NMAG 2017/2018: Democratizing Data-Driven Insights
By Jeremiah Agada
In today’s constantly shifting and often convoluted world of media, the consumer has become more complex, empowered and ‘omni-channelled’ than he was years back. To meet up and function effectively in this dynamic world, advertisers must exceed consumer expectations with relevant, engaging and personalized communications on a regular frequency.
Doing this requires a copious amount of research into micro-moments and consumer buying journeys. Advertisers and marketers must therefore have data-driven knowledge of the consumer, his media needs and consumption habits. This knowledge must be translated to in-depth understanding hinged on insight and good market intelligence while putting into consideration the product being advertised, target audience, and campaign goals.
Therefore, the need for concise research data documentation on Nigerian, being one of the most complex markets in the world, and formarketing and advertising professionals, for stakeholders and those in need of data that require a guide to work effectively, cannot be over-emphasized.
Although data is now more readily available to advertisers, marketers and media planners, there is still a lacuna that needs to be filled. For a fact, data is nothing without insight, insight is nothing without intelligence. The challenge therefore, is generating usable insights from the mountains of available data and translating these into intelligence. Here is where many organizations still struggle to bridge the gap between their customer insights (audience data, market research and intelligence) and marketing execution (look-alike modeling, targeting and advertising).
The key then, is harnessing the power of big data while removing the roadblocks that keep audience insights siloed. Only then can marketers target the right audience with the right message in the right place, to achieve set campaign objectives and by inference, greater ROI.
Nigerian Media Advertising Guide
This gap is perhaps what Media Perspectives, one of Nigeria’s foremost media independent agencies, set out to close with the launch of the second edition of its industry report, Nigerian Media Advertising Guide, NMAG.
With approximately a hundred pages of tables, graphs, charts, illustrations and intelligent analysis, this edition provides fact-based insights about the Nigerian media communications market, democratizing media marketing data by making it readily accessible for strategic planning and decision making to those who need it.
Beyond providing a detailed analysis of the Nigerian Landscape, highlighting key indices such as Country demographic profile, city-based media behaviour across major states, population and job creation index, the guide delves into facts on the media landscape spanning Television, Radio, Print Media, Out of Home and Digital.
Besides being a just a ‘fact book’ or an e-book depending on whether it is the hardcopy or softcopy, the guide highlights useful information such as consumer media consumption patterns, top platforms for each vehicle and x-rays brand investment trends and implications for advertisers in the Nigerian market.
Jude Odia, the arrow head that that runs Media Perspective in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer said that the need for the publication of the second edition of the guide came via popular demand. He said, “After the first edition we published, we have received calls, emails and messages from industry stakeholders lauding the pivotal role that the Nigeria Media Guide has played in improving their practice with relevant data and analytics.
“The 2017/2018 version continues our efforts to make marketing communications a true research-based, data driven practice and gives our colleagues, advertisers, and media partners a rubric for strategic planning and decision making,” he said.
Democratizing data has become expedient as the need for data cuts across all spheres, sectors and category of people. Jude said the profile of people that are calling to buy NMAG now ranges from fashion designers to bloggers, estate managers, architects, among others. These are people that naturally will have no interest in it.
He adds,“the strategy was that we were out to ensure that we democratize media research data. We wanted people to be more comfortable with media research data. So, we made it media friendly to give people gives information they can readily use without having anyone coming to analyse for them.”
Between Both Guides
The second edition of NMAG appears to be a continuum of what had started in 2015/2016. However, there are marked differences and improvement on the second edition. Jude points this out: “The templates remain the same and it is so configured that it gives you first the facts, and then walks on the ‘snackable’ insights for practitioners, clients, agencies and investors to help them take actionable decisions.
“What we have done basically this year is to report the latest figures, update all other sources, both local and international and then begin to read the extensions in terms of applications, trend analysis and so on. What you have is about 3-4 years trend analysis and by that implication, forecasting.
“What you get to see is more light hindsight, insight and foresight brought together. The uniqueness is that it gives you a more trended database to work with because the more the trend, the more reliable your predictions will be.”
Reactions From the Industry
The reaction and response to the received guide from advertisers, agencies, planners, media owners and other stakeholders in the Marketing communications ecosystem although not unexpected, points to the lacuna of insights in the industry that needed being filled.
Reactions that trailed the release of the guide online are unprecedented: for the first nine hours it was released, NMAG was a top trending topic on Twitter in Nigeria. Of course, it is a known fact that more intellectual people spend time on Twitter and NMAG was at home trending there just fine.
The guide launched with videos and content that people could easily understand. In just two weeks, it had 3.8 million unique users and a whopping 820 thousand video views. Not done, it generated 25.2 million impressions and 125 thousand engagements. Positive sentiments was at 98%-meaning that 98% of the people that saw it loved it and commended it, and 6400 thousand unique website views.
Jude said the reactions for the online guide and the hardcopy were unexpected: “The acceptance is huge, it exceeded our expectations. At the moment, we only printed 250 copies. We had to print another 700 copies as more people are coming from far and wide. It has become an income generating revenue for us now, something that was never part of the plan.
“We had to expand the band of our website because it started freezing because we actually uploaded that book online and people clicking to read. When the traffic was much, we were advised to expand our website bandwith. We had to do that within the first two weeks it went online.
“We had 13 corporate companies that called us to come and formally present ENMAG to them. Many companies and organizations actually called to buy up copies of this for their corporate communications department, for their marketing departments.
“Based on the fact that it has exceeded our expectations, we have come to realize that there is a need gap, a pinpoint. Nigerians want this that is why we are bridging that gap. We are saying, have it on your mobile and you can actually query that software and get to find out yourself some very simple basic facts about the Nigerian media.”
The huge success of the NMAG thus far will not be unconnected to the drive round the launch. At the period of the launch, the Nigerian social media ecosystem, space, was inundated with a new, a hashtag, #Frankfacts. #Frankfacts was used to promote the media guide through two influencers from two divides of the Nigerian ‘Netizens’ or internet natives if your prefer. The duo of Frank Donga and Frank Ehoho were the influencers used.
Frank Donga, the alter ego of Kunle Idowu who is an actor comedian with a huge followership on Instagram -398,000, Twitter-28, 000 and Facebook-44,000 is on the divide of the less formal, entertaining and relaxed, somewhat humorous internet. The tactical use of Donga as an influencer is a strategic approach to say that data is not the exclusive preserve of the ‘formal.’
Frank Edoho, hitherto presenter of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Nigeria game show on the other hand, belongs to the other formal divide of the internet. Little wonder he is more followed on Twitter with 47,000 followers and a slightly lower number on Instagram with 12,000 followers.
Jude explains the rationale behind the selection of both celebrities. “We wanted people who will speak to our target audience. We wanted people who had the right followership online. The two people typify two segmentations that are of interest to us. Frank Donga is more of humour and the base part of the market while Frank Edoho is more from the elite type professional. All in all, there is a common call which is that we wanted to talk to the young upwardly mobile professionals across the formal and informal sector. That for us is a critical audience because they have huge influence quotient. They appeal to the younger demography and they also connect to the older demography. If you get them as investor marketer, you are sure of getting a huge percentage of the entire mass market.
“Also, we wanted to as much as possible, simplify these things. People see media data and want to run away because of the too many charts, tables and graphs. We wanted to communicate these things in a very relaxed way and get people used to. It is like when you want to give somebody a bitter pill and you are just blending it with sweet drink or fruit just to make sure the person gets it,” he said.
Definitely, the fact that they share ‘Frank’ as a name and the category of social media audience they wield may have played a huge part in their selection by the agency to promote the NMAG on Instagram and Twitter. The question however is, how much of an impact did the duo have in the success of NMAG thus far? Jude said they played a part however, the use of those celebrities were just part of the larger plan to promote the media guide.
“They have contributed to the success of NMAG. There were many other videos on ENMAG that we ran. If you look at those videos and the numbers behind them, apparently there are huge differentials between the numbers they have and the numbers other videos have. It is basically leveraging on the power of influence to drive what you want to achieve.”
Validity and authenticity are quite important for a guide as it helps people take actionable informed decisions. However, some facts in NMAG may appear controversial should one remain suppositious. For instance, according to the guide, from 2016, more people listen to the radio in the South West than any other region in Nigeria. Although no data anywhere contradicts this, the general notion or popularly held belief is that radio is listened to more in the northern regions of Nigeria.
The guide however provides insight into this fact: “general decline in radio consumption across regions except in South-West and North Central. This could be attributed to the rapid expansion of private stations in these regions to capture more audience segments.”
Jude further clarifies when he explained that the insurgency and the insecurity in some part of northern Nigeria may have played a contributory role in the decline of radio listenership in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
He said the agency had multiple sources to seek for these facts. Some of the sources include the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, World Fact Book, among others. He adds: “What we have done is what you will call a very thorough investigative analysis before we put out every data even when we had some reports we were not comfortable with. You can’t just context research data with your own discretionary knowledge because these data were got from empirical researchers that had sample sizes and all. You can only dispute any of the facts there with it with a superior research that says otherwise.
With the successes recorded so far, NMAG can only get better. What new innovation to the presentation of data should be expected in future? Jude said an app for the guide is in the pipeline. “NMAG was configured to be in softcopy. This is to make it interactive. But if you interface that template on an app or softbook, you better understand what I am saying. If you get to see the softbook and can interact with it where you can query what you see. It is a point of improvement for us.
“In the next editions that will come, you may no longer see hardcopies but like I said, we want people to see how useful it is, not just as a book but as a media data. It is all about the benefits I get from the book,” he concluded.