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Global digital marketing firm Incubeta acquires Bruce Clay to enter the Middle East

Among marketing partners leveraging data and tech to help brands reach consumers, Incubeta entered the Middle Eastern market by acquiring leading search engine optimization firm Bruce Clay.

[Source photo: Neal Patel, Managing Director of Bruce Clay MENA (Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

An average consumer in the Middle East stumbles upon more ads while browsing Instagram and Facebook than he does on billboards and television advertisements. 

Apart from reaching millions of users with quick content, the perk of online marketing has the option to quickly divert the consumer to e-commerce platforms instead of hoping they’d visit a store after watching an ad, somewhere on the street. 

Digital marketing is the present and future, with annual internet ad spending in the Middle East expected to reach almost $8 billion by 2024.

Online marketing is cost-effective since sellers can provide more product information without spending on age-old, traditional promotional material such as pamphlets or brochures. 

According to social media analytics firm Meltwater, the number of sponsored posts shared by influencers will increase by 26% in 2022.

For as little as $800, micro-influencers with 30,000 followers can amplify marketing posts to as many as half a million users in the UAE. At the most, an average influencer will charge $1000 per post, which is still a lot quicker and more cost-effective than newspaper ad spots and celebrity endorsements.


Among marketing partners leveraging data and tech to help brands reach consumers, Incubeta entered the Middle Eastern market by acquiring leading search engine optimization firm Bruce Clay.

Backed by a global team of experts and 700 creators and thinkers, Incubeta hopes to make the most of Bruce Clay’s pay-per-click, social media marketing, content development, web design, analytics, and conversation rate optimization solutions. It is the global firm’s fourth acquisition in a year as part of its campaign to expand its footprint in the Middle East and North Africa.

Neal Patel, Managing Director of Bruce Clay MENA says, “Once Incubeta showed an interest in our business and after meeting the leadership team, it was an easy decision for us to pursue this partnership. These are truly exciting times for Bruce Clay MENA, as through the Incubeta brand we will infuse deep performance marketing knowledge and experience into our team and agency offering – unlike anything there currently is in the region. Additionally, through Bruce Clay MENA, Incubeta is acquiring world-class SEO, social media and creative talent that will help provide a fully integrated end-to-end solution to clients. The opportunities we will open together are super exciting and the team and I can’t wait to get going!”

On average, an e-commerce firm can make almost $3 for every dollar spent on search engine optimization. With e-commerce profits witnessing a four-fold increase in the Middle East in five years, that number denotes big bucks for e-tailers.

Having started with SEO in 1996, Bruce Clay arrived in the Middle East almost twenty years later, with clients such as McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Canon.

Speaking about the acquisition of Bruce Clay MENA, Lars Lehne, Group CEO of Incubeta said,” This acquisition fits squarely with our ongoing strategy of acquiring companies that complement our core business growth.”


Policymakers in the Middle East are embracing technology, as Saudi Arabia saw the launch of 36000 new online stores during the pandemicDubai’s Chamber of Commerce partnered with TikTok to help 1000 small enterprises expand to facilitate businesses. Saudi Arabia has also entrusted PR giant Edelman with building its digital brand and online presence.

Digital marketing firm Incubeta is another player poised to serve the region, specialising in providing bespoke localized digital solutions, backed by global expertise.

According to Michael Ossendrijver, CEO of Incubeta EMEA and Chief Growth Officer, “For the overall digital marketing industry in MENA, two leading specialists have joined forces to become a digital powerhouse in the region. Bruce Clay MENA’s regional expertise and the amazing team complement Incubeta’s world-class network of experts.”

Gaurav Aidasani and Bruce Clay, Co-founders of Bruce Clay MENA said, “We are thrilled to see that Bruce Clay is entering a new era through this acquisition, facilitating its expansion within the entire MENA region.”

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