Ep #83: How to Ace your Marketing Game with a Digital-First Mindset

Ep #83: How to Ace your Marketing Game with a Digital-First Mindset

About this Podcast

Digital-first businesses have experienced massive tailwinds in recent times. Consumers were forced to spend on mobile and digital channels, which led to unprecedented growth for most digital companies that took advantage of the situation. 

To get a deeper understanding of how to ace marketing with a digital-first mindset, we caught up with Mr Kunle Ajani, Omnichannel Marketing Manager at Konga.

Founded in 2012, Konga.com is an eCommerce company that offers a third-party online marketplace, as well as first-party direct retail spanning various categories including consumer electronics, fashion, home appliances, books, children’s items, computers and accessories, phones and tablets, health care and personal care products.

Quick Snapshots
In this session, Kunle Ajani shared compelling insights on:
The meaning and strategy behind a digital-first mindset
Importance of developing a digital marketing strategy
How to ace your marketing with a digital-first mindset
The skills and tools the marketer needs
How to apply the tools to your business today
Episode Transcripts

Glory Onuoha  (00:00:13)

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Netcore Cloud podcast. I am your host Glory Onuoha CSM for Konga Nigeria. I have a very special guest in the house today. I’m going to give him the floor so he can do the honors and introduce himself to you.


Kunle Ajani  (00:00:29)

Yeah, my name is Kunle Ajani and I work for Konga. Yeah, of course, I have a huge background in customer experience, that gave me the opportunity to, you know, to have a kind of connection to every part of the business because you have to resolve issues, with others across logistics, across technology, across payment and all of that. So that gives me a robust background and of course, when I moved on to marketing, marketing department, digital marketing, particularly with them, kind of gave me the cushion on which I was able to launch. I mean the launching to be  what I do right now across the various channels that I manage for Konga. Yes, so that’s what I do for Konga.


Glory Onuoha (00:01:15)

Thank you so much. Can you give us a brief introduction to Konga?


Kunle Ajani  (00:01:21)

So Konga is an eCommerce giant, not just in Nigeria, but in Africa. And then it’s the 10th year of Konga. Konga has done amazingly and amazingly well in the space. You know, in spite of all the challenges, economic challenges, inflation and all of that, Konga has been able to translate from just a four-star company way back dealing in one category which was baby – baby category, baby, kids and toys to get to, to try to take Giants; and then all those across different categories. Running from electronics and then expanding from electronics, phones, you know computers and accessories. Automatics, by which I mean generators, inverters and… all of that they sell to groceries. 

Yeah, so there’s almost absolutely nothing that Konga doesn’t sell right now. But apart from that it’s not just a retail company, by which I mean that we have our warehouses in different places, but we also are a market place. So we have all manner of entrepreneurs’ markets. I mean the shop owners and retailers who have their stores of Konga. You know, like Konga – it’s like a real estate thing, you know, can give you space to sell what you have and Konga will give you visibility. So a lot of customers like to see what you sell and then you can sell your products and your services. Which is so far further than you can imagine. Of course there’s a logistics company such that after the customers have placed their orders, the logistics company in Konga – under the Konga groups cause Konga now exists as a group major – they come as it exists. So yes, we have the key express under Konga. 

We also have the Konga, Konga Peso, your payment gateway. So we’re able to pay our markets, sorry, our sellers, using the KongaPay they give the Commission to the Konga pay account and even customers are able to use Konga pay you know to transact on Konga.com as a payment gateway. So a lot is happening in Konga now. And we also have Konga travel and there’s Konga food that is launching, you know, like formally.


Glory Onuoha (00:03:42)

Konga is really broad.


Kunle Ajani  (00:03:43)

Yes, it is broad; and, what I do, because what I do cuts across all of these verticals, yeah.


Glory Onuoha (00:03:50)

All the groups are.


Kunle Ajani  (00:03:52)

Yeah, yeah.


Glory Onuoha (00:03:54)

Ok. So seeing as Konga is an eCommerce brand, I’m very sure that Konga deals majorly with technology. Yeah, right. Since the pandemic hit us, it hit us really hard and we had to do a lot of adjustments. And you know, due to that fact, millions of consumers were spending on mobile and digital channels, which led to unprecedented growth for digital companies. There a lot of people had to switch to doing things online and some people had to get, you know, used to the new normal. What we have currently going on in the world, not just in the, I mean the world at large, you know, so as the dust settled around the pandemic, you know, everybody uses less  the traditional way of marketing, basically. And, you know, we have come over to visit the digital front. So that being said, our topic today is how healthy is your marketing game with a digital-first mindset. That’s our topic. So I’m just going to go ahead and just ask you the first question. When we say digital-first mindset, what do we need?


Kunle Ajani (00:05:05)

So, basically in the world that we live in right now you want to conquer space and you want to conquer time. And then you want to scale up your business. And all of that. So digital – digital as it is on one end, human behavior is on the other end. So bring this together. You want to use digital realization or digital to enhance what, how human, how human beings react, how they behave, you know, so you use digital to enhance or to make the life of a human being better. 

And I’ll give you a quick example, just like you mentioned the pandemic, because Konga existed as an eCommerce company and then, of course, solidly resting on technology. What happened to us during the pandemic was that we were working from home, but it will shock you that that year the data that we had that year was the biggest that we’ve had, yes, because people started to adjust to, like you said earlier on, adjust to digital behaviors. They started adjusting to look at how we can get things done, how we can sell things, how we can buy things without moving away from the comfort of our homes. So what happened here? So I could place an order right in the comfort of my home and to deliver to where I am. Personally, like so, what does it mean to use digital? I mean to be digitally minded. So one of the things that people need to do is what you are doing at the moment. The service you are doing when the goods you are selling has not changed, but we’re now seeing this thing that I’m selling. How can I put it in front of the people who need it faster? How do I reach a higher number of people to increase my profitability and then how do I conquer time? When you are able to conquer time and space, you get more profit, you get more money; and I give you a quick example of someone that I just heard of. I heard about this interview two days ago. This guy, it’s just an ordinary, so to speak, musician and his love. When pandemic came for so many entertainers there was no more show, no more party. So the girl was playing at parties, but then she started coaching like I need to make money or else I will stab. Ok, how can I use digital? How can I deploy digital? You know? Better tools to make my life better. So what did he do? He said. OK, I’ll begin to do birthday shout outs to buy birthday shout outs to custom. Do you know when he started this – he said – in a week he could churn out 25 birthday shout outs, shout outs in 30 and each of them could cost, you could say 200,300 thousand. This is a big artist right now. It will surprise you within that year he was able to build a studio that cost the customers as much as 17 million. So we don’t know what we have in our hands. So when you’re digitally minded, you’ve just things that you’re moving you from the brick and mortar or people coming to look for you take your businesses to where they are far and near? So you are able to scale, you’re able to also measure, you’re able to measure your progress so that you determine your ability to analyze. You’re able to now decide, you’re able to optimize. You say, OK, these are the things I didn’t do the last time. But just this so they’re now beginning to do better. And so do you make more business savvy decisions to make your business move forward? 

So it is supposed to be like this morning, I saw traffic everywhere because there was an accident. I just got on my phone and I looked at it. I mean, that’s how it’s to be digitally minded. I looked at it and decided to locate where the problem was. OK, so all I needed to do was find a way to get to where the problem was and when I got there, I alighted and I just took like one minute, you know, to get another vehicle and that helped me to get to the office at the time I should get to the office. So what it means is you need to be digitally active; and that there are metrics that are involved. You’re looking at, you’re looking at your numbers, you’re looking at how many of these things can reach the kind of people who really need it. And then you’re also looking at when it finishes, how do I restock so that I’m not stranded. You’re also looking at, OK, how can I double the number of the people who bought the last time so I can make more profits? So these are the things that digital can help you to achieve. Quite a lot here.

Glory Onuoha (00:09:56)

Thank you for that. Very wonderful explanation. OK. So that being said, I also want to ask. Is there a strategy to this? Because I know that a lot of businesses had to move, right? Even banks have changed. You know, some of their banking systems have eCommerce. Leverage more, if I may say, because you already know on the digital phone, but it does give them a very big advantage, you know, to get them more customers. Any strategy that needs to go in place for someone to have a digital-first mindset?


Kunle Ajani  (00:10:33)

OK, so there are a lot of strategies. Yeah, I mean strategy is key, because if you don’t have strategies like a commander is going on tree without knowing the kind of finding voice to untie, the behavior of such an animal and they are not preparing. So you could be harmed. I mean, you can, you can be harmed by that kind of find. So you want to be sure. We started you. Some strategies basically are to say this is what I’m selling.What is the behavior of the people that need it? Where are they? How can I reach them? And then if you put all of these things in mind, so you now begin. To look at what kind of things.


Glory Onuoha (00:11:09)

But this is so – sorry, sorry – this is you speaking in respect to eCommerce because that is your brand.


Kunle Ajani  (00:11:17)

So I’m beginning to say that, OK, as a digital marketing person, you want to make sure first that even your processes are digitized already, you know. So, for example, you have customer service, you have different parts of the businesses that we want. So, as customer service is not like everybody wants, it’s not everywhere. So, I want to shoot an email to you. People have short attention spans and then you want to solve them because there are many. You’re also looking for a digital strategy to make sure that you respond to the challenges in good time, record time. And so you have processes put in place, and then you run them by, I mean by, for example, you have the need… I will call a Zine, you know, some other for some other people. But well, basically what this does, what resources are for you to be able to resolve all of your customer problems in one place, and then we are able to analyze them differently. What the issues are and you could have one person, just one person, resolving all of the emails instead of saying, OK, you know back then, maybe during brick and mortar – you want to do everything one after the other. So, but so call it CRM – that’s part of digital too. Because of this CRM all of your customer behavior is one thing, because you have data you can rely on. So because you can rely on data you can make a more informed decision in fact. Same way solutions for these customers that we’re talking about. 

So to dig, to dig further, like digital marketing, where we work we have different channels. So these channels are informed by the way our customers behave and where they’re coming from. So there’s an analytical part of it that shows us – we look at the website itself being plugged into Google Analytics – it shows us who are the kind of people that are coming to buy in our store, I mean on our website. Where are they? So we’re talking about demography now. So that’s where metric is involved. We’re talking about – Who are they? Are they, I mean, gender wise, are they females? Are they males? What are their age gaps? So I can say, based on the categories, we can see social categories for example. Gaming – our games and electronics – you know, the kind of people who readily are going to come and buy. So if they are between the age of 20, 18 and less. So what I’m saying is these kinds of people, I give them the kind of, you know, what these kinds of people who are able to use mobile want. OK, because there’s Internet penetration too. I should have mentioned that earlier Internet penetration also helps us to be able to reach people further, you know because yes, because on the main it just takes like three minutes so to speak, for you to send an SMS to someone. It checks you know, so we, so we define we have mobile strategy.

Speaking of strategies. Our mobile strategies have to be sorted at our website. You know the loading time for mobile is fast. The bounce rate must be that all our web pages are well optimized and also speaking of fast searches and begin to see that our SKU, which is part of digital marketing, must be sound. We do get to the website because that is our store. That’s our real estate. You can see just like someone who comes to your door and keeps knocking. Keep knocking. You keep at it… it’s not, it’s not opening once you get there, so you go. All right, even if you have a gift for the person you go back with it. So for our website, if the SKU is sound, it’s in place so that you don’t spend a long time on it. I mean trying to get the page to load, and I begin to now look at, OK, let me do some form of ads. I’m selling this. I’m also selling apps. Let me take it to the people who really need it. You can, we can talk about our paid ads, you know, the Google ads, the people with Google, the Google ads and then you can see all the retargeting, you know all over the place once you get to our website we can retarget you based on what you can do and the item you came to check. Until we make sure you, you buy. See the abandoned carts, you know recover, the abandoned cart recovery, while the system in place where if you, if you don’t finish your transaction, you don’t check out, we have strategies in place to make sure that we get you back until you buy such an item. Even in some cases you have just bought your phone, we have strategies in place to make sure that this person will need a phone charger. You need a phone cover, shield phone should unlock. 

You know, these are the things that help us to break even at the end of the day, we have the email marketing part of, the, the, the, the digital strategy. We have affiliate marketing where we make it to sell with a peer, to get some form of permission. We also have the social media marketing that is so, so, so all over the place. Because we will have deals, I mean we can decide to give you a discount. If you give a discount and we don’t, if we don’t communicate it to you that you have a discount on our social media channels, you won’t know. And then, you get the media social media channels. Our links are there to get you back. So as to increase traffic, you know, on our website we increase visits to our website and of course conversion. Which is the reason why I’m missing. When you convert it means a purchase on Konga.com, so across, it is across Facebook, Instagram, you know, LinkedIn across Twitter and all of that, we have a presence. So digital strategies, you must have presence. People must know you exist and that’s why I mentioned this to you in the first place. 

So I’ve spoken about websites. If you’re going to be digitally minded, you must have your business, you must have your business presence online. If I’m looking for, yes, I’m looking for what you are selling. You need to look up and see this guy. And then of course you see the extensions. You see your, we see your physical store – where it is. If you have one that is existing, if you don’t have a physical store, you’re going to see your website. You see the link to your website, your URL, and all of the tags. All of the descriptions of what you’re selling – and the beautiful thing is when you are digitally minded, you are not just, for example – you are in Nigeria; whatever you’re selling, everyone all over the world will see it and they can place an order for it. And it’s just so amazing. I think someone very close to me didn’t come, didn’t come in right in the corner of our room, placed an order for something. Then I spoke to one or two people. The package is shipped off. They brought it to Nigeria and when they logged on it was a bit relaxed. One of the weekends we went to her to collect, to follow the person to make sure that this is true, we went to collect the item. She didn’t travel. She didn’t need to do anything extra within the comfort of her home.


Glory Onuoha (00:18:06)

In the comfort of our home.


Kunle Ajani  (00:18:08)

They did the accent, and the next thing was that because she was on Google My Business, she had a store, a store. Then the next one. OK? She advertised it. Next was that she pushed those items on her on social media and people started calling. We just did some sponsored ads. People are calling from email from Abuja. The ones we shipped, we had to ship, just call the delivery person. They delivered in Lagos. For those that from your life can be easy with digital.


Glory Onuoha (00:18:38)

Thank you so much. So you have said a lot of passengers. So this is important for anybody that is trying to put whatever business says it doesn’t necessarily have eCommerce. This is just me speaking for others. Businesses don’t necessarily have to come to banking, you know, we have mobile apps. You can easily, even when you have a full transaction, you don’t necessarily need to walk into your bank. No, you can send an email to your bank and inform them about this and within a few working days, you have a transaction. So everything is moving online, right? The world is why we need to have a laid down strategy as a business owner. This is my lead down. This is how I want to reach my customers’ email marketing through my app. You know through my website. But I want to be, because I make sure of that, you don’t need to, it’s easy for them to get to me, they don’t need to leave the comfort of their home or have the stress of going to the offline store or going physically to the bank to resolve any sort of issues or whatsoever. So this is why it’s important to have, you know, lay down a strategy of how to, you know, do your digital marketing, basically, and with your customers.


Kunle Ajani  (00:19:54)

Yeah, sorry to butt in Glory, sought to butt in, you know, and so that it does not look like this conversation is just for all those, I mean, those businesses that are high on there. If you’re a food seller, and you have like people already coming to your place and you want to scale up, you want to grow, all you need to do, you can, like we said, have a presence online, take a picture of your store or the kind of food you’re selling, or you just Google, go to Google and say Google My Business, you can register your business. To give, you don’t need it, for you don’t even need the website at that point. So when you do that, like you mentioned, mobile for bank, OK. People can go to where you are because your phone is there from their offices. They can give you a call, you know, and you package the food in Nice takeaways, make sure it’s well branded, well packaged and get an accordion man that you know, all you need to do is to tell the person. Maybe it is 200 naira to the place. The people that want to, if they don’t mind paying for transportation.


Glory Onuoha (00:20:57)

This is you giving people business, small business owners business.


Kunle Ajani  (00:21:00)

I’m telling you, yes. So the cause is found that the SME’s, the people, the SME, the small scale industries are many and the ones that are actually making our economy to grow in Nigeria, especially in the third world country. It is the small scale enterprises that can make the economy grow and grow GDP. So all these people are empowered with this kind of knowledge. They move on to the next quarter or the next rung of the ladder, and when they do, they find that unemployment crashes. That’s why I’m actually mentioning this so they can go digital here.


Glory Onuoha (00:21:15)

Thank you so much. Thank you so much for that. Alright. So now let’s go to the marketing aspect of things because, you know, we are, this is our industry, right? So, how to ease your marketing with your digital-first mindset. So let’s put some lights on the whole topic. How to ease your marketing first.


Kunle Ajani  (00:21:56)

OK, so one of the first things we need to know is that digital should be a business model by itself. What I mean is make digital for digitization in lifestyle. When you do that as marketing, iIn person, when you make digital a lifestyle you describe and not just deploy all those big stars to, I mean, all those digital marketing tools, not just by deploying those things, it’s about understanding your business, what you want to mark it, and when you want to make sure your position. Basically we understand all the sales funnel. The first thing is to understand that. People, the first thing people are looking at, the kind of people that are looking for you. So your person and you’re, you’re the persona of your customer matters. So you define the kind of people that want your kind of business or service properly. Who are they? Where are they, where are they? You know what? What’s their lifestyle? What’s the taste? What’s the typography? What’s the demographic? So these are the strategies you need to first embrace so that you can ease your marketing. And when that is done? The first thing you try to do is lead generation, so you throw your mates all over the place, you know. You can, for example, if you’re a website owner, you can kind of put it out there, something free, something like a bit, something attractive to get them to visit your website, maybe ten people. Of whatever you’re selling. And since you need to develop your data, all you need to do is to put it there. You can pull it, you, you create an option box for your, for them to do their emails and even through all of your social media channels. 

So I’ve talked about direct, direct visit, now, which is what I’m talking about on your website as direct visit as once again. So when they come and they know that they can get 10% off or they can reach, they would have gotten higher, you know, higher price somewhere else to come to your website to gain that with 10%, and will drop their data when they do. That gives the opportunity of retargeting them, and that is where emails come in. You can now send them your clues. You know, you can begin to furnish them with your clues, you can create a journey for them. You know they are becoming your family members gradually. So you create a journey for them.


Kunle Ajani  (00:24:25)

You give them a way to create an experience. So as you’re running it digitally. You know, an experience that they cannot forget in a hurry. You, you. You make them feel valued. And so when purchasing for the first time, don’t let them go.


Glory Onuoha (00:24:29)

You know, you know. I like that you said, you know, you have to. The party is made about every generation, you know, trying to get the campaign to get their email addresses not going to purchase, you know, email addresses of people that you do not know and you’re trying to mail market campaigns to them. You have to make sure these people are ready to get, and are ready to receive your newsletter… I’m very glad.


Kunle Ajani  (00:24:56)

OK, so when you do that, we now understand that after purchasing for the first time, that your first time buyers, you appreciate them for coming to buy and you cannot ask for it, ask questions. You can only serve immediately after, you know, when you can put it inside your email. What was your last experience like? How can we study better and then they will be, OK, I had a good time. OK. 

The next time you’re sending them any information, say, with the new arrivals to buy from you. So, that’s a call for engagement. So you give them as part of digital strategy, you engage them, you engage them from time to time. And when you find that at some point that they are lagging, they’re kind of laid back, they are not coming, you know, to buy as often as you expect, all you need to do is to send them another email. What you have missed there, you know, your mistake and by doing so again, and then, you know, when you go through that survey, if you, if you didn’t have the the social media channels, you can get all of that and those with their phone number, so that you can have a a, a multiple prong kind of thing. 

In our approach, if you’re not reaching that online channel now, you’re not reaching them via WhatsApp, you can reach them via SMS. You can reach them via social media. You can reach them via your emails. All of these things are digital tools. Now and then if you want to scale, you can think of Google ads. You know, like I mentioned earlier on, so that you can send them intention ads and, in fact,  this time around there are some other people that may not be in your database. When you do paid ads wherever they are in their inboxes, as long as they have come to Google to search for something, Google is able to put your ads in their faces so that when they click on your ads, of course you are going to be paying that, so they see your paid ads. When they click on that, your ad, your banner that you are selling and then it takes them to your website to purchase, you pay for that you know. And by doing so they are beginning to employ all the various digital tools to be able to grow your business.

And don’t forget to mention the database. Keep data that makes you know where these people are coming from, like in which state at some point might be able to begin to have some nice information, you know. This is the state that purchases the most. This is the state where I’m getting most of my revenue, and so you know that you’re accelerating your campaign. In that direction you’ll get if it’s a fashion, you know, passion category, agree to that – Ohh women are the ones that are buying this product. More so, you begin to tailor your conversation in that direction. And then when we are here, I should be quick to mention that, so there is one call when you’re measuring your business impact too, we begin to meet things like here, begin to do your automation. We begin to do your process optimization and of course machine learning and all of the analytics, all of this helps you to, you know, with the benefit of data history or behavioral history of your customer. 

You know those who are, that are, spending more money than most. You know your high spenders, who are going to take advantage of this. So you could, of course you want to keep those that are building your business. You want to keep them. You want to like it once in a while. You have the means. You can send them discounts and send them vouchers to come back to your website to buy something. You know, either for half the price. So these are the strategies you have to be mindful of. You have to be intentional about this and this is your market exactly.


Glory Onuoha (00:28:19)

About these things, yes.


Kunle Ajani  (00:28:21)

You have to be intentional about it, because in digital marketing, you’re not seeing them face to face, so you have to be consciously doing all of this to be able to keep them, to keep them.


Glory Onuoha (00:28:31)

Yeah. OK. So that’s it. Sort of around, you know, but before we do that, I want to ask you what are the tools you mentioned… just to just tell me about the tools you use and also how you’ve applied them to your business, you know, and what they’ve also done for your business. You mentioned automation. You’ve mentioned emails, you know. Just give us, just tell us the tools that you use, how you operate your business and how it has helped you.


Kunle Ajani  (00:28:55)

So I can clearly say that, for example,  I have done it in marketing for about four years now. And I use late calls. Yeah, I’ve used the net call. It’s very good too for those I want to take advantage of and apart from the farness, the tool is good. The people are also good. You have support, they’re quite friendly. They take your business there, so that has affected our business in a very good way. So for example, say the number of, I’ll give you an example. Like I used to send emails, like sometimes from like 200 and 400 and you can now send to like 700 and then the number is growing and then the number of people that are reached because of your contents, the subject line, the kind of tattoo you send to your customers. Send them to open out automatically. I think about 70%, I think about 80 percent, 90% or more. 

You know the industry standard and, of course, they click, when they click the emails, you know, to your website, you find out that your conversion is also increased. A number of people visit your website; the traffic increases, so these are the benefits. I also make use of push notifications. So you see that on the web and see that on your mobile, you know, these phones. I use them to push the products with the deals we are selling. The companies we are doing at the moment. And by so doing, I’m able to reach a lot more people than I was reaching before when one, not one, had not employed these tools. 

You know, apart from that with my colleagues, we use tools like Google as we play Google, we use YouTube. Alright, we use Facebook, we use, we use Instagram. We use WhatsApp. We use some people who, so for those who are in the social media team, these aggregators like buffer, they use, mostly they use. A number of them also use local Hootsuite. Yeah, quite a number. Quite a number of tools that we use. And then there are some of these other targeting, you know, target retargeting companies like Ritual RTB House and all of that. Quite a number of them, you know, so these are the tools you can use. And then and of course you must have Google Analytics, you know plugged into your website so that you can, it’s the, it is your eyes because you just have your website and don’t have any measure, must be to measure, measurement, metrics, metrics is just for digital marketing. Or any digital organization so they can, you are not shooting blindly. We are able to see what channel is working for you. So you can put in more money, you’re able to see what channel is not working and find out why it is not working. For example, for SEO too, you know, Google can help you with your SEO. Your keyword tools, you know, have a number of them for YouTube. You have a YouTube buddy for SU, you have MZ. You have quite a number of them. You know when you use the right keywords, the open website and of course you can check your links with Google. You will be able to lower your links if you submit your site. Now be able to audit your website to be sure that your web pages are intact so that when people click you have to get through to your website. I do not want to compete. And all of that. So these are the things we need to bear in mind as tools.


Glory Onuoha (00:32:25)

Thank you so much. This was very, very insightful, you know, and it opened up for people to understand that if your business is not out there digitally, you need to make a transformation. Now you need to move, you need to make sure that you’re in the face of people. You need to use tools like Netcore. And to get people to try to engage with your customers, you know, constantly telling them what your business is about and also measuring metrics and progress that you have based on applying these tools. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed this session and I hope to have you again some other time.


Kunle Ajani (00:33:03)

Yeah, my pleasure. Alright, Glory.

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