Popoola: The impact of AI on businesses in Nigeria will generally be positive

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A pioneer in Nigeria’s digital space, Williams Popoola is the founder of Wow Effect Communications, a leading marketing consultancy in Nigeria. In this interview he talked about new technologies, digital marketing space and other topics. Nosa Alekhuogie presents excerpts.

What makes your digital agency different from others?

I call our culture of customer orientation. We don’t say we’re the oldest or the best. Rather, we value making our customers the best in their business. And our success lies in the success of our customers’ businesses. I think customers see that and appreciate it. We also have a rare combination of creative, technical skills and our obsession with data and testing.

How do you see the global 5G war with the United States of America and China?

5G technology is a quantum leap from 4G, and the endless potential applications with 5G make it a big deal – from connecting the billions of objects that make up the Internet of Things (IOT) to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to… for transport within and between cities.

The country that takes the lead in 5G will be positioned for global digital dominance, which likely equates to overall dominance in technology. So the 5G war between the US and China is understandable.

But if we talk about 5G rollout in Nigeria, I think it will be very small. This is mainly due to the high cost of deploying 5G technology and the higher cost of 5G phones.

What projects have you worked on?

This is a very difficult question because there are so many projects. But I will say that I am most excited about projects that have a huge social impact. Our cancer awareness campaign in Africa for HCG Oncology of India, Covid-19 awareness campaigns for many Nigerian organizations and then I am really excited about the work we are doing to bring digitization to many Nigerian schools via Google Workspace education.

What business tips can you give startups?

You should pay attention to the Product Market Fit. No matter how good or far-sighted your idea is, it will not be sustainable if it doesn’t fit the market.

I mean, startups fail because they’re trying to build a product for customers that don’t exist. After adjusting the product market, I advise them to take marketing very seriously. Many startups seem to believe that “if they build a better mousetrap, the world will slam a way to their door.”

Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. If you don’t market your product, you won’t reach your audience. If you don’t reach your audience, you won’t get customers. If you don’t have customers coming in, your startup will fail.

How will AI affect companies in the future and how can leaders prepare for it?

From smartphones to chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) is already ubiquitous in our lives. For businesses, the role of AI is to automate routine tasks and make decisions as a human would. In addition, AI can solve complex problems, make predictions about business parameters and help companies go digital.

I think the impact of AI on business will be generally positive. It will enable machines to do things that will enable humans to do even more rewarding things.

How are companies preparing for this? I say re-tool in skill building, it’s about having the right skills in your organization.

How has Covid-19 affected your business?

To be honest, it was good for business. Many companies that never took their digital presence seriously have suddenly realized its importance. In that sense it was good.

A lesson I learned again from the Covid19 challenge is that people and organizations are adaptable. Many companies implemented new ways to engage with their customers through digital channels and new ways to work internally with remote workers in a matter of weeks. I mean, in the past, such significant changes would have taken years, I guess.

What are some recent company milestones for your agency?

Well, in addition to our Google Marketing partnership, we’ve also secured a Google Cloud partnership. We have also strengthened our security offerings through partnerships with Appsco from Norway and Dataguard MEA.

We have also just completed the opening of our East Africa office.

How do you see the development of the social media area in the next three to five years? How do you see brands using the medium to increase brand awareness or engage consumers?

Regulation is increasing, especially in the area of ​​privacy. Platforms will also become more difficult in terms of content filtering, we’ve seen this happen with Presidents’ Twitter ban, Sugar Daddy app removal from Google Play and the like.

As a futurist, how do you think marketing technology and data will come together to enable better personalization?

Advances in technology, data and analytics will soon enable marketers to create much more personal and “human” experiences across moments, channels and stages of purchase. The common axis of this transformation will be the amazing power that individual marketers will have to create, experiment, analyze and innovate like never before. When you personalize your marketing, you invariably send the right message to the right people at the right time.

How does Wow work with other marketing agencies and niche services? How does this add to your agency’s capabilities and make you an industry leader in your niche competency?

That’s why we work with many traditional marketing agencies. This is done in two ways, some of our clients require some offline engagements and as these are not within our own area of ​​expertise we have a list of traditional agencies that we refer these projects to. Then, when those agencies receive a digital brief, they reach out to us and we work together to deliver a great service to their clients.

How did your company become the digital marketing agency that attracts large and enviable clients?

To be honest, I don’t know. But one thing that I think probably helped is our ability to link our work to the way the C-suite makes decisions. You know – profits, revenue, leveraging existing assets, return on investment (ROI), customer acquisition, etc. This is different than the natural language a person speaks for digital marketing – rankings, canonicals, engagements, CRO, etc.

Looking back over those seven years, how would you quantify the impact that digital innovation has had on the business?

I think the ubiquity of that is obvious.

What new technology are you most looking forward to (if any)?

I say quantum computing. While I won’t pretend to understand how it works in detail, I feel it requires a strong background in linear algebra, which I obviously don’t have. But I’m excited to see what’s possible with quantum computing.

Using increasingly sophisticated, AI-powered tools, augmented marketers will reach new levels of creativity and productivity in creating magical moments for customers.

Tell us something about your company

We are a full service digital solutions company based in Lagos, Nigeria. We support companies of all sizes – small to medium and large – in their digital transformation efforts.

Today’s technologies are changing the world while creating tremendous growth opportunities and significant threats.

We’ll help you move quickly to seize the opportunities while effectively mitigating the risks that this reality brings.

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