Universal McCann Shares Survey Report on Impact of Social Media: The Pakistan Perspective

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Universal McCann has released it’s latest report on the impact of social media. This version is the biggest in scope yet, covering 17,000 daily / every other day users of internet in 29 countries. Since Pakistan, along with India from our region, is also one of the countries covered by the report, I was more than interested in learning what insights I could gain from it.

I am sure you would be clamoring to go read the report yourself, here are some of the insights I found interesting:

The report deals with 15-64 age group. Interviewees had to use the internet every day / every other day to become part of the Active Internet Universe.

  • Internet Penetration amongst all adults in Pakistan is around 7.3% which comes around 12 million Pakistanis (2006 data via internetworldstats.com). Amongst these, around 87,000 are broadband users. Needless to say that these numbers must have upgraded in the ensuing years.
  • India is at 5.3% which probably has to do with the fact that they are around a billion people.
  • Pakistan contributes around 0.26 million people to the Active Internet Universe. India has 17.8 million.
  • Corporate blogs are becoming common, but more people visit personal / friends or friends of friend’s blog.
  • Active users tend to read blogs. 76.0% of them in Pakistan. Are we providing them the right content, enough detail/expertise and clear differentiation to be considered a brand.
  • Surprisingly 38% also write blogs. No wonder blogger.pk’s blog roll has been gaining height. How is blogging in Urdu going to do here? Do we need Urdu oriented sites / blogs in Pakistan?
  • Orkut is still the King in Pakistan. There is no global social platform. Although MySpace beats every one in the aggregate.
  • Asian markets beat the crap out of US and Western markets.
  • Word of mouth and referral do work in Pakistan as 72% have at least created a profile on a social network.
  • 72% Pakistanis upload pictures while 47.7% upload videos. Digital still and video cameras have become more accessible. I think active users in Pakistan are also the kind of savvy, early adopters. Who are they following or listening to? Where is the web analytics that identifies and measures these users? Are our startups getting to them?
  • Global trend in watching online video clips resonates strongly in Pakistan too. 85% engage in this activity every day / every other day. No wonder news of possible max out of the internet by 2010 is making rounds these days.
  • The most surprising insight from the report is that about 47% of Pakistani users have downloaded a podcast. That seems so counterintuitive due to lack of penetration of broadband services. Does this have a cultural reason?
  • Only 35% of Pakistani users subscribe to RSS feeds. Are we failing to convey the benefits or even produce valid content for people to be persuaded into subscribing?
  • “The future of marketing is about how you want to be perceived rather than talking about it. Social media gives you this possibility by creating experiences.”
  • “Overtime all users will increase the regularity of usage. Every one will become active users, as they have been with television.”

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