Yes! We Khan – Social Media Case Study Of Imran Khan Rally On December 25th, 2011

Imran Khan Yes We Khan Rally Picture HopeThe highly successful Jalsa of 25th December, 2011 organized by Pakistan Tehreek Insaf was a major social media milestone for Pakistan. By using a disruptive technology in early markets, PTI has upset the status quo, catapulting a man who did not look like a serious contender for government initially into the forefront of the race whilst engaging voters in fundamentally new ways.  This form of tech adoption has also ushered in a new relationship model between leaders and their supporters (especially young ones) with all political parties now announcing and jostling for the ‘youth vote’ with their youth wings. Perhaps in the future it will also serve to change expectations of ‘Citizens’ and ‘Leader’s’ roles in government.

Imran Khan’s campaign epitomizes the opportunities  to be gained using your ‘customers’ to amplify the effect using new technologies despite contending with established players that have far greater resources and legacy. At its most basic however it’s about good fundamentals. For a start it’s about selling a product which people want [an innate buzz]. Dr. Awab Alvi, the person responsible for PTI’s social media strategy said “We are just an interface to communicate the product to people online. People want to see, hear and want to interact with our brand and we use a medium to give them what they want. The buzz is nothing to do with us marketing the product. Fundamentally the product is a need of the time due to the country’s situation and people are looking for an alternative and Imran Khan is being seen as that alternative.”

Thus authenticity matters and If one looks at the competitive landscape in this context, Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N have recently spent an inordinate amount of money on social media trying to make up for lost ground, but the difference is again in the vision that Imran Khan sells and the ‘more of the same’ approach which is being used by PML-N. In social media one can’t just adopt a brand and expect people to buy into it without authenticity. The new ‘Khudari’ message (something which PML-N didn’t do in 20 years) thus will not work for their brand in this case.

Another one of the tenets of social media that holds true for PTI’s approach is “go to where your customers are.” PTI made it possible for people to participate where they want, how they want, using the tools and friendships they want. Whilst it’s a butt of jokes that most of Imran Khan’s base cannot even vote and that children under 18 are not relevant to be targeted because they can’t vote. However in this traditional thinking, political bigwigs forget that these same generations can talk [and inspire] and help to build a wave of change. Social media enables them to use lower or zero transaction costs to do it. It is these passionistas  who serve as the base for the party.

“There is a tremendous army working for the organization which responds to queries, reputation management, etc and to date NONE of the volunteers have ever been paid. When you have passionate people doing something they love… they believe in the change, in doing it as an end in itself and all they want from us has been the recognition of that aspect’, said Dr. Awab. ‘I tell them truly that it’s YOU whose done this for Pakistan and I mean it’. Faisal Kapadia, a blogger and activist at ‘DeadPan Thoughts’ describes the feeling as ‘It was a high that I’ve never felt before with an energy level not even found at a U2 concert’.

Social media use by PTI includes clarifying and defense of the party’s policies and actions, reputation management and killing of the rumor mill, engaging with voters, provide the imagery that give hope and provide for a catalyst of change. The key engines thus that propelled the social media movement forward for the organization included but were not limited to Imran Khan (Official) Channel and Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (Official Page) which are the Facebook channels responsible for organizing and mobilizing people for initiatives that support key processes whilst ‘We Want Imran Khan to Be The Next Prime Minister Of Pakistan’ and ‘Jagutho’ are initiatives for sharing viewpoints, helping supporters, volunteers and campaign workers to co-ordinate their offline and online activities.

Combined there are over 500,000 ‘fans’ of PTI & Imran Khan with over 50,000 plus active participants at any moment in time. These channels were the ones which provided the support needed during the Jalsa online and the figures below show the impact of these on the Jalsa and vice versa.

Constant engagement is key. Imran Khan campaigns and encourages users and artists to use the imagery they provide for their own purpose acknowledging and recognizing that they should give up control. The best creative developed Imran Khan addressing the Jalsa with the caption: ‘Hope Is Priceless… for everything else there’s Mastercard’. A big lesson for brands here is to ‘Make it easy for people to make you their own’. Let people act on their desire to get involved at a low transaction cost, and very visibly. This increases leverage.

PTI has also been present on Twitter with @Imran KhanPTI and @PTIOfficial channels. Twitter works since during the span of the Jalsa the PTI broke 11 global twitter trends within a 5 hour window and because of it reverberated across the 300 million strong community on the platform including ‘DilDilPakistan’ quickly being picked up across the region.

To understand its significance, one can take into account that as a baseline it takes a minimal of 500 active users and 1200-1900 tweets per hour to break a global trend. To dominate it as PTI did, it takes much more. Another platform which has been very successful for PTI has been the mobile 80022 which drives the membership for the party.  Utilizing this form of technology, PTI has their ‘army’ segmented via city, via constituencies and clumped by affinities which allows them to mobilize with great speed and effectiveness.

This informs people with SMS messages when an event such as the Jalsa is about to happen and asks for participation. Roman Urdu works better than English on the platform. In the future, this database form of marketing will serve its purpose for voter turnouts.

Other features enabled on mobile include mapping via SMS which was used to provide directions to nearest available pickup points for people and recently an iReport debut feature on the platform which was used to identify and resolve the problems that people were facing at the jalsa.

iReport holds the potential to be much much more. This is going to be a powerful form of Citizen Reporting platform and once properly activated will become a force for accountability in Pakistan as normal Pakistanis report their encounters on issues which PTI raises.

The jalsa also used an innovative platform of ‘Live Streaming’ the event globally to all those who could not be physically there. Using a 50 Mbps fiber connection, the event was streamed to over 35000 people at its peak LIVE across the globe.

The PTI Jalsa has broken new grounds in the marketing of politics and perhaps even for business. Marketing executives need to start focusing on what will happen when their stakeholders self-organize, mirror each other’s interests, magnify the interests into passions and make a lot of noise. This can change expectations fast. They should be aware of traditional thinking in their organizations so they can counter these. It must be remembered that all disruptive change always presents as a fringe activity at first. Thus marketers need to make it a priority to understand social media adoption milestones, so they don’t get caught by surprise. Some of the good lessons out of the Jalsa which marketers can learn from:

  1. PTI strategy is to focus on selling leadership, not policies. Most political campaigns sell their candidates like products, replete with features and benefits (“policies” and “programs”). More profound, leadership and personal qualities and beliefs inspire more easily than policies.
  2. Trust your stakeholders to discover and do the right thing. Smart organizations are becoming more cooperative by sharing “control.” Letting go energizes people to contribute in a meaningful manner.
  3. Realize you cannot control the conversation and that’s okay.
  4. The more transparent and collaborative, the stronger your organization will be as a competitor.
  5. Think small. Industrial Economy marketing held that the only things worth watching were big numbers and big initiatives. Yet in the digital age, many many people doing small things can have a big impact when they are using digital social media because it affords so much leverage. Many small numbers can roll up to a big number. Many-to-many means geometric growth and acceleration.

For PTI after a successful campaign, now on the Social Media Roadmap is to move on from ‘just defending ourselves’ to organization of the masses and translate the online activism to offline activism. “Right now it’s all Imran Khan’s draw but now we’ve seen potential we will be organizing leaders in colleges and universities. Jagutho is one of the initiatives which has created a ‘Responsible Citizen’ model which is organized around a mohalla basis which we hope to implement soon.”, said Dr. Alvi. “The Future is calling”.

The Future of Digital Marketing: Pakistan 2015

It’s sad that at every turn we tend to focus on the negatives when this great country really offers endless opportunities amidst all this chaos – if one is focused to see the forest for the trees. Because of a lack of legacy infrastructure to burden us down, the marching advent of technology and telecom is shaking up the old and ensuring that Pakistan is coming of age in one of the fastest of the new growth industries such as Digital Media and Marketing which will only go up and up over the next decade.

Let me start by making a bold prediction. Expect 15% of all advertising in Pakistan to shift to digital, interactive, mobile, social and online video over the next five years. Why is it bold, because currently digital spending is estimated at US $5 Million and if the prediction were to come true, we’re looking at an amount hovering in the $40 -$50 million USD range. That’s a growth by a factor of 10 in just 5 years. It’s an impossible figure at first sight but like in the rest of the world, the increasing consumer connectivity (4 million+ broadband connections by 2013 – Source: PTA), Mobile and social technologies are rapidly evolving the very definition of marketing and commerce in our country and the on-coming world of 3G / 4G technologies, cloud computing, mobility and even SMS/WAP based services will quickly bring this prediction about. With this in mind, the following will be growth areas in our country over the next few years:

Prediction #1: The Ubiquitous Mobile Eco-system

If you think the Telecom sector is huge right now, wait for a few years. With close to 60 million phones and 90 million SIMs providing the foundation, already without a doubt the next big thing is going to be mobile. You maybe getting tired of hearing about how it’s going to happen, but it is coming and coming soon and it’s going to be not just about phones, it will be an entire ecosystem built around the mobile – any service, anytime, anywhere and on any screen.  Bring in location based services, m-commerce and Proximity forms of marketing enabled by a million strong SME sector and it’s a no brainer that mobile-assisted shopping will be integrated into the physical and m-commerce especially will become a necessary part of multi-channel retailing and an important component of Point of Purchase Promotions. With that we can portend the rise of mobile comparison shopping, mobile coupons, mobile affiliates and ever more SMS services. Add in social networks which are being promoted on even the Chinese mobiles, we can easily perceive that social media and social commerce on the mobile device will be a big part of our marketing efforts. For the marketers the challenge in this regard will be even more platform fragmentation.


Prediction #2: Digital Marketing Will Be About New Possibilities

Digital marketing will be about connecting information that’s otherwise not connected to create new possibilities and experiences. If my own personal experiences in game development are taken as an example, applying game mechanics to the customer journey, particularly product awareness/brand discovery – with levels, engaging fun challenges, and certain rewards can be very effective way to market your own brands even now and in the future will be certain to grow as ‘experiential marketing’ takes over from traditional activations. You’ve heard life is a game … this time we’ll be living it especially as augmented technologies come into play in this country – some we’re developing even now. For those who’d like to see what the Pakistani marketing world can be like in 2015 Google ‘Nike London Grid’

Prediction #3: TV Will Still Rule But The Focus To Something New Will Come

In a Feb 2010 published report by the European Interactive Advertising Association (IALS), the number of hours that the average person spends connected to the internet in Spain now exceeds that spent watching television. The study, conducted in 15 European countries, revealed that people in Spain spent an average of 13.3 hours per week connected to the internet compared to 13 hours in front of the television. There is quite a difference between age groups, with younger people spending most time online, while those over 55 years of age almost exclusively use only television. Whilst on the same note a study by Ipsos Reid last fall found that Canadians are spending more than 18 hours a week online, compared with 16.9 hours watching television. In the UK, According to a Sept 2009 news report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), online has overtaken television to become the biggest single medium growing to 1.75 billion pounds, with the medium accounting for 23.5 percent of all spend, ahead of television. If the European and Canadian trends are to be taken as a benchmark for our world in the future, than there will be a major shift in advertising from being predominantly TV focused to something new. The economic drivers are already compelling marketers to try their hands on digital.

Prediction #4: Digital will continue to remain a Paradox

Digital marketing will always remain a challenging paradox for the traditional marketers because the way currently marketers think about digital is flawed, fully racked as they are with a mindset tuned towards providing immediate gratification, a one-off mentality and a propensity to constantly chase the next shiny object. Understanding conversations, the loss of control, co-creation, engagement are forms which will take time before they’ll be manifested in the marketing communications here.

It can be said that digital technologies have changed everything, not because of the speed of access but because there is a direct connection to what we want which is always on. This has changed the experience from one which used to be disruptive (turning on the PC to check email e.g.) to embedded (checking email on the phone whilst on the go) and being integrated into everything we do. This is the same technology that will be powering our media and marketing over the next decade and giving us continuous hope and reason for bringing our country into the developed world at an extremely fast pace.

A truly connected world is going to be a radically different world from the world we currently inhabit and understand. It will be a world where mobile devices and computers will be as prevalent as the air we breathe. It will be where social media will compete against mass media and real time ‘Now’ will complement the traditional forms of ‘Search’. It will be a world where Apps will compete against ads and context will be king. The cloud, semantics, Android, mashups, mobile, social graphs & social-spheres, user targeting,  HTML5, location-based, gaming, ad exchanges, path to conversion, 3D, channel interaction, HD video, augmented reality, data visualisation, apps and even more, and all present even on the lowly Chinese devices will stand to drive the consumer on a different path to purchase than the current models. Already the trends show that consumer preferences are already shifting towards the digital landscape. We’re watching Indian soaps on YouTube, banking through our mobile phones, finding life partners and ordering grocery online. What happens when these technologies become embedded in our lives? We’re already witness to the decline of the ‘Broadcast Business models’ from newspapers & magazines to TV & music, none command the stature of previous decades and as technology progresses they’ll lose their importance even more. With this will come the end of noise & interruption form of advertising and the rise of context, relevance and real experiences for brand building.  Consumer behavior will continue to change as technology evolves and permeates even more into our lives, giving greater influence and control to the consumers over the relationships and the experiences that they choose to have with the brands.



Intel Core i5 750 – First Look

Intel Core i5 LogoIntel took a big leap forward in the design department when it launched Core i7 900-series processors last year. Just a few of these improvements included a new triple-channel memory controller integrated into the chip, a new QuickPath Interconnect system to replace (and improve upon) the front-side bus architecture of old and the return of hyperthreading that split the chip’s four physical cores into eight virtual cores for increased system performance.

The Core i7 900-series chips were based on a new Intel X58 chipset and LGA1366 socket, therefore aspiring enthusiasts had to invest in new motherboards to reap the benefits of the Core i7 900-series platform. This rig was also expensive, so Intel recently launched a more mainstream processor – the Core i5.

The Core i5

The new Intel Core i5 750 is the first release in a series of processors based on a mainstream version of the Core i7 platform. It is a quad-core part based on the “Lynnfield” architecture, fabricated using a 45nm process ( Intel’s newest processor architecture known as Nehalem) and utilizes the new LGA1156 platform (note: Different from the Core i7’s LGA 1366). The Core i5 750 CPU is set to cost around the Rs. 16,000 mark and will operate at a 2.66GHz speed. It will feature a whopping 8MB L3 cache, but no Hyper-Threading support will be present.

Like the i7, the Core i5 CPU also run on Intel’s latest P55 chipset, which necessitates a new motherboard purchase for use. What’s changed, however, is that the Core i5 CPUs has adopted a different permutations of the fanciest of the Core i7 900-series’ features.

Core i5

What has been dropped

To make it more economical Intel has removed the QuickPath Interconnect and triple-channel memory controller and replaced it with a Direct Media Interface (DMI) and dual-channel memory controller. The difference is that QPI is like hyper transport with bandwidth of 25.6GB/s. It is the new “front side bus” being a direct link from the CPU(s) to the north bridge. DMI on the other hand is a connection between the north bridge and the south bridge with bandwidth of 2-4 GB/s. Does it matter? Not much. Most software don’t require such heavy power just yet offered by QPI and given the minute performance differences between current dual- and triple-channel memory configurations this is not much of a loss. This is however bad for future proofing. If you were to go out, and buy an Core i5 rig right now, a year down the road, when prices drop and you’d like to purchase the i7, you’ll have to buy another motherboard and new ram from scratch. It is not designed with the upgrade consumer in mind. But even remaining on the same platform means plenty of options such as future offerings including the 32nm Clarkdale Core i5 processors that will have a thermal design power of just 73 watts, 23% less than that of the 45nm Lynnfield architecture. Also meant to use the same platform are the Core i3 series and let’s not forget the Core i7 800 series.

Secondly, an integrated PCI Express graphics controller on this Lynnfield CPUs can either deliver 16 lanes of bandwidth to a single PCI Express 2.0 videocard or split this connection into two x8 lanes for an SLI or CrossFire setup. Although it’s a cut from the full 32 lanes (for a dual 16x or quad-8x configuration) provided by Core i7’s X58 chipset, the bandwidth reduction should only affect those who SLI or CrossFire dual-GPU videocards.

Third, like we mentioned earlier, the core i5 has no hyper-threading. While Core i7 is a quad-core, it appears in Windows as having eight cores. This further improves performance when using programs that make good use of multi-threading. Core i5 products, however, will not have this feature, which means operating systems will recognize the processors as having four core and no more. This will have no affect on the performance of most applications, like web browsers and even games, but it will be a blow to those who use 3D rendering software and other such programs that excel with multi-threading.

For the most part, the Core i5’s internal workings are identical to existing Core i7 processor and offsetting the superficially dumbed down feature set is a more aggressive implementation of Intel’s auto-overclocking feature known as Turbo Boost. Whilst the Core i7 900-series CPUs will only increase their multipliers to a maximum of two additional steps according to system demands (effectively taking a 3.33-GHz processor to 3.6-GHz depending on how many cores are in use), the new Lynnfield Core i5 750 processors are able to jump up four multiplier steps (2.66-GHz to a maximum 3.2-GHz) with Turbo Boost enabled. With over-clocking you can easily expect to hit the 3.6 GHz mark and even up to 4.3 GHz if you know how to. This chip has a lot of room to spare.

Our Test

Instead of using a high-end system, we decided to put the Intel Core i5 750 to the test using a real-world system that mostly anyone can afford and running just a gaming test for lack of other options.

System Configuration:

Manufacturer: Intel
Family: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 750 @ 2.67GHz
Architecture: 64-bit
MultiCore: 4 Processor Cores
Capabilities: MMX, CMov, RDTSC, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, PAE, NX, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2
Level 3, 8 MB
Level 2, 256 KB
Level 1, 32 KB

Graphics Card: 1GB PCIe NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT (Microsoft Corporation – WDDM v1.1)
DirectX Info: Version 10.1

Test Results

Core i5 Specs

Benchmark Results

3D Mark Advantage Specs Core i5

Checking the scores online shows that the Core i5 750’s score of 12624 falls right around the scores set by competing PCs that use Core i7 920 processors and is better than the scores set by the Core 2 Duos and most of the Core 2 Quads of the world.

CPU Test 1 Score: 1794.93 Plans / sec

AI: The AI test features a high-intensity workload of co-operative maneuvering and path-finding artificial intelligence calculations. The test setting is an airplane race course crowded with planes, all attempting to navigate through a series of gates while avoiding collisions with each other and the ground. The test load consists of the movement planning for each airplane. The workload is entirely parallelized, and can utilize multi-core CPUs to the fullest. Faster CPUs will be able to compute more frequent and timely movement plans for the airplanes, resulting in smarter flight routes.

The CPU tests run at a fixed resolution of 1280×1024, and most of the graphics options are drastically reduced. There are almost no post-processing effects, no complex shaders, no shadows, and none of the world outside what you see on screen is modeled. The idea is to limit the impact of the GPU so much that even budget, entry-level cards can display the tests so easily that they’re entirely CPU-limited.

The i5 blew past this test with flying colors better than a 3.0GHz Core 2 Extreme 9650 quad-core CPU would perform (score: 1678).

CPU Test 2 Score: 15.52 Steps /s

Physics: The Physics Test features a heavy workload of future generation game physics computations. The scene is set at an air race, but with an unfortunately dangerous configuration of gates. Planes trailing smoke collide with various cloth and soft-body obstacles, each other, and the ground. The smoke spreads, and reacts to the planes passing through it.

The test spawns one pair of gates for each CPU core. So, four gates in a quad-core CPU. If there’s a hardware physics card in the system, subtract one from that number and then add four (seven gates in a quad-core system). Each pair of gates is its own independent physically simulated “world” and does not interact with the other pairs of gates.

Since we didn’t have a PhysX card, the system performed at normal levels expected for the configuration.

Our Evaluation


The tests of Core i5 indicate that its gaming performance will match or is better than that of the Core i7 920. This, more than anything, is likely due to the Lynnfields’  improving on the Turbo Boost feature. However, if you already own a high-end Core 2 Duo or Quad, upgrading only on the basis of gaming performance isn’t the best idea. If you are in the market for a new one, definitely buy the Core i5.


We couldn’t test this feature ourselves, so we’ll take Intel’s word for it. Intel has been going to great lengths to ensure their processors use as little power as possible. Core i5 is no exception. The new power management feature throttles down the cores automatically when they aren’t being used. This, along with a general refinement of the manufacturing process has resulted in a processor that just sips at power. It is our guess that a Core i5 system, even when paired with a high-end graphics card, will idle at under 100 watts – for the entire system. This is an impressive achievement.

The Core i5 750 looks to be a solid winner. Its true strength lies in the Turbo Boost Technology. With it, the processor can automatically overclock all four of its cores independently to match the workload at hand. Down-clocking works equally as well thanks to new power saving features. The only thing it is lacking compared to the other Lynnfield processors is hyper-threading.

This system is highly recommended for those looking to dip their toes into the Nehalem platform without breaking the bank. The Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad parts will eventually die out, putting an end to the LGA775 platform, so it only makes sense now to buy  this far superior system than invest a new in an old one.

Cheat Sheet:

If you’re as confused as a whole lot of us with all this information over-load, here’s a cheat sheet for use to compare different Intel’s offerings. (source: PC World)
Intel Lynnfield Chips

Beyond The Core – Intel Roadmap 2010

Ashar H. Zaidi, Country Manager, Intel Pakistan recently shared Intel’s Vision for 2010. One of the more interesting things shared was a roadmap of Intel’s Tick Tock development model until 2012. Each tock is the introduction of a new architecture while each tick is the introduction of a smaller production process. Currently Intel is introducing the 45nm Nehalem “tock” and in 2010 you can expect a 32nm shrink of Nehalem

Intel Tick Tock Model codenamed Westmere.

A new architecture will also arrive in 2010, that tock will introduce the 32nm Sandy Bridge. Sandy bridge is the 32nm architecture will succeed the 45nm Nehalem architecture in 2010. Sandy Bridge (formerly also known as Gesher) will have up to eight cores on the same die, 512KB L2 cache and 16MB L3 cache. Also new will be the addition of Instruction AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) which might be as significant as the introduction of SSE in 1999. According to Intel the introduction of AVX will enhance the performance of certain matrix multiplication instructions by 90 percent.

Even though Asher didn’t go into further architectures, the next actually after that will be the introduction of a 22nm shrink of Sandy Bridge. Most of you will probably already have heard about these upcoming processors, but if you haven’t, than know that in 2011 you can expect the 22nm Ivy Bridge and one year later you can expect the new 22nm Haswell architecture. The 22nm architecture is expected to replace the Sandy Bridge architecture in 2012. This architecture is probably still four years away from us in Pakistan but early information tells us that this processor architecture will have a native eight-core design, a whole new cache architecture, “revolutionary” energy saving technologies, the FMA (Fused Multiply-Add) instruction set and possibly on-package vector co-processors.

Asher also talked about the chip giant’s plans for the Value, Mid-range, Performance and Extreme segments. Already in the works is Intel’s Lynnfield (LGA1156) platform will start out with a trio of processors, two Core i7-8xx models and one Core i5-7xx model (i5-750 review coming up next). However, by 2010 Intel will introduce the new Clarkdale family across the mid-range segment. With clock frequencies from 3.2GHz up to 3.46GHz. It will be Intel’s first 32nm processors and grab the relay baton from the Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Quad series.

Intel Client Roadmap 2010

It is expected that in 2010, Intel will also announce the six-core Gulftown processor that is listed after Core i7-Extreme in this presentation. Rumor have suggested that Intel will make this processor the Core i9 series. Asher said to keep tuned for a January announcement.

Intel Roadmap 2010 - WestmereAsher talked a great deal about the upcoming Westmere. Like Nehalem, Westmere will support Intel technologies incorporated into Nehalem like Hyper-Threading, Intel Turbo Boost, and an integrated memory controller. When it launches, two Westmere-based cores will be offered: Clarkdale for desktops (mainstream/ value segments), and Arrandale for notebooks (mainstream/ value segments).

Both Clarkdale and Arrandale will sport two processing cores with Hyper-Threading, bringing support for up to four threads to run simultaneously, and they’ll also be the first Intel CPUs to feature integrated graphics on the CPU package (although it won’t be on the same piece of silicon as the CPU die). Intel also says both CPUs will support dual-channel DDR3, with 4MB cache. In another first, the new processors will also support Intel’s new AES instructions: these are 7 new instructions focused on delivering accelerated encryption/decryption. This should reap benefits for users concerned about data security who would like to encrypt their hard drive.

The performance benefits for these chips will largely come from the improved bandwidth and reduced latency Intel obviously reaps by integrating the CPU and GPU closer together on the same package, as well as higher clock speeds. Unlike the 32-nm Westmere CPU, the graphics chip used will be based on Intel’s existing 45-nm process.

Intel 2 Chip Solution

This move will make life tougher for someone like NVIDIA, which has touted their superior graphics performance before with integrated graphics products like GeForce 9400M, which has won numerous design wins including Apple Macbook. But with graphics moving off of the chipset and directly onto the CPU itself, it’s more efficient for someone like Apple, Dell, or HP to just use the integrated graphics provided by the CPU rather than going to the expense of using an NVIDIA chipset. Fortunately Clarkdale and Arrandale support switchable graphics, so a discrete GPU could be combined with the CPU to deliver superior 3D performance when needed for apps like gaming, and then switch back to the integrated graphics to conserve power.

Finally Intel has also talked about  a renewed emphasis on packing more features–such as better graphics–into mobile chips, particularly those going into laptops.



My Own Thoughts.

It seems that the recession is biting Intel. How else can you explain the increased focus on the mainstream and value segments, than the extreme. Gulftown e.g. is not launching till late 2010. Intel knows that one of Core i7’s key weaknesses is cost. All Core i7 CPUs require Intel’s X58 platform, and pricey DDR3 memory, and as any enthusiast can tell you, motherboards based on Intel’s X-series chipsets have never been cheap. While X58 motherboard price have come down considerably since launch, X58 motherboards still start right around the Rs. 24000, with the price quickly going up from there on more feature-rich motherboards.

To address this issue, Intel is planning to introduce mainstream derivatives of Nehalem. These processors will utilize a new CPU socket and 5-series chipset, making them incompatible with the X58/Core i7 platform and vice versa. They’ll also utilize a dual-channel memory controller rather than the triple-channel controller used on the Core i7.

But I also believe that Intel realizes that it’s very much ahead of the competition.  AMD’s quad-core Phenom II parts are more competitive with today’s Core 2 Penryn CPUs than Nehalem, so again, there’s no rush to introduce new parts in this space when your existing lineup should be more than adequate enough to outperform the competition. Intel isn’t even bother with Quad Core versions of Arrandale & Clarksdale, it’s so far ahead.

Anyway, here is a quick summary guide for those who got lost in the tick-tock wave (Source: Wikipedia):

Typically, the same dies are used for uniprocessor (UP) and dual-processor (DP) servers, but using an extra QuickPath link for the inter-processor communication in the DP server variant

Mobile Desktop
UP Server
DP Server MP Server
Dual-Core 32 nm
Dual-Channel, PCIe, Graphics Core
Quad-Core 45 nm
Dual-Channel, PCIe
Jasper Forest
Quad-Core 45 nm
Six-Core 32 nm
Eight-Core 45 nm

For the presentation:

Enterprise 2.0 – Fostering Innovation

Enterprise Social Computing is the next generation of online collaborative technologies and practices that people use within the enterprise to share knowledge, expertise, experiences and insight with each other. (Definition: IT @ Intel)

Over the last few years, as open APIs, social networking platforms, cloud computing, open identity services, sensor-driven databases (such as with GPS and OpenStreetMap), or even people (example: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk) have created open ecosystems in which anyone can participate, including business, both to contribute and to consume, the Web has become the ultimate ‘people platform’ and one that is incredibly agile too, combined with economies of scale that are very hard to match. However it has thrown up its own challenges, unpredictabilities and risks which must be dealt with both routinely and successfully.

To perform well in this changing business environment organizations have adopted a more positive mindset towards Enterprise 2.0 technologies, since many enable the empowerment of the employees, making the organization nimbler and more innovative in a very challenging world. These also serve to protect the heart and soul of the enterprise- it’s knowledge.

Some of the reasons why Enterprise 2.0 is taking off are:

Protection of Intellectual Property

Employees in all enterprises are already using open ‘insecure’ social media tools. Knowledge workers use these tools for many reasons including how they fit their lifestyles, are universally accessible, easy to use and most of all are highly empowering. However for enterprises, these lead to increased concerns about ‘intellectual property’ and other information assets. This is because many of these sites have policies that effectively require users to give up their right to privacy. Also some of the sites can lay claim ownership of all content posted on the site in perpetuity (IP nightmare), including the right to share the information with third parties meaning if employees use an external blogging or microblogging site to communicate, their posts may be read by anyone, anywhere and the sites can also lay claim to the information shared which may be confidential in nature.

Thus there is a need to define balanced security measures and controls, update use policies and ensure all employees know how to use these technologies appropriately. Additionally, if enterprises do not take up such initiatives e.g. Intel IT which provided its own social computing platform, the use of fragmented internal tools and insecure external tools will continue to grow.

Beyond IP security however enterprises have learnt that there are other reasons to give employees access to Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Spur Innovation

Rick Hutley, VP Internet Business Solutions at Cisco said “There’s a huge opportunity to leverage skills and expertise you already have in your company, but the problem is finding it”. The great promise of Enterprise 2.0 is to uncover and tap into the hidden talent of an organization. Social computing if done right can address many challenges, such as helping employees to find relevant information and expertise morequickly, increasing interactive collaboration across the enterprise, breaking down silos, spurring radical innovation and capturing the tacit knowledge of existing employees.

Amongst other things, social computing enables:

– Improvement of sharing, discovery and aggregation of information

– Finding experts fast

– Expanding network & enhance career development

– Aiding real-time collaboration

– Sharing innovative ideas

– Building communities

Attract, Develop & Retain Gen-Y As Employees

Enterprises have also realized that the ‘google generation’ comes with a different mind-set than that pervaded during the time of baby boomers and such Enterprise 2.0 tools can help attract and retain employees. It’s a known fact that in traditional organizations employees may work closely with people worldwide, but in many cases wouldn’t recognize team members if they passed them in the hall.

From closed command and control structures which garnered fear of making mistakes to this new world we are now transitioning to a work-place which is more consensus driven,

informal and requires more mentoring and exploration of options. The new workers are more accustomed to working across divisions than the previous generation which was stuck in its silos leading to massive behavioral shifts in the work-place. Thus it is via using tools such as these which can help engage the Gen Y worker, connect employees together, thereby making an enterprise even as massive as Intel feel “small” and help tackle feelings of isolation. These tools can also help mitigate the impact of a maturing workforce, help employees work more effectively over time & distance and improve speeds of finding relevant information & people.

Implementation Of Enterprise 2.0

One of the approaches towards the implementation of such can be read at IT@Intel’s, which has Intel’s own Case Study on ‘Developing An Enterprise Social Computing Strategy’. However, for those who just want to experiment with these technologies, they can set on the 2.0 path with something as simple as an internal company wide blog which can be used for a variety of purposes.

In the Future

Social computing’s new collaborative technologies will provide effective channels for communication, collaboration, teamwork, networking, and innovation and in the post internet world, this is increasingly how companies will unleash innovation within their processes and secure the best and the brightest talent.

Enterprise Social Computing is the next generation of online collaborative technologies and
practices that people use within the enterprise to share knowledge,
expertise, experiences and insight with each other. (Definition: IT @ Intel) In my previous post we took a look at why enterprises adopted a positive mindset towards Enterprise 2.0 technologies.
These enterprises are facing massive pressure to adopt these new technologies because of many reasons.
The primary reason is the protection of intellecutual property. Employees in all enterprises are already using open ‘insecure’ social media tools. Knowledge workers use these tools for many reasons including how they fit their lifestyles, are universally accessible, easy to use and most of all are highly empowering. However for enterprises, these lead to increased concerns about ‘intellectual property’ and other information assets. This is because many of these sites have privacy policies that effectively require users to give up their right to privacy. Also some of the sites can lay claim ownership of all content posted on the site in perpetuity (IP nightmare), including the right to share the information with third parties meaning if employees use an external blogging or microblogging site to communicate, their posts may be read by anyone, anywhere.
Thus there is a need to define balanced security measures and controls, update use policies and ensure all employees know how to use these technologies appropriately. Additionally, if enterprises such as the initiative taken by Intel IT will not provide a social computing platform, use of fragmented internal tools and insecure external tools will continue to grow.
Beyond IP security however there are other reasons to give employees access to Enterprise 2.0 tools. The great promise of Enterprise 2.0 is to uncover and tap into the hidden talent of an organization. Rick Hutley, VP Internet Business Solutions at Cisco said “There’s a huge opportunity to leverage skills and expertise you already have in your company, but the problem is finding it”.
Social computing if done right can address many challenges, such as helping employees to find relevant information and expertise more quickly; increasing interactive collaboration across the enterprise, breaking down silos; spurring radical innovation; and capturing the tacit knowledge of existing employees.
Amongst other things, social computing enables:
– Improvement of sharing, discovery and aggregation of information
– Finding experts fast
– Expanding network & enhance career development
– Aiding real-time collaboration
– Sharing innovative ideas
– Building community
Enterprises have also realized that the ‘google generation’ comes with a different mind-set than that pervaded during the time of baby boomers and such Enterprise 2.0 tools can help attract and retain employees. It’s a known fact that in traditional organizations employees may work closely with people worldwide, but in many cases wouldn’t recognize team members if they passed them in the hall.
From closed command and control structures which garnered fear of making mistakes to this new world which is more consensus driven, informal and require more mentoring and exploration of options. The new workers are more accustomed to working across divisions than the previous generation which was stuck in its silo leading to massive behavorial shifts. These tools help engage the Gen Y worker, connect & engage employees to make an enterprise even as massive as Intel’s own feel “small” and help tackle feelings of isolation. These also help Mitigate impact of a maturing workforce. These also help the employees work more effectively over time & distance and Improve speed of finding relevant information & people.

One of the approaches towards the implementation of such a tool can be read at However, the more traditional enterprises can set on the path with an internal company wide blog. Social computing’s new collaborative technologies will provide effective channels for communication, collaboration, teamwork, networking, and innovation and in the post internet world, this is increasingly how companies will unleash innovation within their processes and secure the best and the brightest talent in the world.

Check out the presentation below for more information on Intel’s version of social computing:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Enterprise 2.0 – Social Computing II“, posted with vodpod

Net Result – Mobility Computing In Pakistan

Net Result
Published Dawn, Sci-tech, Jul 5th, 2009

Pakistan was recently host to two occurrences that herald an oncoming revolution in how we will compute and communicate with our world. One was the launch of the new line of HP MINI Netbooks (just recently announced in May at the ‘Touch the Future, Now’ conference in Beijing) which aim to bring in a new level of portability & operability to the Pakistani user. The other was the launch of the Nokia flagship Nokia N97 ‘Mobile Computer’. Both products are trying to satisfy the same need “to have something small, portable, and inexpensive (mostly) with you that is always connected” to the Internet.


Netbook PCs are miniature versions of notebooks that keep cost to a minimum. The new ones come with 10.1 inch screens, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HD and enough power to hit a sweet spot for both consumer and business users. Their main attraction is their low price (less than PKR 30,000), followed by full QWERTY keyboards that approach (if not quite match) standard laptop arrangements, whilst their portability and ability to run most common applications mean that many people can leave a heavier notebook behind.

On the other hand, Smartphones, defined as phones which run complete operating system software and provide a standardized interface and platform, have offered mobile office applications for years including tasks such as document editing, e-mail, and web browsing. These now promise to usher in an era of mass-personalization, adjusting to the world around us, helping stay us consistently connected to the people and things that matter most.

The battle for the supremacy of being the new client-side interface to the web thus begins soon as netbooks and smartphones start replacing traditional PCs in homes and offices. Here let us the clarify what’s the fuss about towards becoming the most popular device to connect to the net – the device with the highest number of users will attract application developers from both consumer & business segments, gaming companies, advertising revenue, entertainment content, data pipes, etc. It will thus create the digital ecosystem around which we will work, live and play and massive markets & revenues for the companies which own these devices.

This however is not an easy task. The Pakistani data market is still in infancy stages. We have less than 300,000 broadband connections, whilst on the mobile side, voice still accounts for over 92% of the revenues of local mobile operators and data services are currently growing at only 2% per year. Combine this with low literacy, lack of local content development, lack of broadband awareness campaigns, QOS levels and provision of low interest loans for purchase of computers and these affect the development of mobile computing in the country adversely. Even in face of these adversities however, desk-bound PCs stand to lose their dominance as the main access point for the net –fast, since all the trends point to a mobile environment dominating our part of the world and soon.

The first trend is the push by wireless broadband companies and mobile network operators. The WiMax companies hope to provide ubiquitous coverage throughout Pakistan as close as 2011, whilst a leading company is already thinking of adding net-books plans to their existing offerings, plunging the cost of a netbook further. Mobile carriers are also actively pushing for consumers to start using data plans, driving rates to as low as Rs. 500 per month for unlimited data usage.

Secondly as compared to the current total of 5 million PCs not all which are net enabled, there are around 5 million phones in Pakistan which are EDGE/GPRS enabled and these are growing at a brisk pace as income levels across Pakistan rise, whilst cost of hardware falls. Local operators are now expecting their revenues from data to grow, as the subscriber’s appetite for mobile based content has been increasing every year. Going beyond a ring tone, wallpaper, SMS or a theme, they are now on a look out for great content and applications. One challenge which currently restricts this from taking off however is the absence of standards.

Originally uploaded by romainguy

Optimizing mobile applications for different OS and broad range of mobile devices with varying screen sizes and versions remains the biggest problem for both the mobile content developers and distributers. However, an upcoming step taken in this direction is the new Google’s Android platform that unites the players of mobile ecosystem such as wireless operators, handset manufacturers and developers all at one place. Android’s software stack will provide developers a complete access to handset capabilities and tools that will enable them to build more compelling and innovative applications for the mobile consumers. It’s noticing this trend that Nokia has made Symbian Open Source and hopes to counter Google’s influence in the manner.

Thirdly, SMEs, the over 1 million small companies in Pakistan, are starting to push the trend towards cloud and mobile computing, unlocking increases in productivity that a mobile revolution promises. These businesses desire the benefits of enterprise solutions to grow further, but simply can’t afford the custom-based solutions common to large companies because there aren’t enough users to spread the cost of developing proprietary apps. However, provide a smart-phone with a built in web-browser like ‘Opera’ to each of the employees and suddenly cost-effective mobile applications are very much possible for the sales force, field employees, in store employees, for fleet management purposes, finance, operations management and more. With the power of the full web available today and with business apps and web front-ends for ERP, CRM and other business critical systems on a mobile phone, the flexibility and the economies to propel Pakistani small businesses into the digital age are very much possible. Similarly, by deploying a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) technology — which runs the local machine’s desktop from a remote server – businesses can use a netbook for everything, including accessing content stored on other machines, thereby decreasing the costs of IT hardware and improving productivity no end.

HP Mini 110 - White
HP Mini 110 - White

Fourthly, we have seen the digital convergence in our country which is bringing together the separate worlds of audio, video, data and voice communication services, giving control of the entertainment and media content to the consumer. Already today (to a limited extent) we can access the services and content (e-mail, television) using different terminals over different types of networks. Thus the borders between fixed-line and wireless mobile networks are disappearing.

Looking five years out, with netbooks continuing to improve in quality with better graphics abilities, these will move towards true laptops in features whilst connected to faster data networks whilst smart phones dominating the landscape will marry the best features and capabilities of the computing and communications worlds, which will transform the user experience, bringing incredible changes to what we call our life.

The Future Of The Media Agency

PHD on the Future of the Media Agency

June 25, 2009

-By Mark Holden


Making predictions for what’s going to happen in media next week is hard, let alone undergo the ambitious challenge of trying to second guess the next five years. However, we believe our vision, which is based on rigorous research, conversations with key influencers and the collation of pertinent data and statistics, is not far-fetched. In fact, most of the predictions we make are grounded in today’s reality; we are building the foundations now for a future-proof media agency in five years. So, take a trip into the future with us, use your imagination and tell us what you think.

Fast-Forward to the Future

It’s 2014. You’re walking into a global media agency that you last visited five years ago. The first thing you notice is that it does not appear to be organized too differently from how you remember it, apart from the fact that much of the buying process now looks like it is automated. There are client teams scattered around the agency, composed of a range of different specialists: a couple of TV buyers, a radio buyer, an online buyer and duo of planners. So far, so similar. However, on closer inspection you realize that there are some key differences. For a start, the TV buyers no longer call themselves TV buyers but instead are AV (audiovisual) buyers and their remit covers TV and online. They also seem to be talking about targeting and consumer behavior data much more than they did in the past.

You overhear a client-planning meeting and you realize that most planners aren’t even called planners anymore. They’re MIMs — marketing investment managers. It looks like their role is now to advise the client on all aspects of his marketing strategy, from whether the brand should change its packaging to whether he should launch a new variant or product. Their role has clearly evolved significantly over the last five years. They seem to be much more multi-skilled and referring to a host of different research experts in the brainstorming meetings from consumer psychologists to neuroexperts to social anthropologists to new product development managers.

Some client teams appear to be populated by product placement specialists, who are on the lookout for opportunities in events and linear broadcast content, as well as ad-funded games and ad-funded widgets. There are a couple of software developers too, who are creating ad-funded applications and experiences on social networking sites. Other teams also have creatives from a sister creative agency, who now work beside the planners and buyers. All these specialists work in the agency’s content creation department. It’s much, much bigger than it was in 2009 and has become a mini quasi-creative agency in itself.

Other client teams have mobile planners and buyers and there’s a new breed of digital marketer. They are calling themselves DRM’s, or digital relationship managers, and are in the business of building and maintaining huge databases of consumers. Apparently they’re a great source of ideas for planners, and clients even ask to audit these databases as part of the pitch process.

Long gone are the days when all the media agency did was plan and buy a campaign.

How Did We Get Here?

First, we thought hard about how the consumer will be using technology in five years. After all, technology is the biggest driver of change in the evolution of the media landscape. If we can accurately predict what technology will catch on with consumers, then this will lead us to what the media agency will look like in the future.

At Home

Expect a technological infrastructure at home that will enable consumers to instantaneously download several types of content simultaneously in high definition with no lag time. We predict that in five years mainstream audiences in most developed markets will be able to download 100+ Mbps per second. To put this in context, in 2008 a typical home-achieved download speed was between 0.8 – 3.5 Mbps. Consequently, consumers will be streaming instead of broadcasting content. And they will be able to access multiple channels, games and applications on one screen simultaneously. Similarly, there will be huge advancements in storage technology, which will enable consumers to store much more content for access at their convenience. Connectivity speeds and bandwidth capacity will also have advanced beyond recognition. Already we are seeing improvements in this arena with the investment of companies such as Verizon and AT&T in fiber optic networks.

The home will be more connected to the consumer than ever before. Through handheld devices like the mobile phone, consumers will be able to link to their hard drive at home, which in turn will link to home appliances and their car.

On the Move

We can safely say by 2014 that there will be seismic advances in battery power and storage capacity of handheld devices. Already we are seeing vast improvements in these areas. Wireless Internet access will also have improved beyond recognition. In five years it will no longer be about 3G but 4G, otherwise known as WiMax or WiFi on steroids. Not only will this be eight times faster than 3G, but it will also be considerably cheaper.

We’ll keep seeing our handheld devices getting smaller, thinner and lighter. There will be a sharp increase in the amount of HIP’s, or highly intuitive products, that will incorporate the latest advancements in voice recognition, electronic ink and scroll-out displays, touch screens, image recognition (augmented reality) and correlation-based software.

For example, in five years mobile phones will have satellite navigation and correlation-based information so users know where they are and what’s around them, enabling them to search for anything relevant. And search will be much more dynamic too; results will be tailored to our exact needs with, for instance, information presented as videos, tables, charts, animations and databases. Early examples of this can be seen with MSN’s Bing and Google Squared.

Which Technology Will ‘Liberate’ the Consumer?

Predicting what technology will really captivate consumers and change the media market is not always easy. While technologists love complex technology with all the bells and whistles, consumers just want apps that make their lives easier. Whether consumers know it or not, they are on a quest to be everywhere, with everyone, with everything, at every moment. Any piece of technology that has ever been successful has, in some way, moved the consumer one step further on this journey.

The surprise success of SMS texting technology is a prime example of this. Technologists rubbished the primitive, limited, text-only technology, but consumers couldn’t move their fingers quick enough around their mobile keypads, rapidly inventing a text short-hand language.

Why did this basic black-and-white messaging system of only 160 characters resonate so strongly with the consumer? Because it offered them a quantum leap in communication: near-instantaneous, non-verbal communication on the move. You could say that SMS text messaging liberated consumers. We believe the level of success of a technology is directly related to the level to which it liberates the consumer.

But which technologies will prove most liberating in five years’ time? If we can answer this question, we can determine what the media landscape will look like in 2014. In our opinion, the most liberating technologies will be those that blur traditional boundaries, such as the mobile phone and the PC or the TV and the Internet. The most successful media and media technology will be those that reflect the fluidity of human nature, which is not fixed into separate compartments.

‘Blurs’ and What They Mean for the Media Agency of the Future

We’ve identified five “blurs” that will shape the media landscape in 2014. Beside each one we’ve explained how the merging of traditional boundaries will affect how a media agency operates.

Blur 1: TV and Online

By 2014, a high percentage of homes in developed markets will be watching content streamed over the Internet, as opposed to being broadcast over the airwaves. We’ll also reach the tipping point when all major TV channels, and production houses, stream and make all their content available online. It’s happening already in major markets, particularly America. Just look at (the Internet content system created by NBC and Fox and other networks and studios). And even the stalwarts are playing – ABC has embraced the merging of TV and online and even launched its own branded news channel on YouTube in May (

With sites like YouTube uploading thousands of new videos every day, consumers are getting used to consuming broadcast content online and soon – when the TV and the computer finally merge in the living room – they will be able to sit at home using TV-based search to find the content they want, when they want. This will be driven forward by the convergence that we are about to witness within the TV market: the replacement for the plasma screen you bought last year will incorporate a hard-drive (an Intel chip) and an Ethernet cable. And we will be able to stream content directly into the TV or over the top of broadcast content in the form of applications that enhance the viewing experience. Imagine sports stats, wiki-information about the program, actors, place or even on-the-fly blogging about the content. It is coming.

What Does This Mean for the Media Agency?

Naturally, this will lead to a merging of TV and online buying and measurement. This is already happening. Nielsen launched its TV/Internet Convergence Panel in late 2008.

Media agencies will have to merge TV buying with online buying to create an AV (audiovisual) buying department – or simply expand their online departments and shrink, and ultimately close, their TV buying departments. Traditional TV buyers will see their roles change and remits widen. This movement to streaming content will give marketers the opportunity to achieve an unprecedented level of interaction with consumers. This will mean that TV buyers will play a much more important role in targeting, ad serving and ongoing campaign management. Expect to see behavioral targeting TV planning. This will allow for an even more advanced form of targeting and interaction than we are currently seeing with cable-based addressable TV.

Blur 2: Mobile Phones and the PC

Think for a minute about the iPhone. It seems to have slipped from a future decade into ours, seamlessly bringing a host of applications we are more used to seeing on our PC to our handheld device. But by 2014, the mainstream audience will be using mobile devices with intuitive, touch-based controls, paper-effect or e-ink screens, image recognition (augmented reality), high-definition resolution and a constant connection to the Internet. We’re already seeing other players like Sony Ericsson, LG and Samsung launching touch phones, and the technology will only continue to improve – rapidly.

By 2014, the development of mobile phone applications will also be revolutionary. Software for mobile phones like the now-fledgling Google Android and other new entrants will, in five years’ time, be commonplace. Android is open source, which means that anyone can create mobile applications for it. For example, developers can come up with new ideas based on the latest innovations to make functions like texting, using the camera or making calls a richer experience for users. Google Wave — a new platform that converges e-mail, instant messenger, wiki-software and microblogging – will dramatically reorganize how we communicate. This will enable other companies to build their own software from this platform. By 2014, it is highly likely that brands will create their own versions that will be free – de-positioning Microsoft Outlook. Consumers will be able to create a phone tailored exactly to their interests and needs. They will also be able to make use of location-based services such as Google’s Latitude, which will be much more sophisticated in five years. As a result, users will be able to, for instance, be alerted when their friends are in the vicinity — or their favorite brands. All these new applications will provide a wealth of new advertising and ad-funded opportunities.

What Does This Mean for the Media Agency?

Mobile marketing will go from being a niche media channel to being a high-reach and high-segmentation channel. We know that mobile phone users typically choose ad-funded content in favor of content they have to pay for, which bodes well for advertiser opportunities. Although there will naturally be some crossover between mobile and fixed-line Internet, the different opportunities on mobile, such as geo-targeting, will lead to mobile specialists working within media agencies. At the very least, we will see one or two digital planners/buyers who specialize in mobile planning and buying. At the very most, we will see the launch of independent specialist media agencies that do nothing else except plan and buy mobile marketing campaigns.

Blur 3: Entertainment and Advertising

With the increase in the number of TV stations around the world, we have witnessed a huge surge in the amount of advertising inventory available. This has placed, and will continue to place, growing pressure on the creative industries for quality content. But, with the explosion in the number of channels and the resulting drop in audience figures, many production teams have seen their budgets slashed as TV stations grapple with falling advertising revenues. This is where advertisers have a perfect opportunity to step in and lend a helping hand, both by creating more quality content, through branded content, and driving up program makers’ revenues, through product placement. In many markets, regulators are continuing to relax the current rules on product placement, which will only serve to increase this channel’s importance.

Online and on interactive TV platforms we have also seen a growth in marketing campaigns which bring brands to life through applications such as games. The early forays into this area have seen an increased level of engagement, resulting in dramatic increases in brand preference scores, albeit for smaller audiences. Internet gaming enables games to reach much larger audiences, but to date the cost has been prohibitive. However, this is set to change with some of the major games producers starting to embrace the ad-funded model. For example, in January 2008 Electronic Arts was able to launch its first free online video game, Battle Heroes, due to ad-funding. The major tipping point for advertising within games is predicted to arrive between late 2009 and early 2010, when a new streaming high-definition gaming site launches called OnLive. OnLive is set to dramatically reorganize the gaming sector by allowing users to play the highest quality games without buying. And because it is live, advertisers will be able to place ads into games by region with as much ease as placing an online banner campaign. We are also expecting to see game designers no longer hard-coding in cars and other products and instead having them as caching opportunities. Thus, Mercedes can insert different models by region, even after the game has been launched. So, by 2014 ad-funded gaming will be commonplace.

Another major growth area is ad-funded apps — an app being tech-speak for an online application that can be downloaded onto a social networking site. Ad-funded apps have already been created on social networking sites like Facebook and mobile platforms such as the iPhone. We believe it will not be long before we see widgets become brands in their own right. There are signs of this happening now. One example is RadicalBuy, a classified sales site on Facebook where users can buy and sell items from/to their friends, as well as selling their friends’ items for commission.

What Does This Mean for the Media Agency?

Creating content will become a much bigger and more important part of a media agency’s remit. At present, all of the major networks have content creation departments but, by 2014, these will be sizeable revenue generators. In fact, these departments will grow to become mini quasi-creative agencies, taking on more creative tasks and working alongside or even in competition with creative agencies. Media agencies will offer their clients a channel-led, full-service approach.

They will be staffed by a vast array of specialists, from product placement experts to software developers. The latter will be tasked with creating innovative digital assets and have close relationships with third-party software houses, working with them to create ad-funded applications. Software was heralded as “the new media” at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. By 2014 this will no longer be a “new” concept, but rather an accepted part of the media mix. Pioneering media agencies will also be seeking to share in the value created from these new branded products.

Blur 4: Consumer and Publisher

It is now hackneyed to say that the consumer is the new journalist. There are now approximately 20 million independent Weblogs, and most Google searches list user-generated content (UGC) on the first page. Bloggers are increasingly becoming media owners in their own right with a growing number influencing the influencers: a recent survey of 5,000 journalists found that 75 percent used blogs for research and many newspapers actually referencing blogs in copy. This has huge implications for brands, which can be damaged or boosted by the opinions of the satisfied or disgruntled.

Over the next five years blogs will become increasingly sophisticated with higher quality content, links to other sites, RSS feeds, online applications, video and images. Some blogs are already doing this, such as, which combines an RSS feed of forthcoming gigs overlaid onto Google Maps and then integrated with free music downloads from other sites. And sites such as Stumble and Digg index the high-ranking blogs. The influence of these blogging opinion formers will continue and those most active in the blogging sphere – teenagers – will also be a key consumer group in terms of spending in five years’ time. This represents an opportunity and a threat for advertisers.

By 2014, bloggers will also increasingly be looking to profit from their opinions. It is easy to imagine a situation whereby pioneering bloggers create their content, embed it with Google AdWords and post it as an RSS feed, receiving advertising revenue from the resulting clicks on ads. This will lead to the advent of “super influencers” – high-quality bloggers whose content is liberated and propagated by many. Understanding this ecosystem is going to become more and more important, particularly for high-value product categories where consumers undergo significant research before making a decision about, for example, cars and holidays.

What Does This Mean for the Media Agency?

Understanding how to influence the influencers will be crucial. As the IPA Future Foundation Report predicted in its study on agency requirements in 2016, communications agencies will have to become adept at online reputation management. For example, if a hotel client receives negative reviews on a hotel recommendation site, such as, it will be the agency’s role to first alert the brand to this criticism and then advise on appropriate action to regain credibility. This could, for instance, be a posting from the CEO apologizing for any mistakes made and pledging to correct them as soon as possible. This has predominantly been the domain of the PR agencies, but there is no reason why media agencies cannot deliver this skill set.

Blur 5: Online and Real-Life Experience

Over the next five years we will see the “Y Generation” (the 16-30-year-olds of 2014) increasingly blur their online identities with their offline social lives. This age group is completely at ease with creating identities online, whether it is via an avatar, blog or social networking site. For younger kids, it is all they have known, with sites such as Webkinz and Disney’s Club Penguin currently proving popular. These social networking sites will continue to link to mobile phones in the future, tapping into the benefits of location-based data and opening up a whole new world where users can see where contacts are on a map of their area while interfacing with them through an avatar.

What Does This Mean for the Media Agency?

The implications will be similar to those outlined in Blur 3 and again expand the creative remit of media agencies. Agencies will employ software developers that understand these communities and can create engaging branded experiences for them. There are a few new consultancies starting to offer these services, but this will become mainstream by 2014.

Can we make any other predictions about what the media agency of 2014 will be like? Yes, we certainly can.

Prediction 1: By 2014, clients can expect the same level of control, accountability and transparency that they currently enjoy for direct media, for all media.

We can confidently say that clients will continue to challenge agencies to demonstrate the ROI of all communications. By 2014, clients can expect to see improved software systems that provide a similar level of control, accountability and transparency as they currently enjoy for direct media. This process will be accelerated by new players that offer clients total accountability of their marketing spend, such as Google TV, which not only serves relevant ads to viewers but can track every penny of an ad campaign. Over the next five years, agencies will follow Google’s lead and will have successfully developed models that allow clients to see the payback of all media. Debate is currently raging about how to do this effectively, but everyone agrees that well-maintained customer data is vital to any solution.

Prediction 2: The media agency will take the lead in driving forward this new age of accountability and transparency.

Media agencies are in a prime position to take the lead because they have vast databases storing historical learnings from thousands of previous campaigns spanning a vast range of media channels, from which predictive models can be created. Expect to see powerful channel planning systems in place in five years’ time. But why, you might ask, are media agencies in a better position than their creative, digital or direct counterparts to spearhead this specialism? Because media agencies tend to have longer and more senior relationships with clients and, so, a bigger bank of primary data from which they can build these databases and build connections. Also, more than any other type of agency, media agencies have had to transform and modernize for the changing media environment: they couldn’t differentiate themselves by creative work so they were forced to up their game in other areas — data being a key area. Additionally, they are the only type of agency that can truly claim to be channel-neutral in their approach.

Prediction 3: Econometric modelling will be cheaper and more widely available to clients.

Savvy media agencies continue to build the infrastructure to capture data because they know that this gives them the power to understand what drives consumers. Increasingly, agencies will combine all of their network learnings into dynamic software systems in order to create predictive models that can be updated with real-time information. Through economies of scale, this will lead to agencies reducing the price for econometric modelling (currently expensive) and running more tactical and cheaper models that can be made available to more clients.

Prediction 4: Agencies will automate wherever possible.

More and more of what media agencies do will become streamlined, optimized and automated by better software. Media agencies will do what Google already does and create automated media planning and buying software. Clients will have the option of operating this software themselves. In fact, PHD has already launched a first stage version of this software called “Director,” which allows the client to “direct” direct response campaigns. However, we predict that most clients will have no interest in operating this software and continue to handover the task of planning and buying campaigns to their agencies. Automation will also have an effect on digital, where the pressure to keep down costs will be relieved through more automated systems for campaign management.

What automation will mean for planning/strategy

The role of planning/strategy in five years’ time deserves special attention because we believe this function will undergo the biggest transformation. With all of this automation, strategists and planners will be freed up to deliver a much more sophisticated and evolved form of planning. This is just as well because, in five years’ time, planners will be faced with an even greater number of potential channels and ways of influencing a target audience.

In 2014, planners/strategists will be seen as “marketing investment managers” (MIMs). They will be valuable resources that clients can tap for ideas on all aspects of their business. Clients will ask planners/strategists questions such as: Should we spend more or less on advertising? Should we change our packaging? Should we create a new variant? Should we enter a partnership? Should we launch a new product?

It’s true that media agencies before now have not invested enough in strategy. This is why small strategy shops sprung up in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, investing in strategy-supporting resources is now a priority for global networks. In five years’ time, we believe there will be a number of new resources to support planners/strategists so they can fulfill this wider role, such as:

* Psychological-based research: to better understand how communications affect cognition. PHD is already a big investor in fMRI scanning, which we have invested in since 2005 with the launch of our global planning product, Neuroplanning. Other players have made similar investments. By 2014, leading communications agencies will have neuroexperts and consumer psychologists working in-house.

* Marketing investment planning software: This tool will be created by combining analysis of historical client activity with secondary source research such as TGI and MRI, providing a powerful new channel-planning tool. Omnicom Media Group’s BrandScience has already started doing this.

* Scenario planning tools based on computational marketing (also known as game theory): This takes into account how a host of factors affect a market (such as distribution, climate and word of mouth) and derive planning insights that are not evident from traditional planning techniques. Weather forecasters, for example, are currently using similar approaches. This will enable clients to scenario plan different strategies and see the effects on sales. This will give clients that invest in them an unrivalled competitive advantage. PHD is already working with Fleetwell Analytics to develop this area.

* NPD resources: Agencies such as Bartle Bogle Hegarty have already launched NPD departments, but these will be much more common by 2014. They will be hubs where new marketing ideas can be explored.

* Digital relationship managers (DRMs): These managers will be found in the digital department and will prove an invaluable resource to planners. They will build and maintain databases of consumers who can be tapped into for new ideas and who can be used to gauge the influence of a brand. These consumers will contribute ideas and feedback in return for exclusive information and free products and will be segmented according to their interests. DRMs will provide such a competitive advantage that clients will ask to audit agencies’ databases as part of the pitch process.


That is our vision of the media agency in 2014. We believe technology will play the central role in shaping the media landscape in five years’ time, particularly technology that blurs the lines between traditional boundaries. And we will continue to monitor technology and seek to understand the next-step effects for media. Above all, the consumer and how he or she chooses to use technology will drive us.

Nevertheless, whatever happens, we believe that the media agency must be at the center of any change, taking the lead in driving forward this new age of accountability, creativity and strategy.

At PHD we urge you to stay ahead of the curve — the view’s a little different there.

Mark Holden is one of PHD Worldwide’s thought leaders and managing partner of PHD Australia, an Omnicom Group company.

Hp Strategy Presentation

See Chin Tek talks about the transformation happening at HP at the conference “Touch The Future Now”, held at Ritz Carlton, Beijing, China. I took pictures of the presentation and have uploaded it with his speech as a slidecast.

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more about “Hp Strategy Presentation“, Audio Recorded via Nokia N82

Hp ‘Touch The Future, Now’ Design Presentation

HP’s Design Presentation

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more about “Hp Design Keynote Presentation“, posted with vodpod

HP ‘Touch The Future, Now’ was held in May, 2009 in Beijing, China, where they launched several products, including the HP Mini 110 netbook, the HP Pavillion MS200 all-in-one Desktop PC, an upgraded HP DV2 notebooks, and some new HP ProBooks. The conference served as a wonderful opportunity to better understand as to what makes HP tick, and what their philosophy is when it comes to deciding what kind of product to design and create.

This was delivered by Stacy Wolff, Director Notebook Design & Randall Martin, Director Desktop Design.