Data is Life

In the last few months, there have been a lot of concerns about Internet user data and how much damage can be done to companies that are custodians of this information.

Google recently announced that it is shutting down Google+, the search giant’s personalized social search platform after several user data were stolen. Facebook also came under intense criticism after Cambridge Analytica was exposed to have access to millions of its users’ data for information weaponization and propaganda for politicians.

While these not-too-good times are costing big companies huge revenues with severe dents to their image, not much attention has been paid to media and marketing professionals who not only use data from Internet companies but also collect, warehouse and gatekeep several amounts of it. Continue reading “Data is Life”

This Is Not A Movie

As time passes, we are moving towards the edge of tomorrow. Our push for the cutting edge in technological innovation has pushed mankind beyond expectations.

Aside Blockchain and Bitcoin and its zigzag valuation, you might have seen and heard artificial intelligence (AI), a buzzword being bandied around by believers and naysayers. It has become very convenient and expedient that those who do not belong to either side of things are left in a state of bewilderment.

If smartphones are now more important to humans than personal computers and cars, it is surprising that many of us are oblivious of the fact that the enthronement of smartphones to this pivotal pedestal has been driven by AI innovations and technics. Virtually all the apps on your Android and iOs phones are powered by AI. They do not only run the show but they make them work in an intuitive manner that we not only become addicted but the apps become part of our lives to make it more meaningful.

However, what you have just read is not even the tip of the iceberg. If AI is all about this then, you would have wasted your time reading this piece. Singularity is the Holy grail. Proponents of AI are working towards a juncture where computers get smarter, better than mankind that humans may not even need to work. If this sounds like another Hollywood sci-fi script, you are not wrong but I’m afraid to say you are.

The AI phenomenon is man redefining its way of life in the context of technology and human connections. Accounting, architecture, law, medicine and even marketing, our coveted profession will not be spared in a landslide revolution.

Just to set the record straight and at the risk of becoming boastful, AI would likely turn out to be the most groundbreaking invention in the 21st Century.

We can only brace up for the times ahead.

Is Fake News A Threat To Advertising?

Since Donald Trump became America’s 45th President, there has been no love lost between him and the global news media, most of whom are from America and of Western orientations.

Trump started a major onslaught against what he popularly called ‘Fake News’. He has accused media giants such as the CNN, CBS, the New York Times and even the Washington Post of purveying bare-faced lies against him. While many of his critics have argued he only label negative coverage of his presidency as Fake News, however, globally, everyone in the media business should be concerned.

This is because all the major media empires labelled Fake News pushers are premium platforms commanding some of the fattest advertising budget from America and the rest of the world. Recent studies have shown that the perception of Fake News accusations have negative effects on the audiences of these major giants. This will rub off on other contents relayed by the platform. Why should anyone take any advertising message showed on a TV channel serially-accused of being a Fake News machine?

When an average audience tune or stream CNN, ChannelsTV or any other reputable media organisation, they believe they are getting authentic news and information they can act on. The moment everything is now labelled a sham, it becomes a dissonance that will have ripple-effects and series of negative consequences.

All over the world, various political leaders have also joined the fray to campaign against streams of information from various media outlets they consider as fake. Despite the political undertone pervading this phenomenon, it will be a fallacy to deny Fake News exist. As a matter of fact, one could not exaggerate to conclude that it is the biggest threat to the media in the 21st Century. Many propagandist have taken advantage of this menace to spread lies, hate and even manipulate elections and by extension, how they think and lead their lives.

As a take out, no one will win in the era of Fake News; be it the politician, journalists, media organisations and advertisers. Every one will have their fair share of the damaging effects of the menace. The solution is a concerted effort against Fake News, self-censorship, training for media professionals as well a fair legal system to combat Fake News merchants.

Invaluable Lessons from the 2018 PAMRO

The 2018 Conference of the Pan African Media Research Organisation, (PAMRO) might have come and gone, but its memories and myriads of knowledge pushed on the platform will forever be memorable to all attendees.

The three-day conference which saw a conspicuous presence of SBI Media and the Masscom Global Network has some invaluable takeouts that are worth sharing:

1. TV is not dead but having babies. Despite the simplistic conclusions that television has fizzled-out due to the overbearing and additive nature of digital media, it is instructive to note that TV is more or less the most influential medium in the digital age.

Today, TV has morphed from basic TV to payTV, extended TV and video. Extended TV platforms are Netflix, Showmax and iFlix. Video elements are no doubt making social media thick. So if you think TV is dead, think again.

2. The shorter the content, the better. While this is conventionally incorrect, it is actually the fact and based on available data from various analytics sources, shorter contents are performing better than their longer versions.

While this is not unconnected with the fact that Millennials now form the majority of Internet users, informed content makers and marketers are also backing their decisions with this insight thereby making the Internet filled with shorter video contents.

3. Most digital and media innovation in Africa that are succeeding are driven by scarcity and what is not available. The success of Mpesa and USSD-based mobile banking in East Africa has been driven socio-economic and infrastructure challenges confronting people of the region.

The remarkable influence of Internet/digital banking in Nigeria and major parts of Southern Africa has also been driven by what people need.

This further shows that media innovation that would work will not be driven by over-flogged ideas from the West or over the Atlantic, but locally-driven and customized.

SBI Media, Masscom Global goes to PAMRO

For us in the African media buying and planning industry, today is a very important day. The 19th PAMRO meeting and All Africa Media Research Conference starts today in Lagos Nigeria.

You can call it the Davos for media professionals.
PAMRO is a forum for industry organisations, media research providers, media owners, marketers and advertising agencies in different African countries to exchange knowledge and to learn from one another’s successes and failures, to ensure the highest quality and to harmonize our research methodologies so that we will eventually have a continental media research database.

Continue reading “SBI Media, Masscom Global goes to PAMRO”

Three things you need to know about Millennials

In today’s world of marketing, if there is any target market that wields much influence, they are the Millennials.

In a literal sense, Millennials are persons reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.Giving it some nuances, they are the “Generation Y,” “Generation WE,” “The Boomerang Generation,” “The Peter Pan Generation.” Looking at the calendar, they were we born roughly between 1980 and 2000.

They have achieved a lot for the world. They made Facebook, SnapChat, WhatsApp and many other innovations that have shaped the way we live and relate in modern times.

However, if you are a marketing person and you need to connect with this interesting population, here are some traits they possess that you need to have a good understanding of:

They are multi-taskers – Millennials have redefined the way we work and play. They can joggle many things together at the same time while claiming to give optimum priority to all. Continue reading “Three things you need to know about Millennials”

What is the Future of Mobile Carriers?

If you could remember, in 2016, one of the largest telecoms companies in Africa was mulling a grand plan to ban WhatsApp on its network.

The crux of the matter was that the company and its competitors were recording loss of substantial revenue to over-the-top mobile apps such as WhatsApp, Skype etc.This is 2018 and the mobile carrier could not make good its threat to ban WhatsApp and every other app that takes away its food.
As a matter of fact, these mobile carriers are now at the forefront of promoting messaging and mobile Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps to gain new customers and reduce churn for their data bundles.
A review of the financial results of mobile carriers shows that their revenue growth is now dictated by data products while voice revenue has been on continuous decline for the past six years.
This, therefore, begs the question– Is there a future for mobile carriers? Definitely, there is a future but its trajectory will be dictated by disruptions, pivoting and even mergers and acquisitions as data costs slow down and artificial intelligence (AI) continues to scale technology to make products more addictive and even affordable to customers.

Continue reading “What is the Future of Mobile Carriers?”

Pros and Cons of the ‘Bank Wars’

Over the weekend, something interesting and concerning transpired on Nigeria’s social media sphere.

At least four commercial banks were at daggers drawn throwing shades and jabs at one another. Now tagged ‘Bank Wars’ was said to have been initiated by a tier lender using imagery and brand icons of its competitors with the quote ‘By shooting for the moon, men become famous’.

The strength in the imagery and the quote was not only aptly depicted but imbued with innuendos that make it a masterstroke leaving its targets no choice than to respond with ballistic responses that ended up turning it into a ‘War of Banks’.

This phenomenon is not new to the global brand and marketing community because CocaCola and Pepsi had to call an unofficial truce after many years unending and mesmerizing war of ads, memes’ missiles thrown from different perspectives to entertain the world. Continue reading “Pros and Cons of the ‘Bank Wars’”

What IGTV means for TV?

Some few weeks ago, Facebook Inc., the owner of Instagram announced the launch of IGTV, a video streaming platform on Instagram.

Despite the fact that Instagram was created for picture-sharing, it has morphed into a multimedia social network. Facebook said in its launch statement that its idea of IGTV was borne out of the explosive growth in the consumption of video content on the mobile Internet.

“By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic.”

“We’ve also learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”

The truth is, IGTV is just one of the major disruptions in the global and local media scenes. Since Netflix and YouTube became mainstream media platforms, sticky (addictive) TV viewership/consumption of video content has flipped from the conventional box in sitting rooms to smartphones, laptops and tablets. Continue reading “What IGTV means for TV?”

‘This Is Nigeria’ – What is the Bigger Picture?

In Nigeria, music has long been used by individuals and movements seeking social change. In the 1950s and ’60s, this was particularly true, as successful musicians openly addressed issues of the day.

The most remarkable is the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela’s music was a movement of social consciousness and justice against oppression, the late legend made the world sit up and take notice of the energy of African art and music.

Before the World Cup euphoria, Nigeria’s albeit the world was trending ‘This Is Nigeria’, a satirical but blunt music video by Falz (whose real name is Folarin Falana). Falz’s localised and adapted from Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ to unveil various social, economic and security issues bedeviling Africa’s largest economy.

The video had within a week garnered about 4 million views on YouTube. It has also received more than 10 folds of that figure across social platforms and other download sites. In the midst of the frenzy, there are two critical sides to this phenomenon. Continue reading “‘This Is Nigeria’ – What is the Bigger Picture?”