A Newbies Guide To Social Media In Pakistan

A Newbies Guide To Social Media In Pakistan

It’s hard to ignore the fact that the Social Media scene is active and thriving in Pakistan. From allowing parents to stalk their children and their off-spring’s friends and of course their friends online on sites like Facebook to toppling over might corporate behemoths through the power of the blogs, the power of the people has been clearly been manifested through this medium and also highlighted the fact that we have no lives of our own. However because it is still a relatively new concept, and something that we feel everyone should know about we’ve compiled a glossary of what the whole ‘social’ thing is about in our country.

Social Media Expert: Approximately every third person that you meet online. Such social experts can be usually found twittering & Facebooking away about their lives, their cat, their dog, their cat and dog, their tooth brush and their otherwise inane life. Usually don’t have a clue about social media but can talk great lengths about this great software that will put a link to your site on 21,000 forums and 10,000 blogs with just a click and also offers ‘SMS marketing’ services to complement your social campaign.

Blog: Usually millions of online journals that link together into a vast network. Mostly used for self-obsession, self-promotion and Narcissism. Generally underscore a hunger for fame which usually ensures that people line up to trade punches on various Blagger meetups.

Social media bore: 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the people using social media.

Blagger: Person who writes a Blog.

Lassi: The favorite drink of the blaggers everywhere.

Farmville: The contemporary manner of getting back to nature.

Internet Celebrity: Usually an angry young man with no clue to technology but with a large Internet following. Has been known to talk about his mom calling him a lot of things such as lazy, fat and unclean.

Avatar: What you look like in a virtual world such as a ten foot tall dragon riding blue cat with breasts.

Green Revolution: Adding Green Flags To Your Display Pic.

Small Talk: What you do when Twitter is down.

Quotterer: Someone who spends most part of the day tweeting ‘inspiring’ quotes to his followers such as ‘The Answer My Friend Is Twittering In The Wind’, ‘“Ask not what social media can do for you, ask what you can do for social media” or “Just Tweet It”.

Social Media Agency: Has no clue why it’s offering services such as page management, advertising & spamming 400,000 email addresses but promises the lowest rates to do so.

Display Pic: Ranges from the people who think we’re so interested in them we need to see their childhood photos to the nothing-is-more-natural-than-me-just-kinda-laughing-not-noticing-you’re-taking-a-picture-of-me kind of photos.

Parents: AKA Stalkers. Have been known to tell the opposite gender friends to stay away from their ‘ladla’ via walled posts available to your peers and the public. Also have been known to post your childhood pictures on their accounts and tag you in the process.

Stalkers: We just like watching every little thing you do…. Always.  

Sheep: The new weapon of choice to throw at friends, peers and in the corporate boardroom.

Compatibility: Me & You Is Friends, You Smile, I Smile, You Hurt, I Crack Myself Up Laughing

Poke: A tool used by the young, male population of the country to hit on (probably fake) profiles of the females whom they will never have the nerve to go up to in real life.

Tagged: See parents

Movie Quizzes: The favorite past time during business meetings.

Status Updates: Attention seeking painfully unfunny, unoriginal update on various sites by wannabe philosophers and psychologists. Usually ignored by most people.

Relationship: “It’s Complicated”.

Four Square: A personal advertising tool to make the jobs of robbers, kidnappers & thieves easier.

Band: Angry young angst ridden teens with guitars & drums trying to get a ‘following’ on Facebook by putting up videos of themselves with weird expressions.

YouTube: A site which our politicians try to “Shut Up” often, but usually fail to.

Friends: All of the 10000000000000 people who’ve I’ve added on Facebook.

Comments: LOL

Social Media Addict: The person who actually understood all these terms. Also used for people whose friends lists (see above) are loaded with people you’ve never met, never actually spoken to, and whose name may or may not be real, but somehow feel a close kinship to.

These are some of the ones i could come up with. Join in and let’s add to this list together.

The Rise Of Digital Marketing In Pakistan

Posted On Express Tribune: http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/159/hello-digital-world/

As we celebrate almost two decades of the internet’s presence in Pakistan, intuitively it makes sense to believe that as the consumer in Pakistan gets ‘Digital’ and the technologies mature, there would have been innovations & change of behaviors in the marketing practices of companies. Yet astonishingly despite the fact that the computing grid is now increasingly available all around us via GPRS / EDGE Services, Wireless Broadband, DSL, etc, there is still a parallel and increasingly irrelevant universe which is inhabited by marketers and their agencies still clinging on to practices & notions of a pre-digital world where even in the best of times marketers used to admit that only 50 percent of their advertising worked and even then they weren’t sure which 50% it was.

As Pakistan comes close to approaching almost 20 million of its residents having access to and using the internet, instead of the gap between the consumer and the marketer shrinking, it only seems to be getting wider by the day. Marketers seem impervious to the fact that with over 80 broadcast channels catering to the masses, over 12 channels on the radio, over 4000 publications, such media onslaught is causing unprecedented fragmentation in media habits of a precedent which have never been seen before and still insist on doing things the traditional way. Add new channels such as internet, gaming, mobile, DirectToHome and activations and we can see why the number of touch-points to reach the average consumer have exploded making the job of the average marketer is now so much harder than the time not so long ago when you could have reached the entire country by advertising on the 9.00 pm news.

Traditional advertising models developed because the economics of the industrial era demanded it. Interaction was expensive, so information about the expected benefits of consumption of products had to be squeezed into slogans, characters, and logos, compressed into thirty-second TV ads and radio spots. Customer was not as much aware since means of peer to peer advocacy were expensive thus believed whatever the advertiser wanted them to believe. With the advent of the information age however and cheap digital interaction, these models are falling apart. What’s replacing it is digital media models where consumers are now in control. They can and do debate and discuss expected costs associated with and the benefits of the brand in incredibly rich details. The more cheaper this interaction gets, the more connected consumers become and the more they will talk to each other – and the less time they will spend listening to the often empty promises of advertisers. The information gap created in the past too disappears in these circumstances and marketers are left scrambling.

Increasingly marketers will start realizing that the multi-tasking, instant-messaging, e-mailing, cell phoning, emoticoning ;-), always on, gaming, Web-searching, blogging, social networking customers are for real and as they will scramble to find their footing in this new hyper-fragmented world, they will become painfully aware of the fact that customers are increasingly ignoring their marketing efforts. The traditional marketing model has been broken and it is digital marketing that will increasingly become the means of tapping onto such a consumer base, which has little time for TV, Print or Radio.

Of course the next question arises, what is Digital Marketing? Is it this thing called SEO? Is digital marketing having a website? What about this Facebook phenomenon is that digital marketing too?

I like the following definition and I use it in all of my seminars and workshops.

Digital marketing Is:

Applying interactive technologies to Contribute to marketing activities Through Developing a planned approach to improve customer knowledge to Deliver communication & services that matches Individual’s needs.

This means that whilst Digital marketing depends on tools such as websites, banners, SEO, Facebook, Mobile, Email, Digital Signage etc, these are not digital marketing itself. Digital marketing is about using these tools to reach customers in a timely, relevant, personal and cost effective manner through Engaging the customer with your brand. How to do so will be covered in the future topics in this blog. We will also cover the forms of insights & information available to advertisers thank to new media. Before advertisers had focused heavily on measuring the means of awareness such as reach, frequency, etc (which too were theoretical) rather than the economic value they gained from traditional advertising such as ‘Advocacy Rates’, ‘Sales Conversion’, ‘Sales Uplift’, etc because with the limitations of traditional media there were simply very few other metrics possible. However common sense dictates that just because I’m aware of something, doesn’t mean I want it (Guy Soap, anyone?). Marketers still do not fully understand this especially with regard to new media. Digital media is not shackled by this lack of data which pervaded traditional media and allows for metrics far beyond awareness, is superior and can be measured from the instant the user sees the advertised message up to the moment of sale and afterwards as well. Digital is the most accurate, transparent, and reliable type of media. The simplest metrics e.g. can enable the calculation of the cost of acquisition of a customer giving you a rupee for rupee analysis of your spending in real-time.

Most marketers  still work at siloed organizations that are built in a hierarchical and vertical way, reflecting an ancient management paradigm whilst the customer is leap-frogging ahead. Alvin Toffler said that “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be the ones that cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, un-learn and re-learn.” I believe this perfectly encapsulates the zeitgeist and for many marketers this will be the last iceberg they will ever see, if they do not learn to grasp this technology.

PAS – Aurora – The New Value Seekers

Dawn New Value Seekers ConferenceIn the last two decades, with the march of technology, increasing commoditization, increasing global sourcing and competition and increasing discretionary incomes across the boards, the consumer in Pakistan has gotten selective and buys only those products that precisely met their changing needs which unlike before  are not immediately obvious anymore. With the evolution of new forms of media, global outreach and the current hyper-fragmented channels, the marketing process too has evolved making life harder for the marketers in Pakistan.

In this new world of ‘value’ reconciling what the customer wants and then delivering on their expectations, has never been more important or more challenging. This is especially more-so, because in many of ourUmair Mohsin sectors, over the years consumers had been effectively taught to buy on price and price alone. Thus the PAS-Aurora Conference that took place at the Karachi Pearl Continental Hotel on the 20th of March, 2010 sought to answer these questions about the new consumer. If the presentations could be summed up in one sentence it would be ‘the customers are now fully in control and marketers are scrambling to understand what their customers value and the value they place on those values.’ The mood at the conference was entirely dedicated to the topic of seeking value in three key areas namely ‘the organization’, ‘the brand’ and ‘the customer experience’. It was especially interesting in hearing how the current state of the economy had altered the value equation and what the industry experts expected to see in the coming months / years.

Highlighting the changes between the old value seekers and the new, the conference started on a keynote session by Mr. Hamid Haroon, CEO, Dawn Media Group. His focus was the underlying morality that drove the Hameed Haroonold-value seekers in creating for their consumers. He minced no words when talking about the short-termism of modern industry practices including the growing number of media & agencies offering kick backs to clients which he said “undermined the advertiser, media and society”. Writing off today’s campaigns, he remarked that “Advertising agencies today are low-med sweatshops for implementing strategies created in larger markets” and implored people to find answers that would actually create value for their consumers.

The session was followed by Mr. Aly Mustansir, Chairman, Pakistan Advertisers Society, who talked about recent initiatives taken by the PAS including banning advertising on pirated cable channels and establishment of the Consumer Multimedia Index. Jamal Mir, Ad Hoc Vice-Chairman, Advertising Association of Pakistan ended the session with a talk about the challenges facing the industry including Economic, Human Resource, Compensation, the problems of Media multiplication and the standards AAP was setting in driving value for the organization and the industry.

Seeking Value From The Organization

The session started off with Mr. Atif Bajwa, President, MCB presenting his views on “Internalising the
Mr. Atif Bajwanew  value equation” and talked about how the customer should be the starting point for all decisions. Talkingabout MCB’s strategic thrusts, he spoke greatly towards building a leading payments bank including becoming #1 in alternate distribution channels like the mobile phone. Citing numbers he said already MCB had signed up 50,000 users for its Mobile Banking initiative.
Subsequently Mr. Abrar Hasan, CEO, National Foods talked about “value driven strategies to meet consumer expectations”. Citing ‘The Consumer Decision Journey’ model published recently in the McKinsey Quarterly (June’09), he challenged the traditional linear progression of consumers from awareness through familiarityConsumer Decision Journey to sales, purporting that that the traditional funnel concept failed to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer thanks to the “epicenter of consumer driven marketing which was the internet especially during the active evaluation phase.”

He said that “40% of the customers changed their minds because of something they saw or learnt at the point of purchase. Therefore it was imperative to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions.” His advice to create value to was to Invest in customer driven channels and win in-store. He ended his presentation on the note that “The key is not change… but to adapt and survive under rapid change.”

The final presentation of the session was delivered by Mr. Farhan Hasan, COO, UG Food company, titled “The smart organisation in a value seeking world”. He talked about how value was about a bundle of services for the consumer and not price. Talking about Pakistan being a ‘Sachet Economy’, he commented that if 2/3 rd of Farhan Hassan, COOworld’s population made less than $1000 than why were marketers selling them products designed for those nations making 20 times as much. His value creation process involved targeting the aspirational classes with small quantities and larger volumes with good margins. He summarized his discussion as “high volume + high margin plus additional [sachet] volume with good margins = smart business sense”.

Seeking Value From The Brand

The immediate session which followed answered the questions as to what it took to innovate in advertising and provide value for the brand. Answered by Julian Saunders, Managing Partner, The Joined Up Company in his presentation,” Value for Time – It’s What People Really Value”, Olivier Auroy, MD, GS Fitch, Middle East who talked about “Why Good Design Never Lies” and Mr. Guy Winston, National Creative Consultant, JWT Pakistan in his presentation “Stop Talking, Start Involving”, these international experts focused on how content and delivery were the next wave of getting one’s marketing Olivier Auroymessage out. They talked about how creativity was going to be about creating content that was funny, amusing and could quickly be shared. Julian Saunders in his presentation advised to ‘Brand Play’. He referred to cognitive research that “what we remember is determined by how the experience feels when it peaks and when it ends”. He concentrated on providing simplicity (“don’t make me think”) and talked about how respecting time was also a sales strategy. Olivier Auroy on the other hand, focused his attention on how brands needed to remain accessible and relevant to consumers. He cited studies which proved that fun could change behavior for the better. He concluded with how people wanted brands to connect to their community, give them control, were friendlier and funnier.

Seeking Value From The Experience

The last two talks were delivered by Mr. Sirajuddin Aziz, CEO, Bank Alfalah who gave a thoughtful presentation on “Consumer Touch Points As Effective Communication Tools” whilst Mr. Karim Rammal, President Unicorn Consulting, concluded the session with ‘Meet The Digital Native’ advising marketers that that “…unless you bring something to the table – Inspire, Passion, Laughter, Curiosity, nobody cares if you’re on twitter”.

Aurora TeamThe conference ended on a high note delivered by Mr. Irfan Mustafa, VP & MD, Yum Restaurants on “Yeh Tera Pakistan Hai, Yeh Mera Pakistan Hai”.

If the conference has proved anything is that what really has changed is the way we implement marketing and the way we run our marketing organizations. In the oncoming world we will no longer talk about mass marketing. For all future marketers it will be vital to understand that the price-value equation will be different for each consumer. That’s when real value will be created.

InStore, InStyle – Marketing in Retail Stores Using Digital Media

Dawn Aurora - March-April 2010 IssuePublished in Dawn, Aurora, March – April, 2010

Over the last decade broader socio-economic changes, including growth in the urban middle class and disposable incomes have given rise to the modern retail sector in Pakistan.  There has been a marked decrease in traditional ‘kiryana’ stores, an increase in general stores and the emergence of new formats such as superstores, malls and retail chains to cater to the increasingly time-compressed consumer[1].Instore Marketing

Even a few years back, the concept of in-store marketing did not exist in this country. Yet today due to the fragmentation of traditional media and the tremendous clutter of information assaulting today’s consumer, stores are emerging as a viable alternative to the challenging mass-market advertising environment. They’ve quietly become a hotbed of advertising activity as more and more brands, big or small shift to in-store advertisement, providing effective and direct communication to the customers.

“Currently all our marketing activities are sponsored by our suppliers. Roughly speaking [instore marketing] accounts for 2 to 5% of Makro’s revenue. Instore marketing also include Makro-mail, which is fortnightly published and distributed to top 5000 customers as well as to all concerned suppliers and stakeholders.” said Salman Zafar, Asst. Category Manager at Makro Pakistan.

Research indicates that over 70% of decisions are made in-store or at the ‘First Moment Of Truth’[2] which is why marketers are increasingly seeking ways to control what ad messages their customers see and what information they access for making purchase decisions increasingly through digital media – one of the primary digital vehicles being used in-store is Digital Signage, one of the staples of modern trade outlets.

Through the use of Digital Screens / Retail TV and Interactive Kiosks, marketers are increasingly targeting consumers looking to learn about new product offerings, recipe ideas, advertised specials, etc. Fast Moving Consumer Goods brands in food, dry food and non food segments are most active industries in this space and actively use digital signage to differentiate their brands and provide customers a break from the rather mundane shopping experience.

Amongst the innovators in this category, has been Dalda Foods Pvt. Ltd. Recently in Ramadan, they launched an ‘Activation’ across Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad using Digital ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Interactive Kiosks. Using touch screens to provide instant play, software to control the inventory and multimedia to add excitement to their consumer offer (play and win on buying 10 KG of Dalda’s products), Dalda added entertainment to an otherwise mundane activity and the results of the activity backed their decision. In an otherwise crowded marketplace, these kiosks helped Dalda to differentiate from all the other brands out there using traditional formats.

Similarly, a high-end beauty products company utilized this medium to interact with their customers too. Using motion sensing technology called ‘Eye-Sense’ developed by Tuesday Digital, the digital characters would call out to the passerbys and get them to interact with the screens and products of the company. Aside from FMCG, PSO has also setup digital screens at its pumps, whilst banks such as Standard Chartered are experimenting by setting up live kiosks at their branches to give their customers a demo of their online banking facility.

These companies are not the only ones. Realizing the gains from going digital, retailers too are jumping on this band-wagon. Originally viewed as a potential incremental revenue stream and a way of sourcing more marketing rupees from brand manufacturers, digital instore formats are now also being seen as a way of differentiating the shopping experience and promoting their own offerings.

“Currently digital signages are not there in Makro, but yes Makro has plan of introducing them in future. In-store media can provide us with an effective way to increase revenue, both through higher average shopping baskets per customer visit and increased customer loyalty in terms of number of visits and what they regularly purchase while in that store during each visit”, Said Salman Zafar.

Aside from Digital Signage, another digital medium which is growing is the use of Mobile technologies in the retail environment. ‘BlueCasting is a relatively newcomer to advertising but stands to greatly change the way we market. The pioneers in this field are Mobilius who have developed ‘BlueStorm’, a proximity marketing tool which aims to engage the consumers. Using the technology marketers can broadcast pictures, audio, video and text within a 100m radius ensuring a very innovative and cost effective way of spreading the messages across thousands of people who visit these outlets. Since it’s fully mobile, BlueStorm” can be used to reach out to customers for special promotional campaigns like distributing redeemable coupons. It can also be utilized to organize promotional game shows such as treasure hunt at exhibitions/shopping malls or anywhere else, thank customers on exit and get instant feedback.Instore marketin

The future of this format is only expected to be bright. If the experience of Thailand is taken as a benchmark, one can expect that by 2010, modern formats particularly large supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience store chains will have captured about 25 per cent of the total retail market, and most of the middle and upper class markets. At the same time, one can expect that the number of outlets per thousand population would decrease from the current level of about fifteen down to ten. It is expected that the share of total retail sales held by both traditional kiryana and general stores would decrease from about current levels of 95 per cent to 50 per cent.[3]. Marketers are taking note.

“I think “the last mile” is becoming increasingly important even in Pakistan as categories go back towards commoditization with an endless supply of brands and the consumer lost between their choices. Especially for intangibles like telcos where data is the only thing that the consumer buys, it is much more convenient to deliver interactive ways to select and change package plans on the go”, said Tamseel Alvi, Brand Manager, Zong.

He continued “Retail is surely becoming a key “moment of truth” in terms of delivering brand experience. In terms of dedicated brand outlets, franchises and more so our customer support centers are becoming more like experience centers rather than just a sales outlet. In the rural sector, our mobile customer support centers are taking the retail outlet directly to the consumer”, Tamseel Alvi, Brand Manager, Zong

With the falling price of digital media gadgets and flexibility in content creation that only digital technology can offer innovative store technologies now allow grocery retailers to give consumers what they want: time and money savings. This is just the start of what digital can do for marketers and retailers.

“Retailers must make the jump to a totally integrated closed-loop model. To maximize return, retailers must deploy a macro system which seamlessly connects all in-store digital marketing with their POS and loyalty database systems [and if they don’t have any, they should start thinking about creating them] and in-store activation devices that connect customers in real-time to the retailer’s systems. What I’m talking about, is CRM applied at the store level. We call it transactional media, because it involves bringing together all the in-store marketing pieces in a coordinated customer-centric fashion to enhance the in-store shopping experience for consumers, increase sales transactions and build loyalty for retailers. What’s intriguing about this model is that by better serving their customers, retailers and brand marketers better serve themselves”, said Salman Abedin, CEO, Tuesday Digital.

As digital media  increasingly prove their effectiveness  — To retailers by turning their communication vehicles into steady revenue streams and to advertisers through better reach and targeting — the flood of interest and money will disrupt the status quo. This change will affect nearly all in-store marketing players, from agencies to retailers and everyone in between. Those that embrace the disruption stand to benefit the most.


[1] Mr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, Consolidation In Pakistan’s Retail Sector.

[2] Source: POPAI, Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI)

[3] Mr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, Consolidation In Pakistan’s Retail Sector.

From The Archives (2006) – Marketing To Kids

Branding Kids
Published In Dawn, Aurora Magazine, April 2006

by Umair Mohsin

Anybody who has ever actively chosen to watch kids shop in a super market will testify to the fact that it’s a fascinating experience. These ‘little angels’ are very much the devil in disguise and quite capable of toppling the mightiest brands in Pakistan. They have their own tactics of getting what they want. Kids are very likely e.g. to slip the product they like into the shopping cart, replace your product with a competitor’s (as countless exchanges of Lux for Safeguard soaps have shown), hand it directly to the cashier, pester either of the parents or the best one – throw a tantrum right there on the spot if they don’t get what they want. The use of such indirect influences termed ‘Pester Power’ combined with their own purchasing power makes them the biggest market in Pakistan and one that is the least understood.

To date there has been no study of the potential of the kid’ s market in Pakistan. However, a rough estimate can be devised. The 0-25 years old market in Pakistan comprises around 64.9% of the 153.96 Million (Source: Economic Survey 2005) people in the country. Slicing the same percentage from the approximately 60 Million people living in the Urban sector and taking out the 16-25 bracket comprising of 8.9 million individuals and the 12-15 bracket comprise of 4.1 Million individuals (Source: AC Nielsen Data) leaves us an estimated 25 Million kids in Pakistan out of which the 3-12 years segment can comprise of anywhere between 15-20 million potential users of all kinds of products ranging from juices, confectionary and even mobile phones.

In terms of direct spending only e.g. the average pocket money for the lower SECs (B,C,D) school going kid is Rs.10 per day. In the upper SEC’s, it can reach as high as Rs. 50 per day. Taking the conservative approach at Rs. 10, gives us a direct spending potential of Rs.150 million per day or an eye popping Rs. 54.750 Billion annually in just the urban sector.

Kolsen’s Slanty & Ding Dong Bubble Gum are two examples of the potential that lies in this segment. Slanty, the largest selling snack brand in Pakistan, sold more than 300 million packs in 2005. The sales of Ding Dong are estimated to be Rs. 2 Billion a year (Note: Hilal wasn’t available for comment).

Meet The New Kids

Almost every aspect of today’s younger generation is different from what we might have experienced in the past. They’re growing up faster, are more connected, are more direct and much more informed. They also have more personal power, more money, influence and attention than any other generation before them. With so much autonomy and decision-making power within the family, it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy.

“This is the first generation to have a lifestyle and the segment is growing at a decent percentage. It is also the most global generation the world has ever seen. They’ve been exposed to both local and international trends since birth”, said Asif Iqbal, CEO, Post Amazers.

This is the generation which can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if not via the landline than via an SMS, a chat room or an IM message and there is no doubt that this steady diet of information, available 24 / 7 through a whole variety of channels, is playing a major role in shaping this new generation.

Ahmed Iqbal, Marketing Manager, National Foods said “Generation gaps now appear as closely as 5 years. They can take more information, process faster since they’ve been exposed to more mediums.”

“The kids know about all the content available on channels now and parents have been unable to limit this knowledge. These exposures to so many mediums have made their thinking broader. Kids now are far more intelligent and clever. They cannot be pushed anymore”, said Sabin Talib, BM, Prince Biscuits.

Says Hatim Shaikh, BM, Slanty “The kids of today are more computer and technology savvy and their ability to absorb messages and recall things has increased phenomenally as compared to the previous generation.”

This generation expects replies to SMSes in minutes. If not they get bored and move on to something more engaging. They are also used to things happening instantly and growing up on instant gratification has meant that it is also more demanding.

All this awareness is turning these kids into a NOW generation. They want things to happen here and now. They want to solve their problems now, not tomorrow. They must make the purchase now, win the game now or learn what they want to know now. Thus this is a generation with little, if any, patience. How can you be anything otherwise, if the media presents a world where pop stars are created in 4 weeks and millionaires are made in half an hour.

As with two sides to a story, the media is not wholly to blame for this either. Parents today are willing to compromise to and buy more for their kids because trends such as smaller family size, dual incomes and postponing children until later in life mean that families have more disposable income. Guilt plays a role in spending decisions as time-stressed parents substitute material goods for time spent with their kids. The thought of nagging in the little time that the parents have with their children, is enough to open the wallets.

With all these information flows however, there are signs of worry. “The new generation is losing its creativity. Creativity now comes packed in a box. Young people once spent hours outside playing games in parks and friend’s places. They invented games, rules, played cricket, they played as leaders and war generals. No more. Nowadays, kids barely leave their bedrooms. Too few games now ask them to create the environment or the rules of play”, said Faisal Tamana, GM, The Musik. “Increasingly their behaviors, thoughts and attitudes are being created by the entertainment world”.

Marketing To Kids

Kids are the easiest segment to market to. Give or take a little, their interests are similar globally and unlike the adult markets where a thousand variables (and choices) can exist, the kids market on the other hand with few disagreements is a global one. Toys like Barbie, Pokemon, Beyblade or characters like Harry Potter are global trends.

Kids also make the perfect target groups, because they are old enough to have formed clear brand preferences, yet are young enough to be dependent on their parents and thus have the ability to directly influence their parent’s spending. They keep asking their parents over and over for what they want so they have a tremendous say over what gets bought in the household including major household purchases. In some cases of purchases by parents they have such an influence they may be thought of as the primary decision makers. No other generation has ever had as much disposable income as this one.

Kids are VERY MUCH brand conscious

Teens are active lobbyists when it comes to brands. Babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots, brand loyalties can be established as early as age two and by the time children head off to school most can recognize hundreds of brand logos.

Their brands are the symbols for an identity, offering the opportunity to be trendy, cool, rich, rebellious, stylish even sexy and thus are an integral part of the way kids define themselves. It’s the way they express who they are at home, at school even on the net but that doesn’t mean they’ll regurgitate anything. This generation is very skeptical and they have a built in B.S. alarm that goes off quick and fast when they know that the advertiser is lying. They’re very media savvy and it’s getting harder and harder to market to them….their needs change at such a fast pace.

Sabin Talib commented “Mother’s can’t force their kids to eat something anymore if they don’t want to. Especially in confectionary and biscuits, after 6 years of age, the child will make their own choices independently.”

Thus, brands must continue to surprise and innovate in their communication to keep the brands fresh in the minds of kids because once a brand hits a peak, there’s no where to go but down.

Why is it worth it? Brand relationships formed in childhood do last into later years in adulthood, giving you years and years of solid, dependable growth and revenue.

Their Dreams And Desires – How To Reach Their World

“I Can’t Stand Britney Spears. My Friends Hate Her”

Kids want security. Whether boys or girls, kid usually feel very lonely and look for connections and relationships. Therefore a fundamental factor of a kid’s life especially as they reach their teens is peer pressure. They tend to follow the herd rather than their own instincts, thus popularity and fame scores high on their lists. If they aren’t after it for themselves, they’re deeply in love with those who do. This makes them less likely to develop loyalty to a brand unless it also appeals to their friends. But mass appeal does not elicit loyalty in any form. Kids follow their peers and equals. If their identified groups shift brands, then everyone else will follow without remorse.

“Mom, I Want My MTV”

Once upon a time, about twenty years ago, fifth- and sixth-grade boys were about as fashion-conscious as their pets. Come this generation and they scorn any symbols of their immaturity, cultivating a self-image that emphasizes sophistication. They’re very concerned with their “look,” and a growing minority have begun using hair mousse and baggy jeans. This young generation wants cool, hip, and sexy.

“I Want To Be Commander Safeguard When I Grow Up”

Kids want mastery. They love doing things their way and want the same control that they witness in their heroes which incidentally we have a dearth of in Pakistan. Marketing pundits wrongly assume that kids will relate to cricket or singers. They don’t.

“We don’t have local heroes or kids celebrities. There is a big gap. They’re not turned on by cricketers or by singers. That’s basically a teen forte”, said Asif Iqbal.

Kids are desperate for regional / local heroes. They want content to which they can relate themselves with their language, their style, their choice of names, etc. They may watch cartoons like Dexter or Tom & Jerry but they cannot relate to these characters. Local marketers will need to create our own stories specially customized for these kids.

“Ha Ha Ha… that’s funny Mr. Monster Man”

Humor easily reaches across to both boys and girls as does fantasy, providing the fantasy is not too unrealistic. Kids have their own special humor, intrinsically related to their own unique concept of fun. Making your friends laugh also generates acceptability and loyalty.

Fantasy on the other hand expands the imagination. The younger the child, the greater the capacity for fantasy. Kids spend a lot of their time pre-occupied with day dreams which often star themselves as a hero of one sort or another living in a boundary free world. Characters such as Batman, Harry Potter, Spiderman all have taken advantage of this tendency to create very strong brands.

“Whatever they see on TV, they follow. They live in a fantasy world. That’s why we’ve given Prince a new look. He’s now more like a friend for the kids and someone they look up to”, said Talib. “Since confectionary and biscuits are impulsive buys, if they like and associate with the commercial or character, they will go for it.”

“Due to the massive reach and popularity of TV, kids of today are inspired by cartoon characters and super heroes and want to emulate them in their daily lives as well as use products which are linked to these characters”, said Hatim.

A ‘Today’s’ kid’s room will make it increasingly clear that the role of toys too have changed. Where once you would have found traditional toys in a 10 year olds bedroom, now in all likelihood you’ll find gaming consoles, CDs, movies, etc. The only toys that kids know of now are those linked to branded shows, ones like Pokemon or Commander Safeguard.

The Answers To Breaking Into The Rs. 55 Billion Market

“Not That Again”

Slanty was the first of its kind snack, Squeezy is the first of its kind of packaging. Even the Squeezy ad was ‘different’. Thus to reach this segment, innovation is very important.

“It’s Good. I Saw It On TV”

The life of most kids esp. urban ones is of routine including school, study, madrassah. By 5pm, escape is their deepest desire. In those two hours anything which provides them entertainment is undertaken or watched. Thus television plays a central role in their lives. They absorb more details and faster than adults do and contrary to conventional wisdom they genuinely love good ads and talk about them in their schools, at play, etc. They actually expect ads to take them to a different place and show them things they aspire to see and become. Entertainment, humor, light action and friendship are very important to these segments and they’re attracted to them.

“They’re less involved with publications than one might believe. It’s another form of education and kids already have enough of it. That’s why TV viewership is definitely growing in this segment with channels like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network leading the way”, said Asif Iqbal.

Therefore the answer lies in Experience and Involvement. To build a deeper relationship, interaction is the key. An engaging and involving experience in which the brand plays the lead role is the key to building a successful relationship with this segment.

“The only reason behind the success of Commander Safeguard was that no one did something like this before. It was the first of its kind animated series and most of all it was in Urdu. Pakistani kids had never been exposed to anything like it before”, said Asif Iqbal.

Asif Javed, ABM on Squeezy said ‘The prime factor is fun. It is the platform you can easily target. Cartoon characters especially involve the kids”

Why characters? Firstly, you don’t have uncontroversial celebrities in Pakistan. Secondly, with us being an emotive nation, we hate and love in a sine wave.

“The day Inzi scores a duck we hate him and the next day when he wins the matches we love him. Same is the case with singers. There are over 500 groups in Pakistan and there is none who have ever composed anything for this segment. There is no poetry, rhymes, or famous songs. Comics again are in English and mainly restricted to ‘Archie’. There is no belongingness in any of this.” said Asif Iqbal.

Thus if characters are done well, in accordance with brand values, it has a great chance that the brand will shine through, since there is not much competition in the mascot area. Characters also represent your brand, are ideal role models and most of all you own something that is totally yours forever. These characters will never die and never age. Celebrities after 5 years would probably not be attractive enough to be use as brand ambassadors. Characters live forever.

“Your desired positioning is best driven through a character. Your brand values are depicted easily. Squeezy is Top of Mind right now and the sales targets are well on their way to being achieved. Kids have actually pestered parents to get them the product”, said Asif Javed.

“Music is about who I am”

Music separates and unites various groups and a clear indicator of brand preference. Brand preferences often correlate with musical tastes.

“Music does more than simply create emotions. It creates trends. When kids like a song, they also focus on the artist who’s performing. Thus, you’d have people following the artist’s looks, behavior, speech, dancing style, attitude as well as their opinions and recommendations. This is a whole new ball game.” said Faisal Tamana, GM, The Musik.

“Mom, You’ll Never Guess What Happened At School Today?”

Campus Marketing programs are also increasingly becoming the best way to reach this segment. Last year LU alone targeted 70,000 kids and 21 top schools. Sponsorships especially are a cost-effective way of getting your message across to this segment and involve them. The kids get a better event (e.g. School Mela) and the advertisers benefit through sampling and presence.

“What You’ve Never Played CounterStrike”

Internet and Gaming too are a fast growing area but neither will be a hit without specific programming of their own. The best option right to exploit these new media is through TV and branded entertainment.

Conclusion

Dealing with kids is dealing with your future in all manners & forms, even to the point where you have the power to shape the upcoming world. That is why marketers must follow ethical guidelines and practices when marketing to these segments, as these little people are special. Dishonesty in advertising, producing low quality products just to make the sales this quarter will result in a future generation impaired in some form. Remember, kids are not as cynical as adults. They trust… a LOT! That is why care must be taken and once you have the opportunity to work with them, keep your word and enjoy the company of fun filled, exciting people for years and years.

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Anybody who has ever actively chosen to watch kids shop in a super market will testify to the fact that it’s a fascinating experience. These ‘little angels’ are very much the devil in disguise and quite capable of toppling the mightiest brands in Pakistan. They have their own tactics of getting what they want. Kids are very likely e.g. to slip the product they like into the shopping cart, replace your product with a competitor’s (as countless exchanges of Lux for Safeguard soaps have shown), hand it directly to the cashier, pester either of the parents or the best one – throw a tantrum right there on the spot if they don’t get what they want. The use of such indirect influences termed ‘Pester Power’ combined with their own purchasing power makes them the biggest market in Pakistan and one that is the least understood.

To date there has been no study of the potential of the kid’ s market in Pakistan. However, a rough estimate can be devised. The 0-25 years old market in Pakistan comprises around 64.9% of the 153.96 Million (Source: Economic Survey 2005) people in the country. Slicing the same percentage from the approximately 60 Million people living in the Urban sector and taking out the 16-25 bracket comprising of 8.9 million individuals and the 12-15 bracket comprise of 4.1 Million individuals (Source: AC Nielsen Data) leaves us an estimated 25 Million kids in Pakistan out of which the 3-12 years segment can comprise of anywhere between 15-20 million potential users of all kinds of products ranging from juices, confectionary and even mobile phones.

In terms of direct spending only e.g. the average pocket money for the lower SECs (B,C,D) school going kid is Rs.10 per day. In the upper SEC’s, it can reach as high as Rs. 50 per day. Taking the conservative approach at Rs. 10, gives us a direct spending potential of Rs.150 million per day or an eye popping Rs. 54.750 Billion annually in just the urban sector.

Kolsen’s Slanty & Ding Dong Bubble Gum are two examples of the potential that lies in this segment. Slanty, the largest selling snack brand in Pakistan, sold more than 300 million packs in 2005. The sales of Ding Dong are estimated to be Rs. 2 Billion a year (Note: Hilal wasn’t available for comment).

Meet The New Kids / You’re In MY World Now

Almost every aspect of today’s younger generation is different from what we might have experienced in the past. They’re growing up faster, are more connected, are more direct and much more informed. They also have more personal power, more money, influence and attention than any other generation before them. With so much autonomy and decision-making power within the family, it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy.

“This is the first generation to have a lifestyle and the segment is growing at a decent percentage. It is also the most global generation the world has ever seen. They’ve been exposed to both local and international trends since birth”, said Asif Iqbal, CEO, Post Amazers.

This is the generation which can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if not via the landline than via an SMS, a chat room or an IM message and there is no doubt that this steady diet of information, available 24 / 7 through a whole variety of channels, is playing a major role in shaping this new generation.

Ahmed Iqbal, Marketing Manager, National Foods said “Generation gaps now appear as closely as 5 years. They can take more information, process faster since they’ve been exposed to more mediums.”

“The kids know about all the content available on channels now and parents have been unable to limit this knowledge. These exposures to so many mediums have made their thinking broader. Kids now are far more intelligent and clever. They cannot be pushed anymore”, said Sabin Talib, BM, Prince Biscuits.

Says Hatim Shaikh, BM, Slanty “The kids of today are more computer and technology savvy and their ability to absorb messages and recall things has increased phenomenally as compared to the previous generation.”

This generation expects replies to SMSes in minutes. If not they get bored and move on to something more engaging. They are also used to things happening instantly and growing up on instant gratification has meant that it is also more demanding.

All this awareness is turning these kids into a NOW generation. They want things to happen here and now. They want to solve their problems now, not tomorrow. They must make the purchase now, win the game now or learn what they want to know now. Thus this is a generation with little, if any, patience. How can you be anything otherwise, if the media presents a world where pop stars are created in 4 weeks and millionaires are made in half an hour.

As with two sides to a story, the media is not wholly to blame for this either. Parents today are willing to compromise to and buy more for their kids because trends such as smaller family size, dual incomes and postponing children until later in life mean that families have more disposable income. Guilt plays a role in spending decisions as time-stressed parents substitute material goods for time spent with their kids. The thought of nagging in the little time that the parents have with their children, is enough to open the wallets.

With all these information flows however, there are signs of worry. “The new generation is losing its creativity. Creativity now comes packed in a box. Young people once spent hours outside playing games in parks and friend’s places. They invented games, rules, played cricket, they played as leaders and war generals. No more. Nowadays, kids barely leave their bedrooms. Too few games now ask them to create the environment or the rules of play”, said Faisal Tamana, GM, The Musik. “Increasingly their behaviors, thoughts and attitudes are being created by the entertainment world”.

Marketing To Kids

Kids are the easiest segment to market to. Give or take a little, their interests are similar globally and unlike the adult markets where a thousand variables (and choices) can exist, the kids market on the other hand with few disagreements is a global one. Toys like Barbie, Pokemon, Beyblade or characters like Harry Potter are global trends.

Kids also make the perfect target groups, because they are old enough to have formed clear brand preferences, yet are young enough to be dependent on their parents and thus have the ability to directly influence their parent’s spending. They keep asking their parents over and over for what they want so they have a tremendous say over what gets bought in the household including major household purchases. In some cases of purchases by parents they have such an influence they may be thought of as the primary decision makers. No other generation has ever had as much disposable income as this one.

Kids are VERY MUCH brand conscious

Teens are active lobbyists when it comes to brands. Babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots, brand loyalties can be established as early as age two and by the time children head off to school most can recognize hundreds of brand logos.

Their brands are the symbols for an identity, offering the opportunity to be trendy, cool, rich, rebellious, stylish even sexy and thus are an integral part of the way kids define themselves. It’s the way they express who they are at home, at school even on the net but that doesn’t mean they’ll regurgitate anything. This generation is very skeptical and they have a built in B.S. alarm that goes off quick and fast when they know that the advertiser is lying. They’re very media savvy and it’s getting harder and harder to market to them….their needs change at such a fast pace.

Sabin Talib commented “Mother’s can’t force their kids to eat something anymore if they don’t want to. Especially in confectionary and biscuits, after 6 years of age, the child will make their own choices independently.”

Thus, brands must continue to surprise and innovate in their communication to keep the brands fresh in the minds of kids because once a brand hits a peak, there’s no where to go but down.

Why is it worth it? Brand relationships formed in childhood do last into later years in adulthood, giving you years and years of solid, dependable growth and revenue.

Their Dreams And Desires – How To Reach Their World

“I Can’t Stand Britney Spears. My Friends Hate Her”

Kids want security. Whether boys or girls, kid usually feel very lonely and look for connections and relationships. Therefore a fundamental factor of a kid’s life especially as they reach their teens is peer pressure. They tend to follow the herd rather than their own instincts, thus popularity and fame scores high on their lists. If they aren’t after it for themselves, they’re deeply in love with those who do. This makes them less likely to develop loyalty to a brand unless it also appeals to their friends. But mass appeal does not elicit loyalty in any form. Kids follow their peers and equals. If their identified groups shift brands, then everyone else will follow without remorse.

“Mom, I Want My MTV”

Once upon a time, about twenty years ago, fifth- and sixth-grade boys were about as fashion-conscious as their pets. Come this generation and they scorn any symbols of their immaturity, cultivating a self-image that emphasizes sophistication. They’re very concerned with their “look,” and a growing minority have begun using hair mousse and baggy jeans. This young generation wants cool, hip, and sexy.

“I Want To Be Commander Safeguard When I Grow Up”

Kids want mastery. They love doing things their way and want the same control that they witness in their heroes which incidentally we have a dearth of in Pakistan. Marketing pundits wrongly assume that kids will relate to cricket or singers. They don’t.

“We don’t have local heroes or kids celebrities. There is a big gap. They’re not turned on by cricketers or by singers. That’s basically a teen forte”, said Asif Iqbal.

Kids are desperate for regional / local heroes. They want content to which they can relate themselves with their language, their style, their choice of names, etc. They may watch cartoons like Dexter or Tom & Jerry but they cannot relate to these characters. Local marketers will need to create our own stories specially customized for these kids.

“Ha Ha Ha… that’s funny Mr. Monster Man”

Humor easily reaches across to both boys and girls as does fantasy, providing the fantasy is not too unrealistic. Kids have their own special humor, intrinsically related to their own unique concept of fun. Making your friends laugh also generates acceptability and loyalty.

Fantasy on the other hand expands the imagination. The younger the child, the greater the capacity for fantasy. Kids spend a lot of their time pre-occupied with day dreams which often star themselves as a hero of one sort or another living in a boundary free world. Characters such as Batman, Harry Potter, Spiderman all have taken advantage of this tendency to create very strong brands.

“Whatever they see on TV, they follow. They live in a fantasy world. That’s why we’ve given Prince a new look. He’s now more like a friend for the kids and someone they look up to”, said Talib. “Since confectionary and biscuits are impulsive buys, if they like and associate with the commercial or character, they will go for it.”

“Due to the massive reach and popularity of TV, kids of today are inspired by cartoon characters and super heroes and want to emulate them in their daily lives as well as use products which are linked to these characters”, said Hatim.

A ‘Today’s’ kid’s room will make it increasingly clear that the role of toys too have changed. Where once you would have found traditional toys in a 10 year olds bedroom, now in all likelihood you’ll find gaming consoles, CDs, movies, etc. The only toys that kids know of now are those linked to branded shows, ones like Pokemon or Commander Safeguard.

The Answers To Breaking Into The Rs. 55 Billion Market

“Not That Again”

Slanty was the first of its kind snack, Squeezy is the first of its kind of packaging. Even the Squeezy ad was ‘different’. Thus to reach this segment, innovation is very important.

“It’s Good. I Saw It On TV”

The life of most kids esp. urban ones is of routine including school, study, madrassah. By 5pm, escape is their deepest desire. In those two hours anything which provides them entertainment is undertaken or watched. Thus television plays a central role in their lives. They absorb more details and faster than adults do and contrary to conventional wisdom they genuinely love good ads and talk about them in their schools, at play, etc. They actually expect ads to take them to a different place and show them things they aspire to see and become. Entertainment, humor, light action and friendship are very important to these segments and they’re attracted to them.

“They’re less involved with publications than one might believe. It’s another form of education and kids already have enough of it. That’s why TV viewership is definitely growing in this segment with channels like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network leading the way”, said Asif Iqbal.

Therefore the answer lies in Experience and Involvement. To build a deeper relationship, interaction is the key. An engaging and involving experience in which the brand plays the lead role is the key to building a successful relationship with this segment.

“The only reason behind the success of Commander Safeguard was that no one did something like this before. It was the first of its kind animated series and most of all it was in Urdu. Pakistani kids had never been exposed to anything like it before”, said Asif Iqbal.

Asif Javed, ABM on Squeezy said ‘The prime factor is fun. It is the platform you can easily target. Cartoon characters especially involve the kids”

Why characters? Firstly, you don’t have uncontroversial celebrities in Pakistan. Secondly, with us being an emotive nation, we hate and love in a sine wave.

“The day Inzi scores a duck we hate him and the next day when he wins the matches we love him. Same is the case with singers. There are over 500 groups in Pakistan and there is none who have ever composed anything for this segment. There is no poetry, rhymes, or famous songs. Comics again are in English and mainly restricted to ‘Archie’. There is no belongingness in any of this.” said Asif Iqbal.

Thus if characters are done well, in accordance with brand values, it has a great chance that the brand will shine through, since there is not much competition in the mascot area. Characters also represent your brand, are ideal role models and most of all you own something that is totally yours forever. These characters will never die and never age. Celebrities after 5 years would probably not be attractive enough to be use as brand ambassadors. Characters live forever.

“Your desired positioning is best driven through a character. Your brand values are depicted easily. Squeezy is Top of Mind right now and the sales targets are well on their way to being achieved. Kids have actually pestered parents to get them the product”, said Asif Javed.

“Music is about who I am”

Music separates and unites various groups and a clear indicator of brand preference. Brand preferences often correlate with musical tastes.

“Music does more than simply create emotions. It creates trends. When kids like a song, they also focus on the artist who’s performing. Thus, you’d have people following the artist’s looks, behavior, speech, dancing style, attitude as well as their opinions and recommendations. This is a whole new ball game.” said Faisal Tamana, GM, The Musik.

“Mom, You’ll Never Guess What Happened At School Today?”

Campus Marketing programs are also increasingly becoming the best way to reach this segment. Last year LU alone targeted 70,000 kids and 21 top schools. Sponsorships especially are a cost-effective way of getting your message across to this segment and involve them. The kids get a better event (e.g. School Mela) and the advertisers benefit through sampling and presence.

“What You’ve Never Played CounterStrike”

Internet and Gaming too are a fast growing area but neither will be a hit without specific programming of their own. The best option right to exploit these new media is through TV and branded entertainment.

Conclusion

Dealing with kids is dealing with your future in all manners & forms, even to the point where you have the power to shape the upcoming world. That is why marketers must follow ethical guidelines and practices when marketing to these segments, as these little people are special. Dishonesty in advertising, producing low quality products just to make the sales this quarter will result in a future generation impaired in some form. Remember, kids are not as cynical as adults. They trust… a LOT! That is why care must be taken and once you have the opportunity to work with them, keep your word and enjoy the company of fun filled, exciting people for years and years.

From The Archives (2008) – Meet Generation NOW

Meet Generation NOW
Published Dawn, Aurora Magazine, September 2008

by Umair Mohsin

When Pavlov trained his lab dogs to salivate on the command of a ringing bell, he inadvertently set the world’s stage for over a century worth of conditioning-based consumer messaging. The resiliency of the current model (create associations – link to product – hammer – repeat) especially was cemented in the early decades of the 20th century, when characters such as J. B. Watson and Edward Bernays “proved” that when businesses rang the right bell the right number of times, they could conjure desire and action in their audience. Branding as we know it today was set in place with the same model applied to every region of the world including ours successfully.

One reason for this was that even as close at 20 years ago media outlets globally were inherently limited by geography and scope so consumers lacked broad exposure to alternative experiences and information. Such was even more of a characteristic of our part of the world where communities were even more localized. Thus alternative exposure was limited. Indeed, the responses to the most heavily marketed (which in the old days meant buying advertising on the 9’o clock PTV news) goods and services then seemed to prove that all customers could be conditioned to salivate on command regardless of demographical differences between segments.

Come the 90s and the markets still hadn’t developed to anything remotely like today’s. Political upheavals from General Zia’s era, localized communities and lack of or restricted access to any forms of information or alternative viewpoints than the approved versions ensured people’s knowledge was restricted. Music channels were starting to be beamed into the country but then they were mostly western (MTV / V) channels that were aired through satellite to the privileged few. The preferred jobs were CA, a Doctor or an Engineer. A new breed of technology was just starting to come into the country called the internet launched by a company called Digicom. Yet that too was inaccessible to the common man. Infact up to the year 2000, we still only had 133,900 internet users in totality. Available advertising media choices were still limited and the model still worked successfully.

The era of transformation was finally reached 10 years ago when everything began changing and in some cases all at once – Information, media, educational institutes and even books. New channels including cable were launched in a country which had been to date used to only watching what was aired by a monopoly. Telecom companies started operating. A global IT revolution was underway worldwide so everyone wanted to be in IT business in Pakistan too. A bigger & silent revolution underway however was hidden beneath the calm oceans of the demographic data. On the exterior of things there was still no clear differentiation between the youth audiences and other audiences. From the young consumers’ point of view however, the increasing information from multiple channels and mediums was morphing them from dogs into cats.

The opening of the 21st century became the boiling point for media fragmentation in Pakistan. This blossoming of media placed an unprecedented amount of information in the hands of customers, rendered geographic barriers moot and for the first time set up clear differentiations in the behavioral structures of the sub-population including now what’s being called the youth market. The advent of the Internet and wireless technologies like the mobile phone gave everyone access to information anytime and anywhere whilst the opening up of media markets to competition lead to what’s today’s increasingly fragmented, always-on media landscape. Young customers now had access to an unprecedented amount of information and could communicate any time and place they pleased.

Let’s stop here for a moment to understand the basic difference between cats and dogs. The prime difference is motivation. Let’s stereotype – a dog wants to please you, a cat couldn’t care less. Dogs are devoted, loving and selfless. Cats are aloof, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Dogs are social and act in ways that maintain and support the social order. Cats are solitary and act in ways that benefit themselves. A cat’s engagement with you lasts only as long as she wants it to last. A cat is not out to please you. Cats tend to see the world revolve around them. These describe the characteristics of our youth perfectly.  Young customers now resemble cats – notoriously self-motivated and generally not biddable. The ‘Brand’ is now defined in customers’ minds by their personal experiences with a particular product or service and not the advertising or marketing support and they are attentive only to the information that matters to them.

These emerging sub-markets are now starting to shatter marketer’s assumptions. Businesses have started finding out that they no longer control the strings – neither can they evoke desire nor elicit responses like they used to. These “bell ringers” who had grown accustomed over time, to the fact that their “dog’s” responses could be conditioned and, through certain repetitions influenced, are finding out that the youth is no longer passive. Empowered by knowledge the youth has started taking the steps to being in charge-much like cats. It is this sea change that’s got them them focused on what is relevant to them and start ignoring the rest.

“The main difference because of which the youth are now choosier is just the access of information. Everything else is the same. The youth for generations have always been demanding- such is their nature. Now however the range of their demands has increased and this is simply because of the knowledge they possess. Now it’s not what their parents give or can’t give, like it was in the 90s. These days even a kid has information about things which we never knew about when we were their age. Where before information was suppressed or released in chunks, now kids can search for anything. Thus they are more specific about what they want and are not dependent on their parent’s choices.”, said Asif Iqbal, CEO, Post Amazers.

Technology has changed the landscape and emerging media are now subdividing the masses into specialized audiences. The biggest challenge we face as marketers is the customer’s ability to assert control over the entire process. However, while emerging media and technology undermine the effectiveness of traditional mass-marketing models, they also create unprecedented opportunity for us to redefine and profit from how we communicate with customers.

Don’t Back A Cat Into A Corner

It’s a foregone conclusion that as media fragments, so does the “mass” in mass-marketing. Yet many marketers today still seem to think if their message can be broadcasted to the young consumers, they WILL listen to them. Most marketers look upon the new burgeoning media as vehicles for delivering messages to even larger audiences who (in their thinking) are predisposed to devour information at face value, respond accordingly and then constantly clamor for more. The current marketing philosophy seems to be to ring better& bigger bells for increasingly more dogs and because of it bells are ringing everywhere. Few marketers understand the full effect of blossoming media options on the current marketing models, however, and even fewer understand that the young customers don’t pant and whine anymore. Even worse, most of them find all that bell ringing annoying.

If defined than marketers will realize that there have been four major trends currently underway which will impact further & has been transforming this generation because of the transitional changes of the last 10 years. 1. Their lives have become almost completely digital. 2. They are taking a lot more stress AND are a lot more optimistic. 3. Everything’s about ‘US’ now and 4. They’re more socially aware & conscious.

1. Increased Connectivity

The youth have been turning away from old media channels and even most methods of advertising to embrace new media at a growing pace. A research undertaken by Google Pakistan estimates that 70% of the 14 Million online users spend now between 1 & 6 hours online DAILY. Yahoo! Pakistan cites that there are 2.64 million i-generation (under 25 years) Users on their networks whilst MSN cites that there are 1.8 million i-generation users on their networks. These numbers are expected to grow rapidly over the next 5 years. Despite repeated attempts an equivalency in telecom numbers couldn’t be determined, however estimates range from 14 Million to over 25 million mobile phone users.

These technologies are changing our youth into a generation of multi-tasking users, not used to missing a beat and always connected with the world around them. They have been freed from their traditionally passive role as receivers of marketing communications. Whilst in the past, marketers presented the view they wanted customers to see; today the customer chooses the angle from which they want to view the product. These angles of engagement reflect different motivations and different buying modes, and occur at different stages in the buying decision process. This growing abundance of alternative information resources give the young much greater control over the information search and acquisition process, and allows them to literally become active participants of the marketing process.

“The Web is a democratizing force as the world’s largest global brain. It educates everyone on the pros and cons of every product, service, and even person. An educated person doesn’t react well to the traditional ‘art of manipulation’ that most marketers attempt to employ in their campaigns. As a matter of fact, it makes them angry and defensive”, said Faisal Tamana, GM, The Musik.

What marketers need to understand is that for teens, it’s all about how technology is meeting their needs — to stay connected, express themselves, etc. Teenagers are subject to need for social validation. Despite technology advancements, the motivation to socialize hasn’t changed since time immemorial. Instead, it’s been dramatically enhanced and enriched with the explosion of digital communication platforms and social networks online.

“Kids and young people don’t love the technology itself — they just love how it enables them to communicate all the time, express themselves and be entertained. Under the age of 14, kids generally use the phone as a toy. After 14, the mobile phone quickly becomes a means of self-expression and communication,”, said Ehmer Kirmani, CEO, Media Idee. “Even if we look at the power of online communication tools, like instant messengers [8.6 million users] or social networking sites, which enables young people to communicate both privately and with multiple friends, we’ll find that they mostly use the features like winks, emoticons, etc. to add to the fun of chatting and allow them to express themselves more deeply,”, he continued.

“You can get your own e-identity now at 8. That possession is for life and you’re famous because of that ID. This is what makes them an individual at such an early stage.  Twinkle is the personality not Ayesha. [Marketers have to learn to] talk to that Twinkle and not Ayesha. She logs in from a CyberCafe in Lalo-khet. Online she is a different personality which is not the same personality as she is at home where she might not even be allowed to talk to her cousin or neighbors. Once on the net, however, she can talk to anyone she wants anywhere in the world and she’ll do it in ways that Ayesha will never.” said Iqbal.

2. Lots More Stress & Lots More Optimistic

The current youth says that their stress levels are “high” or “very high”.  They feel the world is now a more complicated place to live in today. However, they are optimistic about their future believing they can personally achieve anything they set their minds to.

“What’s happening in Pakistan. .. the interpretation of religion and way we enforce that on our youth, is putting them in very difficult situations. On one hand they have access to all this information about the world. When they look outside their window, however, the world is a different place. They don’t find that lifestyle around them. This is one of the reasons why there’s so much brain drainage. The youth especially from the Middle class has the tendency to make choices and wants to get somewhere. There is increasing frustration as they see less opportunities here than elsewhere in the world. That is why they involve less in group activities and go deeper into their own personal worlds.”, said Asif Iqbal.

3. Socially Conscious

Unlike previous generations, ethnic divisions are no longer a concern to the youth, especially for the middle class. Those ethnic divisions were fostered because to become a govt. employee there were quota systems. This is not present anymore since there are so many professions to choose from now. Thus the validity of the reasons that propped up the ethnic boundaries has reduced. Govt. bodies themselves are becoming privatized and the politics are slowly changing. So these people are changing along with themselves. They’re opening up to ideas and the world and want to make a difference. The new global campaign for the Greening of the Earth is already having a positive effect in the upper echelons of society and over time it is spreading to the masses as well.

It’s all about Us

The youth are driving a shift from a “me” culture to a “we” culture where the opinions of the group drive consumer trends, preferences and behaviors. Even though they want to stand out and express their individuality, young people strive to feel connected with each other.  They are looking for shared experiences and constant communication with a diverse group of people. The youth constantly seeks ways to put their stamp on products and have their voice heard.  It is a way of showing the outside world who they are and what they value.

“This is the most versatile generation has never been born in Pakistan.  Youth is more about themselves now”, said Iqbal.

“We have to learn to talk in their language and that is not what we are advertising with right now. There are few cheering moment in their life. The cricket team and hockey team has failed them, music has failed them, squash is almost finished. They don’t’ have heroes like Miandad, Imran Khan, Jehangir or Jansher Khan anymore. You have to create those idols again. The biggest problem in our advertising is role models.  They can’t relate to Shoaib Akhtar. They can’t relate to Qadir Khan and because of our lack of understanding of talent management we’re literally creating and destroying personalities. This is a problem for our youth. Who do they identify with then.” said Iqbal.

Times have changed—and so must we. Nobody could have foreseen the challenges today’s marketers would face. Twenty years ago, getting through to customers was only a little tougher than filling a thimble with a fire hose. Then multi-tasking, instant-messaging, e-mailing, cell phoning, emoticoning ;-), always on, web-searching, blogging, gaming, customers we now need to reach did not exist. Clearly we are moving through a time of irrevocable change that has profound implications for businesses large and small. We need to reinvent the way we market to consumers. Within it we’ll need to remember that cats don’t bark.

From The Archives (2007) – I Are The Media

Whose Afraid Of New Media
Published In Dawn, Aurora, March 2007

by Umair Mohsin

Technology is shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it’s the people who are taking control

– Rupert Murdoch, Quoted in Wired, Jul 2006.

In a market with a yearly ad spend of Rs. 6 billion on TV and hotly contested by 50+ local players with another 20-25 new channels coming up, the power of the networks as distribution platforms and brands is diminishing fast. On the “business” side, the old networks have no end of new competition. The market is getting quite competitive, and as happens in a classical product life cycle, the players are feeling the pinch in terms of pricing, as well as differentiation in their offerings to the market. On the “consumer” side, the people formerly known as viewers have taken control of what, when, and how they watch and increasingly they’re doing it without commercial interruptions.

The old days of corporate media based on a centrally planned dictatorship are coming to pass. The old method of we will decide what you want & need, the limited channels of information with a central editorial control, government regulation and one-way communication is being fast replaced by advances in technology and communication, so much so that now we’re surrounded by information we see and hear. Overload is a huge issue. The old-school closed networks survived because of aggregation. The channel recommended the show by putting it on the air – it aggregated the content; it aggregated the audience; it sold the ads; it shared the revenue. Life was so simple. Well, so much for that. The power has shifted.

The viewer is getting smarter, more knowledgeable and has access to more media options than he/she can consume. Time-Shifting (the recording of programming to a storage medium to be viewed or listened to at a time more convenient to the consumer) whose earliest example was the recording of TV programming to a VCR and more recent is Video on Demand offered by cable operators, Space Shifting (The act of copying digital content for use on a device other than the one for which it is was originally intended, such as copying a music from a compact disc to an MP3 file for use on a portable MP3 player, or copying an MP3 file onto a compact disc for use in a digital audio player) & Place Shifting (watching or listening to live, recorded or stored media on a remote device via the internet or over a data network) of which one example is Mobile TV, combined with Time compression (the trend that people are busier and have less time. Plus they feel they have less time in their lives for all the things they want to do) are rapidly changing the way traditional media is consumed. The consumer is no longer dependent on the channel’s FPC chart and the trends point to the fact that as with the Internet, which you can consume anytime, anywhere, the same attributes will have to apply to rest of media, if they are to stay relevant to their consumer’s lives. Infact the only thing stopping these technologies from taking over right now are habits. The older the medium the longer will it take to change.

Customers getting used to customizing things to their preferences is the least of the worries of big media and isn’t the only aspect which keeps (or should keep) network executives up at night. Things are getting infinitely more complex. The Long Tail is taking over in our markets.

The concept of the long tail is simply that technology empowers the growth of markets serving smaller niches, minority tastes and because of it individuals are offered greater choice. Generally, as the number of TV stations grows or TV programming is distributed through other digital channels, the key demographic individuals are split into smaller and smaller groups. As the targeted groups get into smaller niches and the quantity of channels becomes less of an opportunity cost, previously ignored groups become profitable demographics in the long tail. These groups along the long tail then become targeted for television programming that might have niche appeal. As the opportunity cost goes down with more channels and smaller niches, the choice of TV programs grows and greater cultural diversity rises as long as there is money in it. The implications of this concept are that specialized segments would further fragment into specialized niche segments and mass would no longer command the same ratings. Such is already happening in our media world with channels increasingly dividing into Reach Channels and Affinity Channels. Translated in network’s terms it means that as the network’s audiences shrink, they cannot raise their rates, because they no longer control the clock; Furthermore, there is always somewhere else to reach audiences — somewhere more efficiently and economically. To networks with massive infrastructural & fixed costs, this can spell a death knell and indeed many of our local channels which cannot cover their costs will go under within the next 5 years.

“Regional language channels, specialized programming, niche content, are all new ways of tapping the same households that own TV sets. Instead of the same show at the same time being watched on the same channel, we see a trend of individual TV sets, with choice programming at desired timeslots as the current viewership practice”, said Khalid Siddiqui, CEO, CNBC Pakistan. “The challenge now, and more increasingly as we go forward, will be to carve out clear positioning through high quality, captivating content targeted to clearly identified target audiences. It will be difficult for channels to be everything to everyone, and some channels will have to do a hard think about which space they intend to occupy to match with their strengths”, he added.

The Long Tail also has implications for the producers of content, especially those whose products could not – for economic reasons – find a place in pre-Internet information distribution channels controlled by publishers, record companies, movie studios, and television networks. Looked at from the producers’ side, the Long Tail has made possible a flowering of creativity across all fields of human endeavour. One example of this is YouTube (incidentally the third most popular site in Pakistan), where thousands of diverse videos – whose content, production value or lack of popularity made them innappropriate for traditional television – are easily accessible to a wide range of viewers.

Revenue streams & thus business models are also changing fast for these networks. The amount of clutter on TV is fast leading to the traditional marketing model being challenged, and CMOs are increasingly vocal about the day when it will no longer work. GEO Network alone e.g. aired more than 160,000 spots last year. Marketing saturation has created a clutter environment that people are now resisting. Consumers are so swamped by pitches that many simply tune them out and the more affluent exercise enough control that with the flick of their fingers, they can bypass unwanted advertising.

“Too many agencies, are tethered to a 30-second TV spot mentality because agencies get paid based on 30-second spots and that financial incentive keeps them from changing their model.”, said Ehmer Kirmani, CEO Media Idee. “You can whip up those TV ads, spend millions on their productions and increase those (not so) catchy print ads as much as you like, but their impact is fossilizing and the companies that foot advertising bills are increasingly aware of it.”

Haroon Rashid, GM Marketing, Tapal Tea agrees. “A decade ago opportunities were limited. With the advent of new media such as activations, ambient media, mobiles, etc, the advertising world has changed. The cable networks and the line walas too are becoming stronger everyday. I don’t know if anyone imagined just how much of a new paradigm shift will be required to work with these”, he said.

“[Because of the decreasing returns from traditional campaigns] Tapal has been increasingly experimenting with new media techniques. We were amongst the first companies which employed internet advertising by buying space on Cricinfo.com and were also amongst the first movers who used the cell as a marketing medium to create an engagement with the consumer for our family mixture brand. 40,000 people responded to our campaign in the latter. Last year we’ve increased our presence on mobile media and used this channel as a means of participation for our Danedar brand. A 100,000+ users texted in their responses. So it’s no surprised we’re already putting more emphasis on new media technologies like mobile phones & internet especially with our new website. You cannot ignore television but the clutter is increasing everyday. There will always be a weightage in each media [whilst planning for our campaigns] but [the fact cannot be denied] that new media is more economical”, he added.

Yet inspite of these warnings, the media industry is growing increasingly nascent. 5 years onwards one can literally predict that the status quo would have only been broken by some examples of product placement, a few branded entertainment productions and some forms of new media. It’s not totally the industry’s fault. It too suffers from a range of problems. There are no quality parameters for software, lead times are high, talent is rare and payment cycles are long. Piracy itself is a major issue especially since cable operators rarely pay royalties for the content they air.

Yet even then the networks are not preparing for the oncoming world of infinite ubiquitous content on demand. The “million channel universe” will include not just traditional media delivery and the Internet, but also a whole set of new devices and delivery platforms. Will they stay relevant with their existing business models is a question that increasingly comes to mind. To succeed one must quote Imtiaz Noor, the business development head of MobMasti when he says “Personalization is the catalyst of the new interaction economy over the next 5 years”.

Many in the communications industry are aware that consumers are turning their backs. “We know that things are going to change. We are assessing what is changing, what is the current state and by what time we should be ready with it. It’s not about just creating a destination. First you have to know what your customer’s needs are and their allocation of time. What needs is this medium serving? Content or technology will not make any difference if it’s just going to be more of the same that consumers avoiding right now. It’s how you use these that matters”, said Yasir Riaz, Director Brand & Strategic Planning, GEO TV Network.

Thus channels will have to determine which need states they fulfill and then will have to follow these need states and passion points. Do they enrich your life, give you control, or are just a time pass. They’ll have to answer these questions to fulfill that role.

“We will have to move from being a shopping mall which promotes window shopping, to becoming a high street, specialty store, where shoppers come by intention and spend time there”, said Siddiqui.

In such an environment it is IMPERATIVE to let go of the orthodoxy of traditional segmentation and start looking at the people as “people” rather than numbers on a chart. Mostly because traditional segmentation doesn’t really tell us a lot about the PEOPLE behind the numbers. Firms are increasingly working with LSM (Living Standard Measures) segmentations, rather than traditional SEC profiles. LSM surveys collect data on Ownership of durables, type of house they live in, the extent to which people lack basic items of consumption (adequate food, clothing etc.), the extent to which people have comforts and luxuries (regular holidays away from home etc.), the extent to which people have had financial problems (defaulting on payment of electricity bills etc.),  the extent to which people had problems with their accommodation (leaks, faulty plumbing etc.), for families with dependent children, the extent to which they lacked children’s basic items of consumption (clothing, school supplies and children’s sports and recreational activities). These combined with data from people meters and sales data, will increasingly become the future for all stakeholders – including the agencies, the brands and the networks themselves.

“The role of the different agencies will change to those of ‘real’ brand partners and research will play a critical role in unearthing insights on which brand objectives will be based upon. To this will media selection will increasingly be dependent. At the same time skillsets & knowledge will both have to be upgraded to ensure the message’s seamless integration across all media vehicles”, said Fouad Husain, MD, Mindshare.

“We will remain focused on the quality of our product – i.e. our content – both in terms of inherent quality, as well as audience targeted.  If our content fulfils the needs and desires of the audience, we will have a strong foundation to approach clients to partner with us”, said Siddiqui.

Trends are toward the rise of the digital media in Pakistan however this medium has its own issues namely infrastructure & content. Moreso the marketer in Pakistan still doesn’t understand this medium. “We go with our preferred media. We don’t go by the consumer. Right now internet penetration [which stands at 8 million users] is greater than the combined readership of all English newspapers. However the ad spend going towards English newspapers is still larger than one going to Internet. However since we don’t find internet as our preferred medium, so consumers also don’t find it interesting”, said Riaz.  

So the lesson is not that old media is dead. It’s not that new media is better. It’s not that the content giants don’t know what they’re doing. It’s simply that the media houses are too stuck in the mindset of big, fancy and being infrastructure-bound where they should understand the value of being lean, mean and constraint-free. Many of these traditional media companies will find it difficult to adjust to the new media landscape of mobile platforms and customer created content due to their investments in old-media infrastructure and business models. Make no mistake. The internet and other technological leaps are upending the media and entertainment industries in much the same way that they have begun to turn businesses as varied as advertising, marketing, retail and communications on their heads. Technology has put consumers in the driver’s seat by giving them a vast array of new choices and better information — and corporations and agencies that want to succeed had better get on board. No longer personifying the consumer as avid, mindless drones will work. Now a new equation is needed.

From The Archives (2008) – Online Marketing & Kids

Online Marketing & Kids
Published Dawn, Aurora Magazine, September, 2008

by Umair Mohsin

Imagine a giant commercial that kids can enter, where they can talk and play with products and brand mascots / characters, a commercial that gives marketers access to a plethora of information about individual kids who interacted with their brand, including knowing their inner-most dreams and desires. This is the power of the immersive worlds that marketers can create on the World Wide Web, a medium which is fast becoming an important marketing tool in Pakistan.

Current kids (age under 12) in Pakistan are becoming the first totally wired generation of our country, especially the ‘millennials’ (children born in or after year 2000), for whom the internet and mobile technologies have always been there. Increasingly because of this factor the difference between online, digital and offline medium is fast disappearing. Trouble arises however when one wants to estimate the number of kids online. According to the latest figures released by PTA the total number of Internet subscribers crossed 3.5 million and total number of users crossed the 17 million mark in December 2007. The growth rates in telecom and broadband that our country is going through has put us in the top 10 fastest growing countries in Asia – 8.861% growth in internet users between year 2000 & 2007 alone. However specific data related to kids or their online usage is still not available from any agency. At best, we can guesstimate the size of the users by looking at the statistics from various websites and initiatives undertaken in Pakistan. The biggest success story of online marketing to kids is P&G and Commander Safeguard. The total number of kids who registered themselves for access to Commander Safeguard’s online material on the website http://www.commandersafeguard.com numbered two million whilst it was on the air. A more recent data is that of miniclips.com, an international website on which approx. three million impressions are generated monthly by a Pakistani audience aged between 7-15 years of age. Also recently Badar Khushnood, Country Consultant Google Pakistan on his personal website/blog @ www.badar.com.pk estimated that around 5% of the Pakistani users online are less than 20 years of age. It’s hard to gauge which figure represents the truest picture, but it can be safely assumed however that the number of users in Pakistan below the age of 12 in Pakistan has crossed the millionth mark.

This is important for marketers because with kids influencing the purchase of billions of Rupees worth of products (see Aurora Article – Meet Generation NOW & Whose Afraid Of New Media), this audience is clearly an important part of the marketing mix. Kids may not have the spending power of adults but there is little doubt about their ability to influence purchases through ‘Pester Power’.  It can also be easily assumed that kids with the most access to the net also belong to the SEC classes with the highest spending power.

To date there are few examples of online marketing initiatives aimed at kids in Pakistan which one can use to identify best practices or key learning however one of the most-oft repeated tactics that marketers have employed in targeting kids online is to combine advertising with entertainment. Traditional advertisements don’t work on the Internet, so advertisers seamlessly blend advertising content with games and / or other activities. This engages children interactively, allowing them to react to the content provided by the marketer and participate in online environments. This branded entertainment, particularly games (also called advergames), have thus become the tool of choice for marketers.

For children, an “advergaming” website can be more than a place to play and to explore. As a form of mediated communication, it departs in significant ways from television, the medium advertisers have traditionally used to reach children and which engages children only as passive consumers. The adver-gaming medium is much more powerful than that. Online games can provide a more highly involving and entertaining brand experience than is possible with conventional media. We can even characterized these as “virtual amusement parks”, where there are no natural breaks between commercial and non-commercial content typical of television which allows kids to escape the core marketed message with the single press of a button. Here the message is the experience.

At a more fundamental level, marketers have also used the immersive world to serve as a central organizing platform for an entire integrated marketing communications program. It can and has been used to create synergies among various brand building programs so that the total impact is greater than it would otherwise be. Internet here is not displacing television viewing but rather supplementing it. Children already are doing more “media multi-tasking” or using multiple types of media simultaneously which gives marketers an ideal opportunity to ensure that the core message is heard across all mediums. This best example of this is the recent Energile campaign.

Unilever has shown a leadership stance in this, utilizing both of the tactics successfully with the launch of http://www.energilefootball.com. This initiative was made part of the Energile Youth Football Championship (EYFC) 2008 which heralded the beginning of Energile’s commitment to football in Pakistan. Partnering with brands such as Nike and Karachi United FC, the aim was to set up at a grassroots level, a forum where the best young talent of the country can showcase their talent. Aside from other features, the site utilizes an ‘adver-game’ highlighting its core energy message and the football platform. Unilever’s integrated this campaign further by developing ‘Energile Football’, a mobile game that can be downloaded by consumers in Pakistan. This game was recently promoted through SMS and internet advertising, and allowed consumers to post their hi-scores through fugumobile’s (developers) proprietary Game Tournament platform. High scorers were then eligible to win prizes from Energile. So far Unilever has kept mum about the results of the initiative but looks set to grow it further.

From a historical perspective this is nothing new. Companies creating branded content to appeal to kids is as old as the first days of television. However what is different in these virtual worlds that changes the equation for brand marketers is that a child’s interaction and emotional engagement is very high. Young consumers have to seek out desired content and interact with it in some way. This is an inherently active process: surfing through a website demands a continuing series of decisions and actions. It is this feature that distinguishes the Internet from a more passive medium like television. Rather than capturing children’s attention for 30 seconds, the advertiser may now actively engage children for several minutes and maybe more.

Beyond its power to create brand engagement, however, the Internet also has several additional advantages from a marketer’s perspective. First, it is a cost-effective way to deliver a brand message. While the cost to air a television commercial ranges from approximately Rs. 0.60 per thousand viewers (depending on channel, time slot, frequency, budget, etc), there are no media distribution costs once a website has been created. Once development costs are spread across the number of users interacting with the site, the cost per thousand will be significantly decreased and will continue to do so as the site expands. So there are real economic efficiencies to be gained.

Secondly, the technology of the Internet also provides audience tracking capabilities. While it can be difficult for a marketer to gauge the impact of a television commercial, the Internet allows a much more precise assessment via measures such as the number of visitors, time spent on a site, repeat visits, etc. Traditional marketing tools such as diaries or even people meters may give advertisers a general idea of their audience profile, in terms of age and maybe gender but individual children are anonymous. Internet marketers on the other hand are able to collect data about specific users, through the use of online registration forms, quizzes and surveys.

Thirdly, TV advertisers purchase time slots between TV shows, which they select because they hope their product or service will appeal to the same audience the programs attract. On the Internet, brands create their own programming. They build entire online environments to create associations with their own products, to establish brand loyalty, and to collect information about their present and future customers. Just some of the methods that can be used by advertisers to involve kids with their products include the creation of virtual environments that make kids feel as if they are entering an actual place, friendly cartoon mascots that encourage kids to identify with the brand, interactive games and activities like coloring pages, quizzes featuring brand-name products and their characters, downloadable screensavers or email “postcards” that can be sent to other kids, clubs that kids can join or contests they can enter to win prizes. Even the prizes that are offered can feature product logos, slogans or characters.

One thing is changing for sure however because of which marketers in Pakistan cannot afford to maintain the status quo. Thanks to the online medium, creating a clear profile of your kid’s audience is no longer a straight-forward marketing exercise that falls into simple categories. The only common denominator that exists in this group is the fact that they’re all kids. The similarities stop there. Kids often have one type of image at home and a totally different image online (Please see Aurora Article “Cats Don’t Bark“ published) and marketers will need to learn how to cater to both.  One brand which maybe regarded as totally cool in say a kid’s school maybe regarded as the opposite in a virtual world. This is simply because online dynamics are different, since the audience is behaving under different conditions. Their identities are changed with perhaps totally different friends and thus they have different needs. Thus they may adopt completely different attitudes towards brands that will appear contradictory.

Thus it is essential that the link between the product, brand values, online & offline marketing vehicles and relevance is clear at all times. Relevance itself will have two dimensions. First in relation to the particular personality segment you are addressing, and second, to your core brand values. If you don’t fulfill both aspects, it’s more likely you’ll end up tuned out and turned off.

There have been exercises by many marketers who have tried to enter this medium but without an understanding of its dynamics. They’ve felt the need to break through by creating a really disruptive experience for their target users. This is a world where the audience does not like to be disrupted however and no one hates it more than our kid’s audience. A disruptive advertising experience in their space is equivalent to creating a bad brand experience. They want respect and will only respect those brands that show them that.

For kids more and more “Going on the Internet” is ceasing to be something special and unique simply because now it’s always there and becoming an inherent part of their lives. They are increasingly immersed in the “digital” lifestyle and in the future this will change the world of marketing, technology and communications. The challenge is for marketers to understand that not only their media but their whole world is now fragmenting. Life for today’s kids increasingly resembles one of those ubiquitous blogs that go up every second: random, breathless and intensely personal. To market to this dynamic population, companies will need to tap into platforms well beyond traditional media such as broadband video, immersive environments, mobile marketing and maybe even instant messaging.

Thus marketers should start to engrain themselves in kids’ interactive lives. Youth marketing currently is already flushed with sponsored events, games, contests and ringtone promotions yet today’s teens are more sophisticated, demanding and powerful consumers than their parents ever were. Tomorrow’s teens will be even more so because they’ve been wired from the day they were born and it will take a lot more to appeal to them. That’s why it’s very important to learn to live in their world from now.

From The Archives (2007) – Mobile Marketing

Making The Smart Call
Published Dawn, Aurora Magazine, August 2007

by Umair Mohsin

Companies spend Billions of Rupees every year marketing their products and services to potential customers in order to drive sales and grow brand awareness. Yet in today’s multichannel age, there is a plethora of ways to reach these audiences and though marketers are becoming increasingly inventive with the way they communicate with their customers, media proliferation has become a double-edged sword, and is now one of the biggest challenges they face.

Since the early 1990s there has been more than a 3000% increase in the number of TV channels, more than 1200% increase in commercial radio stations, and there are 40% more magazine titles. Whereas once mass audiences could be reached through a small number of channels, now they are fragmented over a large and increasing number of media, making it more and more difficult to engage with the people you want to reach.

With the recent advent of next-generation phones, however, now we are rapidly getting to the point where the single most important medium that people have is their wireless device. It’s with them every single moment of the day. No longer are they devices merely for phone calls and text messaging but portals that consumers can use to communicate, gather information, be entertained and organise their lives. But despite the fact that mobile phone ownership now considerably outnumbers landline usage (5.18 Million Landlines)[1], it has been overlooked, and particularly undervalued, as an opportunity for interaction between a brand and its customers.

There is no doubt that mobile marketing is coming of age. A casual survey of the advertising trends of major companies reveals that brand marketers are recognizing the increasing importance of the medium and integrating it more into their campaigns.

“The proliferation of telecom providers and easily affordable cellular phone technology in Pakistan has led to extremely high growth in the usage of cell phones by a general cross-section of the population, regardless of socio-economic barriers, gender, age, etc. Particularly amongst the youth and young adults, text SMS usage has grown exponentially. To take advantage of this new and highly popular medium of communication amongst our target market, we have successfully used it in our campaigns. This is not the first time any institution has attempted a marketing activity of this nature, and we fully expect an increasing number of institutions to explore this medium as well”, said a Brand Manager who asked not to be named.

To date however only Text ‘n’ win has been the application embraced enthusiastically by agencies. One reason for that is that not only do you not have to deal with sackloads of postal mail, you also don’t have the post-campaign data entry issues. Customers, just by entering the competition, are giving you some of their data – i.e. their mobile number. It’s up to you to collect any more data from the consumer if you need it.

For the uninitiated, a text ‘n’ win promotion is one which is usually advertised on a pack of a product, and the customer is invited to text in a shortcode for a chance to win a prize. This is a very convenient way to manage a competition or prize draw, and is popular with consumers. The recent underneath the lid promotion by Walls to text to win attractive prizes and can claim to be the biggest ever text ‘n’ win promotion to date. Underneath the lid of every Cornetto cone was a short unique code (printed at the time of production). This code is only visible once someone buys the cone, removes the wrapper, and flips the lid. Wall’s offered its consumers the opportunity to avail attractive prizes by simply texting this code to a pre-defined number using SMS (from any telecom network). Winners were contacted via same channel (i.e. SMS) to communicate the details of their prize and how to redeem it.

However, in terms of taking advantage of the full potential of mobile marketing, Pakistani marketers have barely scratched the surface. Mobile marketing is more than just things like text voting, text ‘n’ win or getting raw content like branded ringtones. What’s in its scope is brand advocacy, loyalty CRM, subscription, the areas where brands have traditionally used other channels and with our current array of mobile data services available, from text and picture messaging to direct response, Mobile IVR, promotion and mobile Internet, and the extent to which these can be applied, the future is simply incredible.

One big advantage which mobile marketing has is that it not only targets the consumer directly [100% targeted] as people never leave home without their mobile phones and rarely switch them off, but also achieves a high level of interaction as it creates a personalised, one to one relationship between a brand and a consumer. But even with all these advantages there is still some way to go before marketers are in a position where they will consider the mobile as a key part of their marketing mix.

So why, with an almost 37.58 Mobile Density Rate (58 Million Connections)[2], without factoring in WOM, a market growing at a projected 150% a year (1.5 million phones per month)[3] and with the mobile phone increasingly being seen as the centre of integrated communication for everyone by 2010 globally, has there not yet been massive take-up?

One of the reasons cited for this has been the technology (or lack of) & infrastructure. MNOs are only properly covering the big cities right now. The bigger population is still in small areas, where coverage is spotty. The networks have to grow and the boosters will have to work at that level where you’ll be able to cover the entire market before the uptake. Screen size and the bandwidth availability have also been cited as potential limiters.

The major problem however lies with pre-existing notions that advertising professionals (both clients and agency) bring to the medium. This is by far the biggest issue most marketers face with mobile – just trying to understand what it can do.

“We are at an absolute infancy with this medium and that too because we’re scared of it. It takes a lot of convincing & guts at senior levels to make this work”, said Faraz Khan, VP, HBL.

“Trying to innovate amongst people in ad agencies is always difficult, because they are always sceptical of new channels mostly because they do not know how to create and conceive into that channel. Up until now, mobile has still been spooky for them, but that is starting to change”, said Zakaullah Khan, Creative Manager, Prestige Communications.

“We have seen so many people who want to treat mobile the same as other medium, thereby missing the great opportunities mobile has by virtue of being different. The mobile medium has a personality of its own, but the first mistake people are making with mobile is to say: “Lets do the same thing, ‘in mobile’. In truth, to make the most out of mobile as a channel for marketing, we need to take advantage of the things that mobile does differently, and we need to embrace the fact that mobile has its own personality that brings the most value when it is understood and respected. Forcing mobile to perform under the same rules that all the other channels operate under limits the value and capabilities of this highly personal form of communication”, said Ehmer Kirmani, CEO Media IDeé.

Thus, starting your mobile campaign with the idea of replicating mass direct mail is all wrong. Yet even a relatively cursory look with a point of innovating on the existing marketing tools out there can soon reveal the real opportunities. Every day, marketers are running direct response fulfilment campaigns (Call for brochures, Call backs), content (through alerts), discounting/ couponing programmes that deliver customer advantages or even sales promotion programmes, all of which can benefit using the mobile medium. All of these play to the ‘always with you and always on’ strength of the medium.

Marketing Case Studies

There are two criteria for measuring the efficacy of any channel. Reach & Affordability – the efficacy and the quantification of the impact. As compared to other mediums, mobile communication is a very cost effective way of marketing and is fast becoming a very strong Sales Activation Channel.  Moreso when its tied in to CRM centres. This was demonstrated clearly by a recent HBL Car Financing campaigns. Instead of mass SMSs, the campaign targeted specific demographics, with a simple Y/ N question / response. They got a response rate from the campaign of 25% and the net additional sales translated into a total Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) of only 30-40 Paisas each. As compared to other mediums, this clearly highlighted this medium’s biggest selling point. The marginal revenues were immediately identifiable.

“With intelligent application and targeting, such SMS messaging can enhance a brand, and produce great results. Furthermore, it is cost-effective, measurable and intuitive: lifestyle data in particular has a wealth of additional variables, because the way in which the information has been volunteered allows for the fine-tuning of campaign targeting like no other data can.”, said Faraz Khan, VP, HBL.

Another interesting case has been presented by The Muzik. They have successfully used the mobile phone as a Credibility Enhancement tool. The prime prospects of the channels are the youth, looking for freedom of expression, entertainment value, subtle and wild experiences. They want a dialogue with the world.  The Muzik used the medium to connect into the lives of their youth. Not only that but this tool has also developed into a penetration check and a measurement tool for all their content, which give a much better analysis than the current dairy measurement services.

According to Faisal Tamanna, GM-Business Development; The Musik, HBO, Nick and the person instrumental in bringing about this shift in paradigm, as far as best practices go simple formulas works.

“We’re entering into an unbelievable era because of the mobile phone. One day it’s not unimaginable to hold programs like Live Earth or Mega Events that span countries through the power of this medium”, said Tamanna. “The same practices that work with our existing mediums however, won’t work with this. This is why we have had to totally re-think how to develop our mobile medium. We’re looking at it to become the portal of the youth with customized content, personalized programming and even video on demand. These will be the applications of the future which will drive the growth of media consumption”.

Talking to Mr. Amin A. Rehman, Vice President, Cards Division at ARY, highlighted another area where the medium is being used successfully – As a form of Product Augmentation For The Sahulat Card. The Sahulat Card is a debit card, which consumers use on outlets like Ary Cash and Carry, Jewellery stores and third parties like merchants / brand partners.

“We’re linking into the technologies that can enhance ‘Sahulat’s’ offering to our consumers. E.g. we’re launching a 24 hour shopping channel with which Sahulat card members can call into or just send an SMS with a code to a number and their purchases will be delivered home. Sahulat card members can also purchase talking hours and their groceries through their mobile phones. But the biggest selling point is our ‘Value Back’ to customers. Our customers get free line rents, free talk time with our ‘ARY Connect’ mobile connection, entertainment through events like the recent Bhambore or Waahdi festivals and the chance for mega draws (1 KG gold everyday) & sales promotions. Mobile marketing has tremendously increased in the number of connections we make with our consumers, our awareness levels are higher, and we’ve found that people are receptive through the mobile concept more & more. That is why we have plans on furthering the multimedia side of mobiles and perhaps even more facilities on it for the customers. This is the future now.”

Mobile offers a new way to cut through in today’s cluttered media environment, combining the potential for precise targeting and the ability to extend a physical, tangible brand encounter into a digital and interactive one.  The key to unlocking the real potential for customer recruitment lies in understanding more about them and having the ability to interact with them directly. Personal is a key concept in all things mobile. Analysis and careful selection can be carried out before broadcast, and afterwards, with detailed responder profiling. Over time, companies can build profiles of their customers, and subsequently target them for highly specific campaigns, generating real and significant lifetime value.

However, marketers need to weigh the benefits carefully against the potential to seriously harm people’s relationship with a brand. Unless contact is made in an acceptable fashion, the mobile advertiser runs the risk of significant consumer backlash.

First of all consent is a very important thing. It’s simply no good talking to customers who do not want to engage with you. In order for a marketing campaign to be effective, the people on the receiving end of it have to be open to the messages, and only permission-based marketing allows that to happen.

“One of the barriers to the emergence of the market is education, but though brand managers are fond of talking about consumer education, but I would shine a light on brand marketer education, around the personal nature of the medium, the need for opt-ins, the relevance of the message. It might sound high-minded, but as a practical matter, it requires marketers to change their behaviour, and this is not easy.  They acknowledge, intellectually, the point, but struggle with executing it. I think those who live in fear of opt-outs are those who are not going about things in the right way.” said Sabeen Mahmud, COO, BITS.

“In comparison to how people manage mobile / SMS campaigns in our country, we’ve had far more success with our email lists, practicing what we preach. People have been signing up for our lists without any Push Marketing being involved and since all our subscribers have come through word of mouth and PR, their trust is higher. Secondly, when they share information about themselves, we give them an Enhanced Offering in return rather than the traditional trade promotion lines where they might feel they’re being sold too and put us on their blocked lists. The results so far have been incredible. Thus I’d say the impression you make with the medium counts and small things like the power to opt out anytime is empowering to the consumer.” said Sabeen.

The Future Role of MNOs

The mobile phone is about to go places. From Mobile TV and video to branded content downloads, the handset has become the focus for potential advertising revenue from the latest applications to hit the mobile market. This is nothing new. Such Value-Added-Services to mobile phones have been the great white hope of many mobile phone operators looking to offset the pressures of declining business from voice and text.

Incidentally one is sorely tempted to blame the mobile network operators for failing to embrace the change and working with agencies to take this medium forward. The operators have only ever been focused on their subscriber base and have seen third parties as a threat to their existing businesses. Much of the investment undertaken by the carriers has been in trying to build upon their ‘cool’ brand status, while retaining and growing their customer base.

Yet that ‘cool’ has become ‘boring’. The mobile phone is now just an essential part of our lives, and when you throw in the perceptions of the customer, the picture begins to look a little scary from the point of view of the MNO.

Customer service satisfaction levels across the network operators are low. That coupled with the news that Pakistan wants to setup its own Wi-Max networks (allowing low-cost VoIP calls and data access), and with churn (the average number of customers that leave a subscription service during a year) running at a guesstimate of 20% per year, even the most myopic telco is realizing that things are changing.

The single biggest driver for the churn is price, so people churn because they are tempted by a better deal, which means that if they MNO wants them to come back, they will do so at a lower ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) than when they left.

The way to arrest this process is by offering compelling services, and the most obvious one is partnering with third parties especially agencies to make compelling content – the new source of differentiation. For the marketers, they must take steps to understand this portal if they are going to incorporate it into their marketing campaigns. Indeed they can’t afford not to, as the small portable device that demands and gets so much attention from its users is a space that is not yet being effectively utilised by the advertising industry. Serving as a part of a balanced marketing plan, mobile advertising offers a medium whereby brands can achieve constant communication with consumers as and when they want to.

Conclusion

While all other marketing media seem to be feeling the squeeze through greater fragmentation of networks mobile marketing’s future looks rosy. There is an extraordinary and unprecedented opportunity for mobile marketing in the next few years, both in terms of the way consumers will receive commercial messages and in the way they will respond to them. This is going to be a pipeline for immediate, measurable and targeted communication and it’s bursting with potential and waiting to be exploited to the full.  They say there is no idea as powerful as one whose time has come. Well Ring Ring! Wake up marketers, the mobile’s tone is sounding.


[1] Source: Economic Survey, 2007

[2] Source: PTA, April 2007 Figures.

[3] Source: Dawn, June 27th, 2007 ‘Investment Trends Shifts From Banks To Telecom’.

From The Archives (2008) – Marketing 2.0

Marketing 2.0
Published Dawn, Aurora, Jul 2008

by Umair Mohsin

What is the future of advertising? Simply there isn’t any. At least not as we know it. Trever Edwards, the vice president of Nike in October, 2007, sounded the death knell for the traditional ways of how we advertise, when he said “We’re not in the business of keeping the media companies alive, we’re in the business of connecting with consumers”.

Worldwide, the trends are the same. In the US, the country’s third-largest advertiser (General Motors) is getting ready to shift fully half of its $3 billion budget into digital and one-to-one marketing within the next 3 years. P&G Canada, has vowed to boost online spending from 3% of its media budget to as much as 20% for the company’s fiscal year that starts July 1. How soon before P&G Pakistan will follow suit? Research shows that 65% of all marketing spend in Asia in 2007 had no effect on the consumer. Yet still 70% of all Asian marketers are not tracking the effectiveness of their spending, many simply because they don’t know how to.

Yet as more and more consumers integrate digital technology into their daily lives, they are also increasingly exercising control of how they view, interact with and filter advertising in a multichannel world.  Already the integration of technology (multi-screen media consumption) is changing how we look at consumers. No longer are marketers describing consumption of content as being off-line and online or traditional and new but where and how the media is being consumed. The demarcation lines between old and new media have officially been eliminated. TV is increasingly being described as “lean back” interaction, as users are typically relaxing in the living room environment with a remote control in one hand. This is in contrast to the similarly slick marketing devised descriptor of the more active, personal computer-oriented “lean forward” experience of a keyboard, mouse and monitor especially used with gaming & consoles. The third form of media consumption is ‘On-The-Go’ with services such as Mobile TV provided by Telenor, digital outdoor & POS (such as 3M Vikuiti in Pakistan) or gaming gadgets like Sony PSP leading the way. It doesn’t end here however. Technology does not change any form of content or its inherent linearity but it is shifting how we control the viewing of that content. DVRs are allowing users to time shift content. iTV such as PTCL Smart already allows on-demand media and interaction directly. Thus even in Pakistan, we have the hyper-fragmentation of the audience and more and more advertising will now have to become integrated across multiple platforms of the ‘Digital Lifestyle’ if it is to work. This is the underpinning of the rise of Marketing 2.0.

Simply put if the web 2.0 is the network as a platform, spanning across all connected devices like PCs, mobiles, gaming consoles, etc, than Marketing 2.0 is about those platforms that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of these platforms. This is very different from the old school forms of marketing, especially since the old schools were not of an interactive nature.

The oldest marketing model was Transactional (communicate what it is and what it does) in its nature. The value was created by what the company was offering and consumers were passive buyers waiting to be targeted with offers. The role of the marketer was ‘to define & create value for firms’, whilst interaction with customers then meant researches or surveys of consumer’s habits.

In the second chapter of marketing, we were bombarded with the ‘Relationship marketing’ model whereby ‘maximizing the lifetime value of the consumer’ was the end goal of marketing. Firms focused to attract, develop and retain the most profitable consumer segments over the maximum number of years.

The new marketing 2.0 model is very different. With the rise of technology and gadgets, consumers have now became Pro-sumers, active participants in the marketing’s value creation. The 2.0 version is about creating ‘Tribes’ or Identification (Who you are) through experiences. This has been brought about through a confluence of a number of trends like participation (from consumer to creator), personalization & collaboration (from pushing content to pulling content), democratization of market access (from a few big advertisers to a lot of little ones) and richer online apps (from desktop apps to the internet cloud & rich media). The role of marketing 2.0 is ‘to engage customers in defining and co-creating value’ through Active Dialogue. Value is ‘maximizing the co-created experiences’.

What it means for marketers is that consumers are no longer at the end of the marketing process. They now refuse to just consume what the marketers throw at them and want to be an inherently part of the marketing process – being part of the conversation. Infact many consumers are becoming vendors themselves of products and even of media in some cases – the role of the traditional agency. Even in Pakistan, opinion formers are popping up in the most unexpected of places with blogs especially becoming very powerful in shaping consumer responses (google ‘PTCL Broadband’ or ‘Link Dot Net Problems’ for an idea). Borders between advertising and PR is blurring.

New marketing buzzwords like Engagement & Excitement are already following on the heels of this revolution, becoming the new mantra, whilst traditional metrics such as Reach & Frequency can no longer cater to measuring the quality of engagement and excitement that is now needed for marketing to these attention deficient consumers. With the beginning of the end of mass media, Advertisers already are starting to demand more individual-specific and involvement based measurements, putting increasing pressure on the traditional mass-market model. Already in Pakistan, the Marcom Mix is shifting from Exposure To Engagement through new formats such as branded entertainment featuring reality based shows (Princess of Pantene, Lux Style Awards, etc), branded adver-games (GilletteChampions.com), branded portals (Tapal’s chillkaro.com), branded talk shows (Nido Taare Humaray), branded game shows, On-ground activations and more. In light of this trend, I predict that the majority of advertising revenue will shift from impression-based formats to impact-based formats within the next five years.

With hyper-fragmentation, the PPC (Price Per Contact) Cost is also rising over time, so more and more marketers are demanding optimized media and sales based results. Expect the 2.0 terms like ROI, Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Conversion, Sales Funnel Consideration and Stickiness to enter our marketers jargon soon.

One of the keys to successful marketing in the 2.0 age is hooking into the Zeitgeist e.g. in Pakistan, over the last 12 months, Facebook has been the fastest growing search term on Google, a testament to the numbers of users from Pakistan joining the ‘Social Networking’ revolution, whilst the 2nd & 3rd Top most searched terms this year have been Urdu (showing how much people would value content in their language online) & Yahoo! respectively. The 6th most searched term is ‘games’ and 8th is wall-papers. Goal.com is the 97th most popular site in Pakistan, lending credence to the revival of soccer in Pakistan. I don’t know how many marketers have noticed these insights. With the way things are going however, in the near future it’s not difficult to imagine, the marketer managing the impact of his campaign through a “dashboard” that delivers real-time metrics and analysis across all of their advertising platforms. Gone are the days of “hoping” advertising works. Marketing 2.0 is and will be a world where the marketer has full control of the effectiveness of their marketing spends.

The next 5 years will hold more change for the advertising industry than the previous 50 did. Increasingly empowered consumers, more self-reliant advertisers and ever-evolving technologies will redefine how advertising is sold, created, consumed and tracked. There is no question that the future of advertising & marketing will look radically different from its past. As advertising budgets shift to new formats and shape the future advertising market, control of marketing revenues and power will hinge on four key market drivers: attention, creativity, measures and advertising inventories. Whether agencies in Pakistan will be able to cope, I do not know.

Traditional advertising players – broadcasters, distributors and advertising agencies – will get squeezed unless they can successfully implement consumer, business model and business design innovation to incorporate these new realities of life – the trends toward creative populism, personalized measurements, interactivity, open inventory platforms and greater consumer control. This means that many of the skills and capabilities that were the mainstay of success in the past will need refinement, transformation or even outright replacement.

The printing press did for communication what the Internet is doing for marketing. Both changed the medium of mass communication and both revolutionized the way things get done. Digital technology is slowly but surely reaching critical mass in Pakistan and already we are beginning to see a merging of the “old” and the “new” ways. The push for control of attention, creativity, measurements and inventory will reshape the advertising value chain and shift the balance of power. For both incumbents and new players, it is imperative to plan for multiple consumer futures, craft agile strategies and build new capabilities before advertising as we know it disappears. Here’s some food for thought for those who still want to cling to the old ways of advertising. Our kids are already growing up with the ability to watch pretty much what they want when they want. As they get older, do you think they’re going to accept anything less than that?