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Succeeding With Digital Marketing In Nigeria

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As noted in an earlier post, Nigerian companies have started embracing digital marketing. But from interactions with senior management of some of these companies, it seems the results of their romance with digital marketing have been underwhelming to put it mildly.

This should not be the case. From years of managing marketing campaigns, first in in-house roles and then later as an agency account manager, I have seen Nigeria companies get incredibly awesome results from digital marketing. So, why are some companies succeeding with digital marketing while others are not? This post will provide some of the answers.

Back To Marketing Fundamentals
The foundation of successful digital marketing is…..well, marketing! In other words, marketing is marketing irrespective of the channel. This means that the same fundamental rules of marketing applies whether you are marketing on digital or traditional channels. And what are these fundamental marketing rules?

All marketing is built on STP—Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Philip Kotler explains this best when he said “An organization discovers different needs and groups in the marketplace, targets those it can satisfy in a superior way, and then positions its offerings so the target market recognizes the company’s distinctive offering and image”. And of course, STP is built on accurate and deep knowledge of the market.

Your digital marketing won’t succeed without a proper strategy (built on STP of course). I addressed this in an earlier post where I explained that ” Of late, I have been having 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…….”

Promotion Is One Leg…So Is CRO
One major problem I think is responsible for the poor result a lot of Nigeria companies are getting from digital marketing is the fact that all their energy is being channeled towards promotion and little or nothing being done on conversion optimization.

You are obviously not advertising your brand online for the sake of making Google richer. So, you apparently have an objective you want to achieve with digital marketing. Promoting your offering to your target audience is the first step; while making the target audience take the desired action (conversion) is the ultimate goal.

After your target has seen/clicked on your message, what happens? All the traffic and brand impressions in this world does not mean anything if it does not convert. That is where conversion optimization comes in. Conversion Rate Optimization is simply the method of creating an experience for a website or landing page visitor with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers.

It’s about connecting with the viewer and communicating value as quickly as possible. It also means identifying why people are not converting and of course, fixing it. Without an effective conversion optimization, you’ll end up throwing away money & get frustrated with digital marketing. Which leads to the third point:

Leverage Digital Marketing Unique Capabilities..Big Data, A/B Testing, Personilization…
This is a time when migrating away from the traditional large demographic approaches toward more granular, data-driven, highly targeted campaigns becomes a matter of survival, not a matter of choice–IBM

The main advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing derive from the data driven nature of the former. And as it has been established in several studies, data and algorithms have a tendency to outperform human intuition in a wide variety of circumstances. Unfortunately, most of the Nigeria companies are not leveraging this unique capabilities of in their campaigns.

Today’s customers have instant access to comprehensive information on product, price, and quality comparisons from a steadily expanding range of channels. Thus, your success will depend on your ability to use insights derived from big data analytics to drive marketing decisions that will ensure you are accurately delivering the right message to the right person at the right time for the right price.

Successful digital marketing is built on analytics and experiments. The former provides data on what is happening in a business, the latter actively tests out different approaches with different consumer or employee segments and measures the difference in response.

Unfortunately, analytics and experiments are two areas where Nigeria marketers are lacking (with notable exceptions of the eCommerce folks i.e Jumia and Konga).

For your business to succeed in digital marketing, you must “get” analytics and experiment.

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