Marketers need to prepare, Merge is inevitable | PHD

PHD, a global communications planning and media buying firm, has launched its seventh publication, Merge, which dwells on how technology prepares marketers and advertisers for the future with regards to brands and audience engagement.

Wayne Bishop, Managing Director, PHD Johannesburg, who unveiled the book titled “MERGE: The Closing Gap Between Technology and Us,” at the 2018 Social Media Week in Lagos, said that looking at path towards the future, there is likely to be a fusion between technology and humans which may free us up to live more creative, more efficient and better connected lives.

He stated that as technology advances, marketers and advertisers should look forward to how they adapt to changes in technology and its application to brands, consumers and people within their environment.

He said the five evolutionary stages in Merge include surfacing, organising, extracting anticipating and elevating. These stages illustrate our journey from putting information up on screens, to organising that information via search engines, to managing to make sense of all this information as it is extracted. Finally, we look to how AI helps anticipate our needs which ends with us merging with technology, elevating us as a human race.

He said Merge is relevant to Nigeria because of the changes in the economy, the strong entrepreneurial culture and the growth in technological development over the years.

At the event, Dozie Okafor, Managing Director, PHD Nigeria, said that at this present stage of technological development, people interact more with brands online and other digital platforms as indicated in Merge.

He said the book helps marketers and advertisers understand the different evolutionary stages as well as their relevance to businesses. It also enables them to understand how they should perceive things and the evolving role they have to play if they want to remain competitive.

Okafor explained that Merge was launched at the Social Media Week because PHD felt it was a platform for a diverse audience, not just marketers and advertisers, but the general public, to enable them understand what the future is all about.

“But also important is the theme ‘Closer’ for this year’s Social Media Week, which is in line with how technology and human beings are coming closer till they merge. “We felt the event was a good platform to catapult the entire conversation,” Okafor explained.

Drawing on insights and foresights of experts, including world-leading inventor, author and futurist (and writer of the foreword) Ray Kurzweil, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, futurologist Dr Ian Pearson and Microsoft chief envisioning officer UK Dave Coplin, Merge sets out how technology and human evolution has progressed since the 1950s and what the world will look like over the next 25 to 35 years.

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