The next phase for Egypt will be a telling one. And if the country and its people are to actually realize movement in a forward direction, now must be the time to set intelligent objectives. Marketing Egypt will be a tall task, which is why defining clear objectives is so critical at an early stage.
Let’s be clear: “regime change” is not an objective in and of itself. It’s certainly a goal, and the sum of hundreds of thousands of protestors, rocks, hand-written signs and a zillion tweets and Facebook posts. But a suite of objectives could help the process of democratic transformation take shape, and could provide a road map to the next chapter in Egypt’s storied history.
So what kind of goals should Egypt be setting at this point?
Obviously, there are innumerable logistical considerations. Operational objectives must outline what the desired outcomes will be for electoral systems, governmental systems, infrastructure systems, military stability. Chief among these, of course, are all the financial systems that must be monitored, maintained and scrubbed for security. These include tax codes, regulatory systems for Egypt’s stock market, the maintenance and sustenance of Egypt’s chief revenue producers: the Suez, agricultural exports and tourism. The culmination of these objectives would likely be outlined in an amended Egyptian Republic constitution.
Of course, political goals are nearly as important as the operational objectives. Egypt currently maintains a high profile on the world stage, despite its warts. The next government will have to lay out a specific agenda for its political objectives. How it will represent itself at the United Nations. Where it will stand on the myriad issues that face the Middle East. How it will contribute to global efforts facing the environment. Where it will draw a line in the Saharan sand on women’s rights. And a host of others.
Most marketing objectives I’ve helped formulate usually involve an element of productizing; helping my clients draw fact-based conclusions on what products will drive revenue, or drive new opportunities for engagement. For Egypt, the product plan will likely involve two phases: expanding its current line, and developing new products the world desires. Its current line of agrarian exports can be expanded. Cotton, rice, wheat and others are a very good start. But there are tens of millions of people who could be gainfully employed building equipment, or refining sugar, or planting new citrus crops near the Nile. And for that matter, new contributors to GDP are just waiting to emerge: there are equal numbers of engineers who could help build assembly plants; refineries, distribution centers, healthcare infrastructures and more. This may be the most exciting of all the objective-setting plans ahead for Egypt.
Naturally, any entity that has been the focus of so much media coverage will have to undertake great effort to repair its image. The brand objectives will first be a combined effort of artfully bragging about the success of the aforementioned objectives coming to fruition: Yay – a new government! Yay – new GDP sources! Yay – equal representation under the law! But beyond that, Egypt will have to go a long way to lull back tourists to its resorts and attractions. Egypt will have to enact new programs to prove that it’s a safe and friendly place to visit. That it’s a worthwhile (and legit) country for investment. That it can stand up again and take the next step in the evolution of a great nation.
On the horizon: strategies.
The combination and consideration of these objectives will begin to form the vague shape of an Egypt of the future. But getting there will require sound strategies. Those in an upcoming post.