Category Archives: Social Media

Your Consumer is looking for a Sincere Friend in this connected world

In 2012, I saw these 3 trends emerging across the globe

onely But Connected Consumers1.)    Lonely but connected (Connected Loneliness):  Consumers with a massive friends list on FB but Living alone. The connected lonely syndrome.  And why would they like to unplug from digital world and buy real life experiences.

2.)    The Aware Consumer:  Consumer who are seeking the whole truth, the ugly whole truth because they are powerful enough to handle the truth

3.)    Seeking a Meaning: Consumers seeking to leave a positive foot print.

This article talks about the first point, “connected loneliness” and how this trend is picking up and will become more and more mainstream. I will explore the rest of the two trends later.

Lonely But Connected

 Almost 60% of internet users, who lead a busy social media life, miss out on real life. They usually find themselves in a vicious circle where they were too busy for real life events and then the people around them moved on leaving them glued to their screens. Following is a snapshot of a detailed infographic.

Internet Addiction - Snapshot

Either too busy to be lonely, or too lonely to be free. This target segment is a very juicy niche for products that are offering relaxation in any shape or form.

Following are some examples that capitalized on these trends


Disconnect to Connect

When we become addicted to using the internet and mobile phones to interact, we neglect our loved ones and friends beside us. Thailand’s DTAC  telecommunications (Telenor) company released a “Disconnect to Connect” advertisement campaign, telling us to cherish the people beside us.

Go On Facebook Diet or Unplug Yourself


There are books out there to help you get out of internet addiction the most noticeable being “The Facebook Diet” . Here are some thoughts of my favorite comic character ‘aunty acid’ on the connected lonely people.Facebook Diet - Digital Detox

Aunty Acid - Facebook

Or maybe you can visit and read Fast Company’s thought on unplugging yourself from internet

Wi-Fi Free Zones

The most juicy target audience we ever had, i.e.  ‘The mothers’ relate to this sentiment more deeply and quickly than anyone else. Pick any parenting book and you will notice that they are now talking about creating ‘Wi Fi free Zones’ in your houses to have meaningful time with your family.  As There is nothing that is more urgent than the real life I am living, every day.”  (Abstract taken from “nurture parenting”)


Here is an example of what Kit Kat has done for the audience to appreciate their surroundings and can I just restate that this campaign was done by my ex-employer, JWT. One of the best agencies to work at 🙂

Here is an example of how Switzerland used data points to sell their “holidays without internet” to internet savvy people. This was done in 2011 imagine what can be done in 2013 when I.A.D (Internet addiction disorder) will be marked as a real disorder.

Still not convinced? You are a tough one, aren’t you? Here is another infographic for you by  Mashable. And if still not convinced, then let me know what am I missing.


The ‘connected but lonely’ is a niche segment; anything directed to them cannot be mass so Customize. Customize as much as your category allows you.

1.)    Call for action beyond clicks: Have a look at the Gold Winner at this years’ Cannes. Why this Ad was good? Because it had an insight and a call for action. Clicks on internet are meaningless if they aren’t backed by actions. Same goes for birthday wishes, get well messages and every other form of human interaction. Bring this fact back to the conscious level of your audience.

 Cannes Gold - 2013 Liking is not Helping

2.)    Do we really have friends? How many of our digital friends are the ones with whom we will have coffee at least once a month? Offer your audiences to have meaningful social interactions. I am not sure how many BTL activities can be sponsored by a brand on these lines, but ATL opportunities and ambient media opportunities are humongous in this domain. Have a look at this Digital Detox Retreats site to have some ideas.

3.)    Offer Happiness, be a friend:  Did you know that the more the mind wanders, the less happy you are – here is a study that talks about this in detail.  This means you would like to offer your audiences some tools (maybe an app) that offer Self-Control, Focus Booster and some short breaks. (The links are the links of the apps that can be sponsored by your brands). Happiness will not only come from apps- it will also come from a wake-up call or a memorable experience. Consider offering any of that. Be friends with your audiences, they need that.

In case you would like me to amend something above, please write to me or consider dropping a comment – that will make me very happy.


JWT Anxiety Report: Pakistan – the most anxious country in the world

JWT has just issued a global anxiety index report. You can download it from here

Sadly, 90% of Pakistanis (including myself) are feeling anxious. So Dear Brands in Pakistan, consider this sentiment and work around it and this also includes branding around politicians.

Last time, when majority of Egypt was feeling anxious it resulted in bringing the Govt of 3 decades down. What a bad indicator and a bad sign for newly elected Government

What keeps Pakistanis’ awake at night?

  • Gas prices. Not the tension on LOC but the energy crisis.
  • Rate of Crime
  • Terrorism
  • Unemployment

And to top that, ½ of Pakistanis’ don’t know when & if the economy will recover. India is one of the happiest markets in the world, while Pakistan is in the last 10 of the surveyed countries. We are leading the world in pessimism at the moment.

Pakistan Anxiety details 2013 - JWT Anxiety Index

Pakistan Anxiety details 2013 – JWT Anxiety Index


  • Imran Khan, Shahbaz Sharif  don’t you think you should work together to improve the situation. Instead of playing blame game. When will you guys wake up?
  • Chief Justice, there are more important issues than Pervez Mushraff we need you to focus on those.
  • In the middle of tensions, there is good news as well. Spread it more as individuals and as organizations. (We need more and more of propakistanis)
  • Utilize social media to create awareness, consider crowdsourcing to create solutions.
  • Agencies –  Wake up and try to convince brands to have purpose driven marketing.
  • Celebrities – Please use your fan power to encourage crowd sourcing. (I have recently observed Ayeshah Alam Khan playing a very positive role in many issues faced by a common man)

Remember, circumstances are chances waiting for ordinary people to become extraordinary.

(I have some proposals for purpose driven marketing, will upload them once get a chance. Let’s get together to create a difference.)

Long Live Pakistan.

Social Media Statistics in United Arab Emirates

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Key questions this data raises:-

  1. Average ad-spend on social media per annum is AED 50,000 only. The question is, in a market where TV is extremely fragmented and print is very expensive what is stopping brands from exploring new media? Continue reading

Consumer Insight: Sally in Dubai and social media Part 2

In Jan, I wrote about the Sally in Dubai Blog which was at that time covered by Gulf News.The first question I had in my mind, was about the authenticity of the blog

Today I somehow landed on this youtube video of Sally, have a look.

“Sally is a hoax and so could be multiple other bloggers who are shaping consumers’ opinion. Will this effect consumers more than marketers or vice versa” Continue reading

Need a Job? Use these 4 Social Media Tips to become a Recruiter Magnet

Social media has revolutionized everything around us including the way we get hired. A recent surveyby Eurocom worldwide reveals that 38% of companies check social media profiles of potential employees

I got a chance to discuss this issue with a leading international recruiter.Following are his thoughts on the subject.

It takes talent to find talents…

“I think what is more important to realize is how it can be used to review a potential candidate and gain insight into the person, their personality/style and potential as a candidate.” Victor Asanbe

This involves the following:

1. Review of Contact Lists: A review of their (candidate’s) contact list is it made up of peers, professionally relevant people, contacts that show an ability to grow a network throughout organizations, the industry, complementary fields etc at different levels. This is often a core competency required for many positions now, and using blogs to do just that, is an indication that a candidate can execute that effectively in a new role/company. An indication that someone is not building a professional network is disparate titles, industries etc, this could just be a social activity for them.

2. Review of involvement and contribution to groups – Involvement & contribution in groups; assess the relevance and contribution frequency. Often this is an indication of two areas – networking ability but also how readily they are likely to contribute to business areas outside their own within a team environment, do they contribute for the general good, or have a level of awareness that would translate into organizational awareness etc. This also helps a recruiter gain insight into management styles, knowledge and expertise – which is never a bad thing, it helps a great deal when it comes to considering a candidate and a match to the culture of a company

3. References – a review of references to see how they (candidate) fit with the roles. Do they come from clients (and these can be internal clients as well as external) – a third party client reference is of value – and perhaps a conversation that can be extended to gain even further understanding of the person concerned. For leadership roles, it’s also interesting to see references from team members that express what it was like to be part of the team lead by the individual. Of course, direct supervisor or references from “the boss” also fit nicely into this review. Colleague/peer references are easier to get and not as indicative to performance of the person.

4.Profile: Lastly, generally how are they using their profile to communicate who they are, their roles and areas of interest – the underlying structure – it used to be that we looked at a messy resume and assumed, messy person, now, we look at the on line profiles and do the same.

” I am not saying that every recruiter uses social media like this but what I can say is that I do, and although I don’t make all of my decisions on someone from this, these areas are all part of the process of assessing a potential candidate. I can also speak from experience in terms of being a recruiter, I know I certainly increased the number of contacts I had from people when I work, when I followed this sort of thought process myself.” Victor Asanbe

A little about the author:

Victor Asanbe: A leading International recruiter.  Based in London, he is handling recruitment in United Kingdom & EMEA (including Abu Dhabi). He specifically manages and recruits into the IT, Telecoms, Media, Research, MoD, Hedge fund, Sales and Marketing industries across UK & EMEA.

Customer Trend: What consumers are doing while you read this post? 21 social media stats

Statistics, that will make your hair stand. Sit down and watch the counter. This just shows how digital media is helping consumer insight manager in gathering data.

Consumer Insight: Sally in Dubai and social media

What Sally (a Filipina Maid) is telling the social media enthusiasts? I just saw an article about a blog by a Filipina maid in the Gulf-news.  

My first question is, is this blog by a maid in Dubai for real? If it is, then it is time to ask the following questions

  • Depth and breadth of social media in UAE – from face book to blogger, how many do we have? What are the numbers? What are they doing? And how can they be accessed & influenced? I compiled some statistics on social media users in UAE but this needs to be updated and expanded.
  •  Work ethics and social media guidelines – This young lady is the first drop of water, now magnify this to the workforce in UAE. Key Question companies need to ask from themselves is when will I be developing my social media usage guidelines, will I be developing them at all? Example of social media guidelines
  •  This Filipina lady is a lesson in blogging – I think copyblogger should present it as a case study; this blog caught the eye of press despite of poor language, no proper training in headline development etc.

Key questions she has asked

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