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Digital Marketing In Nigeria, A Strategic Approach

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In my last post, I promised that the next post will be discussing in details how to go about setting up a professional digital marketing campaign for your brand, from strategy formulation to performance evaluation. This blog post is geared towards doing just that. Even though the title says digital marketing in Nigeria, I belief this approach will work in any market.


Of late, I have been having a series of meetings with prospective clients and one of the first questions I ask at the discovery stage is: “what internet marketing strategy do you have in place”? The commonest answers are “we advertise on Facebook”, “we have employed somebody to manage our Twitter and Facebook account”, “We have banner ads on XYZ sites”…….Little wonder virtually all of these companies are reporting little or no ROI from their online marketing activities.

There are several internet marketing channels that you can utilize to market your business online but, selecting the right one(s) “depends”. Depends on what? That question can only be tackled on the strategic level . But first, let us define what a strategy is:


A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. A strategy helps you answer the question, “What are we trying to accomplish?” As can be inferred from this definition, you can see that you can not say you have a strategy if you do not have a clear objective.

Strategy is different from “tactics” which help you answer the question, “How are we going to accomplish our goal?”. A commentator on Jeremiah Owyang blog puts this most succinctly when he said:

“One helpful trick to check if you have a strategy (usually timeless) or tactic (tools/technology dependent in your hand is changing the tools and see if it still applies. For example, a timeless strategy is- “Connect with customers while in our store and increase sales.” If you this is 1901, you’d post large posters and have employees running around and talking with customers. If it is 1987, you’d have electronic boards with specials, if it is 2012 you’d have an HTML5 page or an app that helps you connect to customers and in 2015 you’d fully support Google glasses. The strategy never changed, the tactics did“. 

So, without a clear strategy, your online marketing effort is doomed to failure.   


After choosing your strategy, the next step is to review the range of channels available to you for realizing the strategic objectives. For Digital marketing, the available channels include:

Pay Per Click Advertising 

This involves bidding for placement on search engines. It is keyword-based; meaning your ad appears when relevant searches are made. E.g. Google Adwords and Bing Ads.

Display Advertising

This involves the placement of ads (banners, video, etc) on third-party websites.

Email Marketing

This is the process of collecting email addresses from people and marketing to them via email messages.

Search Engine Optimization

This is the process of earning in the free/organic results of major search engines like Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex,  etc.

Social Media Marketing

This is the process of leveraging social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) to market to your target audience.

Affiliate Marketing

This involves incentivizing other sites to promote your products in exchange for a share of the revenue they drive.

The list above is by no means exhaustive. 


To also help you in putting the digital marketing channels in proper perspectives and have a framework for understanding the cost and benefit advantages of each channel, we will employ a POE media model  ( which is a slight modification of the POEM model).

The POE model classifies all digital marketing channels into three distinct subgroups: Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media.




Paid Media

Outbound Marketing

Earned Media

Inbound Marketing

Owned Media

Nurture, Retention, Advocacy

Core Elements 

Money = Traffic, no money, No traffic


Channels are optimized individually


Landing pages are distinct from main site

Cost is effort


Visibility continues when effort stops


All pages are landing pages

A person is “known”

Email address, customer file, etc.


Move person to initial sale recurring revenue to advocacy



Immediate results


Highly measureable

Ease of testing

Cost effective

Higher quality visits

Helps build trust

Cost effective


Ease of targeting

Loyalty & advocacy



Display Ads


Email List Buying

Daily Deals



Natural Search (SEO)

Social Media

Referrals (Links)

Public Relations


Email, Newsletters, RSS, Autorepsonder

Lead Nurturing


Transaction Emails

Necessary Resources

Media budget

Campaign management expertise


Content Creator

Publishing Platform

Social Media expertise

PR & Blogger

Email Technology

Customer Database

Content creator

Social Monitoring tools





  • Your Company Goal: What are the top objectives of your company’s online marketing effort?
  • Brand Awareness: Your objective is to achieve greater brand visibility and increase the likelihood that consumers recognize the existence and availability of your company’s product or service.
  • Boost Sales: Your objective is to make more sales. Period.
  • Market Education: Your product and service are new (or have new features) and potential customers are yet to realize the problem they need to solve.
  • Available Resources: This could be material or human;
    – Budget: How much do you have to spend on your digital marketing activities?
    – Human and Intellectual: What personnel with what range and level of competence do you have available? This includes Development personnel, Creative personnel, Writers, etc.

Lastly, there are two other primary variables that can be added to the selection process that falls under the realm of strategic market analysis. Namely an understanding of your customers and the competitors. 

If your company has (or develops) a strong understanding of customer needs and behavior, then it will be better able to target those customers to achieve the company goals.

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