Nigeria businesses have been urged at the recently held Social Media Week 2018 in Lagos to leverage technology for information gathering toward enhancing business opportunities and economic growth.
e event, which featured lots of industry and tech leaders as keynote speakers and panelists, gave entrepreneurs rooms to learn all that it takes to have a competitive edge in a digitalized age.
Some speakers and panelists at the event urged businesses to embrace the online platform, especially the social media, as a means of marketing, since the platform serves as a veritable ground to advertising their businesses and reaching the targeted audience.
One of the speakers Omolara Adagunodo, the managing director of Jumia Travel, said that it is now an unwritten rule for businesses including those in the hospitality sector to have a strong social media presence to engage customers.
Adagunodo said this while speaking on the topic ‘‘Connecting the Dots: Hospitality, Social Media & e Customer Experience” at the panel session organised by Women In Hospitality Nigeria (WIHN) at the Social Media Week Lagos held at Landmark Event Centre.
According to her, “as an online travel agency, you cannot overstate the importance of meeting your customers where they are – and that is on social media. So, connecting the dots aren’t that far-fetched because we all know that the key to gaining a key or loyal customer base today is by engagement and the best place to engage your customers is on social media.”
On his part, Segun Agbaje, the chief executive officer of Guarantee Trust Bank, called on brands and business owners to focus more on delivering value to their customers rather than profit-making, while taking advantage of the technology age. Not only that such e ort will get them ahead of competitors but will enable them to remain relevant in the business world.
Some of the panelists urged entrepreneurs and the general public to embrace email marketing as a veritable platform for advertising their businesses.
At a session titled “Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing: Generate, Engage and Convert”, the panelists said that embracing the platform would help build relationships with their businesses.
Email marketing is one segment of Internet marketing which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, etc. It is essentially the same as direct mail, except that instead of sending mail through the postal service, messages are sent electronically via email.
Deola Kayode, a Digital Strategy Manager with Insight Advertising, said that email marketing is a powerful platform to explore in building relationships, noting that relationships had to be built on trust, likeability, and credibility of one’s product.
The relationships built, he said, helped in giving value to businesses.
“Building relationships is key to business success as regards email marketing. In achieving the goal for your business, there is a need for one to understand its audience, think about the problem to be solved, define them and streamline one’s budget for proper productivity. Email marketing literally allows one to prime the person to sell his or her product to and it will also help in spotting the difference in the product you want to buy,” he said. Ayeni Ekundayo, Co-founder, Email Forest, said that there is money to be made in an individual’s email and urged the public to utilise the platform. He listed some principles of email marketing as printing of account, creating a list, uploading database and campaign.
Ekundayo said that education is key on the email-marketing platform, adding that there is the need for the public to be abreast of the platform’s potential by utilising it
e digital world is rapidly advancing, digitalization, is no longer a strategy that any business can ignore, including the SMEs and big corporations. e companies that survive this age are those that can be flexible to adapt online, including social media or Internet strategies and take advantage.
Businesses looking to thrive in the digital age are also advised to have employees who are digitally literate. is includes having skills in data analytics; cloud computing; software development and programming.
Africa is fast approaching the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where technology is impacting every economy and industry. Businesses, large or small, can choose to lead this transformation and gain competitive advantage, or be left behind.
If businesses hope to lead in the digital age, they need to implement modern technology and skills that will make them relevant and give them a competitive edge. With the intelligent tools to uncover new insights, address future problems, adapt to changing business environments, better serve customers and make more informed business decisions, your business can be unstoppable.
Oguntade Tunji, a tech guru at the event advised Nigerian businesses to take the advantage of the fact that in Africa, Nigeria leads the list of Internet Usage and the eight in the world, with 98.4 million users, quoting the Internet World Statistics’ report of December 2017.