I was having a discussion with my eight-year-old nephew.
He asked me – “Uncle, who is the 4th Governor of Osun State?”
Before I could answer, he replied “Don’t worry, I’ll just check Google”
This is the world we live in now, in the past, we had to ask our elders and seniors for history, but now history is organized for everyone on the web.
It has changed how we learn and we have crossed over to a permanent state of learning.
This is important for Nigerian and African Businesses to understand and grasp because there is a clear difference between the customer of the past 20 years and the customer of today, there is a clear difference in their needs, their appetite for engaging content and expression.
Time’s have changed, 10 years ago, driving in Lagos to an unknown place required you asking lots of people at different landmarks for direction, but the customer of the future considers that option foolish, He’ll rather just rely on google maps to get him there.
This generation would rather wonder than know, they wonder what it’s like to sail a boat, so they watch a video on YouTube on how to sail a boat, they wonder about how to build a house so they go on Facebook and connect with a Real estate development group.
For the future customer, knowing is irrelevant when all the knowledge you need is accessible at your fingertips, they are very selective about what they really know and they wonder about everything, it’s a generation that wonders about everything and truly knows very little about anything.
Why is this important to you and your business?
Because these are your future customers, the future of your business and if you are going to sell to them, you must understand their world, it’s not enough to judge the 14-year old that takes selfies 24 hours, now, it’s important to understand why.
These customers are constantly looking for ways to interact with your brand, they are constantly asking questions, and so I refer to these interactive points, the four touch points of the future customer.
I personally call it to the BLEL strategy for conquering African markets and dominating the competition
The BLEL Strategy:
Every business owner is familiar with Buy.
You want to be the first option available when your customer is ready to buy your product/service.
As a digital marketer I get people all over the country who want one thing, they want more people to buy their products/services, but then I ask the question, are you taking advantage of all the points where your customer is looking to purchase your product?
For example; you’re selling baby diapers, and your customer goes on google to search for – Where to buy baby diapers in Nigeria – does your Ad show up for such phrases? Is your website organically ranking for such terms? Are you in front of the customer when he is ready to buy and is searching for someone to purchase?
The point of buy is to be ready at all the possible angles you can find to be the number one option and solution once your customer wants to make a purchase.
But this is just ground zero, level 1
I remember listening to a training presentation on YouTube by Chet Holmes and he made an observation, he said in a room full of 100 random people, only 3% will be ready to buy your product, the other 97% are in between undecided, not now’s and hell no’s.
So if you stick with just buy in level one, you will be fighting for just a small share of the pie, which is what most businesses do, and what most business owners want; when they speak with me for digital marketing consulting.
But I always try to explain that there is so much out there to grasp.
This all comes down to understanding how the new customer interacts with brands, these customers are constantly learning about everything, they subscribe to videos, blogs, and content that they find valuable and where they can get useful information.
More importantly, they hate being sold and love to learn, so if you focus on just the selling part, you are on your own.
Smart brands understand this and position themselves at the point where the prospective customer begins searching for information related to their product, service or industry.
A great example of this is Johnson and Johnson setting up babycenter.com, babycenter.com is a free information website for parents that provide information from conceptualization to when the baby becomes an adult. It’s everything you need to know, it’s owned by Johnson and Johnson, but no creams are sold there, it’s all about information.
By providing information they have created a content asset that yields a dividend of loyal readers who want to learn everything they need to be able to take care of their baby,
Be proactive with setting up digital fronts where your customer can get answers to questions he is asking about your industry, about your product and service. Some brands start a YouTube Channel, Blogs, or a completely different website,
Your goal is to be the number one source of information for prospective clients within your industry anytime your prospects and customers have a question.
Again this all starts with understanding the new customer, the customer of the future, some call them Generation X, this new demographic is not interested in celebrities as much as they are interested in celebrated lives, they want to connect with someone they find interesting and even more importantly they want to broadcast themselves as interesting.
That’s why we have Instagram heroes and influencers who aren’t associated with Nollywood or the media industry but because of social media have become celebrated through their lifestyle, it’s a new kind of world we live in.
You must understand and appreciate this because we live in a time where you have the capacity to broadcast your message and promise to the world, you can tell us about yourself and you can be intentional about what you want the world to know about you.
These generation are not living anything to chance, they are constantly defining themselves on social media, portraying their personalities through selfies and snapchat videos, it’s not enough to enjoy a plate of Amala and Ewudu with Lots of Pomo and Shaki alone, but with a simple snap and share button, this picture is shared with a community of friends who now get to enjoy the same food on a digital level.
This generation wants to express themselves and they do every single day, it’s a connected world, a world where the 14-year-old is so self-aware that they are very particular about their personal brand.
“Mummy, why would you post that on Facebook? Seriously, you’re embarrassing me.” – said the fourteen-year-old girl.
It’s a world where your digital footprint will outlast your organic body, and when you die, it’s the story you told about yourself that will live on, this generation understands the power of the digital footprint, and they are not living anything to chance, no one has to tell their story for them, they have taken responsibility to tell that story themselves.
The smartest brands are those that understand how to leverage on this, they are constantly looking for ways to make their customers engage with their products and services on a more personal level. Engagement is the new buzzword.
It’s all about self-expression, if the customer can express their emotions, feelings, and desire through your product/service then you have truly connected with them.
A great example of this is the coca cola share a coke campaign, the emotional attachment of sharing a coke is an expression of love, a deep connection that the buyer will not forget in a short time.
Nigerians are no different, we are happy people with a proud heritage and we love to express ourselves, for brands to leverage on the Nigerian spirit they have to first appreciate the Nigerian Spirit for what it is.
I’m part of an entrepreneurship forum called thefastlaneforum.com. The forum runs a community-based reward system. So every time I make a post that the community finds valuable, they like the post and for each like, I get $5 in virtual currency, called rep bank (short for reputation bank).
The most active and valuable members are those who have a very high rep bank, and you can directly transfer your rep $ to another member.
Every time I create a post on the forum and the members consider it valuable, I get rewarded for my expression of knowledge. This is a great example of how you can reward people for their expression of knowledge, use, and capability. Coke’s share a coke campaign was one of the most successful marketing campaigns of this era because it’s all built on getting people to express love for another person.
So the question is how can your customers’ express themselves with your products and services in ways they have never done before?
And how can you reward such expressions?
Beyond expression, every brand is trying to get to the point where the customer lives through their product/service; it’s the point where your product has become part of the customer’s lifestyle.
Your vision is their vision and they are interested in your plan to get them there.
Your customers are not just customers but loyal followers to your vision, this is important for these generations because they don’t necessarily connect with companies or company structure as much as they connect with the Leader and the Leader’s Vision.
So Generation X will rather celebrate and follow Jeff Bezos than Amazon, they love Elon Musk and celebrate him but are barely concerned about Tesla or Space X, these generations are constantly looking for Leaders that they can emulate, in a world of Leaders where everyone is a Leader and everyone has a follower on social media, there is a constant need for Leaders of Leaders.
They want to know your vision and message for the world and what to see themselves within that vision and helping you achieve that vision through each purchase, each tweet, each share, each evangelism, it’s a connection on a deeper level.
A great example of this is the one for one campaign by Tom Shoes, for every shoe that is sold, a donation is made to a child in Sierra-Leone for his health care.
Are Nigerians concerned about the Healthcare of children in Sierra Leone?
I don’t know,
But I do know they will connect with a visionary leader that represents an ideal for a better Nigeria. Whether your vision is a better life, better health, changing lives, religious conversion, there are people out there looking to connect with your vision, but they require a strong leader they can follow.
For my digital marketing agency, my goal (my personal goal as well) is to have a positive impact on every business I come across. Once my clients can connect with this vision and see themselves part of it and believe to the point where they follow my plan to achieve a positive impact in their own businesses, the price doesn’t matter, I’ve gone beyond the sale to build something that will outlast my competition.
These are not marketing strategies or tactical gimmicks they are simple ways to understand the new customer, the future is now, to stay ahead you have to go beyond the sale to really connect with the customer of the future, and I assure you, it’s going to be worth it.
- Be the reason they buy your product or service
- Be the reason they learn about your product/service
- Be there when they want to learn about your product/service
- Be the reason they express themselves on your product/service
- Be the reward for every expression they show for your product/service
- Be the reason they live
If you need to build content assets or you just want to get more insights for taking your business to the next level to click the button below or send me a WhatsApp message on 08184308535.