Ajibola Olayiwola is the futuristic Marketer you all want to have on your team

The coronavirus pandemic has been a leveller as much as an enabler. Fortunately, many Nigerians – and businesses – have leaned towards the latter; talk about grabbing opportunities amidst difficult situations. In other words, proffering solutions to problems when they matter the most.

In the midst of the raucous, online shopping, which has become more a lifestyle, has become a necessity. More Nigerians, even those who do not quite flow with the online shopping craze, are now both window and actual shoppers. It is now a habit.

Seeing this redefined ‘new normal’, Konga is ‘constantly evolving and responding‘.

This is why we caught up with the Head, Marketing at Konga Online Shopping Ltd, Ajibola Olayiwola, discussing the online (and offline) market’s future, its response to customers’ changing needs; and Ajibola himself.

This is how it went:

Hello Ajibola! Thank you for doing Share of Voice with us! Let’s start with particular leadership principles you have adopted as you navigate through this period.

Firstly, it was to fully adopt the digital-first approach and mentality to all executions across the group.

For us, here at Konga, I will say, we adjusted pretty early because we saw the wave coming. In my capacity, what we did was to first roll out a brand-safe communication campaign to address customers of our commitment to handling all their needs. Then, we let all other executions run under it. We were very deliberate, and I guess we got the strategy right.

Then, I focused on being operationally efficient with my team and budgets and, honing in on the best motion to acquire and retain customers. As the lucky ones to this unfortunate pandemic, we used this period to do a number of trails and acquisitions.

Another major thing we did was to exhibit our understanding of customer challenges and providing the right resources plus perks at every stage of the buying journey so we easily turn interested in action.

There is talk of a second wave of the virus, possibly a third. On a general note, how do you think the pandemic will affect private companies in the long run? With projections for growth in the picture. 

For me, I will say leaders of entrepreneurial and privately owned businesses must proactively deal with this crisis by focusing on their exposure to risk, their interdependence, and their eligibility to receive support. Those three approaches will better position the business and help them sail these unprecedented times.

Indeed, there is a spirit that drives Nigerians to keep pushing through closed borders. Is it this same spirit that drives Konga now? And do you expect an upward or downward spiral in revenue even after the pandemic?

Absolutely, we are the largest and fully Nigerian omnichannel e-commerce company in Nigeria and that’s why at different times we have set a number of industry firsts. We are better positioned than ever right now and I can tell you for revenue freely…’up and only up we go‘.

How is Konga responding to the changing needs of its customers? Should we expect mind-blowing services asides what customers already experience?

Absolutely, we are a consumer-centric brand. All that we do are based on learning, research and listening to our customers.

Earlier in April, we switched focus to majorly essentials due to the pandemic. We also supported our customers with ₦10 million palliatives to support their shopping experience. We know our consumers are more pragmatic than ever and they are only considering immediate needs. At different times, we have also introduced free shipping, discount codes and so much more.

During our just concluded 8th anniversary, we also gave our hand sanitizers, face masks to customers that placed orders on our Konga platforms (online and our offline stores nationwide). We are also coming up with two new platform features that would give our customers a more satisfying experience.

We are constantly evolving and responding.

If you were given a magic wand to make changes in the Marketing industry, what will you focus on?

For me, it will be the famous marketing mix – the 4Ps. I know it might not sound so appropriate to you after you have spent years learning all marketing theories which used to help you build value proposition strategies.

I don’t think they are valid anymore. The digital world is evolving at an extremely quick pace and if you don’t follow you will just lose. The 4Ps should now be replaced with the 4Es. This embodies Engagement, Experience, Exclusivity, and Emotion.

Let’s face the truth. People don’t buy products anymore. They buy experiences and emotions instead.

When we talk Ajibola Olayiwola, what should we focus the conversation on? How have your experiences – challenges and successes – over the years shaped who you are now?

Everything digital! I’ve got a lot of interest in music and the entertainment industry at large too.

My experience includes a variety of marketing and advertising opportunities. I am a career marketing professional with over eight years of experience working at some of the biggest global media agencies in Nigeria. I previously led the digital discipline for WPP/Group M (Mediacom, Mindshare, Maxus) in Nigeria and a few sub-Saharan Africa markets under Algorithm Media. I have led and supervised a number of award-winning digital media campaigns for a number of local and global brands like P&G, Heineken, Nokia Mobile, British Airways, Lufthansa Air, NBC Universal, Canon, Friesland Campina WAMCO, Shell, Facebook & more.

All of these I’m proud of and they have carefully put me in my current career position. You can catch me up on my website – Kingjibson.com.

Why do we sense that you have one great idea that has not turned into reality? Well, tell us about it.

Naturally, I am a creative. I think a whole lot with a number of ideas in my diary book. Once it’s about time to roll out, I will be quick to reach out.

One word. Tell us how it will be for you when the pandemic becomes history.

Refined.

What does the world not know about you?

I believe in God so much and I’m also part of the few people that believe in Nigeria. I’m left-handed, I’m energy-driven, eccentric and a non-conformist.

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