The Israel-Hamas war is a complex and tragic conflict that has claimed the lives of hundreds of people and displaced thousands more. The war has also sparked a global debate over the causes, consequences, and solutions of the crisis, with different narratives and perspectives competing for attention and influence. Let’s examine how marketing, the process of creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and stakeholders, is helping the Israel-Hamas war in various ways.
Marketing as a Tool for Advocacy
Both sides of the conflict, as well as their allies and supporters, have used various marketing strategies and tactics to advance their agendas and interests, such as:
- Social media: Social media platforms, such as X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, have been widely used by both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as their supporters around the world, to share their stories, opinions, and emotions about the war. Social media is mobilizing protests, rallies, and donations, as well as to spread misinformation, propaganda and hate speech. According to CNN, the Israel-Hamas war reveals how social media sells users the narratives they want to hear, based on the platforms’ algorithms and business models that promote content that generates engagement.
- Public relations: Public relations, the practice of managing the spread of information between an organization and the public, has also been employed by both sides of the conflict to shape public opinion and influence policy makers. For example, Israel has launched a diplomatic offensive to justify its military actions and counter the accusations of human rights violations by Hamas and other groups. Hamas, on the other hand, has tried to portray itself as a legitimate resistance movement that defends the rights and interests of the Palestinian people. Both sides have also used spokespeople, press releases, interviews, and statements to communicate their messages to the media and the public.
- Advertising: Advertising, the act of producing and placing paid messages in various media channels to persuade or inform an audience, has been used by both sides of the conflict to reach and influence their target markets. For example, Israel has used in-feed ads on X to showcase its achievements in innovation, culture, and tourism, as well as to defend its right to self-defense. Hamas has used video shopping ads on X to sell merchandise that supports its cause, such as t-shirts, flags, and stickers. Both sides have also used branded hashtag challenges on TikTok to encourage users to create and share videos that support their positions.
Marketing as a Tool for Business
Despite the violence and instability caused by the war, some businesses have managed to survive or even thrive by using various marketing strategies and tactics to adapt to the changing market conditions, such as:
- Innovation: Innovation, the process of creating new or improved products or services that meet customer needs or wants, has been a key factor for some businesses that operate in or with Israel. For example, Mobileye Global, an autonomous vehicle chip maker and the largest company in Israel based on market cap, has continued to develop, and test its technology despite the war. The company has also partnered with other global players in the automotive industry, such as Ford Motor Company, to expand its market reach and competitive advantage.
- Diversification: Diversification, the strategy of entering new markets or offering new products or services that are different from the existing ones, has also been a useful tactic for some businesses that operate in or with Israel. For example, Noissue, a small business that provides custom sustainable packaging for e-commerce brands, has diversified its customer base by engaging with the small business community on TikTok. The company has also diversified its product portfolio by offering new designs and features that appeal to different segments of customers.
- Social responsibility: Social responsibility, the obligation of businesses to act in ways that benefit society as well as themselves, has also been a valuable approach for some businesses that operate in or with Israel. For example, RCHLO, a large fashion retailer in Brazil, has demonstrated its social responsibility by launching a branded hashtag challenge on TikTok that recognized mothers nationwide. The company invited users to share videos of themselves surprising their mothers with RCHLO products using #RCHLOMOMS. The company also donated part of its sales revenue to humanitarian organizations that help Gaza.
Marketing is helping the Israel-Hamas war in various ways by serving as a tool for advocacy and business. Both sides of the conflict have used marketing strategies and tactics to advance their agendas and interests through social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), public relations efforts like press releases and interviews; advertising campaigns like in-feed ads and branded hashtag challenges. Some businesses have also used marketing strategies and tactics to adapt to the changing market conditions by innovating new or improved products or services like autonomous vehicle chips and custom sustainable packaging; diversifying their markets or products like expanding to new regions or offering new designs; and demonstrating their social responsibility like donating to humanitarian causes or recognizing mothers. Marketing, therefore, plays a significant role in shaping the outcomes and impacts of the Israel-Hamas war.