Entrepreneurs are the Real Avengers

AFRICA CONTINUES TO FLOURISH AS ENTREPRENEURS BEARS ITS FULL WEIGHT ON THEIR SHOULDERS.

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Nearly every definition you can find over the internet or in books around the word "Entrepreneur " is skewed towards portraying the entrepreneur as someone who starts a business or a “start-upper”. That doesn’t even nearly capture what the entrepreneur is about. His high coffee consumption, sleepless nights, persistent headaches aren’t just because he is trying to start a business but because he understands that he bears the weight of the world on his shoulder. He is saddled with the responsibility of providing a solution that caters for specific human needs – that’s how great businesses are born.

Entrepreneurs serve as a country's economic pillar, playing important roles in the country's economy, from creating new businesses, inventing goods and services which results in employment, thereby adding to the country's national income.

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Let me show you a direct representation of what entrepreneurs can do.

There are over 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. Africa as the second largest continent in the world has been blessed with an astonishing number of such individuals, with over 22 percent of its working population starting new businesses, which is the highest rate compared to any other region of the world. As a result of input from entrepreneurs, Nigeria's GDP increased by 1.9% in 2018 garnering $392.270 billion compared to 2017's $376.361billion. Nigeria's GDP has averaged $125.26 billion form 1960 until 2018 making an all-time high of $568.5 billion in 2014 – The Hill report.

Buoyed by a strong youth population, Africa is flourishing on the backs of these entrepreneurs. Vocational trainings are being introduced to both secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria in order to fuel the entrepreneurship drive in the nation. Thereby giving them the necessary tools to chart their own course.

The trend of entrepreneurship in Africa cannot go unnoticed as it leads the continent into a bright new future. They are the real avengers.

The Future of Marketing - Purpose Marketing

BRANDS ARE EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING MONEY WITHOUT TRYING TO MAKE MONEY. READ THIS ARTICLE FOR CLARITY.

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Brands are no longer seeking to just sell products; they also want to impact culture and frame perceptions. It has now become unavoidably obvious that consumers are no longer just buying products, they buy an experience, they buy a personality, they buy a brand.

Take a look at yourself, the phone you have in your hand, the designer shoe or shirt you are currently wearing didn’t jump into your possession just because it’s beautiful, or durable, or matches your body, or some other stuff consumers naturally look out for while making a purchase. It is largely in your possession because of the perception attached to it, because of the way it makes you feel.

This reason has caused brands to not only develop their products but invest in enhancing their own personality. For example, you don’t just buy a Patek Phillipe you own one. If for any reason you do not understand this paragraph, kindly read through all over again, by the third time I’m certain you’ll get it.

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Truth is, brands don’t want to just sell to you, they want to be a part of your everyday life. There’s a plan, there’s a purpose, and that’s the future of marketing – Purpose Marketing.

 Meaningful marketing or Purpose marketing revolves around a company's greater purpose beyond just selling their products and services. In a recent publication by Accenture it is stated that “customers aren’t just making decisions based on the stalwarts of product selection or price. They’re now assessing what a brand says. What it does. What it stands for.” They aren’t chasing quantity but quality. They are seeking authenticity and relevance. They want to feel as though they are a part of something bigger. They are driven to connect, to grow, to make a difference. They are buying on belief.

Insta Millionaire

INSTAGRAM IS CURRENTLY TURNING PEOPLE INTO MILLIONAIRES AND DELIVERING ROI

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In the wake of smart phones, increased internet penetration, urbanization, gist, gossips and juicy scandals, social media has grown in leaps and bounds throughout Africa. Only one who is living under a rock or dangling somewhere on the edge of the planet isn’t on social media. My aunt just gave birth a few weeks ago and her cute baby already has a social media account – Instagram particularly – and I’m certain that before she turns 14 she would probably have at least 14,000 followers on Instagram – don’t you dare laugh.

Due to the drivers highlighted in the opening paragraph and more, social media, especially Instagram which has become a force to reckon with as many people are being turned into Insta millionaire or Insta celebrities if you like. Its highly visual interface and easy interactive features helps its affinity.

Also, the always on trend hugely observed among millennials and Generation Z is fueling online communities as people want to stay informed and follow everything these Insta sensations are doing on a daily basis.

This provides a great opportunity especially for brands and marketers as it makes reaching the desired TA easier – birth of online influencer marketing.

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Instagram communities have become highly interactive which is speedily making it the go to place for information about brands and people.

In fact, this is the time that businesses need to capitalize on brand expansion and business growth – and social media platforms. 

Instagram currently has over 2 million advertisers worldwide sharing contents on their stories and feeds to drive business results. 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram. over the last few years, Instagram has grown so much, and today is influencing consumer behavior. With over 25 million business profiles that currently exist on the platform worldwide this leaves no doubt that it is delivering ROI to businesses - Bizcommunity.

I am of the opinion that everyone is a marketer as we are all selling something. This therefore means that we can no longer ignore Instagram as a major driver for sales and consumer connections.

Should Men Be Feminists?

THE CONCEPT OF FEMINISM HAS FOUND IT’S WAY INTO THE FABRICS OF OUR CULTURE

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In a nutshell, feminism is a movement of an ideology that hinges on the equality of the sexes. They say, “no preferences, no special treatments, no nothing, treat women and men equally”. Although, there’s still a number of people who believe that the movement is an effort in futility as male dominance is an age long tradition. This however has not deterred women all over the world from pushing for what they believe. The success of movements such as the #MeToo movement is proof positive that this feat is attainable. Brands and government parastatals have endorsed this feminist ideology and put laws and policies in place to foster the acceptance.

In advertising and marketing communications, there is now something known as “the female centered design” as it is now believed that for marketing campaigns to be effective there is need to segment the target audience appropriately.

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The question here now is, should men be feminists?

People have argued that men are not needed to join the movement, however, their participation would be appreciated, as the movement isn’t against men but against a system that have over the years broken down the self-esteem of many woman, whilst others say that it is of necessity and great importance that men join in on the movement to show their support of things that are right and not to just sit back and watch how things pan out.

Well, I believe that being a feminist in itself isn’t a gender related adjective however it is a gender related war. If this line made you smile, then we think alike. What I’m trying to say in essence is that, both men and women who follow through on the ideology may refer to themselves as feminists.

Kindly tell us what you TINK in the comment section.

Customer in the Data Shadow

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

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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.

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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.