Thursday, July 11, 2019

Pakistan Digital Media Advertising Growth Among World's Fastest

Rapid growth of broadband access in Pakistan is changing the country's media landscape. Digital advertising revenue is forecast to grow by 32% in 2019 to Rs. 10.8 billion ($103 million), 12% of total national advertising revenue (NAR), according to Magna Advertising. Digital marketing expert Lars Anthonisen believes Pakistan is quickly becoming a "digital first country". Anthonisen sees "new opportunities for brands to reach and engage with consumers who may have previously been overlooked". Overall ad spend in Pakistan is expected to rise by 15% in 2019 to Rs. 88.3 billion ($840 million) following a steep decline (-11%) in 2018, according to a Branding in Asia report. Growing availability of smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband is extending the reach of advertisers to digital media where it is possible to precisely target prospective customers.

Return to Media Growth in 2019: 

Magna expects to see a return to growth in Pakistani media revenue in 2019, with television, which makes up two-thirds of total NAR, benefitting from the 2019 Cricket World Cup (+15%), according to a Branding in Asia report.

In 2018, Pakistan media industry went through a major shakeout after a long period of rapid double-digit growth since the turn of the century. Hundreds of journalists and other staff lost their jobs last year.  It was a horrible year for Pakistani media industry which saw steep 11% decline in revenue during the year.

2019 Advertising Growth Forecast. Source: Magna
Digital Advertising Growth: 

Digital advertising is forecast to grow by 32% to Rs. 10.8 billion ($103 million), 12% of total national advertising revenue (NAR), according to Magna Advertising. Digital marketing expert Lars Anthonisen believes Pakistan is quickly becoming a "digital first country". Anthonisen sees "new opportunities for brands to reach and engage with consumers who may have previously been overlooked".

Growing availability of smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband is extending the reach of advertisers to digital media where it is possible to precisely target prospective customers. As of May 2019, there are over 70 million broadband subscriptions in Pakistan and more than a million new subscribers are are being added every month, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority  (PTA).

Pakistan Telecom Indicators. Source: PTA

Overall Media Market: 

Print and radio are likely to grow as well, now that the initial shock of the government’s strict reforms has worn off and a preliminary IMF bailout agreement has been reached. Digital formats, particularly social (+39%) and video (+31%), will continue to see the strongest growth, +32% to Rs. 10.8 billion ($103 million), 12% of total NAR.

The ad spend in Pakistan is expected to grow by 15% in 2019 to Rs. 88.3 billion ($840 million) following a steep decline (-11%) in 2018.   In 2018, Pakistan media industry went through a major shakeout after a long period of rapid double-digit growth since the turn of the century. Hundreds of journalists and other staff lost their jobs. At least one TV channel, Waqt News, was closed while several others downsized. While such consolidation was long overdue after nearly two-decade long period of explosive growth, the PTI government's decision to reduce advertising budget, which constitutes nearly a quarter of all ad spending in the country, appears to have been the main trigger. Those affected by consolidation are accused the government of exercising press censorship by cutting its ad spending.

Pakistan Broadband Growth:

As of May 2019, there are over 70 million broadband subscriptions in Pakistan and more than a million new subscribers are are being added every month, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority  (PTA).

China is aggressively pursuing its plans to build a global digital superhighway that runs through Pakistan. This "Digital Silk Road" involves laying fiber optic cables in Pakistan which connect with China to the north and link with Africa and the Arab World via undersea cable to be laid from Gwadar Deep Sea Port built as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

A 820-kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan in the south and the Khunjerab Pass, China in the north  and operational since July, 2018.

By 2020, the 6,299 kilometers of underwater cables will extend to Djibouti from Gwadar and form the Digital Silk Route between Asia and Africa. At the same time, a space-based Silk Road will provide satellite navigation support to all BRI (Belt Road Initiative) countries. The first Beidou base station of the Space Silk Road is already operational in Pakistan since 2017.  BeiDou is making rapid progress with 30 BRI countries already linked up.

When completed, the ambitious global initiative would use an exclusive satellite navigation system, BeiDou, fiber networks and 5G on land and submarine cables to create a multi-dimensional digital mega-project across land, sea and space.

Summary:

Rapid growth of broadband access in Pakistan is changing the country's media landscape. Digital advertising is forecast to grow by 32% to Rs. 10.8 billion ($103 million), 12% of total national advertising revenue (NAR), according to Magna Advertising.  Digital marketing expert Lars Anthonisen believes Pakistan is quickly becoming a "digital first country". Anthonisen sees "new opportunities for brands to reach and engage with consumers who may have previously been overlooked". Magna expects to see a return to media market growth in 2019, with television, which makes up two-thirds of total NAR, benefitting from the 2019 Cricket World Cup (+15%), according to a Branding in Asia report. Growing availability of smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband is extending the reach of advertisers to digital media where it is possible to precisely target prospective customers.

Related Links:

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Pakistan Media Industry Shakeout

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Is Media Free?

Pakistan Retail Sales Growth

Advertising Revenue in Pakistan

Pakistan FMCG Market

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E-Commerce in Pakistan

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

Mobile Broadband Speed in Pakistan

9 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #media media ownership concentrated in a few hands, aided by lax legal restrictions on cross-media ownership. Top 4 news #television channels in Pakistan (Geo News 24%, ARY News 12%, PTV News 11% and Samaa TV 7%) at the end of 2018 was 68.3%. http://pakistan.mom-rsf.org/en/findings/concentration/

Summary of key findings in terms of audience shares:

Television: top 4 TV channels command over two-thirds of all TV news channel audiences.
Radio: top 4 radio stations command over half of the news radio audiences.
Newspapers: top 4 newspapers command over four-fifths of the newspaper audiences.
News websites: top 4 native online news websites command over half of all online media audiences.


top 4 news radio stations in Pakistan (FM106 Gujranwala & Sadiqabad 9.3%, FM100 Lahore 6.2%, FM103 Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan 6% and FM107 Karachi 5.6%) at the end of 2018 was 56.2% (total top 10 radio audience share percentage of 48.2% used as the 100% benchmark). This means 4 of Pakistan’s 209 FM stations with highest audience share have an accumulative audience share of over half of all news radio listenership audience in Pakistan.

The same analysis shows that the audience share for top 4 newspapers in Pakistan (Jang 27%, Express 18%, Nawa-i-Waqt 14% and Khabrain 11%) at the end of 2018 was 80.4% (total top 10 newspaper audience share percentage of 85% used as the 100% benchmark). This means 4 of Pakistan’s 847 newspapers accredited with the Audit Bureau of Circulation with highest audience share have an accumulative audience share of four-fifths of all newspaper readership audience in Pakistan.

The same analysis shows that the audience share for top 4 news websites in Pakistan (dawn.com 4.96%, jang.com.pk 4.22, thenews.com.pk and express.pk 2.72%) at the end of 2018 was 56.9% (total top 10 newspaper audience share percentage of 26.4% used as the 100% benchmark). This means 4 of Pakistan’s native news websites with highest audience share have an accumulative audience share of over a quarter of all news website audience in Pakistan.
Key finding

Media regulations in Pakistan undermine fair competition through unfettered cross-media ownership

Riaz Haq said...

The world of advertising – An overview
BY TAYYAB TARIQ NARULA

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/05/28/the-world-of-advertising-an-overview/

Overall, the brands’ budgets are shifting towards digital media at a fast pace and according to Magna Global, an affiliate of the global conglomerate IPG group, it is expected that the digital media spending will surpass TV media spending by 2018

The history of advertising can be traced back to the lost city of Pompeii in 79 AD wherein the advertising messages were found in its ruins. The history of modern advertising starts with the advent of the mediums of mass communication and the first one among them was the printing press. Printing press is said to be the beginning of the European renaissance and enlightenment period due to which people were exposed to the thoughts of the new age philosophers e.g. John Locke, Voltaire, etc. Along with bringing new ideas to the public for enlightenment, it also paved the way for capitalism. In 1472, the first paper bill ads was published by William Caxton for a book and he tacked them to church dooRsSince then, advertising grew with the invention of every new medium of mass communication i.e. Newspaper, TV, Out of Home and Digital.

In 1704, first newspaper ad was published in USA while in 1941 the first TV ad was broadcasted, again in USA. With the advent of cars, out of home advertising became an important medium of advertising. People with a high entrepreneurial spirit found a great opportunity in out of home advertising and even when the government stopped their way, they found creative ways to expand their business. In 1963, the French government put a ban on bill boards, so Jeans Claude Decaux, then a budding entrepreneur, made a deal with the city of Lyons, proposing that he would build bus shelters and keep them clean in exchange for advertising space there. This lead him to create one of the biggest companies in the world in out of home advertising sector having a revenue of more than $6 billion in 2016 and making him a billionaire worth more than $6 billion.

Nowadays, advertising is a huge business because of the rise of transcontinental capitalism. The global spending on advertising for the year 2016 was worth $500 billion, which is more than Pakistan’s total GDP. And if marketing expense is added i.e. market research, public relations, direct marketing, etc, then it makes a total industry of worth $965 billion. Among them, $214 billion were spent on TV and $160.2 billionwere spent on digital, being the two largest mediums. The annual revenue of the Facebook in 2016, which started in 2004 and for the google, the search engine giant, was $27 billion and $89.5 billion respectively. And the revenue model of both of these digital giants only consists of advertising. Among the world’s biggest advertisers are Procter and Gamble, Unilever, L’oreal, Toyota Motor Corporation and Volkswagen.

The world’s biggest advertising markets are US, China and Japan. In US, the multinational companies spend a whopping $180 billion on advertising. The closest market, China is not even half of that. In China, the companies spend 85 billion on Advertising while the next biggest advertising market Japan is again not even half of that with a combined spending of only $38 billion. The other big markets are UK, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and South Korea with a combined spending of $140 billion. Interestingly, US spending in advertising is more than the combined spending of the eight countries among the world’s top 10 largest spenders, excluding China. This also represents the strength of the US economy and its high per capita spending as advertising is directly a function of the economy. Whenever the economy performs better, the advertising spending of the companies increases and whenever there is a slump, the advertising sector also faces a downturn.

Riaz Haq said...

#Digital #Pakistan: Increasing digitization and #internet accessibility make Pakistan's e-commerce market one of the fastest growing in the world. Size of #ecommerce market is up by 92% to 99.3 billion rupees ($640.3 million) during the fiscal year 2017-18 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163302.shtml#.XXBF_novZYI.twitter

The number of registered e-commerce merchants was 496 in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18, reaching nearly 1,100 by year end, and was over 1,200 in the first quarter of 2018-19, showing an exponential growth in e-commerce activities in the country.

Pakistan has e-commerce companies in almost every major sector from retail and ride-hailing to property and car purchasing. Benefits such as lower transaction costs, ease of selection of various products while sitting at home, wider selection range, opportunity for making informed purchase decisions based on online reviews and on-time delivery process are the main sources of attraction for consumers, paving the way for the industry to flourish.

Leading online businesses in Pakistan in retail are Daraz, Yayvo and HumMart, whereas ride-hailing services have been overtaken mostly by the global and regional giants Uber and Careem.

Additionally, PakWheels and Zameen are the largest online marketplaces for car and property shoppers and sellers in Pakistan. Among food delivery service providers, FoodPanda is most popular.

The industry has not only helped major players in expanding their businesses, it is also an effective tool for small- and medium-sized enterprises due to low costs and increased accessibility of sellers to customers.

In its efforts to increase the growth and development of the industry, the federal government has recently framed a draft e-commerce policy aimed at achieving higher export growth through enhanced activities from e-commerce platforms, promoting small e-businesses and creating employment opportunities.

The main goal of the policy is to augment the e-commerce industry's growth to make it one of the key drivers of Pakistan's economy.

Though data shows a steady rise in digital transactions and the number of registered vendors, the country's successful e-commerce entrepreneurs believe that Pakistan can learn much from China to further boost the industry, which is still in its infancy, as the latter has an immense knowledge base, experience and advanced technology in this field.

In a conversation with the Xinhua News Agency, Adam Dawood, head of Yayvo, one of Pakistan's largest online retailers, said that China is the world's biggest e-commerce market with annual online sales worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

As a neighboring country, China is eyeing the huge untapped potential in Pakistan, with Chinese e-commerce player AliExpress, part of tech giant Alibaba, recently acquiring Daraz.

"Apart from investment in Pakistan, China has such a big market for products that we could increase our product assortment overnight," Dawood said, adding that there is a lot of learning required in terms of product-market fit, legislation, and route to market that would help Pakistan increase not just the online shopping base, but also the internet penetration rate.

Talking about the challenges the e-commerce industry is facing, Dawood said that Pakistan needs to focus on optimizing overall service delivery and customer experience aspects.

"Our logistics and payments systems need to evolve to be better suited; it behooves the government to pass legislations and cooperate and collaborate with regional players including China to further support and actively promote the digital businesses."

Pakistan needs to encourage Chinese enterprises to explore opportunities in the Pakistani e-commerce industry and join with local start-ups for new business ventures, said Shehryar Hydri, secretary general of the Pakistan Software Houses Association, a trade body promoting and developing software and services industry in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Returning to Pakistan after 30 years, the three-day AdAsia Lahore 2019 will start at Alhamra Arts Council here on Tuesday.


https://www.dawn.com/news/1520089/adasia-lahore-starts-today

AdAsia is Asia’s largest and most prestigious ad congress held every two years under the auspices of the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA). Its theme is ‘Celebrasian: Celebration of Advertising and Creativity in Asia’.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will open the AdAsia 2019, the 31st Advertising Congress.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is also expected to attend the event.

Pakistan is celebrating advertising and communications by bringing the most inspirational figures to AdAsia with more than 25 speakers travelling from all over the world that will help promote Pakistan’s soft image in the world.

Some 750 delegates around the globe are expected to attend the event. The speakers include William Dalrymple (historian and author), Randi Zuckerberg (Founder & CEO, Zuckerberg Media), Lord William Hague (former secretary of state UK), Tay Guan Hin (Creative Change Catalyst, APAC Global Advisory), Richard Quest (chief business correspondent CNN), Tasuharu Sasaki (Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Network), Atifa Silk (Brand Director, Campaign — Asia), Musharaf Hai (Managing Director, L’Oreal), Javed Jabbar (media expert), Seema Kamil (President and CEO, UBL), Taher Khan (Founder and Chairman, Interflow Communi­cations), Ali Rez (Regional CD, Middle East & Pakistan, BBDO Worldwide), Shazia Syed (CEO, Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited) and Dr Zeelaf Munir (MD & CEO, EBM).

This will be a seminal event for Pakistan’s advertising industry and it is hoped that the fraternity will gear up and send as many young delegates as possible.

Riaz Haq said...

#Facebook Founder's Sister ex Facebook exec Randi Zuckerberg finds #Pakistan friendliest country. Speaking in #Lahore, she said she graduated from #Harvard. In a lighter vein she pointed out that Mark, her famous brother, could not graduate from Harvard.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/579199-randi-zuckerberg-finds-pakistan-friendliest-country?fbclid=IwAR01s57lDhoGkU1xxksRSBs0MWKy3CaRtlSlQVVXrLmJFSaeR-3CAHzf1DI

The third and final day of AdAsia 2019 belonged to Randi Zukerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. She kept the fully packed hall spell-bound during her one-hour lecture, describing Pakistan as the friendliest country.


She justified her praise for Pakistani nation by citing the names of Malala Yousafzai and Benazir Bhutto, the great women produced by it. This, she added, shows that Pakistan is a country that really honours its women. She said it was a surprise for her to know that Pakistan is the preferred supplier of quality soccer balls to the world. This way, she added, Pakistan is known in all soccer playing countries. Randi revealed that she is also a fan of cricket, which is very close to the hearts of Pakistanis. After showering more praise on Pakistani nation, she started her own story.

Randi said as a child and growing girl, she had a passion for singing. She said she would have studied that art, but for her parents, who wanted her to study at Harvard, from where she graduated. In a lighter vein she pointed out that Mark, her more famous brother, could not graduate from Harvard (He is a college dropout). She said after graduation, she went from California to New York to work at an advertisement agency.

She said while she was settled in New York, she got a phone call from her brother Mark, imploring her to come back to Silicon Valley as he needed help in marketing. She said the invitation meant to work with the family and for free, and she was not prepared to do that. She went to California with the intention of staying there for a week. When she went there, she saw a bunch of youngsters locked in a room day and night; eating cupcakes and brandy. Their passion was overwhelming. They had the idea of connecting people. They were locked in Hukapan where they worked tirelessly and kept to themselves only. She said that instead of one week, she stayed there for 10 years.

“When we started, we were a 12-member team. Today, Facebook has 102 offices with thousands of employees.

“As the chief marketing officer of Facebook, my budget was nothing. You have to work on passion project, exploring it day and night.”

Randi Zuckerberg said during these experimentations, some funny inventions were made. She said one colleague invented a mobile lock that locked the phone on jumping. She said to unlock it, the person had to jump the same way. Many, she added, failed and numerous users were forced to go to Apple to get their phones unlocked.

Randi said since her passion was music, she launched a live Facebook band. She said at the time of launch, there were only two viewers and those were her parents. She said it was a complete flop. A week after the Facebook live launch, she got a call from a very famous singing celebrity, who offered to perform on Facebook live. At first, she thought it was a joke, but she did perform. After that she said many showbiz and sports celebrities appeared on Facebook live and the sit clicked to a huge success. She said only four months after the launch, President Barack Obama expressed the desire to use Facebook live to connect with people. This site is now used by 2.5 billion people in the world, she added. She also revealed that Twitter team emerged as startups of Facebook programme.

Riaz Haq said...

AdAsia Comes to Pakistan After 30 years: Logo & Creative Identity Unveiled
By Press Release - Jan 27, 2019 0
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adasia 2019


https://www.brandsynario.com/adasia-comes-to-pakistan-after-30-years-logo-creative-identity-unveiled/

The logo unveiling ceremony of AdAsia 2019 —Asian Advertising Congress, was held at Faletti’s Hotel, Lahore, on Sunday.

Cadbury Dairy Milk
AdAsia is the largest and most prestigious advertising congress in Asia, organized bi-annually by the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA).

Started off in 1958, AdAsia 2019 is the 31st advertising congress that is being hosted by Pakistan in Lahore from December 2-5 this year. It is the second AdAsia to be held in Pakistan. In 1989 Pakistan hosted the 16th AdAsia which was a roaring success.


The logo which has been designed by well known Pakistani communication practitioner Shahzad Nawaz was unveiled by the AdAsia Organizing Committee and Pakistan Advertising Association (PAA) to the creative & marketing communication industry of the country.

“It is an honor for Pakistan to host AdAsia 2019 after 30 years,” said Sarmad Ali, Chairman Organizing Committee, AdAsia 2019 Lahore. “We have had a tremendous event 30 years ago which is still talked about in the advertising circles and we hope to bring the same magic back but in a bigger and better way.”

AdAsia 2019 will be a motivating and stimulating Congress with diverse topics and speakers from all walks of life, each sharing their experiences and helping others to learn from those.


Sharing his views about the Congress, Chairman, PAA, Ali Mandviwalla said “AdAsia Lahore will focus on technology and communication in the new world. It will serve as a platform for global leaders to share the practices that lead industries in their regions so that we can benefit from it and help them in areas of our strengths. The congress will be a great learning experience for not just the creative industry but for all.”

Speaking at the event, Shahzad Nawaz, termed AdAsia to be a dream project, “It is a matter of great honor for me to be selected for this exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to showcase Pakistan to the world.”

The theme for the Congress is ‘Celebrasian: Celebration of Advertising and Creativity in Asia’, and the communication has been designed keeping the theme and design elements from Pakistan in mind.


Brandsynario
@brandsynario
AdAsia 2019 will be a motivating and stimulating Congress with diverse topics and speakers from all walks of life, each sharing their experiences and helping others to learn from those. #karachi #lahore #islamabad

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The logo unveiled sets the tone of the entire communication of AdAsia 2019 in Lahore, which is vibrant, fresh yet culturally embedded taking elements from our region of Asia.


‏علینہ 🇵🇰
@aleenarathore
The best part about the logo is that it's in اردو language
This is for the first time Ad Asia logo is in a regional language. It clearly shares the Pakistani values and culture 💕#ADAsiaLahore #ADAsiaPakistan

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For the AdAsia Lahore this year, Pakistan is set to celebrate advertising and communications by bringing the most inspirational speakers to Lahore. The Congress is expected to feature more than 1000 participants from advertising and creative communications from around the world, majorly Asia and more particularly South Asia.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan, has been invited to inaugurate the event. While, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Asad Umar, has also been invited as Guest Speaker. International speakers like Peter Draper, Former Marketing Director of Manchester United and Richard Quest, CNN Chief Business Correspondent, have already agreed to speak at the Congress.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Ad Revenue 2018...Digital ad revenue increased by Rs. 2.5 billion (46%)


Total Ad spend (revenue) decreased by Rs 6.1 billion (7%) to Rs. 81.6 billion


The percentage share of TV has decreased by 2%.

https://aurora.dawn.com/news/1143364

Riaz Haq said...

BIGO Ads partners with RMI to launch its #advertising business in #Pakistan.BIGO uses machine learning technology, powerful #ArtificialIntelligence algorithms and #BigData to support #branding and targeted advertising solutions. #Media https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bigo-ads-partners-rmi-launch-104000958.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw via @YahooFinance

KARACHI, Pakistan, April 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile marketing platform BIGO Ads announces Rich Media Inc ("RMI") as the authorized reseller in Pakistan.

BIGO Ads, from BIGO Technology, is an ads platform, providing mobile marketing solutions globally. Covering more than 150 countries, BIGO Ads integrates mobile marketing solutions into imo, the video and audio calling app with global monthly active users (MAU) of 210 million, and Likee, a short video creation platform with global MAU of 115 million. With its strong user base and high-quality content, BIGO Ads enriches the user portrait system and provides marketing solutions for advertisers and partners in different scenarios.

BIGO Ads utilizes cutting-edge machine learning technology, powerful Artificial Intelligence algorithms, comprehensive big data analysis, and processing capabilities to support branding and performance advertising solutions for advertisers. With various advertising formats, such as Banner, Native, Video and different cooperation models like Programmatic buying,

Reserved branding Ads and Auction Bidding Ads, BIGO Ads provides a one-stop integrated marketing solutions for advertisers to reach the targeted audience, increase brand awareness and maximize return of investment (ROI).

RMI is an exclusive partner of Sizmek by Amazon, and Control Shift in Pakistan since 2008 and 2019 respectively. Recently RMI inked the agreement with BIGO to sell media properties of imo and Likee to local media agencies and advertisers to drive higher return on ad spend. RMI holds a major percent market share of digital ad serving business in Pakistan. RMI is playing a digital consultancy role in the market to facilitate the local agencies and advertisers about new innovative ad formats, ads execution strategies and ideas. We are known for strategic digital advertising solutions.

BIGO Ads is glad to partner with RMI. With RMI's in-depth understanding of the market and excellent relationship in Pakistan, as well as the rich and efficient marketing solutions of BIGO Ads, we will provide advertisers with a better service and achieve marketing objectives.

Riaz Haq said...

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-apac/country/insights-pakistan/what-pakistan-searching-insights-brands/

Google's “Insights for Brands” in #Pakistan. Searches are surging for #COVID19, "healthy diets", "fast delivery", "gym at home", "Intermittent fasting", "climate change", "electric cars", "clean air", 7 in 10 Pakistanis using YouTube every month. #Lockdown https://nation.com.pk/20-Jun-2020/google-releases-pakistan-s-search-insights-for-brands


“Pakistanis and their smartphones are inseparable -- always on the lookout for the best experiences and deals within their vicinity and at the same time seeking authoritative information during these trying times,” said Faraz Azhar, Industry Head for South Asia, Google Asia Pacific. “Our research found rising levels of consumer sophistication, interest in more sustainable products and services, and a move towards a healthier lifestyle as some of the biggest drivers of behavior in the last 12 months. Also, digital video continues to boom with local content on YouTube representing Pakistan’s favorite online destination.”

In the newly released report, Google outlined five key trends that are shaping how Pakistanis search as well as their curiosity on the impact of reduced human mobility on the environment:

1. Increasingly sophisticated consumers

Consumers expect Search to understand the intent behind what they need and deliver the best, most helpful answers. They want high-quality products that are available with a convenient digital experience. 4 in 5 Pakistani consumers research products online before a purchase, and they switch between online search and video. They also want quick access to products and services: 138% growth in “near me” searches and 1.5X increase in “same day delivery” queries between 2018 to 2019. ‘Fast delivery’ searches increased by 1300% and online grocery delivery searches increased by 300% when the pandemic began.

Pakistani student spends 'golden, happy' days in China amid pandemic

2. Towards sustainability and conscious consumption

A combination of the state of the world and an overall rise in awareness has seen the rise of the environmentally conscious consumer. Over a one year period these searches have risen sharply across Pakistan: “climate change” by 1.5X, “electric cars” by 1.5X, “reusable” by 1.3X, and “cimate change” by 1.5X. Users were also curious about the visible impact on air quality and pollution levels, with searches for ‘clear skies’ increasing by 300%; ‘clean air’ by 225%; and ‘clear water’ by 217%.

3. Digital video continues to boom

Video streaming and sharing platforms are where Pakistanis get their fix of information, entertainment, news, and sports. The primary drivers are a combination of affordable data combined with the proliferation of devices and now platforms. 7 in 10 Pakistanis use YouTube every month, with searches related to “with me” increasing 150%, “teeli” by 108% and “vilage food secrets” by 168%.

4. The healthy lifestyle choice

While Pakistan has a rich and diverse culinary tradition, there has been a rise in searches for alternate diets and meal plans predicated around well-being. Searches for “daily exercise” are up 1.6X. Searches for “vegetarian cuisine”, “healthy supplements” and “intermittent fasting” have risen 1.5X. Meanwhile searches for “super food” are up by a whopping 767% and “HIIT” by 600%.

5. COVID-19 implications

With COVID-19 restricting the movement of people outdoors, Pakistanis have started looking for ways to start (or continue) their usual physical routines indoors with ‘HIIT workout’ YouTube searches growing by 600%, ‘gym at home’ by 125%, and ‘home workouts’ by 80%. With more people confined indoors, interest in mental health and well-being has also become an important factor for Pakistanis, with a surge in searches for ‘meditation’ (+56%) in March this year.