Thursday 16 October 2014

Blue Ocean Strategy For NDDC

THE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has begun a series of workshops on blue ocean strategy formulation for its management staff in order to improve service delivery to people of the Niger Delta region.

I have to say this is a really impressive initiative, and I must commend the NDDC CEO, Mr Bassey Dan Abia for this strategic move. Read the the article in Guardian News.

Nevertheless, I can't immediately understand why the NDDC would need BOS for executing their projects, since Blue Ocean strategies are designed to help organizations that need to reconstruct their markets in order to escape competition. 

So I just wonder why NDDC leadership needs to learn reconstructive market strategies. I would expect this kind of move from companies like MTN and GTBank, who are constantly battling it out with rivals in their industry and turning their oceans (market spaces) red. 

Or could it be possible that Guardian Newpaper mistakenly printed Blue Ocean Strategy instead of Blue Ocean Leadership, which are related but significantly different?

Anyway... I guess the NDDC probably have their reasons why they opted for the BOS workshop. 
And in anycase, the truth is that Blue Ocean Strategy still offers a certain clear disciplined process of thinking, planning, research and analysis that is extremely useful in any kind of business planning process; not just in a reconstructionist instance.  

All in all, I believe this is great vision shown by the commission, but I sincerely hope that the training is carefully understood and imbibed by the attendants so that the entire region can benefit from the dividends of projects that have gone through the Value Innovation Process, ERRC, Strategy canvas (perhaps)...etc.
Being from Ondo State myself (a Niger Delta state), I hope my state's leadership would also tap into this progressive way of thinking in time to come.

The key ultimately is to have many Nigerian businesses and entrepreneurs thinking this way, not necessarily government parastatals. 

Tell me what you think?

Monday 13 October 2014

5 Things Digital Printing Can Do For You

5 Things Digital Printing WITH A KODAK NEXPRESS Can Do For You:

This post was written mostly for the sake of printers in Nigeria (or other parts of Africa) who are yet to start taking digital printing seriously.

It is also written for the sake of those who may already own or are interested in purchasing a Kodak Nexpress Digital Color Press, but don't really know how to use it. 

Yes, the Nexpress machine is without a doubt, the best digital variable data press in the world today. But if you haven't properly understood the kind of business you want to do with it, or what it is really capable of, then you will be more or less using your Nexpress to kill mosquitoes...unfortunately.

So with more than 6 years of experience marketing and promoting the Kodak Nexpress in Nigeria, I can share a few things to help any of you who may have stumbled upon this article online:


(I have many many more examples, but I will only share these 5 for now in order to whet your appetite)

1. Short-run Jobs - Nowadays, some of your customers  want to print 10 jobs of 250 copies each, instead of one job of 2500 copies. 
This can also make you the ultimate publisher for not well known authors.

2. Texture Effects - Printed documents can add texture. So you can print an advertisement of a suede bag with the simulated feeling to match.
Kodak Nexpress Dimensional Dry Ink - Feel The texture of the orange on any kind of paper

3. 5th Imaging Unit - Apart from the Texture effects already mentioned above, the 5th Imaging Unit also generates unique colours, and does Security Printing - using inline watermarking for added security, authentication and protection. MICR is also available. 

4. Using a digital Nexpress together with Offset Presses - Acquire new customers with your unique Nexpress solutions, while retaining old customers with your high volume offset printing. This differentiates you from your competition without you losing out in any area of the market.

5. Nexpress With Digital Marketing Techniques - A digital press can help your customer's online marketing campaigns. Nexpress' variable data personalization will make your website's traffic much more relevant and targeted.

These and much more benefits from the Kodak Nexpress digital press will help differentiate your printing business among all the other printers all over Africa. 

Wouldn't you like to have people bring large jobs to you from other African countries?


1. STOP thinking like a printer - stop thinking about the cost of ink and how many copies a toner can manage. Instead think about Value and Differentiation. Ask yourself "what can I do for my customer that nobody else can?"

2. START thinking more like a business developer - A Nexpress is a very sophisticated machine. It does many things that your offset presses can never do. This kind of flexibility actually gives you the audacity to present yourself to your customer as a multiple solutions provider, not a just mere printer.

3. LEARN how to help your customers sell more - Because the more they sell, the more they print from you. But make sure you do this in a way that benefits your printing services.

4. GATHER and use DATA - data helps you know more about the customer - knowing the customer better helps you to sell to him. Everyone needs information about their customers to help in selling more effectively to them (even Pastors and Car Dealers). It is what makes any kind of salesman successful.

5. EMBRACE the internet - think of web 2 print services, building databases and CRM. The Nexpress can send highly relevant traffic to your customer's website. (ask me how)

Thanks for reading.

If you are a printer and are interested in purchasing a Kodak Nexpress Digital Color Production Press, you can reach me directly via Google+ or Twitter.....check the upper column on the right side.  

If you liked this article please be kind enough to share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Also drop a comment in the comment box below. And mind you, I am very open to criticism. 
Thank you.

Sunday 12 October 2014

What Is SEO?

If you own a website on the internet, or you are a blogger then I guess you have probably already heard at least a little about SEO by now.

This article is intended to introduce SEO to those who are still living and doing business in 1990 and have therefore never heard about it

To help clear up the most dangerous misconception about the discipline of SEO for many people who have been poorly informed about it. 

And finally, it is to educate those who already have an idea of what SEO is, and wish to learn a little bit more


Search Engine Optimization is the process of building or rebuilding your website so that it can be easily found on search engines (like Google search or Bing) when web users are looking for information that you have on the site.

It is a discipline that combines some IT skills with marketing ideas to help you make adjustments to your website (or building one from scratch) with the intention of making it easier to use and more visible to your desired audience. 

SEO is an important branch of digital marketing that serves as a good "meeting point" for the others. This is because a business' website is its most centralized source of information for outsiders. (always remember this)

Hence, SEO is best when it is taken into consideration before your website is built at all. 

Caution: perhaps the more commonly understood, but wrong definition of SEO among its unscrupulous practitioners is the claim that they can get your website to the top of Google Search results.

You need to be very careful with this because SEO cannot manipulate the search engines. There are rules and guidelines. And those who violate these rules often get punished.
Indeed, there are certain skills (especially in technical SEO) that can greatly increase your chances of ranking at the top of search results, but this is certainly not an outcome that any one can truthfully predict. 

The best thing you can do is follow the guidelines and do your best to increase your chances of getting ranked for the keywords that matter to you. But there is no use trying to manipulate the search engines. Google search is increasingly learning how to find the best web pages to show to its users. Therefore if you make your website user friendly and promote it properly to them, you are on the right path.


There are many benefits of search engine optimization, but I just need to mention a few to get your mouth watering.

1. It gets your website visibility (product & brand) on most search engines (not just Google). And these search engines are accessed all over the world, millions of times daily.

2. It makes your website more friendly and easier to use by visitors, of which many of them could be your potential customer or target audience.

3. It sharpens your performance at the Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT). What do I mean?
When people search for your brand or (and especially) your competitor's brand online, that moment is a ZMOT - an opportunity for you to dominate your industry. This is too exciting to begin to discuss here. (call me for a consultation)

4. It will eventually make you understand your business better. It is hard to explain this to you now, but trust me, after some time of commitment to SEO, you start to know much more about your business you never knew.  


For now, I don't know anything about optimization for Yandex (the main search engine used in Russia) or (the Chinese search engine), but I know that SEO for Google, Bing and Yahoo search are very similar in many ways. And since Google is by far the most popular search engine in Africa, I will be referring to that example in this post.

SEO is the branch of Search Engine Marketing that deals with organic results. 

But let me again warn that SEO cannot automatically get your website to the number 1 position on Google. 
Anyone who promises to get you to the top of Google is either a dishonest or an unskilled SEO (search engine optimizer) who will take your money, and could end up getting your website heavily penalized by Google.

Now organic results are the options that are presented to you in the larger area of Google's search page (as in the image below). This area fills MOST of the screen starting from the left to the right, and also fills most of the screen starting from bottom to the top. I say most because sometimes there are some small advertisements options on the right, and some larger ones at the top (eventhough these have a different color to distinguish them from organic results).

Anyway the reason they are called organic results is because they are presented as the NATURAL options to your particular search. People cannot pay for an organic search position, and cannot do anything that can guarantee the position there either. Which is why I said anyone who promises you the top spot is dishonest. 

However, there are some very honest and acceptable tactics that can help you greatly improve your chances of getting there - especially here in Africa (and depending on the industry you are in) where not too many of your competitors may have taken SEO seriously yet.

So Google presents those organic results as what it considers to be the most reliable and informative options that are related to the search terms you typed into Google. 

This process is handled entirely by a complex system of algorithms (robots or computer programs) that use a very complex set of rules to determine what they rank as the best organic results for each search term.  This process is still far from perfect, so you may not always find the best results on the first page. But I think Google does a much better job than any other search engine in providing the closest thing to the best results in the organic area.

SEO is also partly about making this process as easy as possible for the robots to do their job. This in turn, would make the robots like your site more, and hence give your site a better chance at a favorable position.

But at the end of the day, SEO is still more about chasing after your online audience than anything else. And it is important not to ever forget that. SEO consultants would help you develop decent strategies through keyword research and keyword aided brainstorming. Web analytics consultants would help you restrategize through analysis of your website's visitors.
But ultimately, you have to commit a decent amount of time and thinking effort to the process as well, to make it truly worthwhile and magical.

If you liked this article please be kind enough to share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Also drop a comment in the comment box below. And mind you, I am very open to criticism. 

Thank you.

Online Marketing With The Nexpress Digital Press

Digital Marketing With The Kodak Nexpress

It goes without saying that anyone who embarks on a marketing or advertising campaign must first consider that he/she is now in the digital age, and must therefore account for the many dramatic changes in human behavior as it relates to communications.

This is the era where someone watching a very gripping show on TV and is suddenly interrupted by a commercial, instead of getting angry, automatically sees it as the perfect opportunity to inform friends on Facebook and Google+ about the exciting show he is currently watching. Chances are he or she would only be able to see the first 2 seconds of that commercial.  
This is a very common scenario in every home all over the world, and we can only imagine it would get more common. 

Digital Marketing covers many areas that can lead you to profitability in this changing world, from search advertising (or PPC) to social media campaigns, to blogging, and email marketing. But we really can't stop there: Digital printing also has a great role to play, and a lot to contribute to the most successful online marketing campaigns. 

The truth is that every ZMOT minded marketing strategist must consider every possible opportunity to find new customers and retain them. (for more on ZMOT simply search the phrase "zmot in Africa" on Google search and read my articles on it)

The level of connectivity we are seeing in this new digital age is astounding to say the least. You cannot continue to do your business, and especially the marketing of your business, the same way you have been doing since the late 90s or early 2000s. You need to start thinking of how to bring everything together to make the magic truly start happening. There is no point having all this power available to you on the internet and not using it. And chances are, your competition have started building their digital future already.

Kodak Nexpress In Lagos

The Kodak Nexpress digital press is a digital printing machine that has really changed the way I look at sales, advertising and branding. 
I honestly can't express my disappointment enough that only one of such machines is currently operational in this country. And of course, that is in Lagos.

The truth is that you can do a lot of wonders in terms of sales, or product/company branding with your website, if you engage with proper digital marketing solutions. 
But clever digital print campaigns can give you the added benefit of "lifting up" valuable targeted traffic "from the ground", and send them to your website using a Kodak Nexpress marketing solution. 

I recently wrote an article on LinkedIn about what i consider the nature of advertising waste, but I didn't mean to say that traditional advertising was now useless. 
No not at all.

But we just have to change the way we plan and execute them. I recommend that digital marketing professionals (especially SEOs or those who understand the ZMOT) be consulted before you start the process (if not throughout the process) of building a traditional ad campaign. 
These online marketers should also be consulted when doing your digital print campaigns and other printed marketing materials as well, if you ask me.

To promote anything (whatever it may be) truly effectively in this new era, you have to think about everything: tv, magazines, billboards, email, twitter, Google Search, Google+, Facebook, offers, promos, transpromo invoices, and yes, even greeting cards.
Everything has its own inherent value as a marketing channel.

I stress on the underrated value of printed marketing collateral because the proliferation of so many kinds of digital devices has left many people feeling the growing need to relax their eyes from constantly staring at LCD and LED displays and screens all the time. There is a growing trend of people now buying both e-books and hard copy of books at the same time. 

I would imagine that one reason why people would by electronic and paper copies of the same book is because the "experience" of reading the books from paper is something that many readers savor, despite the technological leap of digital books.
Not to mention that your hard copy book cannot run out of battery life.  

"Lifting Up" Traffic "From The Ground"

Printed documents and marketing collateral like flyers, brochures and even greeting cards now have the potential to play a truly magical role in driving high quality, high value traffic to your website in some very smart ways that will impress any sales man that has ever lived. It is all about synthesis. A great website does great things for your business. A powerful print campaign can serve as an on-the-ground army (see my post on the armed forces of marketing) of heralds for your website. 

Variable data printing capability is essential, along with high-end print and colour quality, to make the most of this synthesis. And the Kodak Nexpress Digital Color Production Press is perhaps the best of such machines to use to achieve it.

If you liked this article please be kind enough to share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Also drop a comment in the comment box below. And mind you, I am very open to criticism. 
Thank you.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Apples, Teslas, Blue Oceans and Beats

I may not be a great writer, but I ask you to please stay with me for a little while, as I show you something special I discovered about "Thinking Outside Of The Box".
Oh and by the way, it's not my own out-of-the-box thinking, but that of Apple Inc's. 

So, there are not too many brands and individuals that have inspired me to become a divergent thinker - as I like to describe myself: The likes of Google, Tesla Inc, Sir Ammon Johns, Prof. Sasha Strauss, Elon Musk and Apple Incorporated, to name.....perhaps most of them!

And in this article, I hope to share my thoughts with you about what I believe were Apple's reasons for their recent move to purchase Beats By Dre, and the interest they showed not too long ago, in Tesla Motors.

Again I repeat, these are just my thoughts - which largely spring from my enthusiast's knowledge of the Zero Moment Of  Truth, of blue ocean strategies, and of the future of technology in general.


These days, most people hear the term "mobile device" and immediately form mental pictures of society's "conventional" mobile devices, such as their Nokia smartphones, HTCs, Blackberrys, Galaxy Tablets and iPads. 

However, only a few people actually see mobile devices from the TRUE perspective of what they are: 

 "a device that is often on the move". 

A mobile device is a piece of technology that can carry a chip in it. And often times, it can house a communications radio as well.
But what makes it "mobile" is the fact that it gets around, whether it moves around remotely (like a drone) or whether it is carried around by a person (like a phone). 

So anyway, as we begin to think about mobile devices from this perspective, we can then to our conventional smartphones and tablets, things like eyewear, wristwatches, and maybe even belt-buckle devices, which could easily become mainstream mobile devices very soon.

But there are two incredible mobile devices that are already here, and yet many people aren't really paying attention to them:
headphones and, yes, even CARS.


So when I hear folks say they wonder why Apple spent "so much money on a headphones manufacturing company", I can't help but laugh.
Because I know that Apple didn't pay $3 billion for a stake in the typical headphones market! 
C'mon, are you nuts?!

No, they paid $3 billion to buy a hot new platform. 
They paid that money for two things: 
1) A Music Streaming service that could eventually beat Spotify, 
AND 2) a strategic "mobile device" platform. 

When you look at it that way, then $3 billion may end up being a huge bargain for Apple. Music streaming is going to be a big market. But mobile devices often worn as a fashion statement? With high quality sound and Bluetooth connectivity to other devices? Now that could be much bigger!

Beats by Dre and its other brands (Pill by Nicki Minaj and Heartbeats by Lady Gaga) presents a platform that could be very hot for the elusive gen C market. 
In other words, a platform that is very promising for the future! 
So Apple seems to have purchased a potentially large chunk in the FUTURE of information gathering. 
It was a strategic move, and one that has Big data written all over it.


If you had been paying attention, you would have heard many of the experts in the marketing world describe the future as the era of "the mobile of everything". The era of big data. 

Mobile connectivity is in not just Androids and iPads; It is in clouds. It is in headphones. It is in cars. It is in eyewear. It is in wrist-worn devices; and God only knows where they'll put connectivity next.
But the silent reason behind all of this continuous connectivity is data
The access to data. Marketing data. Big data.

And for clarification, big data is all about the Velocity of the data, the Volume of the data, and most important to this article, the Variety of the data.

Oh by the way, I am not here to start, or continue the debate on data & privacy. I just thought I should mention that.

I can tell you that Apple were thinking waaay outside of the box in order to see that opportunity and make that move. And that's why they paid more than $3billion for Beats by Dre, and prior to that, they were ready to stun the world by making a humongous bid to purchase Tesla Motors; another company that manufactured a more remarkable "mobile device". 
Now although Tesla rejected the Apple bid at the time, Telsa boss Elon Musk, has not completely ruled out ever selling to Apple at some future date.


You have to appreciate Apple's big-picture strategy here: 
Not everyone uses iPhones. More people around the world use Android phones and other platforms. Yet, you could easily find an Android or Windows Phone user who listens to his smartphone's music playlist through headphones from Beats by Dre. 
You can also bet that Apple were banking on Tesla's future of becoming not just a super successful mass market car manufacturer, but also a popular connecting hub for all kinds of other data carrying devices.

Both of these platforms (Tesla and Beats By Dre) are also evidently successful Blue Ocean Strategies. I have a theory that Apple itself (being one of W.Chan Kim's frequently used examples of a business with a blue ocean strategy) may have originally been drawn to Tesla and Beats for the very reason that their strategy bears kind of a resemblance with theirs.

I would love to talk about BOS (Blue Ocean Strategy) on a future date. But here is some introductory reading material here.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

What Is Wrong With Nigeria?

No! I mean seriously....What is wrong with Nigeria???

Have you noticed that every time you come up with a brilliant concept, or an idea of something that has never been done, and you tell it to someone, their reaction is often "It will not work in Nigeria!"

Have you noticed that?

Do you remember that when you first ever mentioned shopping on the internet? 
They said, "that works in America. This is Nigeria".

When you said you would develop apps for Blackberry phones? they said, "apps won't sell in Nigeria".

Now you want to import solar panels and wind turbines to cure the endless void of electricity deprivation in the entire proud country?
They would still say, "those things are for Europe, this is Nigeria".

You want to gather and empower young Nigerian inventors collectively networking within a Google+ community? guessed, they would say..... "It cannot work in Nigeria".

So please tell me,
What exactly is wrong with Nigeria?! 

Truely Rebranding Nigeria - What Is Wrong With Nigeria?

Surely, you would be tempted to ask, what is wrong with Nigeria, that good ideas cannot see the light of day in it??? Surely some attitudes need to change!
The attitudes of some of us, that just can't seem to stand the sound of good ideas.
Sometimes it could be something that inspired you after you read about great achievers like Steve Jobs,Barack Obama, Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Bill Gates or Elon Musk. Other times it could just be an idea that came to you while you were brainstorming about how to solve the problems that plague so many people around you.

Either way, you realize that the worst thing you can do with your idea is to tell it to someone else.
The result is usually the same.
They discourage you! And you honestly can't understand why.  

Well, I am here to announce to you that it is time for your VISION to dominate the conversation. It is time for you to stand up and fight back.

If Henry Ford had not developed the assembly line that made cars affordable to the middle class, where would all the tokunbo cars that today jampack Third Mainland Bridge have come from?

If Southern African companies Multichoice (DSTV) and MTN had had the same mentality, would they be sitting on top of the world today? Thanks to the very same Nigeria??!!

What about Silverbird Cinemas? Or even Shoprite?

I know Ben Murray Bruce is indeed a pure Nigerian (may God bless his soul) but still, if he had been thinking the same way as must of us do in this country, how many places "of escape" would we have to go to, where we can actually live a little in this country....honestly?

I was a huge critic of the "rebrand Nigeria" campaign of 2008, and for good reason. I was amused at the idea that someone somewhere felt that creating some fancy logo, and formulating a tagline that says, "Good People, Great nation", would somehow have some magical effect on the world's perception of our country.

Was there nobody with some knowledge of marketing communications or advertising to educate those people that branding starts from within the organisation?

That before you think of logos, you have to have a great product that excites you first, before you start boring other people with it. That before you start playing with words for your tagline, you must first fix whatever it is, that is causing your own "employees" to despise the product they are helping you to sell.

The problem we should all recognize here is that the more we keep telling ourselves that good things will not work in Nigeria, the more we are inviting foreigners to come in and take over our wealth. I am not sure if you are happy with this scenario, but I am not.

And by the way, I am not against foreigners coming to invest in Nigeria, while we Nigerians are busy thinking that we were all created to be involved in crude oil business....or politics.
And I am especially not in any way against South Africans, who are clearly serious minded people with bright ideas and are ready to invest huge capital to back up those ideas. 

I just hate to sit by helplessly while many people in this country just seem to keep doing and saying the wrong things at the right time, and the right things at the very wrongest of times.

If you had told these doubting thomases that you wanted to start a digital satellite television service in Nigeria in 1990, what do you think they would have said?
Yet, they would unashamedly be the first people to jump on the South African DSTV bandwagon in 1993. 

Thing about it......What research do people actually do that let them know when and where your business would not succeed? These things just come out of their mouths as word-vomit. They shouldn't mean anything to you; They don't really even mean much to them either.

Anyway, as you think about these things, please understand that what I am doing with this article is to warn those of you who are carelessly involved with this pessimistic vision-killing behavior. Stop it!!!

As for me, I am not moved by people's negativity. I have tried my hands at several high sounding business ventures. I have come to realize that carrying people along can be the most difficult thing in the world when the people prefer to be left behind.

But for you out there, who has a vision. You who has a genuine idea that you believe can change your environment or even change the world; My advice to you is to keep dreaming big, and keep putting as much effort as you can to actualize your dreams.

Even if it seems that no one believes in what you are doing, and no one wants to support you, you can simply postpone the vision; You must not let it die.
Be agile! Keep up to date! Read, and read more. Learn as much as you can! Figure out how to survive without completely giving up on your dreams. 

But one thing I would never advice you to do is to stop telling people about your vision. 
I won't do that because I feel that telling people where you want to go, no matter how many thousands of people trample your dreams with their careless words, would eventually lead you to the people who God has raised to strengthen you and build you up.

Take care as you think deeply on these things.

If you liked this article please kindly share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Also drop a comment in the comment box below. And mind you, I am very open to criticism. 
Thank you.