Marketing and Human Resources Management in the United Arab Emirates

Introduction

There is no doubt that the technological progress made over the past few decades has opened a plethora of opportunities for the UAE companies, in general, and the Dubai organizations, in particular, to explore new opportunities in local and global markets, improve services quality, and attract new customers. The switch to the adoption of digital tools to carry out foundational operations in every department, including production, R&D, finances, marketing, etc., however, has also posed a variety of challenges for big organizations. Particularly, the transfer to the use of digital marketing tools, such as content creating or SEO-related ones, is an indispensable step for any company operating in the contemporary global market (Saenz and Koufteros 2).

However, while the steps necessary to transfer to the realm of digital market are not very numerous yet, the change that they ensue is quite drastic, which means that, for large firms operating in the UAE and, particularly, in Dubai, the process is going to be painstaking. At this point, the HR-related concerns need to be brought up. Although the current unemployment rates are rather high in Dubai and the UAE, the people employed in the public and private organizations are unlikely to be enthusiastic about transferring to the designated digital realm because of the changes that it requires (Johnston, Mavodza, and Jirjeez 3). Indeed, surveys show quite graphically that people are unwilling to alter the traditional patterns and acquire the related skills. Thus, the necessity to motivate the employees and to help them adapt to the digital tools and environment emerges.

Research Aim, Hypotheses, and Objectives

Goal

The paper is aimed at identifying the HR-associated challenges that will emerge as the staff of the UAE companies and, specifically, the Dubai enterprises, will have to train new skills and transfer to the realm of the digital marketing. Particularly, the problems regarding the development of digital branding strategies, such as the creation of a brand image and a brand story, the analysis of the target customers’ demands, etc., will have to be considered. To be more exact, the use of the HR tool such as training courses (3–4 weeks) is going to be viewed as a possible solution to the problem in question.

Hypotheses

Hypothesis A: The issues related to the use of digital branding strategies as the means of promoting a UAE or a Dubai organization in the context of the local and global market can be addressed with a change in the HR strategy.

Hypothesis B: The HR strategy aimed at investing in the current staff and providing them with opportunities for acquiring new skills related to digital marketing is going to have a significant effect on the increase in enthusiasm and digital competency rates among the employees.

Objectives

  • Identifying the obstacles standing in the way of the UAE and Dubai HR managers to help employees transfer to the use of digital tools (general research and surveys);
  • Locating the effects that the absence of digital marketing tools as on the UAE companies, in general, and the Dubai entrepreneurship area, in particular (general research and surveys);
  • Getting priorities straight as far as the current issues in digital marketing are concerned for the UAE and the Dubai organizations;
  • Designing the concept of training that will help the HR managers introduce the staff to the concept of digital marketing and digital branding within a comparatively short amount of time;
  • Evaluating the changes that the strategies in question have had and giving recommendations on the subject matter.

Literature Review

Studies show that the UAE environment can be viewed as rather favorable in terms of promoting the use of digital tools. While the issue of cybercrime and a security breach has been a consistent threat for companies worldwide, the UAE can be viewed as comparatively safe for digital marketing (“Understanding UAE Cyber Crime Laws and Penalties” par. 2). Recent changes in the legal regulations of the state have contributed to the creation of an elaborate policy preventing the instances of security breach. The changes in question have manifested themselves in the adoption of the new cybercrime law, which states that cyber attacks are a punishable offense. Nevertheless, the companies deploying digital tools in their marketing-, production-, and finances-related operations are not fully protected from cybercriminals, hence the need to educate the staff on not only using digital tools but also applying them safely.

Researches also point to the fact that most people working at the UAE companies, in general, and Dubai firms, in particular, are less than enthusiastic about adopting digital tools as marketing and branding devices (Badri par. 4). The identified phenomenon can be attributed to the fear of failing to acquire the new skills in a manner as efficient and expeditious as the organization suggests the staff members to (Amara and Atia 5). In fact, the staff’s unwillingness to acquire digital skills is a common problem for not only the UAE companies but also for organizations all over the world: “A fifth (18%) of marketing employees have concerns about whether their skills will be needed by employers in the future but admit they are doing nothing about it” (“Skills Development ‘Not a Priority’ for Marketing Professionals, Despite Concerns from Employers” par. 3). Thus, there is a pressing need to create the environment, in which the members of an organization could acquire the corresponding marketing and branding skills so that they could use the necessary tools professionally.

Another obstacle that hampers the professional development of the employees working for the UAE companies and especially for the Dubai ones, the unwillingness of the companies to invest in the staff members and their further development needs to be mentioned. The lack of enthusiasm identified above can be attributed to the impressive costs, which the adoption of the corresponding training program will ensue. Thus, an elaborate and cost-efficient HR strategy aimed at improving the digital marketing and branding skills of the UAE employees must be designed to improve the current rates of digital awareness among eh target denizens of the Dubai population.

Methodology

On the one hand, the relationships between the variables mentioned in the hypotheses above can be defined as qualitative and, therefore, do not need quantification. From the given perspective, the adoption of a qualitative research design should be viewed as a necessity. On the other hand, the hypotheses incorporate the elements of a quantitative comparison of the variables under analysis. Therefore, quantification should also be considered as one of the tools for data analysis. In other words, it is imperative that a mixed approach incorporating these elements of a qualitative and a quantitative one should be used to analyze the data.

Qualitative

The data for the qualitative analysis will be collected with the help of a general research involving the analysis of the latest case studies. The information retrieved in the process will be processed with the help of a set of codes developed to locate the emergent tendencies in the current HR approaches and the factors that affect the adoption of digital marketing strategies. The codes will be analyzed based on the frequency of their appearance in the designated sources.

Quantitative

The quantitative research, in its turn, will require that the Pearson correlation test should be adopted to test the veracity of the hypotheses provided above. To retrieve the data required for the analysis, one will have to consider the design of a survey that will allow gathering data regarding the obstacles that owners of firms face when entering the global economy and having to improve the staff’s skills within a comparatively short amount of time in its competitive environment. The survey will incorporate ten statements that the participants will have to grade on the Likert scale from 1 (“disagree completely”) to 5 (“agree completely”). The results retrieved after distributing the survey to 200 participants will be analyzed based on 50 randomly sampled surveys.

Variables

The proficiency of the staff as far as the use of digital marketing tools is concerned, as well as the overall performance of the project in the environment of the UAE (Dubai) economic environment is going to be the key dependent variable. The effects of the factors such as the HR strategies are going to be viewed as the independent variables.

Limitations

One must admit that the study in question has its limitations, the number of participants being the key one.

Works Cited

Amara, Naoual Ben, and Larbi Atia. ” E-Training and Its Role in Human Resources Development.” Global Journal of Human Resource Management 4.1 (2016): 1-12. Print.

Badri, Hala. “UAE Brands Must Keep Innovating to Connect with Consumers.” The National. 2015. Web.

Johnston, Nicole, Judith Mavodza, and Jasim Mohammed Jirjeez. Exploring the Extent to Which English LIS Masters Programs in the UAE and Qatar Meet the Skills and Knowledge Needs of Employers in the Library and Information Studies Field. Cape Town: IFLA WLIC, 2015. Print.

Saenz, Maria Jesus, and Xehophon Koufteros. “Special Issue on Literature Reviews in Supply Chain Management and Logistics.” International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 45.12 (2015): 1-6. Print.

Skills Development ‘Not a Priority’ For Marketing Professionals, Despite Concerns from Employers 2015. Web.

“Understanding UAE Cyber Crime Laws and Penalties.” Gulf News. 2015. Web.