Marzouq: Rise of a Twitter Star
Initiative UAE

Mobily is one of the leading mobile telecommunications providers in Saudi Arabia. It had just revamped its customer loyalty points program called Neqaty, or points in Arabic, and needed to let its subscribers know about the new benefits.

Saudi Arabia has among the highest smart phone penetrations in the world with over 72% penetration. Saudis turn to their mobile first for anything internet related. Mobily discovered Saudis interact with three types of people online – family, friends, and celebrities. They contact friends and family on normal social channels such as Facebook and Whatsapp. And with the rise of Twitter in the region, they are now able to interact with their favorite celebrities. Mobily didn’t have a celebrity spokesperson, but what if they could create one? Enter Marzouq. Marzouq is an actual customer service rep at Mobily. Mobily’s strategy was to use Marzouq’s charm and turn him into a Twitter celebrity. Marzouq doesn’t just have answers about Mobily, but can respond to just about any query no matter how bizarre or off-the-wall!

First, Mobily set up Marzouq’s Twitter profile @marzouqksa. He’s a self-described ‘down-to-earth-guy’ who loves coffee, technology and helping people as much as he can. Marzouq’s first tweets were generic in nature, but as he started to gain followers he suddenly beginning to feel famous. He then directed followers to a YouTube video link revealing him as a rising star and Mobily customer service rep who can answer any question. It wasn’t long before Marzouq started getting questions not just about Neqaty, but other topics not related to Mobily. Curious Saudis wanted to try their luck at getting a witty reply from their new favorite Twitter hero. Meanwhile, followers were also seeing Marzouq’s tips and tricks about earning the most Neqaty points and where to redeem them.

Consumers are not always interested in what we as brands want to tell them. And that’s okay! Brands need to sometimes engage with them on their terms and in real language that they can relate to. Marzouq is a perfect example of how a brand can humanize itself and engage with customers on a one-on-one basis.

And Saudis really responded to that. Marzouk’s Twitter account earned more than 10,000 followers in less than a month, to date he has over 44,000 followers. The initial earned media campaign generated over 14 million impressions from over 1,300 Twitter mentions. This helped build Neqaty’s member base with a 6% increase during the first 3 months.