Sharjah :  An insightful discussion at the popular Social Media Station at the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) took its young attendees by surprise as they were informed about how the psychology of marketing is used to influence their decision-making on a daily basis, especially regarding their purchases, both big and small.

Led by Ahmed Alkhawaja, an entrepreneur and an Emirati speaker known for his talks on marketing and advertising, the interactive session captured the interest of youngsters and adults alike.

Talking about the importance of marketing, Alkhawaja said, “Marketing is an essential tool, noy only for businesses, but for everyone who has a story to tell. At times the story is interesting, at times it is not, but marketing can help make things interesting and even aspirational.”

Introducing the audience to the concept of the ‘scarcity effect’, Ahmed explained how brands could employ the strategy of having limited supplies at times to create a sense of urgency to impact their sales positively.

Another theory that elicited a few chuckles from the audience was the ‘decoy effect’, which Ahmed illustrated to prove that the difference between a medium and a large-sized popcorn or drink isn’t much in terms of its monetary value, and encouraged his audience to pick the larger ones to enjoy better value for money.

The audience was thoroughly engaged, and several received practical tips on ways to incorporate simple, yet effective marketing techniques into their businesses. Yusef Idris, a small business owner, said, “I have a competitor who does not provide good quality products, but lately, his shop has been full of customers. He has been running social media ads and providing discounts, which motivated me to learn more about social media and marketing. This session definitely helped me to a certain extent, and I will try to incorporate the lessons I learned today to grow my business.”

Carrying the theme, ‘There’s always a right book’, SIBF 2021 is taking place in Expo Centre Sharjah until November 13 and features over 1,000 different activities led by a star-studded line-up of international authors, speakers, artists, social media experts and entertainers. For more information, visit


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