It was an enlightening event on Saturday at the Africabeta conference. From the importance of monetizing apps in Nigeria to the many functionalities of WeChat, there was a lot gained. Even more so, I came to realize [like I didn’t know before, duh!] that there remains much work to be done concerning the adoption of mobile technology in Africa but we are headed in the right direction.
Here are 3 lessons I picked up at the event:
Monetizing mobile applications in Nigeria is important
Adia Sowho, the Director of Digital Media at Etisalat Nigeria and one of the keynote speakers, said that monetizing mobile apps is necessary in Nigeria. She reasons that we do not have the resources that abound in the West and so we cannot always take the approach that they take.
In the more developed countries, there is every possibility that an app, though without solid a revenue model, will be bought out by a bigger company simply because the app has gained traction. This is hardly the case in Africa. Here it is much simpler: you need to make money to grow, or at least be able to make money. So by balancing technology with sound business approach, there will be a greater chance of pulling off a successful mobile application platform in Nigeria.
If you’re not thinking social, you are on a long thing
To put it better, taking a cue from my NYSC Camp Commandant, if you are not thinking social, then you are wrong! With the way things are moving, social networking is important for your business. It makes it easier for you to connect with customers, both current and potential.
For example, with WeChat’s People Nearby feature, you can easily discover people [customers] around your area. As a customer, going through the Official Accounts feature on WeChat makes it easier for you to connect with your favorite brands and make purchases.
But it’s not enough to be social
Yes, I know the primary aim of businesses and brands who are online is to connect with their customers and create communities around them. However, this is no longer enough. Take this advice from Etop Ikpe, the second keynote speaker and Co-MD at Dealdey: “Everyone is fighting for the attention of the user. There’s so much information online and what drives the sharing of this information is interest. You have to turn on the social aspect of your platform as the first step to monetization. A purchase is more valuable than a like. A purchase is a validation of your product.”
So if you can convert your connection with your online customers and social media community to more sales, right there on the social network, then you would have hit a goldmine.