Winning Nigerian Customers

Winning Nigerian Customers

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) plans to shut down many radio and television stations due to non-payment of licensing fees.  Cumulatively, they owe NBC N4.3 billion (about $12.3 million). If you look carefully, Nigerians do not pay a lot of attention to many of those radio and TV stations except to watch religious programs.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Monday said it would shut down radio and television stations owing the commission licensing fees.

The Director General, Is’haq Modibbo-Kawu, said that any broadcasting station that failed to come up with a payment plan before September 15 would be shut down.

Mr Modibbo-Kawu said this at a news briefing in Lagos after a meeting with the stakeholders in the broadcasting industry.

He said that the broadcasting stations are owing the commission N4.3 billion.

Yet, in the same country, a cable TV which people have to pay is increasing prices. Analyzing all, it comes down to value. When free products like our traditional radio and TV stations cannot make enough money to pay their annual licensing fees, and entities like DStv are doing just fine to increase prices, you will get the picture.

A Nigerian Court has stopped DStv from increasing its prices in the nation. In July, MultiChoice, the owner of DStv, announced new monthly subscription rates, jacking up the Premium package by 7.5%; the new rates took effect from August 1.

Our per capita income may be low but Nigerians will spend when they want to spend. The numbers from MallforAfrica always thrill me. It tells me that there are people who shop on Macy’s, Target, and other top American stores and get them shipped to Lagos and Abuja.  Paypal has a special feature to make that possible as Nigeria, before the recession, became one of the highest spenders on Paypal mobile.

PayPal has ranked Nigeria as the 3rd highest mobile shopper worldwide. We indeed are masters in spending! The online payment giant is the most popular medium among Nigerian cross-border shoppers, and estimated 55 percent of all oversea online purchases in the past 12 months were done via PayPal

People write about the benefits of “lowest price” but I am not an apostle of that in Nigeria. In my workshops and writing, I avoid the trap that strong competitive advantage in Nigeria will come from mere pricing (where that product is not designed for the bottom of the pyramid). I focus on value which of course includes pricing!

Yes, you can make it free and no one will care. But if you deliver value and price fairly, they will come. But the key is providing value. That is the message. We all get frustrated when customers do not patronize local brands. We accuse the customers that they like foreign things which are typically more expensive. Focusing on that misses the whole point: they want predictable value even when it costs them more. That explains why free radio and TV stations are going bankrupt and pay TVs which are increasing prices are winning more hearts.

Check that product and service: the problem may not necessarily be price. You have not offered any clear value to Nigerian users. You must fix the value paralysis to make progress. Offering great value is the path to winning Nigerian customers.


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