I remember a respectable business man genuinely asking this question four years ago as I shared insights and strategies on using digital and social media for business at the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos Nigeria. By this time, social and digital media was still largely used for unserious chat, fun and banter. At those times, when I knocked on the doors of Corporate Organizations and business owners, I am usually presented with two immediate imperatives; organize a training for the CEO and Staff on digital marketing and a brief for the re-design for their website. With the limited number of CEOs and entrepreneurs willing to even listen to a ’smart alec’ explaining the business approach to digital and social media, it took a long time for digital and social media to get a seat at the management table. Fast-track to today; a lot has happened and I witnessed it all.
While most business professionals and organizations hesitated about the growth and potential of social and digital marketing; small, smart, lean and mean startups took advantage of the space, secured the necessary funding to grow into Superbrands. While some others were complaining about the challenges of doing business in Africa, some other turned the problems into opportunities and have continued to make generous profit. With several industries experiencing disruption, there’s a silent epidemic sweeping across Africa and it is not about diseases.
What motivated me to write a 400 page ultimate guide to digital marketing with Africa in focus? Here are quick reasons why I wrote my first published book; Digital Epidemic – Strategic eMarketing Guide to growing your customers in the age of Connected Customers.
To provide a wholesome digital marketing guide for smart marketers
While a large number of people talk about digital and social media marketing, very few people know what they were talking about and exactly how to use it beyond making posts and chasing likes on Facebook. Even among people who know is a large discrepancy between people who use the tools of media and those who understand the business of marketing. A little lesser even have academic certificates and degrees but lack the fundamental rigor of project and creative execution of marketing.
I simply wrote with several scenarios and people in mind; students, founders, bloggers, entrepreneurs, marketers, professionals of large and small businesses, and startups who are charged with using the internet and social web to deliver on their business objectives. I wrote this book for Chioma who an entrepreneur is willing to know how all the noise about social and digital media can add value to her business. I also wrote the book for Bokamoso whose company’s response to the shift in the digital and social media space is to throw him into the terrain as a digital and social media manager. I wrote the book for Folu who needs not be scared about the plethora of tools and jargons that bloggers, digital, marketing and advertising enthusiasts throw around. I wrote the book for Frankie whose job description, scope and demand is being taken over gradually by new, young and ambitious people armed with several online tools and a fresh perspective.
To tell African Stories
I had finished writing the book and was ready to launch when a simple question made me re-script the entire book.
During a trip to speak during WordCamp Kenya in 2012, During my presentation, someone asked if there were real African case studies and examples of businesses using digital for growth and profits. In fact, I remember my Kenyan friend Mumbi Mungai reminded me that if Africans do not tell their stories, no one else will. For a book I had written using a lot of global and foreign case studies, I had to begin the arduous task of sourcing African examples and it was no easy task.
Scouring the internet, building off-line connections, interrogating customers and clients alike, I pooled the best case studies I could find across Africa in this book. I told the story of MTN South Africa’s Longest Share Campaign, I also shared how Kenya’s Safaricom uses social media channels to meet customer service objectives. I also shared the story of how Kenya’s Squad Digital worked with Kenya’s Paraplegic Organization’s raised money through its Bring Zac Home Campaign. I particularly liked the South African Kitchen startup YuppieChef’s hijacking of Woolworth’s Valentine Campaign which eventually resulted in them winning Loerie’s 2010 viral campaign of the year. I also shared some insights into the MTN ’Saka’ mobile number portability campaign, Linda Ikeji’s domain crisis and the meteoritic rise of two of Nigeria’s leading brands GTBank and Channels TV by leveraging digital media for growth and profitability. I weighed in on over 20 brands, African and global and used thier acivities, strategies and tactics to build incredible digital brands.
Ultimately, I also tried to steal a delicate balance between a novel and a textbook on digital and social media in Africa. With an excellent blend of global best practices and case studies infused with a huge dose of African narrative and models that work well within the African context.
An Arsenal of Toolkits to help you Execute
While the book is high on immersion you into the world of digital, it is not low on practical tools for marketing execution. I had to also include a barrage of tools and systems to help you automate your processes and approach. Apart from highlighting the imperatives of several digital tools and techniques, everyone of them is backed by the necessary free and paid tools required to get you started right away.
The book runs through with a balanced tapestry of strategic and tactical snippets of advice designed to help smart executives and entrepreneurs stay informed, in-touch and ahead in this rapidly evolving industry. You’ll find the book useful for many different types of organizations, including people who run small startups, eCommerce stores, SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, non-profit organizations, consulting, professional services, political campaigns, and more.
Ermm… You want a copy?
You can order one from Konga and Jumia, or visit Laterna Bookshop, A2W , Glendora, Jazzhole and Terrakulture Bookshops. If you are content with downloading a free sample from the official website for the book, kindly visit buydigitalepidemic.com to learn more.