PHD, a global communications planning and media buying firm, in its seventh publication, Merge: The Closing Gap Between Technology and Us, has encouraged marketers and advertisers to look forward to how they adapt to changes in technology, its application to brands, consumers and people within their environment.
Merge was recently unveiled to the public by PHD Nigeria during its session at the Social Media Week held from February 26 to March 2, 2018, at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Wayne Bishop, Managing Director, PHD Johannesburg, who co-authored the book, was invited by PHD Nigeria to be the keynote speaker at the event. He said Merge dwells on how technology prepares marketers and advertisers for the future with regards to brands and audience engagement.
He stated that looking at the 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.
According to him, 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.
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 end with us merging with technology, elevating us as a human race.
In his remark, Dozie Okafor, Managing Director, PHD Nigeria, said Merge 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.
He said people interact more with brands online and other digital platforms due to the advancement in technology which has resulted to availability of mobile devices and high internet penetration as indicated in Merge.
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.
Merge draws from the insights of experts, including world-leading inventor, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who writes the foreword. Others are Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, futurologist Dr Ian Pearson and Microsoft chief envisioning officer UK Dave Coplin. It 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.