Just yesterday we learnt Nigeria ranked top in Africa. This was based on a study by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4Ai). Nigeria is the second leading country of the African emerging economies with the highest internet access and are accurately so in offering internet services at affordable rates.
Today though, one of Africa’s giant economies, South Africa, having seen the future, a possible shift of continental economic dominance, launched an ambitious plan to boost high-end practical IT skills among South Africans. The industry based partnership between one of South Africa’s top corporate organizations, KPMG and Digital Skill Academy will boost development of digital products and services including mobile phone applications.
Ok… let’s put this into context. About 313.2 million Africans have access to the internet. This is an estimated 6839.1% increase in internet access and use since the new millennium. According to A4Ai, Nigeria emerged second only to Rwanda with an estimated broadband penetration rate of 10%.
Important Role of IT Skills for Tec-based Marketing
The study indicated Nigerian government had invested in plans to increase the penetration rate to about 30% by 2018. It showed the government had prioritized key drivers of int. affordability such as; regulatory independence, transparent policies, and regulatory capacity. However, this is expected to take a sharp increase by the year 2017.
According to MTN and the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the Nigerian broadband penetration rate is expected to have risen way past the projected 30% by the year 2018. This would be based on implementation of the national broadband penetration plan by the government in collaboration with stakeholders, mass rollout LTE technology coupled with an increased rollout of smartphones at affordable costs to the Nigerian populace by the stakeholders.
With the increase in internet accessibility, broadband penetration, and a general use of technology, Nigeria cannot afford a slack. Not when notable other Africa’s top emerging economies like Kenya, Rwanda, Morocco and Uganda are up in arms in a competitive race to embracing that which may be termed commercial adoption & use of internet centered technology and a digital based marketing.
The IT skills shortfall is not a digital crunch for South Africa only. The 313.2 million Africans using the internet hopefully on a daily basis is an online market not exploited in totality. Back home our own fast growing Nigerian market remains unexploited for reasons tech. Ask me then, why the future of Nigerian Marketing and by extension the economy lies on new generation of technology? I’ll tell you!
Why Learn about Tech-based Marketing
One key pillar of any successful business is demand. The other is availability of resources including capital and infrastructure. The snowballing internet accessibility and affordability in Nigeria guarantee these two. What remains is the creation of several marketing platforms to match the growing online market and the ability to locate & manipulate digital data available online to suite the micro-and-macro enterprises.
This is the gap South Africa noted and is in the front line dealing with. In another place, the Kenyan government noted this too and launched an inspiring program to aid acquisition of technology skills by giving laptops to their grade one pupils so they too, like in the UK, can develop digital skills early on in their development.
In the face of the digital crunch, IT specialists are the most sought after. There are various thoughts we can draw from this. One of them is that we need these guys as soon as yesterday. And another is we need them now. However we must not forget we will need more of them in a near future. This is why our kids need to take computer studies very seriously. Proper investment by the Nigerian gov’t in the same is a step in the right direction. Early adoption of comp. programming skills and specific coding languages plays a role in their interest in software revolution and marketing innovation.
People are Learning IT Skills more than Before
There are a few concerns that should be clear though: Coding is not so hard as is perceived often, most of the time it is exaggerated, it does not necessarily lead one to programming, it is an art, and that there is no final level to sit and relax a pro. There are so many methods around coding. It should be practiced routinely, especially since there are new innovations every day. And that new software applications hit the technology market every single day.
On a positive note the snowballing adoption of technology by the Nigerian consumers has begun to have a toll on the Nigerian market, making it the fastest with the potential, and more room for expansion. We have always said this. Increased broadband connectivity can boost home networking in the near future. This coupled with the aspect of Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to high tech driven product, service delivery that will definitely come along with new challenges.
Why Tech-based Marketing is Important?
Other than the need for a new coding language taught in simple IT code alphabets to our next generation and the need to up our game in the increasingly growing online market, Nigerian marketers should jostle ready to take up the challenge. Notable is the fact some manufacturers are already catering for this new demand with IP-enabled devices. It can provide appropriate insights on new customer demands. Others have taken a leap into the next level. They are making significant investments in marketing innovation. An aspect considered the next face of the digital advertising.
Here are a few tips that will not only ensure healthy competition between the Nigerian product service providers but also ensure the Nigerian marketers fare well at a global marketing stage.
- The government should work with stakeholders to ensure broadband home connectivity. This will encourage access to and use of the internet by the larger Nigerian population at the village level.
- The government should also work with stakeholders to ensure accelerated market growth. It encourages an unprecedented focus on its’ planned infrastructural, policy, and support programs.
- Nigerian marketers should increasingly invest in more sophisticated cloud based technologies, and data analytic applications.
They must not only perfect the art of product service delivery but also ensure a globally competitive customer experience.