Sunday 8 December 2013

Using Google+ Is Not So Difficult

I realize that for many of you out there, the reason why you are not using Google+ as much as you would have liked to, is because you find it somehow confusing and difficult to use.

You know what? I feel you. 

I was also very confused at first myself. But to be honest with you, I have come to enjoy posting, sharing and interacting on Google+ more than any other social network out there. All you need is some practice, and once you've grabbed it, you will understand why G+ is the fastest growing social network in the world, and has already overtaken Twitter and LinkedIn.

So let us start with:

Posting On Google+

First you should keep in mind that even though it seems complicated to you now, it is actually going to be so easy after some practice, and you will laugh at yourself once you've gotten used to the interface. :)

So just think about your the Facebook post you are currently using.
It has a box that says "what's on your mind" right?

Now I am sure that that is the first thing you do: 
Type in whatever is on your mind into that box.

Ok, in G+ you will find a very similar kind of box on your homepage, but it says, "Share What's New..."
And once you click on that box to start typing, the box get's larger. By the way you can get to your home page by clicking on your name at the Top Right of your screen, or by moving your pointer to the g+ logo at the extreme Top Left side.

Now in the image directly below, I have marked the posting process into 4 different steps:

Step 1 Is writing what you wish to share
Step 2 Is to determine the who you want to share it with.
Step 3 Is to add a photograph or a link to a video or website to your post.
And Step 4 is to publish your post.

It's so easy.

Now, one of the many lovely things that Google+ has that other social media don't have is the ability to add rich formatting to your post. So by using two underscores to sandwich a word or sentence, you can make it _ITALICIZED_. While you can also use asterisk to *make it bold* and dashes to do - -strike throughs -. 

This gives your post that richer edge than others. There are still many tricks that advanced users of Google+ know that I could share with you if you come and ask me on the Digital Africa community.

So go ahead and type what you want to say. 
But before you click share, pay attention to Step 2 (it's very important).

Now, let's say you have just finished typing your post.
You would notice that there is a green item under it that says "Public". This indicates that if you post it the way it is, everyone that visits your profile on G+ will be able to see that post and even comment on it.

Now if you want a particular person (a friend or family member) to be notified specifically about that post then you need to add a + sign as well as the person's name. Make sure you select the persons name from the options given to you while you start typing that name. And make sure it is the right person. :)

So something like the picture above will be seen by Everybody, but your circles will additionally be notified, then Vivian Akinyosoye and Chigo Okeke will also be notified specifically.

But if you click on the X part of the Public item and the Circles item, then only Vivian and Chigo will be able to see the post. 

If you click on the X next to Vivian's name, then it means you want the post to be private between you and Chigo.

So above is a picture of the shared post after clicking the 'share' button. I have pointed out the effects of each of the first 3 Steps. Notice that Step 2 will show only shared "Publicly" even though you shared it with several different circles of people.
Now assuming you hadn't chosen to share it publicly, it would have said shared "privately" instead.

Step 3 here shows that I uploaded 2 photos. Yes, in Google+ you don't just have the power to share more than one photo in one post, you can also create some dazzling effects on each photo.
Isn't that awesome? 

So what are you waiting for? Start Plussing!

If you enjoyed this article, and you think it would be useful for someone else, please share it on your Google+ profile as well as your Twitter and Facebook. Thanks.
If you want more useful tips from me about the G+ or the Internet in general, please feel free to connect with me on my profile

A final tip:
Once you've joined Google+, some of the best experiences that will help you to take full advantage of it, are in joining Communities that are relevant to your interests or business.
I will suggest three right away:

Don't hesitate to ask me any questions you might have in the comments section of this blogpost. 
Or if you prefer, you can reach us in the Digital Africa community.

Happy Plussing! :-)

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Zero Moment Of Truth - Part1

The ZMOT is not such a complex thing to be honest. 
In fact it could be incredibly easy to understand, especially if you already know a lot about how the internet works, coupled with some reasonable knowledge about the business process of marketing (which usually involves advertising, publicity and sales distribution). You need a combination of these two, if you want to really enjoy this article. 

So consider the zero moment of truth as that point in a customer's journey where she/he bounces back and forth looking for answers about a product or service she/he may be interested in. She/He uses Search, Reviews, Ratings, Specifications Data, and even user comments as a guide to come to her decision. So clearly, you can see why you need to play a part in at least adding something to the conversation that leads to this decision.


There already existed a tested and trusted marketing model that was conceptualized by Procter & Gamble and has to a very high degree, revealed the strategic points in a customer's journey where it is best to try to capture his attention.

STIMULUS – When the customer sees an advert of any product or service that may interest him (let's say a pair shoes) and does get interested; or he saw the ad and suddenly remembers that he had already planned to buy a pair of shoes at some point.

SHELF First Moment Of Truth – The customer has finally taken the decision to go to the store to get those shoes. There are some customers who go out with a plan not to return home without a pair of new shoes, no matter what. There are also some customers who never really have an idea of what they really want to get, so they rely on cues from shop attendants or other shoppers. Traditional marketers realize that the packaging and labeling of the product can go a long way in winning the First moment of truth. They also know that by having their shoes advertised boldly all over the shoe section of the store,or maybe even having sales agents in the larger stores, could help to nudge undecided customers.

EXPERIENCE – The Second Moment Of Truth – this comes after the customer has purchased his shoes and has started wearing them. Chances are that the customer will report his experience with the shoes (and possibly with the store where he bought them from) to the next person. 

This is why good marketing actually begins at the point where you ensure the quality of the design of your product. It is important for your marketing that customers don’t go about saying bad things about your product or about your store. 
Or rather, if you’re just the dealer and not the manufacturer of the shoes, then hopefully your sales-reps and floorwalkers are respectful and patient with customers. 
Because that is the experience they take away from your business. 

But most customers would definitely say something, whether it is good or bad. Whether it is about the shoes or about your store. 

The idea at the Experience Stage (Second Moment Of Truth) is to get them to say more of the good stuff. Especially about your store, if you’re the store owner.

Zero Moment Of Truth 
To be honest, going by today’s turbo-charged rate of information & technological advancement, we could almost say that ZMOT (since 2011) is already an old marketing concept. I have already given an intro on it for an African audience in one of my previous articles about ZMOT in Africa. But a good way to summarize it here would be to just say that ZMOT is that virtual valley of decision that your customers go to after getting inspired by an advert that catches their attention, and before going to a shop to spend their hard earned money on the product that is promoted by that advert. 

So despite the way I listed these terms to make the introduction, ZMOT actually slots in between Stimulus and Shelf. So now, I'll try to explain how it works...


A ZMOT Ready Marketer first of all has to be a Digital Marketer. He then has to be the kind of DM who has his eye on almost every area of digital marketing, as well has having a decent understanding of typical offline advertising as well. But in addition to those, he has to be aware of the importance of the ZMOT, know how to identify the ZMOT moments in his industry, and he must be able to respond swiftly to take advantage of them.  

By now, the reason should be quite simple, if not then allow me to illustrate with this example:

Imagine you’re on an island where 10,000 people plan to buy shoes within the next month. Now imagine if there were 10 shoe retailers on that island. Then assume that all these shoe retailers have basically the same quality of shoes and they all sold at the same exact price.

Now, all things being equal, and if they all did some local advertising in the same magazines and on the same tv stations on the island; then there actually isn't much reason to doubt that their total units sold could be almost identical as well. 

Maybe some would sell 1100 shoes that month, and others who were unlucky might do 900. Just humour me for now....

Enter digital marketing.
Imagine if 2 of those retailers decided to step up to owning websites; and they took on some online advertising campaigns (especially Enhanced Campaigns from Google). Imagine they did some pretty effective SEO, and some social media marketing. 

The dynamics would have changed because you would now have some shoe retailers encroaching on customers of retailers that are geographically far away from their territory. 
They have the shoes on display on the website so the customer from 20 miles away can gaze at the shoes from different angles and in different colors. 

These smart retailers could also offer free delivery to further convince the customer to shop with them instead of the retailer close by. 
At this stage it may not matter even if the near-by retailer has the same shoes the customer has seen on the web. What matters is the information, and the knowledge of where & how to get it. 

So thanks to their digital marketing campaigns, the 2 retailers with e-commerce websites could very well draw as many as 2800 and 2400 customers respectively, while the remaining 8 retailers may have to struggle with an average of 600 sales each for that month. Or it could even be worse for those remaining 8 guys.
It all depends on if one, or both of the ecommerce-smart retailers are willing to go the extra ZMOT mile. 

So let us just assume that one of them did. 
So this retailer has the normal brick & mortar store (i.e. a store that is physically on the ground – not one that operates solely online). He also has the e-commerce website where customers can order shoes and have them delivered to their homes. 

Then if he decides to upgrade to invading the zero moment of truth, he could take a size-able chunk out of the share of the other website retailer’s 2800, and even further flatten the margins of those retailers who are doing 600 sales per month.



By being at the ZMOT, our retailer can know when consumers are looking for shoes, when they are making inquiries about them online. He can learn about consumers, their behaviors and preferences before the other retailer who also sells online, and way ahead of the others. He knows how to fish out ready customers as well as future customers. This is the wisdom of the marketers who take the ZMOT seriously.

Research shows that in 2011, 84% of a sample 5000 people in America did research on a product after seeing an advert, and before deciding on buying it. There is also more recent data to show that this trend is increasing. Now I can easily guess what just popped into your minds. 
You are going to say that that is America! 
This is Africa! 

Yes, I know. 
And yet my point here is that just because we are not a continent that is particularly keen on gathering statistical data and analyzing such data, it doesn’t mean that we do not have the same sociological tendencies of shoppers everywhere. Afterall, we are all human.
For example, if you doubt that Africans are being affected equally (if not at a quicker rate) by the New Digital Age, why not visit Christian Amanpour’s Page on Facebook, or checkout ESPN FC? 

I am willing to bet that by just doing a quick scan, you are going to find as many African names (mostly Nigerian) in the comments as any other continent of the world. 

Africans are as driven to search out their interests and engage share their thoughts with others, just as Europeans and Americans are. And I dare say, Nigerians more so than anyone else.

Hence, there’s no wisdom in betting against the continued exponential growth of internet connectivity & activity in Africa and indeed the rest of the world.

The fact is that all human beings are social animals. We all have a desire to connect with others. And most of us find connection with like-minds from foreign lands particularly more fascinating. 

In fact, with all of the poverty that we face in this continent of ours, the obvious lack of many alternatives (such as large theme parks, space museums, video game arcade centers, ice skating rinks, and a truly infinite number of satellite/cable tv channels) no doubt leads many Africans to find more time and desire to connect online.

Google’s Jim Lecinski, says, “ZMOT turns small wins into huge ones — and potentially big wins into letdowns — millions of times a day, around the clock.” The idea being conveyed here is that your well executed tactic could lead you to huge gains from doing just a little thing better than your rivals. While they, with all of their big spending and expensive tv and magazine adverts, may fail to register their presence at ZMOT and as such suffer huge losses.

Please try to remember that ZMOT is the name for the virtual meeting ground where you will find your target consumer, not rigidly the name of your tactic itself. 

Anyway, I particularly like the way Dina Howell, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X, presents her argument on the ZMOT ( she was formerly in Procter & Gamble – at the time they came up with the First Moment Of Truth marketing model in 2005). Now she says, 
“Shoppers today want to explore and think about how products can improve their lives. They do reconnaissance to gain the insights they need, and they’re driven to bond with others and enrich relationships as they learn.”
The bottom line is that today’s marketers need to realize that shoppers’ decisions are no longer predominantly taken at Stimulus stage and Shelf (First Moment Of Truth - or FMOT) Stage. There is now clearly a 3rd pre-purchase battle ground. And from the simple bar chart above, you can tell that this battle ground      is getting more and more crowded.

The question is, 
If you were the Director of ZMOT for the marketing division of a company like say Samsung in South Africa, Kenya Airways or maybe GTBank in Nigeria, what are the things that you would do, and what is the mindset you would employ in order to garner potential customers from this abundance of ZMOT-congregating web surfers?

Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, like and do share. :-)   

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Google Analytics, Marketing Attribution and the True Football Analyst:

Now, it would probably amaze some of you that I want to relate web analytics with football analysis! Well, I am doing so because I live in Nigeria in Africa and there isn't that much "analyzing of websites" going on in this part of the world, I can tell you that much! And this is mainly because most business owners haven't yet come to the realization that they need to analyze their effectiveness. 

So what I am going to do with this article, is try to relate this concept of Analytics to another one that practically all African people (Nigerians especially) know so well....


Now, I would first need to quickly point out that I will be discussing soccer, and not the NFL. In short, European football and not American Football. Okay that wasn’t shorter, but I'm sure you get the point.
I must also mention that, unlike almost every soccer fan I’ve met, I am the very rare type that actually hates to “analyze” why a team won or lost a football match after the 90 minutes have been completed. So often times I say things that shock practically everyone that call themselves football fans.

For example, I still insist that Diego Maradonna’s Argentina squad in 2010 was tactically one of the best since 1994. In fact I consider Jose peckermann's 2006 squad the only one better in that time frame. A claim that not one human being I know agrees with.
But I don’t care about that; it’s not my problem….they are the ones who need to open their eyes. Hahaha!

Anyway, seriously, you should also know that I never judge the performance of a soccer team according to the number of goals that were counted for or against them at the end of one single game. So my take is that unpredictable things happen during the course of 90 minutes that sometimes make the beautiful game of football seem to resemble an adulterous whore. Do pardon the illustration.

But now let me quickly get back to this discussion and define Marketing Attribution and Google Analytics so that the football fans reading this article can catch up with what I am about to introduce to you geeks out there:


Google Analytics is a powerful instrument that is used for measuring a website’s activities, like visits, clicks, and the defined goals that may have been setup by the website owner.
These activities need to be measured when you decide to start using your website as a marketing, branding or promotional instrument for your business or whatever cause the website was built for.

So burn this in: A website shouldn't be just a dummy in cyberspace that most companies around you have one of and so you feel you must therefore have one yourself.
You’ve completely missed the point, if you go this way.

Visits and Clicks to your website can come from any part of Africa or the world at large. They can be attracted by your brand name, or they can be attracted by your website’s marketing strategies and tactics. Either way, once they’ve come to your website, chances are, you can get them to buy your products, visit your shop or direct their colleagues to it, subscribe to your articles, and even promote your brand for you. It all depends on how you much you are willing to get out of digital marketing.

Conversions are the completion of goals that are specified by the website’s owner as important things he would like visitors to do while on his site. These goals will depend completely on whatever is the nature of your business, and they will be the major things that you would be measuring with Google Analytics. Additionally, if you have an e-commerce website, these goals would primarily be the actual purchases of items made by online customers on your site.

So Google Analytics is like an instrument of forensic examination that helps you scrutinize your website’s performance in terms of how well it is achieving its GOALS (just like in soccer you know?). It is the only way to know for sure, what and where you need to make improvements so that your website can perk-up on its performance and begin to achieve those goals, and reach for greater goals.

But the aspect of Google Analytics that I really wish to discuss today is Marketing Attribution. 

Along with Advanced Event Tracking, Attribution is one of the least mentioned topics in GA by the so-called digital marketing "experts" in Nigeria. I have also searched online for articles on this topic by other digital marketing professionals from the African continent; sadly, I've found none.

Nevertheless, the impact of Attribution (when it is well done) on your website and your entire business could be quite useful in creating quite a mismatch between you and your competition on the digital frontier.

So without further ado, Attribution is about giving value to different channels within your overall marketing campaign so that you can get a clearer understanding of how effective each of the various channels or “players” in your marketing efforts are performing.

We use Attribution Modeling because often times digital marketers think that one aspect of their marketing strategy is working better than other channels, and as a result they tend to focus so much effort on that particular medium at the detriment of other channels. The potential problem here is that if you are mistaken with this assumption, then your marketing campaigns may never reach their full potential.


So let's go back to football for a while:

Now, if you were to take away both Mezut Ozil and Angel DiMaria from Real Madrid FC, you could be surprised that Cristiano Ronaldo would score fewer goals than you know him to score. 
I could have said the same about Iniesta and Xavi on Leonel Messi, but I have seen otherwise.

Anyway I don’t mean to start an argument here, I am only pointing out that it is important for you to learn how credit should be shared in your marketing campaigns. And thankfully, your marketing campaigns don’t have huge egos. Hahaha!

And for those who wish to argue football, you can join my football community on Google+. But you should be warned that there are many who consider me a real rabble-rouser, who became an obsessive football watcher when I was 16 yrs old.

I had started disagreeing vehemently with the usual British commentators and studio pundits from when I was about 20, and since then I have very seldom ever taken their kind of football analyses seriously.

By the time I was 22, I was watching some matches 3 to 5 times over, just so that I could discover patterns in certain formations. It even got to a point where I preferred watching a recorded game to a live one; since in a recorded match, you may easily press review to understand why a player made a certain move (whether it was a fluke or a calculated knack of genius).

In any event, the relevance of all I am saying is that (and this is just my opinion) Attribution in Google Analytics also requires a similar kind of obsessive behavior in paying attention to analytics data. When I first started using GA, I thought it was extremely complex and boring. But the trick was to tarry and then learn first to pay attention to the simpler details before graduating to the more advanced metrics. 

If you did that, and also opted to follow the most knowledgeable experts and the insights on Attribution that they very generously share on their blogs, You would suddenly realize that this could all be so much FUN………Or maybe not.


Anyway that depends on the kind of person you are, I guess.
For me the connection became obvious when I first noticed that the Last Click assumption that almost every digital marketer was pre-occupied with, could easily be likened to the Leading Goal-scorer in a football team, and how most people assume that he scores those goals by conjuring them all out of nothing. So just like in football, most people come to digital marketing with the Last Interaction model of Attribution already ingrained in their minds.
In case you are a bit confused with what I am talking about, I will give you a quick background of how it works.

Marketing Attribution in Google Analytics, comes with a few models that are given by default to help you appreciate which of your marketing channels are actually bringing you the most goal conversions in your campaign. Isn’t that awesome?! In digital marketing, there are a few given models, like Last-Click or Last Interaction model where 100% of the credit for the conversion is attributed to the last marketing activity that led to the conversion. Another example of a model is the Time Decay version, where credit is shared in a progressive way, where more of the credit is given to those marketing channels that the visitor encounters later on into his journey to conversion.

So with Attribution Modeling, I quickly found an expression for my unique kind of football analysis. The fact that my analyses are NOT ABSOLUTE in nature makes me feel very much at home with Attribution. The constant learning and testing of Marketing Attribution models in Google Analytics can greatly sharpen your ability to improve future marketing efforts; which makes me very glad that I have always rebelled against football commentators’ and general opinions, but have always learned to chart my own course in assigning credit in football teams’ victories or losses.
Let me demonstrate:

LAST CLICK - The Barcelona Example:

I am not a Barcelona fan.
In fact I actually hated the club immensely from the early 90s right up until Pep Guardiola took over and turned them into the second most glorious footballing spectacle that I ever saw in my life. The most glorious being the Real Madrid era from 1995 to 2002.
Yes. I am a Real Madrid supporter; but I guess that other Madridistas might refuse to believe that, on account of what I just said about their rivals, FC Barcelona. But in such an event, all I can say to them is “grow up, and enjoy football as a game!” Hehehe.

Anyway, now I am going to demonstrate how paying close attention to Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Dani Alvez, Pedro and Lionel Messi, has coincidentally helped to greatly improve my understanding of Attribution in Google Analytics.
Now If you’re a fan, you’ve probably noticed that I left out Iniesta from this Barcelona selection. Well that is because this article is NOT exactly about football, but more about Marketing Attribution. And I have actually observed that Iniesta’s contribution to the Barcelona team’s overall attacking potency is much more of a diversion to the opposition’s defensive formation. And that doesn’t adequately help me in analyzing website macro and micro conversions.
So for the sake of this model, let us assume that Messi, Busquets, Xavi, Alvez and Pedro are 5 variables of marketing channels in an Attribution model. They could represent, if you like, PPC, YouTube, Banner, Email, and let’s add some shiny new toy like TourDash.

At FC Barcelona, Leo Messi is the guy who scores the vast majority of their goals. But what really makes this individual special is that he is also the one who provides a reasonable majority of their goals (at least over the past 4 seasons). But what might yet surprise most of you, is that I have also carefully observed that this same Messi is often also involved with providing the assist to the ASSISTS…what I am now call the 3rd Ball To Goal.

Meanwhile, this doesn’t automatically mean that without Messi, Barca won’t score goals, because football is not that simplistic. What it does mean though, is that those who have everything to gain from the team’s overall success (the coach, the owner of the team, and the fans)are forced to reckon with Messi, and will not likely be willing to gamble on leaving him out of the team for important matches.
Now, in an extreme case, if Messi’s contribution is overemphasized, and his team mates’ are assumed to be redundant; such a situation could illustrate the Last Interaction Model in Marketing Attribution.

Many business & website owners are fond of taking the reports of their web analysts superficially, assuming that the Last Interaction of each customer is the sole reason for his/her purchase or goal completion. Thus they are assuming “Messi” does it all, without digging deeper to find out how much of a role the other players are playing to assist him. The problem is that these clients may therefore increase their focus on that particular advertising channel; and reduce, or completely freeze off any efforts on improving other channels. Yet such a scenario could be very harmful.
So thanks to FC Barcelona, I came up with a custom model of Attribution. Which is merely a more conservative and perhaps more practical variation of the Last Interaction model.

From the diagram labeled Figure 1 above, you can see how I have reduced the over dependence on the Last Interaction, by assuming that other marketing channels may have played a more important part in the decision process of the customer. It is important to note also that the labeling of each color bar with a designation of the 5 various channels

Once you’ve done your goal setting in Google Analytics (GA) and all of your online marketing campaigns (and even your traditional marketing campaigns like TV, billboard & magazine ads) are being properly tracked; the next thing is to begin to analyze and do some tests with the new assumptions that you discover from your attribution models.

LINEAR ATTRIBUTION- Falcao Left Atletico Madrid:

Now any true football fan today as heard of a Colombian footballer by the name of Radamel Falcao, but those of you pure digital marketing nerds may simply just take my word on anything I say, for the sake of the argument okay? Hehehe!

So the funny thing about Falcao is that he was such a great striker that only a few people noticed how awesome his supporting cast was. The likes of Arda Turan, Diego Costa, Adrian and Koke made Falcao’s job spearheading the attack much easier that it looked. 

But now that the Colombian striker has left the team, they seem to have become even stronger.

Attribution helps you to understand that the visitor of your site that converted (i.e. took an action that you have indicated in GA as a goal) may not actually be experiencing your website’s marketing tactics for the first time. It doesn’t always mean that because a customer came into your site and purchased a camera because you sent an e-mail the day before, that it is automatically the sole reason why he took that action.

There is need to discover if there were probably several assists leading to that email. The same customer could have at various points taken a mental note to visit your website after seeing several of your other marketing campaigns like your blog, your Pay Per Click advert on Facebook, and maybe even your banners on affiliate sites.

Now, the Liner Model of Attribution is designed to give equal amount of credit to each of the marketing channels of your campaigns. Digital marketers use this when they assume that every member of the “team” is of equal importance. Ofcourse, this may also be a poor assumption that could lead to wastage of marketing spending on some channels, but the idea is to experiment until you find what works best for your campaigns based on understanding how your customers interact with your channels.


I hope this was at least slightly enlightening to you, and you’ve gotten the idea that Google Analytics is a great tool that you might have been overlooking in your marketing efforts.

Starting early enough is what really matters. Then we must patiently continue growing in understanding, in know-how and in experience. I have shared a few other articles in digital marketing that you might like to look at.
If you would like to pick more of my brain on other digital marketing topics, you may reach me on my Google+ profile and add me to your circles. You may also join my Digital Marketing Community

Alternatively, you might wish to see how opinionated I am about Football/Soccer on my G+ Alternate Page, True Football Analyst

I am Rotimi Orims. 
I am passionate about Exploring the Web, about Learning, about Digital Marketing, about Football, about Movies and about Music. 
I know, those are a lot of passions! 

Saturday 21 September 2013

The Economic Implications Of SMEs Joining This Chariot


I had a dream that sometime in 2015 practically every Area boy in CMS and Ajegunle, and Empire, and Orile, and Lagos Island were walking around holding books.
Books? Area boys?
Yes, books!
They were going to and fro, looking for tutors, trying desperately to get help for improving their reading skills, and everyone around was wondering, “what the heck is going on here?”
Well, it had actually transpired that hundreds of thousands of very impressive small and medium enterprises had sprung up all over Lagos, Nigeria. So impressive that the area boys were suddenly jolted to life.
In a little more than 18 months, young men and women had fully established professional cleaning businesses, medium distance delivery services, professional electrical services, high quality auto mechanic services, sports agency services, legal services for consumer rights claims, etc, etc, etc, these youngsters had finally figured out how to solve the major problems that plagued their society and their existence; and more importantly, they had learned how to charge decent value-based premiums for their solutions.

So I also wondered, how on earth did all of this happen?
Well, it turns out it was because thousands of these young folks had suddenly started paying attention.
They had finally understood that there was no point wishing or praying that a selfish and greedy oligarchy would finally become merciful to them. They realized that there was no assurance that the kleptomaniac spirit that characterized some of their rulers will not easily be replaced by a spirit of generosity or a determination for selfless-service.
So they decided to SEARCH for their own solutions instead.
And they soon enough found their answers on the internet.

Now obviously, you are seated there, thinking to yourself that this is a very “funny dream” this man is having.
But I would beg you to read this article to the end, and I would try to make some sense out of this beautiful nightmare that I had….


I have been told that Traditional Advertising in Nigeria may sometimes command budgets of up to N900 million for just a 6-month campaign. Imagine that!
I find it quite amusing that Nigerian companies would pay that much for a service that cannot TRULY be measured for its actual success or ROI. At least not by any traditional methods anyway.
And while I will personally never undermine the impact of traditional advertising, I cannot help but conclude that these companies invest so much in it purely because of some already set ways of thinking. 

Now, Seth Godin once said “Human beings are exposed to 3500 traditional messages every day….and these are like hurricanes ripping through the market place, touching everyone in the same way, regardless of who they are and what they want.”

Allow me to translate that into simple Naija English for you:

Advertisers basically say, “we don’t know who you are, we don’t know where you are going with your life, and we have no clue what you are looking for. But we must tell you that Samsung is the best.…end of discussion!”

OK now please do not get me wrong, I think traditional advertising is indeed awesome in creating awareness about a product. But like any marketer who has understood the Procter & Gamble mental model of marketing would tell you, Stimulus is only a 3rd of the battle. And furthermore, today, more targeted research has revealed that stimulus is actually now even slightly less than a 4th of the battle. Thanks to the discovery of ZMOT that came through modern researches carried out by Google.

The truth is that technology has really dug deep into the entire foundations of the human experience. And SEARCH has become by far the most accurate way to understand a human being’s intent and to a degree, predict their goal. Being able to advertise to someone according to thier interests and goals makes much more sense, wouldn’t you agree?

Again, I am not asking for an absolute change in the paradigm here. I am not advocating for traditional advertising to be completely kicked to the curb. I am only asking that you begin to think more realistically about how people would give attention to messages they see these days, and begin to make smarter investments with your resources.
SMEs need to focus on what they actually KNOW will work, not what they think everyone already knows does.

Now, the Nigerian youth uses Google’s search engine for almost everything these days (popularly pronounced goggle in Nigeria – erroneously, sure; but we could choose to assume it’s a pun for wearing sight-enhancing eyewear. :) ). Its range of usage is so wide:
From checking for the English word for Agbalumo, to finding out the latest European football weekend scores and goal scorers.
From seeking news about the Kanye West’s new born baby, to following up on Nigerian politics. Or should I say, politricks!?

Yet I wonder if they realize that they can get so much more than those things from this goggle search? Sorry…Google.


According to the ITU/Internet World Stats, Nigeria was a clear leader among African countries with 45 million internet users at the end of 2011. That was 2 years ago. TWO YEARS AGO!!!
In tech language that is about 15 years of previous the era’s rate of human development.
But what makes this even more interesting is the fact that the larger part of Nigeria suffers from an abysmal lack of electricity supply.
So just imagine if everyone had access to even 18hours of steady electricity every day? Imagine the implications of that?

While you are at it, also imagine if everyone actually used Google search to research thoroughly about their own individual talents. Imagine if they really got a grasp of how to use the right keywords for the right ideas that they wish to investigate all over the world.

Imagine a school teacher who is researching for ideas to write a book titled “Proper Home Training”. Imagine how much more information she would find if she searched for articles on “Parenting” instead of searching “home training” on her laptop.
Imagine if we ALL used Search properly. Imagine if some of us actually stopped disdaining knowledge, as some do. If we stopped assuming that being RICH makes someone RIGHT. And even if you're someone so overly driven by the need for trappings, then you try to imagine if you also discovered that knowledge of future market behaviors could in fact make you super rich?

Now I am not asking you to stop wasting time on Facebook! Okay, in a way, I am. Hahaha!
But what I am really trying to do is to get you to see the largely untapped potential of the world wide web.
There are huge possibilities for SMEs here folks!
Let big businesses spend their hundreds of millions how they like, but SMEs need to follow me on this ride.
Now business is indeed a good thing; Shopping is cool as well. But young Nigerians need to understand how these things really work, and more importantly, how they work on the internet.

If we can gradually learn these things, then we will systematically heal ourselves from the bane of greedy old men who have invested their souls into oil blocks, and into wrangling around and politicking their wits away in Abuja. If you think e-commerce would be a great place for you, you should definitely pay attention to this argument about effective marketing to online shoppers, and try to make an effort to understand what the writer is saying:

“There is no (internet)search anywhere where people ignore the fact that there is more than one listing. There may be many searches where the first result gives them the (final)answer and they have no need for another. But that’s not shopping.”
    - By Sir Ammon Johns
a true living legend of internet marketing. Though he isn't as old as you might think.   

I will be sharing more insights from this brilliant individual and a few others in some of my future articles, but for now, let me leave you with my own final words of advice on the SME topic at hand…

SEARCH, oh Africa!
Do not continue to wallow in depression! Or seek to join those who dispense it to others.

Listen Africans! Seek answers; Seek solutions; Use the tools that have been almost freely given to you; Make use of the internet to broaden your mind.
It could help you take control of your future. And that is the time that my dream and your dreams could easily become realities.
You just need the resolve to search for the solutions to making it happen.
They’re out there! And I know even you can feel it!

Thank you for staying with me to the end.

I am Rotimi Orims, inviting you to join this chariot.

The Search Africa vision is about improving the quality of lives in Africa by inspiring our people to seek knowledge and SKILL through purposeful gathering of information and quality social engagement on the internet.
Link up with me on Google+, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn. Let’s see how we can make things work. J

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Wednesday 18 September 2013

ZMOT Conversations in Africa

Modern day shoppers have become more aware of their power of choice and are exercising it more than ever before. The African shopper is no different. Like shoppers everywhere else, Africans these days have realized how to use online tools to get that ultimate bargain, and this new awareness is sure to increase in years to come. 

The Zero Moment Of Truth (or ZMOT) is the very contrivance that can be used to keep up with this new viewpoint of the modern day shopper, as it was shaped through the conscious observation of consumer behavior as it is affected by modern day inventions.

Studies show that shoppers do a lot of online research and spend a bit more time browsing for answers before they make a purchase. Agreed, these studies were not done in Africa, as some would love to argue, but we should consider that Africa has always consistently consumed the same civil material, and followed in the same patterns as the occidental world. 

In terms of technology, academic structures, information and entertainment consumption, sports and fashion, it is clear that we have a tendency to order from the same menu as is done by our western counterpart. Only with very slight African variations if any at all. And make no mistake, this makes perfect sense as we were all first one single human race before we began to differ in appearance and our own different cultural self-stylings.

But please allow me to return to do a brief background to the concept:
The zero moment of truth is a marketing principle that is based upon the 3-Step Mental Model of Marketing which was introduced by Procter & Gamble sometime around 2003 or thereabouts. In that 3-step model it was found that a shopper experiences a Stimulus stage, a Shelf stage and the Experience stage. These shelf & experience stages are known as the two different moments of truth in the shopping experience with a given product. Moment of truth implying that the shopper realized he had to make a decision. However, more recently, and thanks to more effective technologies in data collection, researches carried out by Google and other participants have discovered there is a 4th and more important step in the current mental model.

Now since I had actually majored in Advertising at the University of Lagos, I would be the first to admit that while the stimulus that an individual gets from a commercial or magazine advertisement may be sufficient to leave a favorable suggestion of that product in his memory, it is ultimately not enough to ensure that he picks that same product when he gets to the store and sees the product stand next to several other competing products on the shelf. At this point several other things immediately come to play in his mind and he has to make a decision. The decision he makes would be based on several other factors (mostly psychological) that hope to justify why he is about to spend his money. The shelf automatically becomes a place where some clever form of additional advertising or promotion could seriously affect the shopper’s decision. This shelf stage is known as theFMOT, or the First Moment Of Truth.

The Second Moment Of Truth (or SMOT) is the 3rd part of the Procter & Gamble inspired mental model, and it describes the stage where the shopper (now buyer) has made his decision and has spent his money on the product. The product now needs to deliver on its promises. Now if the buyer uses the product and is satisfied with it or is delighted with it, then there is a strong likelihood that that buyer would not only be inclined to stick to that product, but he may even also opt to volunteer favorable reviews for the product. And in this wired era, that could mean sharing those reviews on his Facebook, Google+ or even blog. The problem is that such voluntary reviews could also be the opposite of favorable if the buyer felt that the product was awful. So since SMOT is powerful enough to influence the next shopper, perhaps the best way to promote your product at that stage is to make sure it is of good quality. J

Now how does ZMOT fit into all of these?
Maybe the right question should be, where!
Again, research shows that a full 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase? And again, I will insist that there is no reason why we should doubt a similar behavior increasing among Africans. In fact, I am convinced that these numbers will definitely increase (in Africa & in the US) in the near future, since the technologies and arenas to publish these reviews are themselves increasing and getting more and more popular. For example, on Facebook I am served daily with a growing list of movies to rate. And I enjoy doing this because it is so easy and it sometimes gets the attention and amusement of some of my friends on the social network.

So the 3step model has now clearly become the 4step model, and ZMOT has clearly become that place where the shopper goes before he goes to the shelf (FMOT). It is the place where they pay attention to a conversation about the product and ask their own personalized questions. It’s not just about being exposed to advertising stimulus. The zero moment of truth is that place where the most important issues are raised before the decision is made on purchasing the product. It is that place where an office manager is sitting at his desk and comparing the price of laser printers and ink cartridges before heading off to the supply store. It is that place where a student is checking out ratings and reviews while looking for a cheap hotel in Johannesburg. It is even that young girl who had gotten to the beauty shop to buy a bottle of designer perfume, but suddenly decides to take a picture of another bottle to send to her friend in Kenya to ask her what she thinks about it. She even decided to check the reviews at Frangrance.Net while she waited for her friend’s trusted opinion.

The bottom line is that additional contextual promotion carefully inserted by the producer of the product, could go a long way in influencing the decision at this stage. At this ZMOT stage, it is imperative that the smart brands join in the conversations that the shopper is paying close attention to. In some cases, the mere knowledge of the fact that you are present and listening to your potential customer is sometimes enough to nudge his decision compass. In other cases, it could present the basis for future conversations. The agility of your brand in learning how best to engage in these crucial conversations will be critical to future market domination. The dexterity of your product to conform to the true needs of its market will also depend on how well you are listening at the ZMOT. And this is sure for Africa as well.

The truth is that it is not certain just how much more this ZMOT stage will affect the future of shopping in Africa. But one thing is certain, shoppers will continue to shop digitally, and they will continue to seek reviews and pay attention to their influencers at the ZMOT. It’s up to you to decide where you want to join the conversation. At the beginning….or at the end!