Steve Babaeko: The African Communications Industry is in Need of an Overhaul. Here’s how to accomplish it


The advertising industry has experienced several firsts in the last ten years. The practise as we knew it has been greatly disrupted by technology, digitalization, and unnatural events. Additionally, a significant shift in consumer behaviour over the years has had an equally significant impact on how advertising is used around the world.

We continue to see how the biggest advertising companies in the world scramble to adapt and adopt new consumer-reaching strategies as a result of the constant shift in digital innovations. For instance, advertisers currently have the opportunity to reach consumers as they interact and socialise in virtual spaces thanks to recent events like the metaverse rave.

Additionally, we cannot overlook the way the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of our profession. As consumers stayed at home and committed to watching more videos and other types of media, digital streaming took over, necessitating quick responses to meet them where they are most comfortable.

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Since it is widely believed that these types of disruptions, whether digital or not, will not be the last, it should be obvious by now that advertising has become more complex than ever. Due to these indicators, now is a unique time in the history of advertising to create and implement strategic adaptations that will keep us one step ahead of potential disruptions and lessen their effects in the future.

The consumer market’s continued growth, particularly in Africa, is an important factor we must take into account when creating practical strategies to deal with the unique challenges brought on by these profound changes in our industry.

One of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world is in Africa, which has a potential market of 1.7 billion people. Since 2010, the continent’s consumer spending has increased at a compound annual rate of 3.9%, reaching $1.4 trillion in 2015. This amount is anticipated to increase to $2.1 trillion by 2025 and $2.5 trillion by 2030, according to McKinsey & Company.

The World Bank predicts that by 2030, Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa will have the largest consumer markets worldwide, with other African nations such as Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Tanzania also offering lucrative business opportunities.

The youth population in Africa accounts for a sizeable portion of this market. According to UNESCO, young people make up 60% of the continent’s population. 350 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are projected to live on the continent by 2030.

Because of their nature, creating strategies to appeal to this demographic is getting harder and harder as time goes on. The younger generation reacts and consumes information differently than it did ten years ago because they have access to the newest technological tools and information instantly.

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It has become even more important to understand young consumers, be aware of their interests and desires, and continually develop strategies that are in line with their needs as a result of their demand and affiliation for brands that demonstrate empathy for their struggles.

As a result, using smart digital tools, incorporating informed social insights and verifiable data, and having a deeper understanding of psychology are all necessary for serving a community of consumers in a multi-channel world.

The way we do advertising needs to change because of the quickly shifting market dynamics. Companies that have recognised the need for the evolution of advertising in the past include Apple, Dunkin’, Tupperware, and Domino’s. These businesses either made new changes or underwent a complete rebranding to reflect their new identity.

To meet consumer demands, businesses must adopt new advertising strategies correctly, it is important to keep in mind.

The world will recall how Yahoo! failed miserably in its attempt to rebrand with a poor change to its logo in 2013, when it made a concerted effort to revamp its consumer service. The company ultimately lost hundreds of millions of dollars per year in advertising revenue as a result of the rebranding failure.

Our desire to offer solutions that will satiate brand and client demands as we move on to our next chapter is ignited by our understanding of the current reality of the advertising industry in relation to the young consumer base in Africa.

We are adopting a new proposition called “Finding X” after ten years of being a one-stop-shop marketing communications company that is 100% built on ideas and leveraging partnerships that, supported by sound strategy and original thinking, seek to deliver the most effective results.

With the adoption of this ground-breaking framework, we hope to offer one-of-a-kind solutions to the advertising industry’s ever-changing consumer demands and habits. Our new Finding X framework, which is divided into an adaptable A, B, and C formula, is specifically designed to find transformative goods and services required for giving current and potential clients a competitive edge as well as advance international advertising practise.

Our mission to redefine how advertising is practised and viewed in Nigeria and Africa is still the same with Finding X. Only this time, we’ll step up our approach to researching and comprehending the customer. We’ll use digital and interactive media to further our reach, and we’ll evaluate each campaign’s effectiveness to make further advancements.

The strategic importance of the Finding X framework is what motivated a redesign of our logo and website, with the X in the X3M emblem now standing out more than ever.

What then is our X? What distinctive brand values do we want to convey? And how will we conduct ourselves over the ensuing ten years? Therein are the solutions.

The X in X3M stands for a variety of things. The X-files, X marks the spot, the hidden treasure, the X factor, and the unknown are all examples of the unknown. All of these applications are possible. And discovering X is like discovering gold—the gold of customer engagement. The discovery tool will enable us to identify the X for our current and prospective clients in the representation of their brands, goods, or services, giving them a competitive advantage. Finding idea spaces that are specific to each brand is a logical progression supported by research and knowledge of human behaviour.

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This framework will also serve as a unique guide for advertisers in and outside of Africa to realise the full potential of the continent’s consumer market over the coming ten years.

According to data from market research, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the African advertising market to shrink by almost a quarter in 2020. After advertising expenditure on the continent decreased by more than 23% from $6.52 billion a year earlier, Africa was also the world’s smallest regional ad market during the period with a $5 billion investment. According to projections, the continent will experience positive but modest growth rates in the coming years, and the decline is not expected to reverse soon.

A sustainable path to quickly turn the tides will be provided by comprehending the rapidly evolving market dynamics in relation to consumer engagement and satisfaction and designing strategies tailored to meet their needs.

The Finding X framework and rebrand of X3M Ideas were inspired by the burning desire to offer brands, customers, and advertisers these essential creative solutions. And as we open the book to the next chapter, we remain steadfastly committed to developing new ideas and working together to make a difference in the world while upholding the principles that make us unique.

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