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Elevate your marketing strategies with Ramadan insights

March 11, 2024

The holiest month in the Islamic calendar—Ramadan—is observed by over 2 billion Muslims around the world1 with Southeast Asia (SEA) and the Middle East, Republic of Türkiye, and Africa (META) contributing to close to 50% of this number.

Ramadan not only marks a time for spiritual reflection but also an important period for marketers and brands in these regions as the dynamics of consumer behavior undergo a noticeable shift. It’s often the period when people plan their zakat (an annual charitable donation made by Muslims during Ramadan) and take to their devices to shop for home essentials, browse gifts for loved ones, map out travel plans, manage expenses, prepare for Iftaar meals, or find grooming options ahead of Eid.

To help your brand tap into the incredible opportunities that Ramadan presents and build meaningful connections with consumers, Microsoft Advertising and InMobi have curated comprehensive insights in a new report—Ramadan in the Digital World: The Marketer’s Manual. This report outlines top trends and takeaways across seven shopping categories from SEA and META regions during the 2023 Ramadan period so that you can create winning campaigns around this year’s holy month.

The Southeast Asian search and click surge

Finance, Travel, and Tourism click growth during Ramadan.

1. The top three verticals: Travel and Tourism saw remarkable search and click growth leading up to Eid as people looked forward to reunions. Finance clocked a triple-digit growth before and during Ramadan.

Computers and Consumer Electronics skyrocketed across all markets just before and during Ramadan, with Singapore leading the count at +48% month-over-month (MoM) growth from March to April.

2. Apparel: This vertical clocked a double-digit growth from March to April. Indonesia led the country charts with +32% search growth and +72% click growth MoM between March to April.

3. Beauty and Personal Care: This category saw a strong search spike in the weeks leading up to Ramadan. Singapore led the charts in terms of search with +25% monthly growth between March and April.

4. Gifts and Occasions: Naturally, this vertical witnessed solid search growth between March and April, and Malaysia led this vertical with +44% MoM growth.

5. Home and Garden: This category remained steady across all countries from March, and Vietnam led the charts at +35%. Malaysia led monthly click growth by +23% amidst rising trends in other markets except Indonesia.

The search and click spike in Middle East, Republic of Türkiye, and Africa

Computers, Consumer Electronics, and Home Furniture click growth during Ramadan.

  1. The top three verticals: Searches and clicks peaked before Eid in the Computers and Consumer Electronics category. Republic of Türkiye led with an incredible triple-digit click growth of +174% in the penultimate week.

    For Home Furniture, most markets observed double-digit weekly growth and Qatar recorded a whopping +93% weekly click growth.

    Food and Groceries spiked right before Eid with Egypt recording +62% weekly click growth and Republic of Türkiye recording +32% weekly search growth.

  2. Apparel: This category saw a steady MoM search and click surge from February to April, which peaked around Eid. Republic of Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) led the weekly search growth with a +10% increase.
  3. Beauty and Personal Care: The interest in this vertical peaked in the penultimate week, closer to Eid, and the UAE led with a +22% week-over-week (WoW) increase.
  4. Finance: MoM searches and clicks steadily increased from April to May. Qatar and Republic of Türkiye led the weekly search growth with +24% increase, Nigeria led in terms of weekly growth in clicks with +18%.
  5. Travel and Tourism: This category saw increasing searches and clicks from April to May.

Common trends observed in SEA and META

While there were distinct trends in different markets last Ramadan, there were a few common patterns we observed. In both regions, Ramadan preparations began up to 8 weeks in advance, and trends varied highly across verticals, with some gaining momentum closer to Eid.

Furthermore, highly competitive terms such as “Ramadan decorations,” “gift ideas,” “greeting cards,” “cook for gatherings,” “buy desserts,” and “to decorate home,” saw an incredible spike in both regions as people prepared for the fasting period or Eid.

Four ways marketers can leverage these trends in 2024

  1. Start early: Kick off the campaign planning process early to position your brand for success during Ramadan.
  2. Consider consumer context: Refresh your ad copy and creatives to highlight your offerings.
  3. Keep a close eye on your category: Monitor changing trends in your vertical to stay relevant to your audience.
  4. Leverage the lift: Target high-intent consumers by acting promptly during the seasonal surges for these verticals.

Bonus insight: Maximize visibility and impact with omnichannel marketing

To see full-funnel impact, it’s important to capture users across their entire digital journey through various touchpoints. Every device can present a powerful opportunity to lead them to your brand, and here’s how:

  • An omnichannel approach enables brands to provide seamless and integrated customer experience across all channels and devices.
  • By analyzing data from multiple channels, brands can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior, campaign performance, and market trends to further enrich their strategy.
  • By utilizing multiple channels, brands can reach a larger audience and increase their visibility during Ramadan. This is especially important in regions where Ramadan is widely celebrated and competition among brands is high.

From understanding the shifting patterns of consumer behavior to leveraging the power of digital channels for outreach, this report equips marketers with the trends and tools needed to navigate the complexities of Ramadan marketing successfully.

Download your copy of the Ramadan in the Digital World: The Marketer’s Manual to elevate your marketing strategies with Ramadan insights.


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