordable tools to listen, plan, and execute, ensuring we stay results-oriented.
Investing in personal education is vital to promoting a message of value to our employers, businesses, and the community.
Maya: What role does marketing play in creating a superior customer experience, and how do you align with the overall CX strategy at Tamimi Markets?
Ghadah: Marketing is a crucial complementary function that brings our CX strategy to life, whether it’s before, during, or after its implementation. To ensure alignment, marketing acts as a health tracker for our strategies, fostering ongoing conversations between the brand and customers. Pre-identifying KPIs to cover every aspect of the customer journey is essential.
Data and Personalization
Maya: How do you leverage customer data to create more personalized experiences for shoppers, considering that ethical and transparent use of data is a priority for the company?
Ghadah: Ethical conduct is non-negotiable for us, considering the nature of our people-centric business. Operating as the brand closest to our customers demands a great deal of emotional intelligence (EI). We consider Tamimi Markets a planned destination where customers fulfill specific emotional needs. To better serve these needs, we utilize tools such as product surveys, post-transactional surveys, and loyalty data, all aimed at providing a seamless CX. The VOC program and governance, implemented in partnership with New Metrics, play a crucial role in leveraging customer data for creating personalized experiences and targeted messaging.
Social Media Engagement
Maya: How does Tamimi Markets use social media platforms to engage with customers and build brand loyalty, and what strategies have you found most effective?
Ghadah: We believe in an “always on” approach to staying connected, relevant, and true to ourselves and our customers. If you compare our social media platforms to other similar businesses, you’ll notice a distinct difference in how we deliver content. We are mindful of what our target audience can learn from us as a brand.
The Saudi customer is smart yet simple, and they seize opportunities to voice their opinions. We’ve seen an increase in social media engagement, especially post-pandemic, as customers review, decide, and either become loyal or switch brands based on their experiences. Our focus is on quality materials rather than quantity, as we aim to reassure customers that they’re making smart decisions on each social media platform.
The VOC program and governance, implemented in partnership with New Metrics, play a crucial role in leveraging customer data for creating personalized experiences and targeted messaging.Ghadah Al Talal
Customer Loyalty Programs
Maya: How does Tamimi Markets measure the success of its customer loyalty programs, and what steps is the company taking to evolve these programs to better meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers?
Ghadah: Customer loyalty programs go beyond their value contribution; they act as trend readers and valuable channels for insights. Our loyalty program helps us understand the motives behind purchases and what makes a customer happy, ultimately stabilizing our business. Loyalty data has become vital for us and our business partners, allowing brands like Tamimi Markets to improve their performance within the retail industry. The VOC program, in partnership with New Metrics, enables us to gather insights through transactional surveys and integrate with the loyalty platform, contributing to the improvement of the loyalty program’s performance and overall messaging efficiency.
Challenges and Opportunities in Retail
Maya: Given your experience in leading marketing initiatives for both multinational companies and local brands in the GCC region, what unique challenges and opportunities do you see for marketers in Saudi Arabia today? How do you think the retail industry in Saudi Arabia can further innovate and adapt to changing consumer behavior and preferences?
Ghadah: Investing in future marketers through tools, knowledge, and value benefits is key to their success and growth. Local knowledge and aligning with the operating style of Saudi Arabia are crucial for marketers to recreate occasions and resonate with the local market. Building trust and nurturing leadership are essential components of success.
The retail industry in Saudi Arabia is vibrant and offers great opportunities for innovation. It is a sector that will last the longest due to its flexibility and the testing environment it provides for technology and consumer behavior.
Women in Leadership
Maya: What advice would you give to young women aspiring to become leaders in the marketing industry in Saudi Arabia, considering your active role in empowering young women in the field?
Ghadah: Young marketers are increasingly independent, but as leaders, we should nourish their talents and keep them motivated and inspired. In the field of marketing, success stems from leading and creating leaders rather than followers. Empowering others begins with empowering oneself, setting an example, and defining the criteria for career success.
My advice to aspiring female marketers is:
- Maintain an evolving mindset with a clear set of values and standards.
- Stay curious and always ask, “WHY?”
- Marketing will always make you feel young if you just allow it.
- Barriers and limitations are illusions that can be overcome. It’s not never about gender if you think about it.
- Focus on integrity and self-discipline, and stay authentic.
Leadership is contagious, and women need to support and mentor each other, discovering new paths to success and educating those who need it. Mentoring has great potential, and fostering connections with male colleagues is also essential for continuous learning and growth.