Monday 29 July 2013

Internet Marketing With Print: Taking No Prisoners

There comes a time in every internet marketing professional's life, he has to consider the validity of those activities that he has been doing and those he has not yet been doing, as he wrestles with the tactics of selling the brands and products of the clients he works for.

Now I am guessing that practically all IM professionals everywhere realize how important it is to unify their online marketing strategies with their existing traditional electronic media campaigns (i.e. tv, radio, etc).
But I am willing to ante that only a tiny percentage of us understand how and where traditional PRINT factors into all of these promotional shenanigans of marketing.

The Armed Forces Of Marketing

I like to look at Printed promotional materials as the “Army” aspect of our marketing armed forces, where we can agree that the traditional electronic media (TV and radio) will be represented by the Air Force, and of course our dear World Wide Web would have to be the Navy. So please, do try to indulge me as I attempt to use this comical abstraction of mine to explain my theory as to why the internet needs print and why print needs the internet.
Print = Army

World Wide Web = Navy

Tv and Radio = Air Force
In modern wars, we often see air-craft take the lead, in terms of which of the forces is first deployed. But only those of us who really pay attention actually realize that at times those aircraft are in fact naval aircraft. At least, where the US armed forces are concerned.

They are manned by naval pilots who take-off from large naval ships called aircraft carriers, which are used to freight planes, tanks, artillery and troops. In other words, many great marketing wars can actually be fought and won entirely without the use of your usual cable/primetime TV or Radio.  So in this case your naval aircraft could be those powerful weapons that any internet marketer recognizes as Youtube, Dailymotion or Vimeo videos.

But most wars do not end with your enemy surrendering immediately after the air strikes or sorties, be it by navy or air force pilots. These only weaken the enemy’s defenses so that you can have relatively reduced resistance when you deploy the infantry part of your marketing campaign: The troops – the handbills, flyers, and other forms of printed marketing collateral.
It is often these “ground forces” that go on to finish the job. And at this point, it is fitting to introduce to you the most effective corps of marketing commandoes ever trained within the marketing army: Personalized Digitally Printed material.
From personalized greeting cards to transactional documents like bank statements or frequent flyer mile reports, personalized prints have the tendency to get into the endorsement halls of your target audience with such pin-point accuracy, and in such a way that no other kind of marketing can do. They are not as lifeless as paper handbills or flyers, where as much as 80% of them usually end up in the trash, as do the message they were conveying.
Indeed the result is totally different when your pre-disclosed target audience picks up the envelope by himself in the mail, and sees his name boldly displayed in lights, in the scoreboard of the football stadium in the greeting card that is greeting him, sent from your client.
As for Transpromo, well you are already getting bank statements with your name and addresses printed in them if I’m not mistaken, right?
Now imagine a full-colour, multiple page, document now carrying much more than just your bank statement for the past month. The bank have now gone ahead to include cleverly written and interesting information about other products that they think might be particularly beneficial to you (based on the information they already have on you).
In the image above, the words Bill and Mary asnd the date are dynamic text. In each print run, they could come out as Femi and Chioma or a thousand other different variations. 
The bank are also using several portions of your bank statement to carry rich and colourful advertisements of 3rd parties, where these 3rd parties are the reason why neither you nor the bank are not bearing any costs for sending you this new and sprightly bank statement that you are now eager to receive every month.
The new interest that such printed documents, greeting cards and even personalized desktop calendars can spark in the target audience, will easily give you yet another opportunity to further establish your brand, by smartly including things like special promos that can only be entered into by typing in a code within the document into some verification portal within company website.

Yes! The website. Hence you have your Prisoner Of War, whom your Army Commandoes just captured, being held captive in the Naval Command.
Obviously you can see that that becomes another opportunity to repeat the cycle for increased brand exposure. Obviously you can see why it is indeed of much value to you to consider the print army whenever you plan your online marketing campaigns for your clients.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Online Marketing & Cashless Nigeria

Many people in Nigeria love to carry cash all over the place. And I cannot understand why a young woman who imports and sells original beauty products doesn't desire to set up a website with delivery services.
To find out the relationship between the two sentences I just made, please read on.

How Cashless Nigeria Can Boost Our Economy.

The CBN's resolve to enforce the use of ATM machines, POS terminals and online banking in Nigeria may be a curse for many traders in Alaba International Market and Idumota, but it is certainly a blessing for those of us in the online marketing industry.

Just think about it, the Federal Government is trying to make sure that 160+ million Nigerians have the ability to do their shopping on the World Wide Web. How can that be a bad thing for me?

ATM machines reduce stress for banking hall staff. Online banking reduces stress for you (the customer).
Shopping with your debit card on a POS instrument helps you keep your cash for more handy uses. While online purchase gives you the benefit of buying things you cannot get in your immediate location.

So How Can This Boost Our Economy?

One word.

For a very long time, the Nigerian youth have been excluded from virtually anything that can put them in a position to gain economic ascendancy or even to merely earn their financial independence. They have been battered and methodically barred from politics (which sadly and unfortunately is the most lucrative industry in this country). They have been effectively excluded from the crude and refined petroleum steeple-chase. And the miserable souls have even also been tactically (however unintentional the tactics are) cut off from any hopes salvation that could come from venture capitalism.
It is pathetic, really.

Yet, with the World Wide Web comes suddenly the opportunity of autonomous wealth creation. Now you have the chance to forge your dreams into reality. You can give life to your ideas by taking advantage of the vast array of free tools and free knowledge online. And such knowledge that you cannot get in a million years, from any of the high cost university in Nigeria.
You even have a ready market for whatever product or service you are selling. And you have more than 2 billion people to choose from, who browse the internet everyday all over the world.
So how’s that for inclusion!?

So now you understand the relationship between the two sentences I made at the top of this article:

You may say that a cashless Nigeria would slow down your business, or force you to have 10 bank accounts just so you can save the daily earnings from your beauty shop.
But a cashless Nigeria could also force you into running your business in e-commerce mode; which puts you into a completely different atmosphere of earnings.

Think about it. Or ask us why at Online Africa

Saturday 6 July 2013

Learn Online, Do Online.

The earlier we Africans learn to take advantage of the internet, the better for us.
No matter how badly our rulers bruise our economies, there will always be some kind of "escape route" for those of us who are ready to learn, to read, to investigate, to SEARCH.

After watching the Youtube video clip of "My Oga at the Top" most of us laughed and laughed. Yet there are some of us that are only just a little bit more conversant with the World Wide Web than that unfortunate Government official in that video.

So therefore, Facebook is a good thing. So is Gmail. 
But for you to really start enjoying the World Wide Web, you have to start using Google, or any of the other search engines (Bing, Yahoo!, etc). You need to start visiting different kinds of websites to get different new experiences. It is just like moving from the village to a big city, or resuming at a great new school, like Unilag. 
You need to move around and make new friends, and discover new things that bring a new spark into your life. Otherwise, you may never get the best out of that experience.

I guess I have probably only succeeded in making some of you feel embarrassed. But if that's enough to make you want to do more for yourself than liking every post by Chief Ben Murray Bruce on Facebook, then I guess I've done a good service to you.Just to rub it in a bit, I should let you know that my seventy something year old mother currently reads news about Nigeria off the internet in the US. She is also doing other cool things for herself, like check her airline's frequent flyer mileage, her hospital appointments and even investigate buying a house in the US.

But now, I am guessing some of you might be asking, "so what will I use Google for?". "Where do I start to exercise my right to information?"

Well.....for instance, you may start with searching for "agbalumo" if you are a Nigerian. That should give you an idea of just how unlimited the information on the web really is. 
You may choose to learn "How to make jollof rice with all its ingredients". You may even decide you want to find "bus fares from Lagos to Abuja".
To be honest, your imagination (not mine) is the limit. But you must realize that the kind of information that the search engines return to you are not always the best they can be.

So it is always a wise thing to check the second, third & forth pages of the search results. Or you may retype and adjust your search query to make it more specific.

For example, if the results that you see for "opportunities for new entrepreneurs" are not exactly what you are looking for, you may make it more specific by typing "opportunities for new entrepreneurs in Lagos, Nigeria in 2012".
So go out there today and start surfing the internet!
Learn and Be informed!

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Rotimi ORIMS - ME

Get Web Literate

Online Africa would like to share with whom it may concern, that SEARCH is the most useful activity you can ever do on the internet.
I think it is unfortunate that most of us in Africa spend so much time chatting and arguing on social networks, and fail to realize how much learning we are actually missing as a result.

As a trained journalist (of the University Of Lagos department of Mass Communication) I have to strongly reiterate that popular saying that you all know so well....
"Information is power". 
And these days, it is absolutely free of charge.

Funny enough, I remember a while ago, when a former boss of mine bragged to me about his son, saying the boy was an "internet guru". 
It turned out the boy spent all of his time downloading hip hop tracks from Limewire, and listening to the Dudu Radio service. 
He had no programming skills. 
Plus he confessed that he had never done any kind of coding whatsoever.

So I realized that his father had thought he was guru because of how many hours of the day he spent on the computer he had bought for him, and how much it was keeping him in the house, instead of going out with his friends. But the most interesting thing about this story is that that man is not the only person making such a mistake. 
Most of us assume someone is very "good with computers" simply because we see them spending a lot of time with computers, or we see them use the internet often.

Yet if the only thing you are doing on the internet is to send and recieve your emails, or you're looking at your friends' photos on Facebook, or listening to music on Spotify or Youtube, then to be very honest, you are NOT an internet expert, or even enthusiast. 
And I dare say, you shouldn't even be fully regarded as being web-literate. 
The internet is primarily a gigantic global resource for knowledge and informarion. And it has also become a wonderful platform for e-commerce, and opportunity for entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals. But how can you understand what I am saying if you have not been truly excercising your right to SURF the internet? Your right to power. 
If we in Africa are limiting ourselves to chat rooms, or uploading photos from our mobile devices, then how will we be able to take advantage of all the knowledge and information available on the web? Seriously? 
Think about it, and ask me questions if you like.
I'm here to help, really!
You can submit your questions in the online community....Online Africa.