Digital marketing: Advertising has to change to keep up with technology
By: Mariam Gabaji
KARACHI: The end of what can be achieved through digital marketing and advertising has a wide scope which is set on an evolving landscape. The Pakistan Advertisers Society hosted the first ever digital marketing conference on December 18 called ‘Dig It 2012’ at the Sheraton, Karachi.
In the present day, there are demands imposed on the marketing profession to change their approach to this discipline and in the age of digital media, which was the main idea behind the conference — both local and international speakers gave their take on this.
Former Information Minister of Pakistan, Javed Jabbar spoke of the evolution of advertising. In the past, advertising and media helped create a sense of identity for the population when Pakistan materialised into a separate nation (West Pakistan) even though they played a small role. “Since then, mass media has evolved as the restraint on control was lessened and now the rate of growth in the past 33 years has been 500% ” said Jabbar.
Jabbar says ‘advertisers have become shapers and controllers of media’. He gave an example of the motive to gather ratings which gives marketers the power to determine which show airs at what time, thus making them intrusive and aggressive with their means.
Though, the benefits of digital marketing presume that this medium is relatively less expensive; it has a wide reach, and it makes monetary evaluation easier. Adapting to it opens new gateways and provides opportunities for innovative and unique ways.
General Manager of Tribal DDB, Nick Whetham gave his perspective on re-defining brand strategy. “There’s going to be a lot of change ahead due to moving targets (the audience) who are always engaging across various channels,” said Nick.
Internet usage in Pakistan is great as it is the highest in the South Asian region and twice the rate of India. This brings up the idea that internet penetration will always be at a rise, the graph will never go downwards or be flat. “For instance, over the past six months, Facebook users have grown 1.3 million.”
On the other hand Richard Webb, CEO of Effective Measure believes “if we had a back channel to media we would know what everyone is doing, we would meet their needs, and instead of irrelevant advertising, we would only target people with relevant advertising.” That for him is the ‘holy grail’ of brand marketing.