The Digital Swing

The pressure for Brand Managers to jump on the digital marketing bandwagon is mounting.They are constantly deliberating how soon or how late to take the ride. Yes, internet penetration has increased in Nigeria from a mere .1% in year 2000 to 26.5% in 2011( ref. Internet World Stats) and interenet users have also increased proportionately. The main question is do we have insights or at best undersatnding of our consumers’ behaviour to warrant us jumping onto the digital platform?

Nigerian Marketers are at a cross road, some have joined the band wagon just to be seen as being in tune with media trends , some are still seating on the fence.Some brands have figured this out quite well .However ,some others merely opened a Facebook page with no clear strategy as to how to manage the content.As a marketer, you start to look like a dinosaur if part of your marketing spend is not on digital media. How much should marketers spend to retain current consumers , how much should they spend to recruit new younger future consumers. The proportion of spend is still a subject of debate, 10%, 15% or even more? Who knows?

The flip side of the challenge is availability of competent agencies to manage the accounts. Marketing Managers who themselves are struggling to understand the digital world are ill equipped to access the competency of these Agencies. Our preparedness to maximize the benefit of digital media will be greatly enhanced by knowledgeable marketers andcompetent agencies

The reality is that today’s Nigerian Consumer between 15 – 27yrs need stronger engagement which goes beyond radio,television,outdoor and print. These consumers come from the era where news is obtained at a much faster rate from twitter and blogs. Their television viewing is on YouTube ,they had iPods as birthday gifts, CD players were part of growing up, and their world is on their mobile phones and a host of other new media.

The swing to market on digital is on. I am seated, my hands holding firmly to the two ropes of the swing. How high should I swing?

Author: Iquo Ukoh