Lahore School of Economics

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Digital Marketing

Mr. Badar Khushnood, Partner at Bremerz and an honored guest of the Lahore School for many years paid another visit to his alma mater on 10 May 2017 to deliver a superb and very well received session to the graduating MBA class of 2017 on digital marketing and advertising.


Badar opened the session by noting that we are living in tough times. One big trend of our time is fast-paced change. One aspect of this change is in our touch points with information and entertainment systems: computer, camera, watch, tape recorder and much more have been compressed into a mobile phone. If only mechanical systems were as fast-changing as electronic by now in one gallon we should have covered the earth 2000 times.

The change is breathtaking: It may come as a surprise that the largest hotel chain owns no hotel (Airbnb), the largest phone company holds no data (Skype) and the largest taxi company has no taxis (Uber). Even in Pakistan, out of a population of some 200 million, some 50 million are users of the internet. There are some 130 million connections and some 36 million users of 3G and 4G. Current e-commerce sales in Pakistan have reached USD 300 m, there are 80 k active EasyPaisa agents, compared to only 30 k POS machines.

In retail, one of the biggest development is the appearance of the Omni Channel. One abbreviation thus would be ROPO which is Research Online Purchase Offline. At an individual and even company level, one worries now about ORM which is Online Reputation Management.

The advantages of Digital are many: In conducting marketing research off-line one may need 15 to 20 lac rupees to work on a sample of 500 but in digital it is free and the sample is the universe! Of course in Pakistan many if not most nationals are illiterate but some 70% are mobile-connected one way or the other and thus voice and now data linked. In fact, internet purchase could be more popular in small towns as they do not have many other options.

Digital has another advantage in measurement. Say one advertised on 100 billboards. Could one tell which one billboard led to how much revenue? In digital, one could breakdown the entire universe down to sales per channel per website. Of course conversion depends on more than digital (or TVC) based ads: factors such as availability, quality of product etc. were important.

The MBA candidates asked Badar a range of questions and he replied to them in his now-familiar style: directly, irreverently and crisply. He is always a delight when he visits his old school. 

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 5/11/2017 05:58:00 PM,

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