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.
Performance

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
Cache
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
RAM: 2 GB DDR2

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

Gaming

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.

Power

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.

Overall:
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