Social Media has changed the trend of Marketing across the world – Study

Most people across the world, especially those who are accustomed to the social media, are aware that today and, in fact, every 30th of June is Social Media Day.

Commemorating the Day all over the world only goes to show the tremendous contributions which social media has made to revolutionalizing the market place. Through it users have created online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos). It has greatly impacted the way brands and their owners connect with their consumers and target markets in particular locations and across the globe.

Nowadays, consumers and producers of various brands of goods and services are connected at every sphere as transactions could take place anywhere; within the bedroom of the consumer and manufacturer, on the road, in the office, at the beach, in the restaurant, in the mosque or church, amongst other places of interest.

It was in recognition of the enormous contributions of social media in every facet of our lives that Mashable, a global multi-platform media and entertainment company launched the Social Media Day on June 30, 2010 as a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication; making this year’s celebration the seventh annual official global celebration.

Social Media has strongly reinforced and further demonstrated the submission of a communication scholar, Marshal Mc Luhan who many years ago declared that the world had become a global village as the internet has further led to the introduction of digital marketing which has engendered the sales of goods and services on such platforms as Facebook, YouTube, Konga, Jumia, OLX, etc where buyers and sellers connect easily and promptly.

A recent survey conducted by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) across the globe revealed that social media as preferred source of news by consumers was pegged at fifty-one percent (51%) as over half its respondents use online sources like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to get their news, refusing to pay for conventional sources or deal with their advertising.

It is interesting to note that Nigeria is not left out of this global trend. Like Mr. George Thorpe, managing partner, Market Space, a renowned professional and a respected voice in Marketing in Nigeria recently observed, the world is going digitalized especially as new technologies are unfolding on a daily basis adding that there is an exponential growth in the adoption of mobile devices with access to the internet, disclosing that about 85million GSM subscribers use the internet from their mobile devices in Nigeria.

He was quick to point out, however, that as digital marketing blossom all over the world, Nigeria is yet to fully tap into the global digital market space because most of the organizations and Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are yet to connect with their consumers in the digital space.

Speaking as the keynote speaker at a recently held Brands and Advertising Excellence Awards & Annual Marketing Summit organized by MARKETING EDGE magazine, George Thorpe decried the inability of corporate companies as well as Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to adequately connect with their consumers in transacting their businesses using digital marketing tools.

To him, there is a marginal growth of consumers in the digital space compared to the previous years but added that many organizations were grappling with the difficulties of meeting the consumers’ demand in a digital market.

“In Nigeria today, the larger, more established corporate organizations are struggling with the challenges of restricting their marketing organizations to fully capitalize on today’s opportunities. The vast majority of SMEs have yet to connect with the potential benefits of digital marketing that comes with greater brand equity, increases sales, better customer awareness all at a drastically lower cost,” Thorpe said.

According to the Market Space boss, both corporate organizations and SMEs have failed to commit adequate resources in their personnel, training, developing new content, tracking and follow through in engaging consumers in a digital space, affirming that engaging consumers directly was falling sharply for many organizations in the digital marketing world in Nigeria.

He pointed out that the migration from the traditional market to a digital one has led to the proliferation of digital marketing agencies stressing that the market space was also bedeviled with a myriad of problems not limited to market research, strategy focus, planning and execution of discipline of marketing theory and practice.

“Digital marketing is the use of digital channels like corporate websites, online communities, internet search and display advertising, mobile technologies, online videos and social media such as Facebook, Twitter to reach consumers and build stronger relationships. But most companies have failed to adequately do profiting transactions in a digital space” Mr. Thorpe stressed.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Brandzone, Mrs. Chizor Malize argued that the youths remain a larger part of the digital space market adding that brands willing to win them should channel their products through their favourite platforms.

Malize affirmed that to know the needs of the consumers, brand managers must be aware of the trends among consumers in the digital space. According to her, “Brands need to know that a lot of young people are moving away from facebook and instagram and going over to snapchat. If they don’t know this they will then be concentrating their marketing effort on the wrong channels and will not get expected outcomes,”.

She added that with digital marketing brands can achieve more in a shorter time than they would with traditional marketing.


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