Nearly two decades ago, the very first online commercial transaction was made. A short while later, Digital Marketing was born with the ambit of carrying out marketing communications to the online world. This was almost exclusively within the Western world as many markets in Africa and Asia were then unable to key into the revolution. In the intervening period however, Nigeria for example has seen its Internet penetration skyrocket 626.5% in 14 years from just 78,740 users in 2000 to over 67,101,452 users in 2014.
With such a market comes huge opportunities.
ID Africa is one of a new wave of businesses from Nigeria aiming to harness the power of this rapidly expanding Nigerian and African market while at the same time tackling the wider definitions and applications of the Digital Marketing genre as a whole. While Nigeria and indeed the wider African market is no longer a virgin territory where the most straightforward internet marketing strategies can turn $250 into $1 million in a few months, there are still vast opportunities available and ID Africa believes its strategy will not only deliver consistently excellent results for clients, but will also pioneer global trends in the expanding Digital Marketing industry.
Offering an extensive range of services from web development and applications to content management systems and mobile app development, the team behind ID Africa is confident that their formula for Digital Marketing will be a successful one in Africa and a worldwide trailblazer. Their confidence is based on their twofold strategy: customization of all communication to the specific market it is targeted at, and a holistic manner of communication, focused on drawing the audience out by talking with, rather than to them.
Digital Marketing in some places has now overtaken its traditional competition with American Digital Marketing revenues surpassing television advertisement revenues for the first time in 2013. As the inexorable march toward total connectivity continues, more and more purchases and purchasing decisions are made online and traditional mediums and offline businesses with online competition are increasingly losing market share. However, there has been a subsisting issue regarding the industry’s tunnel vision toward its worldwide application, particularly in emerging markets. The African online economy is expanding at double digit rates annually. Nigerian online retailer Konga recently recorded sales of over $3 million in just one day, and rival Jumia pulled in roughly $23.6 million in revenue in the first half of 2014. The value of online transactions continues to surge in Nigeria and the largest mobile internet service provider in the country, MTN has a total of 33.8 million internet users. Yet major international Digital Marketing firms have either stayed away, or offered only the most generic of marketing services. ID Africa believes that it can fill this gap and give its clients leverage to break into this often-overlooked market.
So how does ID Africa aim to secure pieces of this fast-growing pie for its African and international clients? ID Africa founder Ayeni Adekunle, who is a respected voice in Africa’s public relations and communications sector, “We believe brands should not only tell their own stories; they must have a passionate community of consumers who are believers and evangelists, happy to share their experience and convert even the worst skeptic. We believe the combination of great social technology and cool content are the sine qua non to achieving this!”
ID Africa’s solution to the age-old problem of getting target audiences to view and engage with client messages is simple, yet brilliant – create content which the target audience wants to see, such as interesting videos or film reviews or travel guides, and then embed the clients’ messages within the content. Not only do such campaigns sell themselves by becoming popular and going viral, but they also tell the client’s stories to target audiences in ways which are infinitely more impactful than brute-force marketing.
Brute-force marketing strategies, in the view of ID Africa’s team are outdated and not fit for purpose in the modern online market in Africa and beyond. Instead, a constant and underlying emphasis is placed on social marketing, a concept which is still so new that it remains largely undefined as yet. The idea is rooted in the belief that online existence is in many ways very closely modeled after the physical world, which is above all else, a social one. In the real world, the average human sees about 247 advertisements every single day. Most of these do not have the effect of convincing them to make a purchase as the mind very quickly learns to filter out such content with the exception of that which is particularly relevant to them, or that which is extreme or unusual.
In fact, the majority of purchasing decisions are influenced by social factors in the real world. Most people spend money on things because people around them do the same or because of the recommendations of those around them. A billboard showing a pair of Beats by Dre headphones does not have as much purchasing impact as a schoolmate or colleague wearing that exact same pair. Translating this marketing truism to the online world could be ID Africa’s big triumph.
By refusing to take shortcuts, but without wasting unnecessary budget – working smart rather than hard – ID Africa is able to achieve its campaign targets in a manner which is honest and fair to the client and which appeals to the target audience. The solid gamut of services backing up the creative output of ID Africa campaigns ensures that the client is able to contribute, monitor, stay in control and receive feedback at all times. These include strategy and consulting services and web research & analytics solutions. In addition to these, ID Africa offers E-commerce Development for businesses interested in establishing or growing an E-commerce presence, particularly in Nigeria’s Internet economy which is growing by up to 50% annually.
ID Africa COO Femi Falodun speaking recently on ID Africa’s strategy had this to say, “ID Africa does not promise clients: “We’ll get you to the number 1 search result on Google when people search for xyz”. What we do promise is “We will start and manage a conversation about you, through various digital media channels at the end of which you will see an impact on your position in the minds of your target audience and on your desired outcomes such as sales revenues. You may even get to the first page of Google search results when people search for xyz.”
If this strategy takes off, in a few years, we might well be quoting these words on the website as a famous prediction: “This is end of advertising. And the birth of conversations.”