The digital landscape is evolving rapidly and as a result so, is the way brands communicate and engage with their audience. Globally traditional marketing has taken a back seat but in Nigeria, many brands have yet to fully embrace the digital revolution to their own detriment.
Though innovations are applauded but the level of integration to drive business growth in Nigeria today is still at low ebb. The ultimate aim of digital transformation ordinarily should be the ability to adapt to any future digital innovation. Chief Executive Officer, Foxxymobile Investment Services Ltd (fmisconnect.com), Engr Francis Eyisi, who disclosed this in Lagos, recently, said the current state of the economy is forcing more Nigerian entrepreneurs to seek new ways of growing their businesses online. This even as many say they feel they are not getting the support and guidance they need to grow on the digital marketplace.
We now live online, and it’s mostly mobile
Mobile has grown exponentially and by 2020 there will be 11.6 billion mobile connected devices in the world, that’s more than the projected global population at that time [http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/mobile-white-paper-c11-520862.html]. The growth of mobile technology has greatly influenced Internet consumption worldwide, but particularly in Nigeria, which is often described as a “mobile first” or “mobile only” country, due to the fact a number of people first experience the internet through a mobile device. The average Nigerian spends three hours a day on their mobile phone, accounting for 51% of all digital time spent and 65% of search traffic now comes from mobile. According to Engr Francis Eyisi this means mobile will be at the core of any successful marketing strategy. “The average person checks their mobile phone 10 to 150 times a day,” he said. “We no longer go online, we live online.”
The future: With the number of smartphone users in Nigeria estimated to grow to 100 million in 2020 and the expected drop in data prices, mobile will continue to be at the forefront of marketing. Brands will seek to utilize this as much as possible through the use of mobile advertising, mobile payments and so on. The nature of mobile advertising will likely shift focus toward higher quality ads to avoid negatively affecting consumer experience.
So long websites? Social is the new Internet
Social media has evolved from novelty to necessity when it comes to marketing, with 80% of Fortune 500 companies utilizing it globally. Engr Francis argues it’s time for Nigerian brands to take this shift seriously. “Here we still look at it as people playing around and posting stuff,” he said “Nobody is really looking at it as ‘Okay’ this is actually an integral part of my marketing and my brands online existence, which I find very worrying.”
Social media, he argues is here to stay and it goes beyond just having a Facebook page. Although Facebook is still the market leader with 1.59 billion monthly users worldwide, [in Nigeria there are 7.2 million daily active users, the highest number in Africa:http://qz.com/611516/more-people-use-facebook-in-nigeria-than-anywhere-else-in-africa/ ], brands must incorporate other networks to achieve success. Instagram, for example, recently hit the 500 million user mark, [http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/21/instagram-now-has-500-million-users.html] and has been labelled the Engagement King, boasting 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook. Snapchat is a solid hit with millennials, and live streaming app Periscope posted impressive growth numbers after its first year.
The future: Are the days of the website numbered? Maybe. “A lot more people are consuming through social media and not websites, said Engr Francis Eyisi . “So in a lot of places in the world websites are nice to have, but social media is essential.” Moving forward (and with the help of data) social media marketing will become more a personal affair with the rise of targeted advertising. Direct chat and live video feeds will become more and more important, and we will eventually see a shift from small screens to no screens as holograms, augmented reality and virtual reality take over.
Content is still Ruler and video now is the Leader
the globalization of audiences made possible by these new media platforms have opened new frontiers for content marketers to try their hands on innovative ideas in a bid to keep the audience engaged.
Content remains ruler, but it is Video content that the world is really interested in. More than half of all mobile data traffic in the world comes from mobile video traffic and this number is projected to rise to three-fourths by 2020. Engr Francis Eyisi explains that video allows for more powerful storytelling particularly with digital where brands are no longer restricted to traditional time constraints.
The future: Engr Francis Eyisi predicts a rise in user-generated video content and video sharing, and that brands will continue to create, curate and co-create video content.
In summary, “the power to connect digital size, scale and outcome lies with businesses, industry sectors and government. With smarter investments, digital resources, technologies and assets can have a positive influence on competitiveness and help economies and industries drive greater, more sustainable value,” he said.