Worried about online marketing, social media and growth hacking?
Today we are pleased to introduce Boma Braide, founder of Forterun Global. In this expert interview, he shares his thought about online marketing growth in Nigeria, where businesses are getting it all wrong and also bares his mind on social media marketing and growth hacking.
Let’s get into it!.
- Tell us about a little about Forterun Global?
Forterun Global Resources Limited is a lead generation consultancy that started in the Real Estate Industry and has expanded its business into Social Media and Content Management (all part of digital marketing). Forterun Global are also into procurement and business development services for its clients and partners.
- What are your primary responsibilities as the Managing director of Forterun Global?
I formulate, develop, execute and invest in solution driven business solutions.
- Is there any other career you would love to try and why?
Yes, I am thinking seriously of going into Digital Fabrication. The simple reason is that I studied Digital Fabrication at some point in the UK and I don’t want to see that talent waste.
- Take us through your typical working day?
My typical working day starts at about 4 am and doesn’t end till about 12 am the following morning. So basically I have only 4 hours of good sleep at night. I normally start the day by checking my Emails and messages on Social Media. I then do my morning chores, before going out for meetings and errands. I work on the go and don’t have to be in one place to work. That’s the beauty of the Internet and having the right connected devices. So even when I am at my meetings I can respond to Email and send out Emails. I then return back to my office and continue working. Because of the nature of my work I try to be against traffic all the time so that I don’t get caught up in unnecessary delays and hold ups.
- Can you tell us something about you that your team would love to know?
I am suffering from MMCA – Multiple Mimicking Correction Ability. It was originally known as MMD – Multiple Mimicking Disorder. This is my story. Upon realizing that there is no cure for MMD, I used to mimic people and have a great laugh about it with my family and peers. Relief came when I used my mimicking for good use and right now rather than just have a great laugh like I used to initially, now I would look at the object of fun and try to take the best from it hence the change of name to Multiple Mimicking Correction Ability.
- Online marketing is still more of a novel field in Nigeria. Most businesses are yet to take advantage of this platform to grow their business. Why do you think it is so and what advice would you give to a business who wants to leverage online marketing to grow their business?
To answer this question, I would use two scenarios to make my point and then I would give my advice on what can be done.
Scenario A – Email Marketing
Most companies in Nigeria prefer traditional marketing and do not see the value in online marketing. Even the ones that have embraced it are still very salesy. I get emails from people I do not know selling all kinds of things to me at the first point of conversation. That is not how it should work. I do not know you for goodness sake. I bin all of those emails. Most of this is all from buying email lists or scrapping LinkedIn.
Whereas Email marketing should never be done that way. You still need to be ready to use Lead magnets to hook your target market to want your product so that you get more emails been opened, read and take action towards your business.
Scenario B – Online Marketing
Most Nigerian companies especially the usual suspects (banks, real estate, small business) would rather put out a team of people on the road who would spend half of their marketing time in traffic and at the end of the day would get little or no results. The management of most of these organizations starts out by giving their staff unrealistic targets, pray and expect miracles to happen. This kind of practice is so mundane.
(Update: As at the time of publishing this article, there is a bank who is trying to get people to open a saving account by posting agents on a popular cross-over bridge at Oshodi)
With online marketing, the reverse is the case. A place like Lagos needs online marketing to thrive because of the traffic here. If online marketing is done ethically a business would be smiling to the bank in no time.
What most of the great online companies we know like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn did was to first of all build a very good product (their platforms), build up their community, leverage on the media before scaling and monetizing their business. It is a better strategy because developing your community or your 1000 true fans mean that you would have warm leads who want to buy your product. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn did it. They all did it. Forterun is currently doing it with our Social Media and Content Management Dashboard.
If you save money, invariably you have earned money but most people in Nigeria don’t see it like that. Insanity is doing the same thing continuously and expecting a different result. It is not just possible.
Advice to give to a business who wants to leverage online marketing to grow their business
Outsource some of your tasks and responsibilities. These can be things you need do but aren’t already doing, things you are currently doing but are not part of your unique abilities, things you are currently doing but can be done cheaper (based on how you value your own time), or just things you can’t do that someone else with specific training can do better and probably faster!
Find an online business partner. Most websites in Nigeria that I have seen are mediocre and this should not be so if you want to succeed in the online business space. Forterun Global’s parent website is still not finished simply because of we need to get it right so that we are never associated with mediocrity. However, our product website: www.mysocial.forterun.com have been receiving independent positive reviews. This should be the starting point because we believe we can create better UX and UI.
Using a business partner can be a great option if you have new ideas for businesses but do not have all the time or resources to build it. In such a scenario, you can provide your ideas and some resources and some of your time but find a business partner to run that “profit center” for you where you give a fair share of revenue and equity to that individual. This allows you to leverage your ideas, resources and creative abilities while having someone else do most of the execution work. By doing this you can build multiple businesses simultaneously and expand your larger brand while also providing other entrepreneurial minded people with great opportunities that may be much greater than what they could produce on their own.
- As a business seeking to engage a digital marketing firm, what should they look for in choosing a marketing agency for their business?
There are many generic ways to look for in choosing a marketing agency but for a country like Nigeria and because digital marketing is still fairly new here they might not all work in our situation.
- What I would advise any business is to look for a track record also known as experience.
- Look out for an agency that their entire fabric is planning and strategy because if there is no plan then invariably your business would not succeed.
- Look out for an agency who iterates. That is who is always testing because this is how the business is going to know what is working and what is not working.
- Look out for an agency that has a broad method for managing client communication.
- Look out for an agency that set out its key performance indicators
- And never go for an agency that promises you heaven and earth. Digital marketing is a sustainable method to getting it right. It is a skill that needs consistency. You start seeing results from 3 to 6 months and in some cases to 12 months. This is why the plan must be started with first and gotten right before you start to execute.
- Let’s talk a little bit about growth hacking. Do you think Growth hacking is nonsense?
Growth Hacking is not nonsense at all. Growth Hacking can work in both digital and traditional scenarios. Growth Hacking is just a process of continuous experimentation across a range of marketing channels to identify the most effective ways to grow a business.
- Do you have any favorite blog about growth hacking you visit?
I hardly visit blogs on growth hacking. I just read books on it and try to adapt the principles to my own situation or for my client’s unique offering.
- B2C social media marketing has grown a lot in Nigeria even though there are areas for improvement. How effective do you think B2B social media marketing is?
B2B social media marketing is still coming up in Nigeria. Some people might argue that I am wrong but if I am then can someone please explain why there is traffic on Lagos roads during working periods. Are the people not them supposed to be at their work-station working? Not these people in Lagos. They are all on the roads marketing. But if these businesses could just harness the use of social media marketing there won’t be a need for all that activity on the roads at that time and a lot of things would be saved. From fuel to time to energy to money because most of the reasons of being on the road can actually be done from the comfort of an office and the trip is only embarked on if necessary.
- Do you have anything that keeps you up at night?
How to be better at what I already do by solving people’s business problems in easier and more productive ways.
- Is there a project or a campaign you like to do over?
Yes, but I can’t disclose the details. When the time is right I would embark on it again.
Thank you, Boma for this wonderful and insightful interview. I hope we get to read about that project when you embark on it.
Got a question for Boma, connect with him on Linkedin, that’s how we met.