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IBA Talk - Digital media landscape in Pakistan

IBA Talk - The Creative Journey on a Brand Re-Launch Campaign and Media Planning

On 21st October 2016 Mr. Danish Ejaz, Co-founder and Director Client Services at Klaxion Advertising, visited the Advertising class of MBA as a guest speaker. Mr. Danish has been showcasing an energetic approach to both conventional and integrated ways of advertising over a career of 12 years. During this time he has applied his Foreign based education to big and small brands, taking care of their tactical needs while also showing them the path to strategic growth.

The topic for discussion was the “Digital media landscape in Pakistan” which has evolved and changed dramatically in the last 10 years. While the process started with the freeing up of mass media and the acquisition of licenses by different media groups post martial law, it was only when mobiles became a new medium that the age of convergence appeared.

While the options available to companies for digital advertising range from website to apps and games most companies are more comfortable operating in the traditional segment even within the new category. This traditional segment is social media and website, while methods like microsites, in which companies can have a small site created for a specific campaign, are also becoming visible.

He then spoke about how the social media has evolved through history starting from the early days of Orkut to where it is now. In the beginning, the internet was considered to be one way communication but actual transformation occurred once this media became interactive. While social media may seem new, the first concept of it was laid down when the internet was created. As the network of social media began to grow so did consumer awareness. Consumers can be categorized into 6 major groups depending on the extent of immersion in the social media on a continuum. At the top of the scale would lie the Creators who are heavily immersed, while those who just have accounts but don’t perform any actions could be called Inactive. The session also highlighted how the numbers in Pakistan for digital acceptance are increasing and given the spread of smartphones at multiple tiers of income levels the internet will continue to spread. Pakistan is still comparatively much cheaper than other countries as far as access to internet is concerned and while the speed may not be the optimum that many desire, it is still good value for money. This is the area where the companies can take leverage and optimize this medium to get benefit for their businesses. Digital media cannot challenge the importance of traditional media however, it could be used as an amplifying platform. With grass root level issues like load shedding, the internet has come up as a primary source of entertainment even within the masses, and the numbers are beginning to reflect that. While the internet penetration figures for Pakistan may still be low, the growth rate, at 18% is among the fastest in the region. Most of the users of the internet in the country lies in the age of 18 to 24 years which shows the potential of growth in digital media. As the economy continues to grow communication will be an important aspect and will help in reshaping the landscape. Moreover, effective advertising through such medium is a daunting task for digital marketers as bulk of data is generated and fed into minds of consumers every second. Secondly, it involves the budget constraints as well. Therefore, acceptable ROI in return and brand recognition are the outputs that companies desire which pushes the agencies to explore different creative ways to address such concerns.

IBA Talk - The Creative Journey on a Brand Re-Launch Campaign and Media Planning

Lastly the session rounded up by evaluating a Pakistani digital campaign that did wonders and that was Coke Studio. Given that it is the best export we have to offer in terms of entertainment, the way the brand has managed to use all the digital platforms available ranging from Twitter to Instagram was commendable since it was a classic example of integrated marketing communication and a consistency in communication. Overall the session provided useful insights into how the social media landscape is shaping in the country and also helped in breaking the myth that social media and digitization is only an urban phenomenon. At the end of the session the IBA faculty member Professor Alia Hasan did a debrief of the lecture and the class expressed its gratitude to the her for incorporating such illuminating sessions from high profile speakers in the course.

Credits: Haider Hassan, Student of Advertising Class Fall MBA 2017.