The 4th International Digital Marketing Conference| DIGIMARK 2015 was held at Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, Lahore. Dr. Umar Saif, VC Information Technology University (ITU) & Chairman Punjab IT Board was Guest of Honor for the day. He was presented with Excellence in e-Governance Award in recognition of his services for Smart Governance in Pakistan. He discussed some of the many innovative projects undertaken by PITB for to improve governance.
Khurram Rahat, the Managing Director of Tera Data Pakistan, talked about how the future of digital marketing revolves around an omnichannel strategy. Tania Aidrus Country Leader, South Asian Emerging Markets, Google spoke about Pakistani businesses must find moments when to advertise and when to not. Ben French Punjab Representative, Head DFID Lahore, British High Commission discussed how open governance through tech is the way to go for better accountability and innovation.
Ehtisham Rao, Director Digital Business, Mobilink discussed how digital must not be looked upon as a channel only because today, digital is the business. It’s all about achieving product-market fit, doing permission marketing and creating disruption. He believes that two years from now, developers are going to be the new digital marketers.
Banking sector is slowly joining the race of digitalization in Pakistan. Ms. Sara Abbasi, Head of Digital Marketing, HBL shared her perspective regarding the mesmerizing future of digital banking at the conference.
Raza Saeed, CEO, Pakwheels discussed how his website has acquired over 35 million customers and over a billion pageviews. He believes that in 36 years, non-digital companies will not exist. He also shed some light on an area of digital opportunity for banks, by revealing that no one is bidding on the keyword ‘car loans’ in the search engines. So the banking industry needs to go digital quick.
Zohair Yousafi, Global Growth & Performance Manager, SoloInsight introduced the technology (cloud gate) which is designed & developed by Pakistanis and has been able to raise $3 million already. It is a workforce management software, which integrates all social media profiles, salary brackets along with the interests of users, to give a comprehensive picture.
When it comes to social media, Nestle is doing something amazing here. Amin Piracha Head of Innovations & Insights at Nestle, shared his approach towards data visualization for a seamless customer experience. He talked about how the biggest revolution is happening on the smallest device we have. For this purpose, Nestle has created a Digital Acceleration Team whose project ‘Nestle Kitchen’ has proven to be a huge success. The data gathered digital via user segmentation is then used to give them healthy recipes. Through social listening from mothers digitally, Nestle Nido Nutrition Mission ran an integrated campaign across all media channels, which is said to be one of the most heart-warming advertising campaigns ever.
So is there a huge market online? Owais Zaidi Director Partnership & Platforms CM Pak Zong, said that there are 3.6 telecom subscribers globally which is the expected to go up to 4.6 billion in a few years. And with the availability of 3G & 4G services, massive growth in e-commerce has been observed in all the regional markets analyzed. He iterated the importance of digital by saying that whatever happens on digital, stays there forever and because Pakistan has the the 4th largest freelance community in the world, we should be seeing an explosion of digital marketing in Pakistan very soon.
But online shopping is still not widely accepted in Pakistan and thus changing customer’s mindset and ensuring customer retention is a great challenge for online shopping sites. Providing superior and flexible services is the only way to build the trust of the buyer. Asma Khalil, COO Asia Daraz, explained her approach at Daraz for changing the trends in online shopping in Pakistan & Adam Dawood, Country MD Pakistan, Kaymu discussed the impact of increased mobile usage on e-commerce. He revealed some interesting statistics regarding the changing trends in online shopping in Pakistan. Most of the consumers use a handheld device for searching for a product and initiating a purchase, and the number will increase in the coming years.
Flexibility in payment modes has changed the approach towards e-commerce in the region. Even COD remains one of the preferred modes in Pakistan so far. Raza Matin, Business and Marketing Consultant Pakistan, Google discussed how the scenario of e-commerce in Pakistan looks very promising indeed.