Since the launch of the first medium in Nigeria in 1859, the Nigerian advertising industry has grown into a thriving self-sustaining ecosystem valued at $ 425 million in 2017 and predictable exponential growth expected in the years to come due to the predominance of Internet income.
As many other industries gradually recover and strive to rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this economic powerhouse is expected to remain on an upward trajectory after COVID.
Amid months of ground planes, closed churches and empty streets, several countries and global economies have suffered the shockwaves of the COVID-19 pandemic. From real estate to finance and healthcare – especially healthcare – almost every sector of the economy has been affected in one way or another.
One industry, however, has remained steadfast, resilient, resilient to all knocks and knocks, and continuing to thrive despite opposition – publicity.
That’s not to say that commercial advertising hasn’t seen its fair share of the economic downturn, even plunging significantly during the pandemic year. In fact, many brands have completely reorganized their priorities, choosing to engage in COVID-19 awareness campaigns on social media.
Some others have taken to leveraging collaborations with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the government to consolidate efforts and flatten the spread of COVID-19, and provide relief to vulnerable target groups within the company – although, in retrospect, this may have been a strategic move to ensure that brands are projected positively on an ongoing basis.
Either way, the world’s advertising industry is rapidly returning to pre-pandemic levels and is even growing exponentially – in stark contrast to the diminishing returns it began to experience a few years ago – and the reason is not far-fetched. Several factors are responsible for this drastic turn of events.
First, it goes without saying that advertising feeds on consumer behavior. And if there’s one thing we can be sure about the post-pandemic, it’s that consumer behavior has changed dramatically. What successful and innovative advertising companies have done during the pandemic is change with the times and seasons consumers find themselves in.
It meant moving from regular TV and radio advertising to digital advertising. This change had to be aligned with the fact that consumers were spending more time at home in front of screens. Travel time was allotted to the online video frenzy and as a result digital reigned supreme.
Today, COVID-19 has definitely accelerated the process of transforming legacy marketing structures and practices for the digital economy. In Nigeria in particular, the pandemic served as an exponential accelerator for connected TV and e-commerce marketing – which, although already in place, were struggling to gain popularity.
By taking more interest in social media and direct selling, retailers were able to sell their products to a wider audience due to the shift in consumer behavior towards e-commerce channels, thus promoting the growth of the industry. of electronic commerce in Nigeria.
This was not the case for the past decade. Just a few years ago, Nigerian advertisers were spending a great deal of their time, effort, and resources trying to encourage consumers to buy something they hadn’t seen or tried.
Brands across industries have struggled to use the power of their online presence to engage potential customers and bring them down the marketing funnel through video ads, blogging, email newsletters, or email marketing. other types of digital lead generation activities. Even before the pandemic, converting that online presence into actual sales was a difficult feat.
However, COVID-19 drastically changed the rules of the game. With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, the time spent convincing was less, and many more consumers became more inclined to buy things and use services. that they needed online.
As a result, several mega-businesses across Nigeria have taken advantage, leaving advertisers with no choice but to keep pace, spending around $ 350 million on advertising and marketing.
While there was no dominant sector, like telecom giant MTN and the beverage colossus, Nigerian breweries topped the top spending rankings of the year. The influencer niche is an area that has become completely entrenched in the world of advertising. If there’s one thing that took the internet by storm in 2020, it’s influencers.
With the rise of social media, apps like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook (Now Meta) have become entertainment hotspots for millennials and Gen Z, more and more people have achieved influencer status, this which makes this position crucial for the Nigerian advertising industry.
In fact, a survey conducted by the Nigeria Influencer Marketing Report (NIMReport) found that over 30% of advertisers now value influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy. To navigate this new ground, advertising in Nigeria will need to be more data and technology driven, with advertisers striving to incorporate some form of artificial intelligence or machine learning into the mix.
With the right data, ad companies will be fully equipped to create the right consumer experiences in one or more of the four Cs of marketing dimensions: commerce, community, content, and convenience. Rather than a single approach to these four areas, consumers need a more personalized experience.
Experts such as PWC have predicted that the Nigerian entertainment market is expected to reach $ 10.8 billion (4.4 trillion naira) in 2023, after reaching $ 4.5 billion in 2018. With the interconnection of advertising and entertainment and the recent tactic of portraying advertising as entertainment, it is imperative that relevant stakeholders properly exploit the immense benefits available to the advertising industry.
This can be done in several ways, collaboration being essential. Partnerships between Marketing and Communications industry groups will broaden the advertising landscape of the Nigerian market and bring world-class advertising opportunities and wider reach to target audience, clients and agencies. The Association of Advertisers of Nigeria (ADVAN), Independent Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MIPAN), Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) and other leaders in the industry should consolidate their cooperation expertise on growth-oriented activities that will skyrocket the advertising industry in the years to come.
The pandemic has undoubtedly elevated the status of advertising and marketing, with both taking their rightful place as drivers of digital transformation, a key leader in the customer experience journey, and the voice of the consumer – who are all of the utmost importance to C-frames in the following.
This means that advertising now has the opportunity to play a pivotal role in high-level dialogue and decision-making processes, thus guiding the broader goals and innovation agenda of the company.
For brands keen to be creative and experimental with their advertising strategies, the post-COVID-19 reality is a unique time to aim for higher market share.
Seyi Tinubu is Chairman and CEO of Loatsad Promomedia and a member of APCN