From Left: Dozie Okafor, Managing Director, PHD Nigeria, Wayne Bishop, Managing Director, PHD Johannesburg, South Africa, and Henry Ononiwu, Business Development Manager, PHD Nigeria, during the launch of PHD’s 7th publication titled MERGE at the 2018 Social Media Week, held at Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

PHD, a global communications planning and media buying firm, has stated that its seventh publication, Merge: The Closing Gap Between Technology and Us, is relevant to Nigeria because of the changes in the economy, the strong entrepreneurial culture and the growth in technological development.

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 stated that Merge dwells on how technology prepares marketers and advertisers for the future with regards to brands and audience engagement.

“Looking at 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,” he affirmed.

According to him, 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.

Speaking on Merge, Dozie Okafor, Managing Director, PHD Nigeria, said it 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 as posited in Merge.

Okafor explained that Merge was launched at the Social Media Week because PHD felt it was a platform for a diverse audience suitable to catapult what Merge ia 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,” Okafor stated.

Drawing on insights and foresights of experts, including world-leading inventor, author and futurist (and writer of the foreword) Ray Kurzweil, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, futurologist Dr Ian Pearson and Microsoft chief envisioning officer UK Dave Coplin, Merge 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.

PHD is a global communications planning and media buying firm.

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