2015 Outlook: The Nigerian Digital Space

In January 2015; the Sawubona’s analysts team sat with the CEO of one of Nigeria’s innovative Digital Marketing Firm – Acquiring Digital Estates, ADEMichael Ebia to get his thoughts on 2015 Outlook: The Nigerian Digital Space. Here are his thoughts:

  • What is your assessment of the Digital Space in Nigeria in 2014?

Exponentially growing in terms of users and audience across platforms. The growth of Web 2.0 (enables users to publish and exchange content online) in our digital space can be attributed to this growth. Social media platforms such as Instagram and twitter are still potent tools used in Nigeria for promotion and advertising by literally every industry. A recent paper revealed that 70% of business organisations in Nigeria are embracing social media to communicate with their customers while 30% are yet to see the promises that these new media hold. That’s quite impressive, I’d say.

Also in terms of investment growth; the Digital space has also experience massive investments in millions of dollars especially in the e-commerce sectors.

Digital business generally experienced a greater boom this year especially in advertising and marketing; however there’s still a relatively low spend in areas like development (apps, web, platforms) and production (videos, interactive); as the big spenders still look at SA or India for some of these services and expertise.

Quite remarkably; is the upscale of the Digital skill gap in Nigeria. I personally believe we have more professionals in the industry than the previous years; from web, email, social and managerial roles. This can be quite evidence from the quality of digital projects and campaigns executed in Nigeria (even across West Africa) by Nigerians; as well as the quality of Digital/Tech conversations happening on blogs and social sites.

Additionally, there have also been more training on Tech and Digital Marketing in recent months by credible firms such as Google Nigeria and Wild Fusion.

“Very few Nigerian businesses have a comprehensive content strategy; that’s why it always look challenging executing digital marketing initiatives”

  • Small businesses are critical for employment generation. How can digital provide an opportunity for small businesses to scale fast?

I’d call this term R.A.C.K; which represents Remote working, Collaboration (on projects) and affordable (smart) marketing/advertising. Digital makes this literally a no-brainer. Virtually every industry in Nigeria can leverage on one or two of these concepts.

Our Digital Business firm in Lagos Nigeria, Acquiring Digital Estates (ADE) have successfully delivered great projects for top clients in the past months leveraging on these concepts. For example, we haven’t spent more than a quarter of a million in marketing in the past four months. Digital made that possible.

SMEs in Nigeria can scale really fast when they learn how to ‘R.A.C.K’ it up!

  • One of the most significant dilemmas for digital marketing is the question of the primacy of content and channel? From your experience in the Nigerian digital space, should businesses focus more on content than channel?

Yes. A big YES. Businesses should focus on content.

Content is the soul of the web. Content for digital/online marketing is like blood to the human body. I’d like to describe ‘channels’ as the human body parts. They cannot function effectively without a constant, timely supply of blood (content). Just like blood; great content need to be fluid enough and flexible. Great content works or can be adapted easily on almost any channel.

Very few Nigerian businesses have a comprehensive content strategy; that’s why it always look challenging executing digital marketing initiatives. However, 2014 presented us with some really great content coming from the banking, fashion and entertainment industry. What’s the use of having thousands of followers or fans or audience on social channels (even traditional) without engaging content?

  • In terms of measurement and evaluation of campaigns, how has the digital marketing industry been able to show direct impact of digital marketing investments on the bottom-line?

I think this is still poorly done; from two perspectives; the Marketing Managers and Digital Marketers.

Marketing managers still don’t fully understand the workings of Digital marketing so they do not always demand rightly, in terms of expectations and conversion. For example; it’s quite out of place for a brand manager to expect ‘direct sales’ from social media engagements. What should be expected are KPI’s such as leads, referrals, and enquiries.

Also quite sadly from digital marketers.

The more we can show ROI on digital marketing there will be a massive boom in Digital spend in our country.

That’s the year 2015, in digital terms.