Marcon 2012 Pakistan

Marcon 2012
Marcon Pakistan 2012

Marcon Pakistan 2012

Marcon 2012 the premium marketing conference with this year’s theme ‘New Trends and Insights in Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage’ featured a glitterati of celebrities from the marketing world and the corporate sector of Pakistan including, Imran Ahmed- President MARCON, Masood Hashmi – President MAP, Ehsan Malik – Chairman and CEO Unilever, Sakib Sherani – CEO Macroeconomic Insights, Aly Mustansir- Head of Marketing and Brand Management- HBL, Rafiq Rangoonwala CEO Cupola, Afnan Ahsan – CEO Engro Foods, Amir Paracha- Vice President Marketing, Home & Personal Care – Unilever, Naveed Saeed – Senior Executive Vice President Commercial PTCL, Zohair Mehmood – Director External Affairs – Coca Cola Beverages, Tarek Miknas – CEO Fortune PromoSeven Group, Javed Jabbar – Global Vice President – International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Shoaib Qureshy- CEO Bulls Eye Communication Group, Amir Pasha –Country Manager Visa International, Sohail Ansar- CEO, GroupM, Salman Wassey – Chief Commercial Officer- Ufone, Anwar Rammal – Chairman Asiatic Public Relations Network, Masood Hamid – Director Marketing, Pakistan Herald Publications, Mahmood Hashmi – CEO – Orient Advertising and Adil Ahmed – Director Symmetry Group


Marcon Pakistan

Marcon Pakistan

The following is the concluding part of the Marcon conference happenings:


Power of Digital for Brands

 Tarek Miknas – CEO Fortune Middle East PromoSeven Group

Rabia Garib CIO and Tarik Miknas

Rabia Garib CIO and Tarik Miknas


  • Traditional marketing model is fast losing its efficacy.
  • Social media is ideal for small businesses that do not have colossal budgets to reach the masses.
  • In this respect, the world has changed. Any business can now reach its target market with the controlled marketing budget that they have at their disposal.
  • In order to increase sales of their products, marketers need to keep pace with the developments in the world which are happening at breakneck speed and make use of emerging advanced tools along with integrated strategy and proper planning.
  • Brands are increasingly embracing the social media model and reaping great benefits from it.
  • If you’ve good something good to offer to the consumer, there’s always a good chance your communication would go viral on the social media sphere.
  • The ROI on digital campaigns is measurable and far more than anything you an expect from the conventional campaigns.

Today I Will Campaign

Batelco Good Call Campaign

Masood Hashmi and Tarik Miknas

Masood Hashmi and Tarik Miknas

Sustainable Marketing – Unsustainable Model?

Javed Jabbar – Global Vice President – International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


Javed Jabbar - IUCN

Javed Jabbar – IUCN


  • Business in Pakistan is flourishing despite all odds. One company has had 70% sales growth year on year for the last ten years.


  • London is the most unequal city in the world where the gap between haves and have-nots is great.


  • Pakistan is composed of multiple realities but the international media deliberates on only one.


  • Newsweek/Times published a cover story that Pakistan was the most dangerous nation on earth and they should be ashamed of themselves.


  • Few years ago Newsweek did publish a report that Pakistan was the most hospitable nation in the world but such positive stories in the international media are few and far in between.


  • Most people remain the same throughout their life. They don’t change their name, religion or sex.


  • Family planning in Pakistan started back in the 1960s. We’ve been saying since that time that ‘Bachey do hi Achey’ but Pakistani people are way too resilient and continue to churn out children at an alarming rate oblivious to our warning.


  • Although this state of affairs would wet the appetite of our businesses, having more people in Pakistan to buy their products, it does not augur well for the country at large as there are finite sources.


  • Then sometime back we changed our strategy. Instead of advising them on the merits of two children, we advised them to give space between births as this also in accordance with the Shariat where we’ve been advised that the mother should be allowed to feed the baby for two years.


  • This advice resonated with the masses and even the clergy who’ve historically opposed our initiatives supported us on this cause.


  • We applied this paradigm shift in marketing birth control in 16 districts with amazing results. So finally we’ve found a successful marketing strategy for birth control.


  • We’re now searching for a successful marketing tactic to brand Earth.


  • The capitalist model is a failure model in the long run as it encourages consumers to have more and more of what they don’t need. If you’ve two cars, you need to have one more. If you have 10 suits, you want 10 more, dictated by the marketing prowess of these brands.


  • Man is born in chains and struggles to free himself for the rest of his life.


  • We need to move from consumption-obsessed economy to conservation-oriented one.


  • We are producing 30 Billion tons of carbon emission causing irreparable damage and they need to be reduced to 4 Billion soon.


  • Apart from sunlight which is infinite, all other resources are finite and once consumed cannot be brought back. You use petrol and gas and its gone.


  • Going green is not the answer as we’ve discovered. Companies only come up with few green initiatives while the rest of the business goes unchecked.


  • We need to focus on growth in value rather than volume.


  • If Pakistan is to become like Europe let alone US in consumerism, then it would need two Earths to fulfill the insatiable appetite for consumer goods.


  • Pakistan needs to shift to labor-intensive growth rather than technology-intensive in order to make use of the vast labor force.


  • IUCN used to run campaigns on how this rat race is destroying species and natural resources.


  • Now we’re changing gears, focusing on the childhood memories of first interacting with nature which brought genuine delight out of people.


  • Whether this strategy will bring about the paradigm shift as in birth control remains to be seen.


  • Even a 4% growth in GDP needs at least 6% growth in energy sector.


Creativity in Marketing –

Shoaib Qureshy- CEO Bulls Eye Communication Group


Shoaib Qureshy- Bulls Eye

Shoaib Qureshy- Bulls Eye


  • We’re chasing the wrong ideals. Only strategy can make or break a brand.


  • Two brand strategies that brand managers love the most and which keep their brands in the land of mediocrity are Bigger n Better and Greater Firepower.


  • Most of the brands are in trouble. The brand managers don’t admit in public to save face but in private they admit to it.


  • The reason behind it is that they haven’t built a brand. They’re just promoting a product using the same hackneyed methods that every Tom, Dick and Harry is using.


  • One brand manager came up to me and said he wanted to emulate the strategy of Tarang. I asked him what was the strategy of Tarang, and he had no idea, telling me to put all those dances and songs that are there in the Tarang execution.


  • Sooper was the first soft biscuit in Pakistan similar to biscuits sold in bakeries. Pre-Sooper, biscuits manufactured in Pakistan were all hard type, which you had to really chew.  A mad R&D fellow at EBM came up with this idea which EBM backed and the result: EBM catapulted to the top spot going past the market leader LU.


  • Before Sooper, EBM used to come up with one brand at a time and stake all its luck on it. LU was the market leader with top performing brands like TUC, Gala and Prince. After EBM created this new category in biscuits, Sooper’s revenue was more than all LU’s brands combined.


  • This is what happens when you bring creativity onto the table.


  • Bakeri tried to emulate the success of Sooper with Bigger n Better strategy but fell flat on its face.


  • Now Omore is trying to go up against Wall’s Badami with its new launch Desi. You can already tell where that brand will end up.


Shoaib Qureshi -Marcon

Shoaib Qureshi -Marcon

  • The wrong claims of fame:


  1. 90X30 Outdoor
  2. 2 crore foreign ad
  3. Full page ad
  4. 10 crore 360 media campaign.
  • All of the above are examples of greater firepower devoid of any creativity.
  • We as marketers believe in showing muscles, whereas it is the weight of your brand idea that counts.


  • Most brands are in trouble because all categories have been reduced to mere commodities with price-driven competition.


  • Whenever Zardari’s government announces a price increase, the consumer doesn’t take a second to leave your brand because you haven’t differentiated your brand or given him reason to love it and stick to it.


  • Creativity is the only way to brand success and the reason it is shunned by most is that people are afraid to be creative because our society equates creativity with foolishness. Right from the beginning in school we are taught there’s only solution to a problem, and if we try to come up with an alternative one, we are failed.


  • The moment someone says something different, people talk him down, therefore he prefers to remain mediocre rather than be creative and face opposition.


  • The internet is the biggest culprit of promoting copy culture. The client finds a number of successful campaigns online and wants the agency to put them together.


  • I still use the same tools I used ages ago, my brain, a piece of paper and a pencil. I find it hard to find a sharpener because the pencil itself has become an endangered species.


  • Tarang is another success story because it had the guts to break away from the status quo and do something different.


  • The packaged milk category is dominated by two brands: MilkPak and Haleeb, both of which about 45% and 40% market share respectively.


  • However, in spite of all their Herculean efforts, this category has failed to penetrate beyond the 20% of the total milk market, 80% of which is still dominated by ‘Bhains ka doodh’.


  • The biggest reason is that most consumers still view tetra pak milk as tea whitener. Everyday is the real tea whitener but since it is in powdered form, it doesn’t have a very strong appeal.


  • However, in spite of this perception being known to all, Haleeb continued with their ‘sub se gaara doodh’ and Milkpak with ‘full cream milk’.


  • Tarang broke away from the mold and positioned itself as the first liquid tea whitener, which is what the consumers already perceived it as. It banked on the whitening essence and the effort paid off.


  •  In the David and Goliath story, David had no choice but to be creative in order to beat the mighty Goliath. Same goes for Tom & Jerry.


  • Who do you root for? The underdog. Everyone loves an underdog. You just need to make an effort to do something out of the ordinary. The world will love you for doing that.


  • 9 out of 10 people here will forget or ignore what I’ve told them. The remaining one will be the successful one.


  • There’s a difference between a businessman and a marketer. There was this friend of mine at IBA who after graduating joined his father’s business in Jodia bazaar.


  • He keeps a close lookout on the latest trends and whatever is in, he would import a couple of containers of that stuff from China and make a huge profit.


  • Most of today’s marketers are just like that. They want to make a quick buck by copying a campaign so as to not waste time thinking up one.


  • If you want to be like that, you’re better off in Jodia Bazar rather than in the world of marketing.


Adapting to the Evolving Relationship Between Client, Media and Agencies

Moderator: Amir Pasha –Country Manager Visa International


Marcon conference

Marcon conference


Can agencies remain relevant in the age of social media?

How clients, media and agencies able to respond to the changing needs of the market?

How has the pace of change shifted?

What can brand managers do to become category manager or director of marketing?

Sohail Ansar- CEO, GroupM:

Accountability for any buck you spend is much more today than it was before.

Brands like Telenor, Engro, Unilever and others are doing great, so it’s wrong to say that marketers don’t have a hand on the pulse of the consumer.

Research is needed to better understand the shifting consumer preferences and plan your strategy according to that.


Salman Wassey – Chief Commercial Officer- Ufone

Agencies are for the large part sleeping. Sometimes the best tactic does come out of the agency. Zong T20 and location-based packages were conceived by the agency.

Businesses are doing well for the large part. Telecom industry earned $3.5 Bn in revenue last year, but they could have done a whole lot more and added more value. The potential was far more than was realized.

Staff is not trained. Agencies need to spend a major chunk of their profit on staff training.

Understand the consumer, don’t treat him as a mobile number.


Marcon panel discussion

Marcon panel discussion

Anwar Rammal – Chairman Asiatic Public Relations Network

All ads look the same. I can’t remember any brand from the ads I’ve watched recently.

Training is definitely imparted but is becoming all the more difficult with dwindling agency commission.

Masood Hamid – Director Marketing, Pakistan Herald Publications

The MBAs don’t go work in the agencies but mostly work on the client side. As such there’s an imbalance. Agencies need to attract talent from that pool so that training need not be that intensive.

Mahmood Hashmi – CEO – Orient Advertising

Consumer is ignored.

Relationship between the three parties has broken down. There’s an agency for virtually every function which in the good old days was handled by one single agency. As a result of this, the brand managers have become all-powerful, taking care of the product as well as the communication which is not their expertise. The consequences of this is rampant corruption in MNCs.

Adil Ahmed – Director Symmetry Group

Consumer is much more empowered thanks to social media. Understand and respect the consumer.

One good insight can make or break a brand.


Amir Pasha- Visa International

Amir Pasha- Visa International