After two years of job-hunting, Tosin decided to launch her own business by turning her love of baking into a business. Six months later, her most familiar emotion is not a sense of fulfillment but one of frustration. Despite how hard she applies herself to the company, the odds seem stacked against her. Tosin has numerous aspirations to expand her business, but raising awareness of her brand as she attempts to increase revenue remains challenging.
Chike, a UI/UX designer who decided to found a startup with a friend, is also facing a similar challenge. While their product shows promise and has gotten glowing endorsements within the tech community, their most significant problem remains how to make more people aware of their solution. Like Tosin, Chike understands that marketing is necessary to increase consumers and income, but the limited funds available are needed for other vital aspects of running the firm.
According to PWC’s Nigeria SME Survey, SMEs contribute 48% of national GDP, account for 96% of businesses, and 84% of employment. Unfortunately, small businesses in Nigeria rarely do well despite their ubiquity. Against this background, marketing remains one of the last things they can afford as they build their small businesses in Nigeria’s challenging economic climate.
In search of more affordable means to market their businesses, most Nigerian SMEs have turned to digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Nigerian government has also lent a hand to help Nigerian SMEs leverage digital marketing for growth. In 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) launched a digital academy to “provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) owners with digital skills.”
The private sector has also launched initiatives to assist SMEs in marketing their brands and increasing sales. For instance, Nimbus Media Ltd, a major digital out-of-home advertising company, recently announced the 2022 edition of its Nimbus Aid Project. Through the project, Nimbus will provide a month’s worth of advertising on its digital advertising boards to 10 Nigerian SMEs. Each winner will receive N2 million worth of outdoor advertising.
Nimbus Media says it is aware of many of the issues that SMEs encounter, including those listed above. The Nimbus Aid Project has been committed since 2016 to aiding small businesses in becoming more visible in the Nigerian market. Its CEO Wale Adegoke, adds that by providing solutions that help small businesses realise their potential, the company intends to contribute significantly to the growth of the Nigerian economy over the next few years.
In a 2020 poll by GeoPoll and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), it was found that OOH is more effective than TV and online advertising in most measures, including downloading an app, buying the brand mentioned, and recommending the brand to a friend. With this in mind, it is evident that the Nimbus Aid Project’s beneficiaries will be able to increase brand awareness and establish their brands in the minds of audiences.