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The past decade has been a very interesting one in Nigeria. We have grown as a people and have caught up with globalization trends. The emergence of indigenous and multinational telecommunication companies (“Telcos”) , FMCGs, and a host of other companies have been great additions to our country in terms of job creation; both direct and indirect, contribution to GDP and proving that companies can thrive here as well and even better than they thrive in their home countries.

The aim of every business is to make profit and the race for the largest customer base and by extension more income has led most companies especially the Telcos to embark on creative campaigns to achieve this goal.

We’ve had some great campaigns like: Magic Number, 100-200 % bonus on recharge (which at first could only call customers of that specific network but now cuts across all networks), free data et al.

I was recently on the Third Mainland Bridge and I saw a big poster of a Telco selling a product with the image of a celebrity which was the inspiration for this article, it got me thinking: Is the Nigerian Market (emphasis being placed on the Telco Industry) fully ready for Brand Ambassadorship? Let’s analyze this together: Can you replace your green Sim card with a red one because a catchy advert with a popular face reading a script tells you that the red telco has a better network coverage?

 

Most of us would rather add the red Sim card to their collection of Light GreenDark Green and Yellow Sim Cards.  This still increases the income of the red telco but did you change your Sim because the popular face said so or would you still have done it if your neighbor/friend/spouse excitedly told you about its good network coverage?

I understand that the logic behind using popular faces to sell brands may be because of their appeal to the masses, their following on social media and their influence in and on society but does this really work in Nigeria?

Standard chartered

Bear in mind that having 2,000,000 followers on twitter and 3,000,000 followers on Instagram doesn’t total 5,000,000 because most people are on all social media platforms and it is safe to assume that this celebrity is followed by some of the same people on both platforms so 2,000,000+ 3,000,000 probably sums up to 3,500,000 in this case. I am aware that there are other criterion for choosing these ambassadors but Social Media following is key.

Standard chartered

The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) exercise serves as further proof. All Telcos except one (can you guess which one) mesmerized us with countless adverts while taking subtle and subliminal jabs at each other as to why we should port from our present carrier to theirs. Radio jingles, Tv Adverts, Banners, Mobile Marketers… the whole razzmatazz, it was the rave of the moment but at the end of it all, what did they gain?

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Data from The National Communications Commission [NCC] as at July 2017, reveals only 757,000 subscribers have ported since it was introduced in May 2013. This number pales in comparison to the total number of active and registered users in Nigeria which was put at 138.7 million as at July 2017 (Click here to see their database). Only 0.55% actually ported after all the media hype? I’m as shocked as you are, it’s almost safe to say that we don’t have Telecommunication Brand Loyalty or even celebrity culture as a country.

These Telcos all have their strong and weak points in Nigeria; Telco A may be good with calls but bad with Internet Surfing which Telco B has in abundance and vice versa so why won’t I have both lines and use each where appropriate? The Two and Three Sim card phones on the market keep on selling daily and this serves as further proof that the average Nigerian isn’t loyal to a specific Network Carrier. The high end phone manufacturers have also keyed into this market and I won’t be surprised if we soon have a 2/3 Sim IPhone.

The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) exercise serves as further proof. All Telcos except one (can you guess which one) mesmerized us with countless adverts while taking subtle and subliminal jabs at each other as to why we should port from our present carrier to theirs. Radio jingles, Tv Adverts, Banners, Mobile Marketers… the whole razzmatazz, it was the rave of the moment but at the end of it all, what did they gain?

app

These Telcos all have their strong and weak points in Nigeria; Telco A may be good with calls but bad with Internet Surfing which Telco B has in abundance and vice versa so why won’t I have both lines and use each where appropriate? The Two and Three Sim card phones on the market keep on selling daily and this serves as further proof that the average Nigerian isn’t loyal to a specific Network Carrier. The high end phone manufacturers have also keyed into this market and I won’t be surprised if we soon have a 2/3 Sim IPhone.

This article was sent in to Nairametrics by Olowokore Isaac. Follow him on twitter @FollowMeTalk

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