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Digital Marketing In Lagos |:: The Challenges And Opportunities

As a Lagos, Nigeria digital marketer, what kinds of challenges do you face?

What opportunities do you see now or foresee in the future as you take an informed look at the digital marketing landscape of Lagos and Nigeria in general?

In this article, you will learn the major digital marketing challenges that marketers in Lagos face.

I will also answer the following questions:

  • What digital marketing challenges do agencies and freelancers in Lagos, face?
  • What global companies that want to use digital marketing to market to Nigerians should know.
  • Amazing opportunities for digital marketing in Lagos.
  • I will spend more time addressing each of those challenges and solutions.
  • This is the most interesting part.

And finally, we'll discuss the opportunities and future of digital marketing in Lagos especially for Nigerians and the global community at large.

Let's get started.

If I asked you what challenges digital marketers in Lagos face what would be your answers?

I’ve listed the challenges my digital marketing agency faces in doing business in Lagos.

Which ones do you disagree with?

Or in which order of challenge would you rearrange my list?

What digital marketing challenges do you face as a marketer?

  • What really is digital marketing?

Definition Of Digital Marketing

  • The go-to-place for definitions, Wikipedia does a lousy job of explaining digital marketing.
  • It says that:
  • Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.”
  • Ouch!
  • Here’s a pretty easy one to remember:
  • Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services that using electronic devices.
  • The fact that digital marketing involves electronic devices is the reason why it has been around for a long time.
  • Electronics have been around since the time of radio.
  • And from that simple definition, you can see why digital marketing doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with content marketing, Google ads, social media, or retargeting.
  • In fact, digital marketing strategies are both online and offline.
  • For example, the advertising mediums that companies use may be part of a digital marketing strategy that includes online PR, social media marketing, bulk SMS marketing, digital billboards, television, and radio. 
  • Additionally, digital marketing tactics include search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, and influencer marketing.
  • It also includes content automation, campaign marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail marketing, and display advertising.
  • In fact, the list would not be complete without letting you know that it includes e-books, optical disks, games, and any other form of digital media. 
  • And for a solid and well-rounded digital marketing strategy, you need both offline and online strategies.

My 5 Digital Marketing Challenges In Lagos

    • Electricity.
    • Internet Connectivity problems – think phone and data.
    • Business executives who don’t appreciate the value of digital marketing.
    • A much diverse audience with different cultures and needs.
    • Not-so-easy availability of hard currency through most of your 'friendly' banks.
  • I will spend more time addressing each of those challenges and then we will discuss the exciting aspect of this article – digital marketing opportunities in Lagos.

#1. Lagos Digital Marketing Challenge - Electricity

Photo credit: Pixabay

Nigeria has been ranked as the second-worst nation in power supply as power drops to 3,851 megawatts, MW.

Of the 137 countries examined in a report, Yemen ranked as the worst electricity supply nation in 2017, followed by Nigeria, Haiti, Lebanon, and Malawi.

Read more at Vanguard.

Is that report shocking?

Well, that's the reality on the ground, backed by statistics.

Since digital marketing is the marketing of any form of products or services that involve electronic devices, you can appreciate why digital marketing agencies are hard hit with unreliable electricity.

Access to reliable power makes it easy to market offline and online. It also increases the number and variety of business and job opportunities available.

On the other hand, a lack of consistent access to reliable power costs businesses and the economy as a whole.

Even when you have access to energy, unreliable power makes operating a business even more challenging than usual.

Nigerian businesses and manufacturing enterprises experience intermittent power regularly.

But when you have a constant supply of power, it allows small business owners and employees to increase working hours, thereby increasing productivity.

In addition, business owners can complete other work related to owning and operating a business before and after daylight hours.

With electricity, business owners can have access to online information and resources.

Power makes it possible for entrepreneurs with information that they need in running their company successfully.

And that is true whether that online information is about local or national markets, branding news, trend, or new economic policies.

What Is A Power Outage?

When you think of power outages they may include short-term or long-term loss of electric power to a particular area.

And when they occur, no one is exempt. They affect homes, businesses, and even entire cities.

Here are a few types of power outages that your business may experience:

Brownout

This power outage is where the voltage drops and the result is that you have dim lights.

When brownouts happen, they can damage your electrical or electronic equipment so that they malfunction. And for digital marketers, that's a big blow to the bottom line.

Blackout

Complete loss of power in an area for a few minutes or an indefinite amount of time.

Permanent Fault

Large loss of power due to a fault on a power line.

  • No matter what type of power outage your business may experience, you should be prepared for anything.

Effects Of Erratic Power On Your Business

No large company can operate for a long time without the use of such equipment as computers, manufacturing equipment, and lights.

Digital marketing agencies and freelancers that rely on networks and web-based technologies may experience setbacks in the event of an outage.

There are many ways that an epileptic power supply can affect your business in a variety of ways.

Sadly, each way can have an impact on the bottom line of your business and your productivity:

Inconsistent Power Supply Leads To Loss Of Customers And Revenue

  • When you have power outages, websites may go down. This results in the loss of customers and revenue.
  • If your customers can’t access your website due to a power outage, they may not have another way to purchase products or services.
  • This one-time power outage could impact how they perceive your company.
  • A damaged reputation can have long-term effects on your brand and revenue.
  • Gaining these customers back might require significant marketing efforts, which can be costly.

Unturned Inventory

  • Inventory turnover is a ratio showing how many times a company has sold and replaced inventory during a period.
  • If your agency experiences downtime due to an outage, the speed at which you sell your inventory will decrease.
  • And when your customers can't make purchases, your unturned inventory will increase.

Intermittent Electricity Reduces The Productivity Of The Employees

  • Erratic power outages impact the productivity of the employee. With power outages, your employees may not be able to complete their tasks when key equipment is down.
  • Additionally, IT employees may need more time resolving problems.
  • Alternatively, they may need to hire outside help to help the company recover lost data and get systems running again.
  • With a prolonged power outage, lower employee productivity can have a huge effect on your bottom line.

Stored Computer Data Loss

  • Power outages are one of the top reasons data loss occurs.
  • Because computers and operating systems are complex, they need to shut down properly.
  • An outage causes computers to shut down unexpectedly. Any files you were working on could be lost or become corrupted.
  • If power outages occur frequently, they can damage your hard drive and reduce its lifespan.

Epileptic Power Supply Can Damage Your Equipment

  • An epileptic power supply can cause long-term damage to your digital equipment.
  • Electrical surges are cause the greatest damage to your equipment.
  • If you don't have a proper power backup supply your equipment can be damaged when the power comes back online.
  • Finally, the resources spent on repairing damaged equipment is an unanticipated expense that could set you back.
  • In dealing with the erratic supply of electricity, many companies and individuals have turned to generate their own power.
  • For example in Lagos, many use generators, inverters, and a tiny percentage are using solar energy.

#2. Internet Connectivity Challenges In Lagos

The erratic supply of electricity in Lagos also affects the quality of services delivered by the telecom companies.

In fact, the majority of businesses now need a reliable, fast internet connection.

Slow internet speeds impact the productivity of your employees but also the quality of customer service you provide through your website.

You would agree that today the internet is vital for the day-to-day operations of your business such as accessing emails and file transfers.

When you have a reliable fast connection, you can boost your business productivity, improve customer service and support your projected growth.

If you have lived in any part of Lagos or Nigeria for a minute, you already know that the telecoms sector faces a lot of challenges.

And if you make a living as a digital marketer whether using offline or online marketing strategies, you would agree that unreliable internet connectivity is not funny.

Here are major internet connectivity problems in Lagos and Nigeria in general:

  • All the companies that provide telecom services in Lagos deliver extremely poor services.
  • The money that they charge is extremely high and you can switch from one service provider to the other and you get the same poor services whether phone or internet.
  • You cannot tell the difference between a carrier operator and the last mile service provider.
  • The regulator is not addressing these inadequacies effectively.

You already know that many hours of working time are lost while you wait for pages to load.

For instance, if you spend merely 5 hours a day using the internet and just 5 percent of that time lost to an irritating buffering and sluggish connection, you've lost about 15 minutes a day.

If you do that for one year, that’s 50 hours of lost productivity.

If you multiply it by the number of employees working for you, the amount of lost productivity sharply goes up! 

With epileptic electricity, you can buy your own generator, inverter, solar energy, and more.

With poor internet connectivity, what do you do?

You simply adapt.

What I found out is that Mondays or the first workday after a long holiday are the worst days to be on the internet. Internet connectivity improves during the early morning hours when most people are asleep.

#3. Business Executives Who Don’t Appreciate The Value Of Digital Marketing

Photo credit: Unsplash

As a digital marketing agency, how do you do business with companies that their executives don't understand and appreciate the awesome power of digital marketing?

Many of these business executives who market to consumers spend a major percentage of their marketing budget on traditional marketing, despite the fact that digital marketing is incredibly effective, and so deserves a bigger slice of the pie.

Worse still, many business to business (B2B) clients do not understand the value of digital marketing and the value of any kind of marketing at all.

You can see the challenge of convincing executives who consider marketing a cost center.

And because of that, they budget as little money as they think they can get away with.

How do you overcome this challenge and help these executives see the glowing light of digital marketing?

Educate them.

Well in the old days of direct marketing, you heard the mantra, 'the more you tell, the more you sell'.

In copywriting, what that means is that longer copies outperform shorter ones.

It is true in content marketing. Today, long articles outperform the longer ones.

This is done through social media marketing and executive social media seminars

When decision-makers understand how digital marketing impacts positively their bottom line, they are eager to pay the agency or freelancer what their service is worth.

#4. A Much Diverse Audience With Different Cultures And Needs

If you are using digital marketing to sell your goods or services in Lagos or Nigeria in general, you would have to create diverse personas with varying needs.

There is no doubt that global online marketing has massive potential and is a rapidly developing industry.

For you to make the leap to the global market, you will need a team of specialized digital marketing experts who can adapt products and services to your global audience for specific languages and regions.

Know Your Market

If your company wants to market to people in Lagos, you must have a thorough understanding of the regional markets in terms of language, culture, values, and needs.

That means that you must know how you are perceived by different geographical garnished with a thorough cultural knowledge of each region. 

Localization

They say that all politics is local. Localization is highly important if you want to reach people in Lagos who don't speak English.

Although most people in Nigeria don't speak or understand English, they do understand Pidgin English.

Mistranslations can cost a company dearly.

You see, mistranslations have the sad consequence of alienating entire markets, but they can also have severe financial ramifications, that is why it’s important to always use native speakers for your campaigns.

Presentation

It is important to pay attention to local cultures when using colors, icons, and graphics on your websites. Why is that important?

For instance, in Europe and America's white is associated with purity and marriage whereas in Japan, China, and parts of Africa it is traditionally a mourning color.

You can give an Irishman a green hat and he will probably thank you and buy you a pint.

Conversely, give a Chinese man a green hat and he will assume that his wife is cheating on him.

Are you getting the point?

#5. Hard Currency Is Not Readily Available

Photo credit: Dreamstime

If you are a digital marketer, you would understand why you would need hard currency for the smooth running of your agency or freelance business.

And if you're not, you would not.

Google AdWords or Bing Ads are all done on the dollar.

If you don't have dollar accounts with your local friendly bank, it becomes exceedingly difficult to pay for your campaigns.

Additionally, the social media management apps that you would use to manage your accounts and those of your clients are paid for in dollars.

Very few banks in Lagos are equipped to open and provide dollars for their customers.

Digital Marketing Opportunities In Nigeria

After the lengthy discussion of digital marketing challenges in Lagos, some may erroneously conclude that there is no light at the end of the digital marketing funnel in Nigeria.

What do you think?

Consider this:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) - the world is rapidly aging.

A whopping two billion people will be 60 years and older by 2050, more than triple the number in 2000.

Interestingly, this demographic change has major implications for the global economy.

Some of the world's biggest economies are facing a shrinking workforce and diminishing fertility rates.

While two billion people will be 60 years and older by 2050 in developed countries, the figure is not the same in developing countries.

Check this out!

"The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Zuma, has said that the population of youth on the continent will be a quarter of the global population by the year 2025.

Ms. Zuma noted that by 2040, half of the world’s youth population would be Africans with women and girls being a majority.

She said that Africa in the next 50 years would be home to 1.1 billion workers". (Read more of what she said here )

So what that means is that in the coming years, the developed countries will be needing tons of workers due to their aging population while the developing countries will have plenty of youths needing work.

Even now, the US tech companies rely on H1-B visas to fill their highly skilled technical jobs.

The countries that get the lion's share (in fact about 82%) of these visas are India and China.

You can read more about it here.

American companies have been outsourcing their manufacturing mainly to China and IT work to India.

From the statistics above, the US and other developed countries will have even more reasons to outsource than they ever did.

Do you see any opportunities here?

Outsourcing Opportunities For Multinationals And Other Companies

The US companies can outsource their digital marketing to Nigeria. And when they do, they get:

  • Lower wages.
  • Escape US regulations.
  • Free their resources for priorities.
  • Cheaper talent.

If your company is interested in setting up a training program for your remote workers here in Lagos, we would be glad to help.

On the other hand, if you want to outsource your social media management, please let us know too.

Digital Marketing Opportunities For The Youth

There is massive youth unemployment in Nigeria.

And most of the youth in the villages and smaller cities are heading to Lagos for a better life.

When they get to Lagos, they find that the grass is not greener on the other side.

The beauty of digital marketing is that most of the work can be done remotely.

If you are young with an awesome attitude and a virus-free laptop you can work from almost anywhere so long as you have internet data.

Go to our career page here.

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