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“Marketers need to prepare for the human‐technology merge” audiences hear at PHD Malaysia’s conference

12 June 2018
In line with the agency’s agenda to unravel the forces shaping the future of marketing, PHD Malaysia launched its latest thought‐leadership publication and documentary, ‘Merge | The closing gap between technology and us’ at an event for its clients and partners. Held in Kuala Lumpur on January 16, the conference drew an audience of 115 delegates from the marketing industry, all of whom received a copy of the publication as well as insights on how to better prepare their strategies for what’s to come.

The network’s thought‐leadership publication, ‘Merge | The closing gap between technology and us’, sets out how technology and human evolution has progressed since the 1950s and how technological advances over the next 25–35 years will reshape society and the marketing industry. Drawing on insights and foresights of experts including world‐leading inventor, author and futurist (and writer of the Foreword), Ray Kurzweil; Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg; futurologist Dr Ian Pearson; and Microsoft’s UK chief envisioning officer, Dave Coplin, ‘Merge’ discusses the five stages of the evolutionary road between 1950 and 2050, culminating in technology and humanity fusing together both symbolically and literally.

At the launch event, guests heard from the agency’s Head of Strategy & Platforms, Jessey Chew, on the impact of ‘Merge’ on the role of marketing and the opportunities that are emerging as a result, before watching the network’s ‘Merge’ documentary.

Following the screening, Eileen Ooi, Head of PHD Malaysia, moderated the forum, ‘We’re all cyborgs, and AI assistants will make us more human’ alongside Dr Rajbans Singh, President of Malaysia’s Wellness Association; Suhaimi Sulaiman, CEO of Astro Awani; and Torie Henderson, Omnicom Media Group’s CEO for South East Asia & India. The forum touched on whether AI can enhance human beings and provide a quasi‐sixth sense, how AI is reshaping the medical and news industries, as well as what AI and technology means for the practice of marketing.

Chew moderated the second panel, ‘How brand experiences will change in the face of digital technologies growing at exponential speed’, comprising Vic Sithasanan, CEO of Hyperlab; Mellissa Lee, Head of GetResponse Malaysia; and Srikanth Ramachandran, CEO of Moving Walls. The panel discussed how business operations are changing as a result of the ‘Merge’, new applications of technology, as well as why email marketing still matters in 2018.

Speaking about the year ahead, Ooi commented: “2018 will bring about a host of new technologies that will both challenge the industry, as well as present new opportunities for those willing to invest in innovation and take a bold first step. At PHD Malaysia, we believe in finding a better way for everything we do, and that’s exactly our approach for the year ahead as we guide our clients on their growth journeys, helping them to navigate this exciting ‘Merge’.”

‘Merge | The closing gap between technology and us’ is available for purchase on Amazon and via the PHD Media app.