A superb product or service does not guarantee success in business. In fact, more than half of businesses in Nigeria with great offerings still fail due to poor or defective marketing. Marketing is a major pillar for any business, and the moment you start to make mistakes with your marketing effort, you start to dig your business’s grave.
The reasons below are not exhaustive. There are a lot more, but these ones are very common in Nigeria and knowledge of them will guide your marketing to be better.
Every business should have a target audience. Researching and understanding your audience is the first step to marketing success. Where a business does not know its audience, it has no way of designing effective marketing messages or structures.
Several small businesses erupt in Nigeria as soon as they hit on a business idea and they have the resources to push the product. They start to market the product to everyone and no one in particular, hoping that someone from the crowd will show some interest. This approach will only mean burning marketing naira with little or no returns.
In summary, know your audience, well.
Everyone is running campaigns on social media, you jump on the bandwagon. Most brands are creating World Cup hashtags, you join the train. Everything your competitors are doing, you do too, all in the name of marketing. The good/bad news is that your marketing is destined to fail and also kill your business if you continue like this.
Goals are important for anything to thrive. Every marketing effort should have a goal- it could be to create awareness about a product or brand, or to generate sales or to drive foot traffic to a website or physical store. It is common for Nigerian brands to jump on several social media platforms without knowing exactly what they want to achieve there. Expending several man-hours to manage these platforms with little or no results to show.
The first advice we will give here is use mobile. And use it wisely. It is common for businesses in Nigeria to focus on a particular medium because everyone is hitched to it. Yes, everyone is shouting mobile but there are ways to use it that will transform your business.
An example is businesses with nothing to showcase on Instagram opening an account and trying to market from that platform. This is even worse where your marketing audience is not on that platform. It goes without saying that virtually everyone is on mobile these days. They receive texts. Have access to USSD and take voice calls. Every business should find a way to connect to their mobile audience at the point of their need.
In Nigeria, an observer would note the aggressiveness with which banks are marketing their USSD platform. This is no coincidence. USSD is performing, especially for financial services. It would be foolish for any business to decide to ignore this medium and insist on a web platform. (HollaTags is positioned to provide you with the best connection to your audience via mobile, whether for marketing purposes or service delivery.)
It is very easy to forget that your audience should come first. Some marketers do not even know that in all their doings, their audience should come first. A marketing strategy that does not put the audience first is bound to fail. While designing, think of your audience, what will capture their attention. What will keep them bound to the marketing material?
Another trick is to actually make your marketing actually beneficial to your audience. Ever wondered why ride-on-demand services in Nigeria give out free rides and hefty discount codes? It’s marketing, and that strategy puts the audience first.
The best approach to marketing is a wholesome plan. Strategize to the littlest details. Marketing without a plan is the best way a business can devise to waste money. Your plan has to include key factors like; goals, target market, the channels, expected outcomes and so on.
A ‘lack of research’ culture is very common in Nigeria. Many people go into business without proper research and operate based on assumptions.
“Kids will like the new chocolate cookies.”
“We can sell two thousand copies of the book if we sell online.” Assumptions are dangerous for marketing and even business generally. Do your research, get hard cold facts before you make your plans and execute them.
Finally, learn from your competition and other industries. You can successfully market your products in Nigeria if you get it right.
Also, reach out to the HollaTags team, we will help you connect with your mobile audience through USSD, Voice, SMS and other mobile value-added service channels.