Pakistan, unfortunately, is not known to be a data-rich environment. In fact, many companies hide behind this fact, and have been unable to break their inertia of data-centric decision making. I want to change this. For this purpose, I have aggregated the latest data available on digital, mobile and social media in Pakistan.
Following is a comprehensive list of almost every data point openly available pertaining to mobile penetration and smartphones in Pakistan, and my two cents on what these statistics mean for marketeers:
- Total Internet Users: 39 Million [15% population penetration]
- Growth of Internet Users (Jan, 2014 – March 2015): 47%
- Mobile Phone Users: 149.2 Million [79% population penetration]
- Growth in Number of Mobile Subscription (Jan, 2014- March, 2015): 15%
- Percentage of Pre-Paid Mobile Connections: 97%
- Active Mobile Social Users: 16.2 Million [9% population penetration]
- Growth in Number of Active Mobile Social Users (Jan, 2014- March, 2015): 113%
With Mobilink and Warid’s merger, they will serve to an aggregate of 45 Million users.
- Total Smartphone Penetration: 4.5% which makes 9 Million
- Pakistan predicted to have 40 million smartphones by end 2016
- Smartphone vs Feature Mobile Phones: 31% of mobiles purchased in the country were smartphones in 2015
- Smartphones will comprise of 55% of Pakistan’s total mobile phone imports by the end of fiscal year 2017-18
- Average Mobile Data Connection Speed in mbps: 1.5
- 3G/4G Subscription: 18 Million in the first 18 months of subscription launch
- By 2019, subscribers of 3G/4G to increase to 110 Million
- Share of 2G/3G/4G: Share of 3G has seen a sharp increase, compared to 4G
- Latest Monthly Growth Rate of 3G/4G Subscribers (September 2015): 14.43%
- Top 5 Mobile Apps:
- Top Operating Systems:
- Age of Smartphone Users:
- Monthly Mobile Budgets of Smartphone Users:
- 16% smartphone users regularly buy paid apps while remaining 84% contents with free apps
- Messaging Apps hierarchy by population:
- LINE (over 5 million users)
What This Means for Marketeers
1. Think Mobile. No point in viewing your brand’s website or social account on desktop anymore. It has to be mobile optimized otherwise its no point being out there at all. Here’s a website where you can check if a website is mobile optimized.
2. Snackable Content. Considering the increasing social mobile users, your brand’s content needs to be consumable within a matter of seconds. Imagine your fan/consumer tapping his phone away, his attention span rock-bottom. Your content needs to attract him enough to add to his experience by enticing him to interact with it. Otherwise, your social is a lost battle.
3. More Video Storytelling; Shorter is Sweeter. Unless your content is earth-shattering, refrain from long-form videos. Mobile has given people more choice then they’ve ever had before. Video storytelling is a powerful tool, so use it often and use it well. Align content that is relevant to your audience and consumer insights.
4. Mobile has changed how people shop. And mobile has done that just through e-commerce, but also through in-store search. Mobile is the first step of Pakistan moving from a linear traditional marketing funnel to a two-way consumer decision journey. Think cross-platform marketing when you think about your shopper, whether your product is a planned purchase or an impulse category. Now is the time to start thinking about multichannel experiences in Pakistan.
5. Keep your customer at the heart of your mobile strategy. If you start with your customer, it will inevitably lead to a customer-centric framework. Use this customer-centric thinking to align mobile experiences your brand offers with customer’s behavior. Invest time and energy in watching, tracking, understand and responding to changing consumer trends.
6. Be courteous. You can use mobile to become a part of your customer’s life, to keep him informed of your offering, but if you’re sending text messages in the middle of the night, or sending push notifications around the clock, then you’re terribly wrong. Mobile users are open to interaction with brands, but keep it respectful and honestly, just use common sense.
7. Mobile is Always-On. Mobile is the first thing we see when we wakeup, and the last thing we see before falling asleep. Putting an approval process on a digital platform as if it were a conventional broadcast property will cause inefficiencies in time production and management. So, when you’re thinking about your content management system on mobile, think of digital like an always-on sports game. No one wants to watch a game in which players are asleep or waiting for God to throw a miracle on the field. If mobile is where your customer is going, then that’s where you need to be.
Note: All data relates to 2015 unless stated otherwise.