Perception is the king of all marketing, and I ask you to read this piece to understand how to deploy a growth marketing playbook in 2021. You must build a tribe in that market or customer segment. Yes, there needs to be a spirit of fandom if you want to unlock growth.
In a research during my business school, I discovered that the most profitable customers are those whose perceptions are met. They become more loyal and you can have great margins while serving them. This research was done in Lagos (Nigeria). I developed a three-segment pseudo pyramid where Need is at the bottom, Expectation at center and Perception at the top. The perception-customers are the most sophisticated to service. But if you can nurture and keep them, you become the king of your market. They are willing agents that enable disruption in market composition and are innovation-tasty early adopters. You can also call them FANS, and they make a great market tribe.
In a world of supply abundance, being just average is no more enough; finding a way to capture demand becomes strategic. If you can do that, you will capture value. It goes beyond being smart or super-techie: nonsense. For all the Watsons and quantum computers IBM has been building, Wall Street has pegged it as a $111 billion company; Microsoft which seems ordinary has a $1.65 trillion value.
In Tekedia Institute, we have a questionnaire we send to our corporate customers. We call it Friction Questionnaire. In that, we encourage them to distill their business challenges. Interestingly, for most small firms, that becomes the first time they actually sit down and methodologically think over business problems. Make time for Strategy, to thrive.
What would you do differently to unlock growth in 2021?
Its a great study on early perception demand based customers. Although as you have explained in earlier postings African purchasing power is low and most of their needs like food, shelter and transport is where the statistic for purchase lies. Also there is a big education gap that means that many even till today do not believe in some technological systems that are the norm in many other nations globally.
This in turn means that there are less perception demand customers in this domain and therefore less early adopters. If based on my field, the aspect of finding early adopters is critical but almost futile in this clime, as the major thing that most people seek is that your solution either makes them significantly more money, meaning a direct cause and effect is how we see things, improved efficiency over a period which eventually leads to improvement of systems and eventually better profits is not readily considered here.
A major improvement in purchasing power by consumers must be reached in the nation for $billion companies to rise. Perception demand puts one at the edge in any market yes, yet how much of the African market embraces new ideas and technology. Great inisights once again.
My feedback: Thanks. But it is key NOT to equate perception with the size of a purse. It goes beyond money. Think of Indomie Noodles. What made it possible for it to have this fandom when there was nothing like it when it began? When new generation banks were charging COT in 1990s, what pushed users to still use them despite the fees they were charging when old banks did not have those fees? Largely, it was easier for a trader to part with “N100” then than waste 4 hours just to collect N100k.
Comment Follow up: Truly Indomie strategy has made them a household name across the nation. They where the pioneers in the country i believe and went on to put a stronghold on the market based on always being competitive with or without adverts today. Since their offering is FMCG industry, i would say that it falls in food needs. Indomie is clearly cheaper than a pot of soup nowadays, hence the deviation by consumers for it.
A lot of the early dollar millionaires in the nation made their wealth from the FMCG industry i would say. Case point would be cowbell and peak milk, even though peak milk dominated the market and was a household name in the Nigerian market, cowbell easily changed that with a product that met needs based on the purchasing power of the citizens. Peak eventually had to pivot. All your points are significantly right and yes there is a gradual shift to perception demand in Nigerian markets albeit some industries clearly moving faster than others.
Thanks for your posts Ndubuisi Ekekwe. They give hope to building better business people across the continent.
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