The growth of the digital marketing has been hinged on the increase in the number of people who use the Internet across the world. In the last few years, the rise has been witnessed more in developing countries because of the yearly surge in the number of people having access to the Internet, especially those in the remote locations.
According to the existing statistics the world is having over 4 billion Internet users as at July, 2019 with an increase of 366 million from the number had in January, 2018. Information has it that this figure represents 56% of the global population, indicating the availability of a significant number of people, businesses, individuals and governments could push various contents to towards brand image enhancement and sales generation.
Using the platform successfully would mainly depend on the companies’ capabilities and abilities to overcome varied challenges associated with it in Nigeria. This piece is not about highlighting and exemplifying the challenges, but to give an account of how the Nigerian facilities management companies are performing on the platform relatively to their counterparts in the world.
From the website presence to the social media including, professional media, the piece offers insights the companies could leverage to increase their online presence to boost sales and improve public and private recognition of the values of the facilities management industry. The insights were generated having analysed the wrongs within the companies’ digital marketing strategies.
In its recent report on the industry, the British Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management documented players in the industry. Thirty companies were grouped into active participant category. These are the companies that were active on various digital platforms (Website, LinkedIn and Facebook) between August and October, 2019.
Further examination of the presence of the presence indicates that some companies’ websites were under construction or not existing at all during the analysis period. It is also important to inform that the Internet-enabled data collection tools used could not turn out enough data for analysis during the period. The brands that had this issue were mainly not pushing sufficient information to the public, most especially their target markets.
Alexa is our first data source for the examination of the companies’ websites. It ranks websites using a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews over the past month. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1. In this regard, Nigerian FM brands were analysed along with the other brands in the world.
Analysis shows that Cushman and Wakefield, a foreign owned brand, had 87,980 score, representing the lowest score and highly ranked brand in terms of website presence [Exhibit 1. On this exhibit the company does not appear because of the low score. Other companies are displayed because of the highest score garnered which translated to the low ranking of their websites]. Max-Migold, a local brand, closely followed Cushman and Wakefield with 1,849,073 score while Broll Properties Services (2,282,147), Alpha Mead Facilities (2,755,054) and Libra Reliance Properties were in third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Exhibit 1: Global Ranks of the 15 Companies with Website Presence
Exhibit 2: Rank Deduced from Percent of Total Score
Examining the websites from the keyword perspective, analysis reveals that people searched the companies using brand and industry specific words. Alpha Mead, Avant properties, Cushman and Wakefield, Eko maintenance limited, PFI global, James Cubitt, Lafam, ProFM credential and Willco were brand-specific words used mostly by the public. The industry-specific words include facility management company, real estate development company in Lagos, luxury real estate Lagos, facility management, real estate development prospectus and facility maintenance services. Apart from these keywords, Shoprite Jakande, departed asos, personal loans, walls of Benin, brain dumps notes were also found.
Exhibit 3: Category of Top Keyword by Traffic
Two things were examined along with these keywords. The Search traffic, which is defined as the percentage of organic search referrals to each website from the keyword. The share of voice is the percentage of all searches of the keyword that sent traffic to each website. For instance, out of the expected 100% search traffic for Alpha Mead, the brand had 23.57%. For the 100% of the share of voice, the company had 26.64%. Avant Facilities attained 61.27% search traffic. Despite this figure, the company recorded 1.53% share of voice.
The performance of Lafam facilities management resonates with Alpha Mead’s performance. The public use of Lafam facilities management as keyword generated 23.57% search traffic, while the share of voice was 0.39%. Eko Maintenance Limited, Global Property and Facility International, Wilco Property Management and Pro FM performed well during the period. The use of Eko Maintenance Limited as the keyword garnered 98.89% search traffic for the brand, while the share of voice was 39.05%. Global Property and Facility International followed it with 86.60% and 3.12% as a percent of search traffic and share of voice respectively. Wilco Property Management had 69.42% as search traffic percent, while Pro FM had 47.48%. In spite of the low search traffic recorded by Pro FM, it edged out Wilco Property Management in share of voice (0.19%) with 43.02% it attained.
Exhibit 4: Comparison of Search Traffic and Share of Voice
Real estate development and facility management services were part of the dominant keywords used by the potential clients during the period. Our expectation is that the clients wanted to understand the link between the two. This informed the need to do an analysis of the volume of interest in facility management services along with real estate development and real estate development with the share of voice percent recorded by all the brands.
The results indicate that the clients only understood facility management services within the real estate development by 10.9%. This is below 50% expected average of facilitation. However, the brands’ share of voice ensured 12.9% facilitation in the real estate development. This implies that the brand, industry and other related keywords helped the clients to understand the real estate development.
Exhibit 5: The Place of FM Services in Real Estate Development
Exhibit 6: FM Companies’ Voice in Real Estate Development
For example, the emergence of real estate development company in Lagos, luxury real estate Lagos, facility management, real estate development prospectus and facility maintenance services as keywords that appeared along with the brand-specific keywords signifies that the studied FM companies have embedded these keywords on their websites fully or partially.
To successfully capture value from the real estate segment of the built environment, the brands must extrapolate their capabilities and competencies being used for the promotion of FM solutions to the marketing of total real estate solutions. The emphasis should be on the benefits that would accrue to a building when solutions are provided to the faulty parts of the building simultaneously not single-handedly.
Social and Professional Media
In the earlier analysis, Savvy Capire, Alpha Mead Facilities, Eliezer Workplace, Total Facilities Management, and Global Properties and Facilities International are the most socialised brands within the Facebook social networking site. Within the LinkedIn, a professional networking platform, Alpha Mead Facilities, Global Properties and Facilities International, Eliezer Workplace, Green Facilities and Broll are the most socialised brands.
In the current analysis, Max-Migold (10.677), Alpha Mead (8,909), North Court (742), Eliezer Workplace Management (627) and Green Facilities (533) are the brands with the highest number of connections on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, having the highest number of followers seems not to excite the brands because analysis suggests low social proof.
The response of the managers of the brands’ accounts to the followers, when they commented or liked the information posted was low. This aligns with the previous analysis which indicates that employees of the brands did not always share industry-related topics and commented on FM issues raised by professionals on the platform. The failure to improve on social proof would continue to enhance followers’ confirmation bias because they have been denied evidence-based information which could reduce the hypotheses about the companies, particularly the solutions being offered.