Bringing Sexy Back

WHETHER OR NOT YOU LIKE IT, WHETHER THEY OFFEND YOU ON THE ROADS OR NOT, THEY ARE CERTAINLY COMING BACK – SAY HELLO TO BIKES.

Source: gokada.com.ng

Source: gokada.com.ng

Locally

A few years ago, bike-hailing – popularly known as Okada in Nigeria – was scrapped in many cities in the country, particularly the urban areas. All those who were plying their trade in that line of business back in the day either went out of work or ventured into some other type of business to make ends meet. A few years later, some brands who are now the industry’s top market players came on the scene to bring sexy back and this they did in grand style. Feeding off of the back of Uber’s success, severe traffic conditions in the country, and the quest to find new ways to make more money by the Nigerian populace, it was seemingly the right timing for ride-hailing to get back on the scene.

Players like Maxng, Gokada, and Opay have recorded great success and the industry isn’t just attaining mega feats in Nigeria, also globally. The ride-sharing market is booming, and regardless of certain obstacles it has shown no sign of slowing down. The global ride-sharing market is predicted to reach $170 Billion by 2025, up from $43 billion in 2017, according to Adroit Market Research. This growth is making room for new players around the world, challenging market leaders and expanding the original ride-hailing model into a nimble, omnichannel suite of services.

Source: technext.ng

Source: technext.ng

Global Outlook

In China, ride-hailing services are proliferating and pivoting to address a variety of offerings –attracting the attention of big investors in the process. Visa sought a strategic partnership to invest in Indonesia-based ride-hailing startup Go-Jek to build out their in-app payment platform. Go-Jek amassed a $1 billion investment in January 2019 from a host of heavy-hitting tech companies including Google, Tencent and JD.com, aiding the expansion of Go-Jek’s mobile payment and food delivery services. Go-Jek started with a fleet of 20 motorcycle taxis in 2011 and has since expanded to offer a wide-ranging portfolio of services, including transportation and logistics – from the original taxis to shipping and moving services – food delivery and personal care services like on-demand massages, manicures and waxing. Also, In April 2019, Singapore-based ride-hailing app Grab announced a new suite of services for seamless activity planning. The new services allow users to book hotels, purchase movie tickets and stream video on-demand through the Grab app. This rollout follows a collaboration with Chinese insurance giant Ping An in August 2018, making healthcare another potential enhancement of Grab’s omnichannel toolbox, building onto mobile payment, food delivery and online booking (JWTIntelligence).

Source: techcrunch.com

Source: techcrunch.com

This is really interesting as Nigerian players would need to watch their backs. InDriver, a ride-hailing service that launched in 2012 in Russia expanded its reach to Tanzania in 2018 and has announced that they’ll be spreading into countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. Personally, I can’t wait to enjoy all the benefits that will come from promotional advertising from these heavy hitters.

Marketing and Sales; A Blurred Line Armed with Artificial Intelligence

SOON THERE’LL BE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MARKETER AND A SALESMAN, THANKS TO AI

sales.jpg

So, me and a couple of my colleagues got into an argument about the differences between sales and marketing and we argued about which was more important. We eventually agreed that they both had their place as they both are important, however, the line that separates them is gradually being blurred out as AI is helping both end of the stick achieve same results in the same time frame. Marketers and salesmen would both be able to build brands over time and also make sales immediately as they are now armed with artificial intelligence.

AI does a couple of things but here are a few;

Data acquisition: one area artificial intelligence (AI) has been able to get right over the years is collecting data. Data has always been a holy grail for both marketers and salesmen as it helps with predicting the next point of action, purchase, and effective marketing strategy to deploy.

Automate repetitive tasks: in marketing there are certain tasks that are repetitive and trust me, they can be extremely daunting to undertake every now and then. AI allows you the opportunity to be more efficient and increases your productivity by availing you the opportunity to focus on more important tasks. A report by Mckinsey further buttresses this point as they say nearly 45% of tasks can be automated to achieve the afore mentioned benefits.

AI.jpg

Create a great consumer experience: what do consumers want? Many times, they want to save time, time is money, they say. Consumers want a vendor that can be swift and equally efficient. The more your brand or organization spends a lot of time dealing with mundane issues the more at risk you are to lose your consumer to your competition who is more agile. AI helps your organization attain agility quicker as it will deal with “mundane” issues while your staff can focus on dealing with consumers who require a more human approach to cater for their need.

Although AI is increasingly becoming the more intelligent with every new update it still doesn’t take away certain processes from staff. To adopt the right AI solution, you or a member of staff must devote sometime to brand audit – understand your strengths and weaknesses, also know what your competition is doing. Next, decisively outline what the desired AI tool should achieve and then adopt one.

In this age where the lines between marketing and sales are getting blurred with each passing second every marketer or salesman must be armed with AI to win.

Customer in the Data Shadow

DATA THEY SAY IS THE NEW CURRENCY BUT IT STILL CAN’T BUY PEOPLE

pineapple-supply-co-79711-unsplash.jpg

What do I look like to you, a guinea pig or a lab rat? Make your pick because I need to know. Scratch that, truth is, I don’t want to know. It’s just that your marketing strategies are beginning to make me feel like one of either option. Brands and marketers these days are doing the right thing by gathering as much data as possible to fuel their marketing campaigns but they are doing the wrong thing by ignoring the human element – we all want to be touched at some point. Brands make the mistake of trying to be masters at collecting data but ignore the ability to be human therefore treating people like lab rats – if this strategy fails, try the next one, that seems to be the new mantra.

Owing to the speed with which the consumer (not a lab rat or guinea pig) is changing, brands are adopting a more agile framework – design thinking – which helps them change at the same pace the consumer does. However they tend to keep the consumer in the data shadow, this means that brands tend to take the standpoint of addressing the consumer needs as they see it on paper and/or research reports. For example, the fact that there is usually an insane amount of terrible traffic condition in Nigeria doesn’t mean that if you sell a product to them they’ll purchase it but if you can connect to their emotions at that point, you are likely to record a higher amount of sales.

joe-desousa-119050-unsplash.jpg

Therefore, what any brand should do is never to neglect the fact that the customer is first a human being and not a collection of data.

Consumer first (Consumer Centricity), that’s basically what design thinking is about. If you don’t believe me, you could ask Google, Amazon, Apple, and any other successful brand that has employed this strategy.

The Sauce and the Spice

DESIGN THINKING – THE INGREDIENT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO KEEP UP WITH THE FAST-PACED EVOLUTION IN TODAY’S MARKET PLACE.

design thinking1.jpg

The world is consistently changing and the speed can be likened to that of Arya Stark when she stealthily moved in on the Night Kind and drove a dagger through his belly in the recently concluded Game of Thrones series. Like the Night King, if businesses fail to take a hold of this speed or anticipate the next change (trend) then a dagger might be driven through its belly and put it out of business. Design Thinking is the ingredient businesses need to keep up with the pace (become agile) of customer evolution and ensure sustainability. My friend, Vin Diesel said in Riddick “if you can’t keep up, don’t step up”.

What is Design Thinking?

This is the art of adopting a process that keeps the consumer (target audience) as the focal point of your business. Many times businesses employ strategies as a result of data they dug up about their existing competitors – wrong move. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know what your competition is doing to reach your audience but it is more important for you to watch and anticipate what your audience is doing or what they might do. This way you’ll have a more pragmatic approach to reaching them, otherwise, you’ll struggle to adopt the right strategies to reach the consumer; you’ll become reactive instead of proactive.

Design thinking makes you proactive, not reactive – it eliminates the knee jerk phenomenon.

design thinking.jpg

Why Design Thinking?

It gives your marketing communication a direction and lays emphasis on designing marketing materials on purpose – brand proposition.

Designing on purpose builds relevance and leads to a culture that will resonant with the target market. Consequently, using purposeful design will also create a connection which will broaden the impact of all brand activation programs, and brand experience. The brand that uses design thinking as a strategic advantage creates things that people have to have - Bizcommunity.

This approach really can’t be overemphasized especially in this digital age wherein everything is ‘supposed’ to be connected.

International brands like Nike, Google, Apple, and Amazon have adopted the Design Thinking strategy and it’s a no brainer how they come up with products every now and then that you and I always have to have.

Brands; the New Village Head

STORYTELLING IS THE TREND THAT BRANDS IN NIGERIA ARE TAKING VERY SERIOUSLY AND IT’S SHOWING UP IN THE ADS

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

As said by the Hand of the Queen (Daenerys Targaryan) who eventually became the Hand of the King (Bran the Broken), Tyrion Lannister said in the grand finale of the decade long series Game of Thrones, “What unites a people? Arms, Gold, Flags? Stories, there's nothing more powerful in this world than a good Story. Nothing can stop it, no enemy can defeat it”.

In many African homes or villages, the village head or the oldest person in the area is supposedly the best story teller as he or she tells the most mind joggling stories in every genre that brings everyone together. Till this day, the best stories I have ever heard, came from the tongue of a village chief and I know that isn’t peculiar to just me as I have met many others who share the same story.

As I said before, brands in Nigeria have begun to harness the power of great storytelling to deliver returns on investment (ROI) and achieve top of mind awareness (TOMA). Two brands that immediately come to mind are Maltina and Airtel, they are currently milking this playing field and achieving set objectives.

See below the stories they are currently telling around their brands.