Odimbite Odimbite: How Digital Marketing Causes Bleeding in Nigeria
Nigeria’s Digital Marketing space when coloured with unprofessional activities potentially causes bleeding in some ways! Hey, is this a joke or what one may ask? There are ways in which uncoordinated digital marketing causes hemorrhaging across business setups. Businesses and ventures especially in Nigeria are bleeding due to digital marketing activities arising from ineffective use of Social media platforms.
I recently met a business executive who lamented that his company embarked on a four month long social media campaign and invested millions of Naira but there was no result all in the guise of digital marketing. I probed further for more details. This executive posited that the digital marketing consultant they eventually engaged presented his company with a robust proposal for Facebook campaigns, email blasts, bulk SMS blasts, viral marketing and Google banner adverts to drive sales and improve revenue. The company invested huge millions and after four months, sales still were crawling and the digital marketer has caused bleeding in his business and severe cash erosion has occurred. This typifies some of the “losses” digital marketing adventures has caused SMEs in Nigeria.
Another SME business owner also had an unpalatable experience. The company hired an IT professional who prided himself as a digital marketing guru to anchor the Company’s digital marketing efforts. To their utter disappointment, after spending millions, there was no improvement in revenue and the Company is considering other options. The company suffered severe bleeding. Money was spent and corresponding result, expected increased sales, wasn’t achieved.
Many businesses suffer cash bleeding from uncoordinated, unprofessional, misaligned digital marketing campaigns. Digital Marketing is now trendy, a new craze and an all comers entity. Some folks with a laptop and an internet connection are self-styled digital marketing experts in the midst of real digital marketers. Digital marketing in Nigeria comes in different sizes, shapes and formats. The difference between successful and the unsuccessful social media marketing efforts is “Marketing”. Pushing a text message to phone numbers, sending email to thousands of email addresses the recipients don’t need, putting a banner advert on a sister website no one sees, generating likes on Facebook and others isn’t digital marketing. These are tools for skillful and focused digital marketing campaigns.
Marketing is a process of identifying and targeting consumers with a product that satisfies them with a benefit. It requires identifying the target customers. It requires crafting an appropriate appealing message. It requires using the most appropriate channel in a given time and place to reach the target consumers thereby achieving set objectives.
Digital marketing may be done to create awareness, improve awareness, increase sales, increase revenue, obtain referrals and reduce consumption/ usage of a product. The disconnect between the objects of the business owner and digital marketer arises when the digital marketing cosultant doesn’t understand the campaign objectives and how to measure effectiveness of any given campaign. For instance, some campaign experiences show that when a Facebook user clicks the “Like” button for a Facebook campaign, that “Like” doesn’t translate into an immediate conversion. So, a business owner who sees thousands of “Likes” wants to see increase in purchase, ordering or usag of the product advertized. The digital marketing campaigner is happy he has generated tons of “Likes” and measures his campaign as successful but the SME feels he has wasted business resources.
A digital marketer may focus on generating Facebook likes but the business owner wants to see how much extra revenue comes through the many likes recorded in Facebook. Suppose Facebook users click like because they liked the picture or graphics, or liked the concept or product but that “like” clicked should in a way, be converted into desired Company campaign objective. The digital marketer feels there is 20% increase in number of likes and is happy but the business owner says, there is little or no growth in sales to accompany the rise in the “likes” recorded.
In Nigeria, due to digital marketing dilution of this type, business objectives are far from being achieved and businesses are stripped of their cash and bleeding occurs. Many businesses suffer this way regularly; they keep spending but have no results to match the expenses. Once one can tie up digital marketing spent to expected results and demand clear achievement of the company’s objectives, these uncoordinated digital marketers will give reasons why it’s unattainable and may back off.
They back off because they have the technical knowledge of how to do it but not the knowledge of marketing principles that makes digital marketing what it should be: marketing using the digital space. This bleeding must be minimized. SMEs should hold digital marketers accountable for achieving stated and expected Campaign objectives.
Close the gap
Wisdom is, don’t part with your cash until you are convinced the results will meet organization’s objectives. Before investing huge sums of money, run a test drive with few thousands of Naira to test the campaign effectiveness until there is certainty that results are sure to roll in with bigger investments into digital marketing.
Professional and Chartered marketers in Nigeria must rise up; fill this need of SMEs with moderate and affordable digital marketing solutions. If they over price themselves out of the reach of the SMEs, unprofessionals will continue to cause businesses to severely bleed.