Better awareness of SEO, online advertising, and promotion can help Moroccan businesses flourish.
Rabat – Finding a Moroccan business online can be a frustrating task; dead links and amateurish Facebook pages fail to take advantage of the internet’s potential. Moroccan business owners are often wary of following Moroccan expertise and instead rely on outdated methods to promote their business.
In order to help Moroccan business grow online, Morocco World News spoke to Moroccan software engineer Aymen Jarouih.
Aymen Jarouih is a Full Stack Developer based in Marrakech who focuses on helping companies build premium web application development and provide technical consulting on analytics and search engine optimization (SEO) auditing using applied behavioral science.
What Moroccan business does wrong
Moroccan business owners are traditionally risk-averse. The promotional strategies of many large and small business ventures in Morocco often still rely on traditional print media. Many enterprises continue to print thousands of flyers which they distribute to whom they hope will be potential customers.
“These solutions are not scalable,” says Aymen Jarouih, who has been working with Moroccan business people for years.
When using flyers, people have no idea who sees their flyer, what messages work, or if their flyers are even seen at all by potential customers. Despite the rise of the internet and social media, many businesses “leave a lot of money on the table,” according to Jarouih.
“Everyone in Morocco has a phone, a TV, or a laptop,” Jarouih explains. “If you ask anyone in the street, they will tell you they use Facebook or Whatsapp.”
Using traditional printed flyers as a method means “working randomly,” with little information on how effective their efforts are. Many shops, restaurants, and producers have failed to catch up with the digital transformation.
Tips and tricks for promoting Moroccan business online
Business ventures in Morocco need to learn more about their customers. “Everyone works with electronics, and that is a good thing,” Jarouih stated. Through online media, a business can now know what a consumer will want in the near future, what their spending patterns are like, and what type of consumers it attracts. Businesses need to become familiar with their customers’ “intentions.”
Companies like Google and Facebook continuously track the behavior of their users. This allows them to predict what a user might want to buy, and when.
“We now know what potential customers had for lunch, where they shop and how much they spend,” Jarouih explained. Customers only receive advertisements for things they are interested in, and businesses don’t waste money advertising without knowing their return on investment.
Using this data means that a business in Morocco can advertise specifically to people who are likely to buy their products. If a shop sells high-end expensive quality goods, they can advertise to people who use the latest iPhones, eat at expensive restaurants, and book exotic vacations.
“Using this data, everyone’s a winner,” Jarouih stated, urging local businesses to become more familiar with their customers and not advertise to people who will never be their customers in the first place.
Using data can benefit large and small businesses alike. A small taxi company can learn a customer’s spending habits before they enter a taxi. They can know what hotel to bring them to, or whether their spending means they are more likely to want to be dropped off at the nearest available public transport.
Online data assures a business that they target only the customers that they need. Aymen Jarouih still detects significant hesitation to use such methods.
“Here in Morocco, many people still have to be convinced of the results,” he said, explaining that international companies have a basic sense of trust in online specialists’ expertise because they trust the process.
“Many business owners in Morocco fear change,” Jarouih said. Because people do not understand the online world, they are fearful of investing in it. For many Moroccan business people, online promotion still “feels like magic” while they rely on paying print companies and telecom providers to send out ineffective flyers or promotional texts.
This fear exists amid a plethora of available case-studies of successful online promotion. Developers like Jarouih are trying to “break the bridge of fear” by highlighting the success of companies who have taken the risk and yielded the results.
Moroccans often have more trust in foreign experts and are suspicious of local Moroccan ones. Business people in Morocco more often trust someone named John instead of someone named Hassan or Mohammed, “they don’t trust a Moroccan’s hustle,” Jarouih laments.
Many distrust graduates of the Moroccan education system and see foreigners as more strategic and open, according to Jarouih. People are afraid to be scammed when they entrust others with funds to invest in online platforms that they themselves do not understand.
The continued use of traditional promotion methods means Morocco’s business owners “fail to transform, fail to scale and fail to simplify their work, they just continue the same process that doesn’t help them grow.” Instead of focusing on popular online platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Tik Tok, Moroccan business owners continue to pay Maroc Telecom to send out mass texts.
Even though it is cheaper to target specific customers on Facebook compared to sending out hundreds of thousands of texts, Jarouih sees this as “advertising shampoo to a person without hair,” adding that the lack of segmentation of customers is a “big problem.” Using social media platforms, businesses can pay smaller amounts to reach more potential customers.
A coffee shop can send its ads to only people who regularly drink tea or coffee and even specify if they want to target cappuccino drinkers, in particular. It allows them to get feedback from clients after they have made a purchase and use this data to inform the next advertising campaign.
“Facebook is smart enough to show customers ads for your coffee brand, just before the user consciously thinks about having a coffee.” Large online platforms like Google and Facebook constantly track their users, allowing a business in Morocco to use that data to find the perfect customer at the right time.
“Everyone can do it, whether you are a small company, a start-up or you are self-employed, you can start using Facebook or Google to do better,” Jarouih advises.
People who are interested in taking their business online just need a very basic understanding of social media. Working with young enthusiastic developers like Jarouih can be a logical next step.
“I give them the shortcuts,” Jarouih explains. Working with Moroccan developers can help kick-start more effective online promotion for local business owners. Morocco’s software engineers can help a shop engage with their customers who use their free WiFi, learn from their data, and increase the strategic approach to advertising their business.
“Every company in the world should at least try this form of advertising,” Jarouih states as he urges businesses to learn from their customers’ behavior and build a more strategic approach.
“It’s a big opportunity for people to help their business grow big.”