Don't ignore Internet trends, Google tells CEOs

By The Citizen

Technology firm, Google Nigeria, has advised businesses in Nigeria and their Chief Executive Officers to take heed of Internet trends, so as not to lose out to competition and face the ultimate consequence of business collapse.

The firm said this was very important considering that there were now 43 million people online in Nigeria, representing 29 per cent of the population, all connecting, creating, sharing and communicating, quoting

Also making reference to a 2013 study by BRIU, the firm said 84 per cent of Nigerians were online for information gathering purposes.

The Country Manager, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, while providing a guide on how online search marketing works, said with the cost of Internet access falling and the speed of broadband accelerating, the web is going to become an increasingly powerful tool in the hands of consumers searching for what's on offer and comparing prices.

'CEOs need to make sure they are following consumer trends,' she advised.

She said Google was confident in the continuing appeal of search marketing in tougher times, adding that companies increasingly appreciate the control that search marketing gives them - which is all the more important when money is tight.

Ehimuan said, 'If search marketing can tell you exactly where every penny has been spent and only gets spent when someone shows a deliberate interest in your product, then it should be a business necessity. It's why the predictions of the doom merchants on web advertising have proved so wide of the mark.

'Wherever you are in the world, whatever your line of business, these are challenging times. Costs are rising fast, competition is increasing and the overall economic climate is more uncertain than for years. The result is that company budgets are being studied closely everywhere to see where cost-efficiencies can be made.

'Now, more than ever, online search marketing should be at the top of every CEO's strategy for the flexibility, targeting and measurable cost-effectiveness that it gives to business.'

By removing the guesswork and replacing it with actual numbers, she noted that search marketing puts the advertisers in control, as it enables them to target precisely, pay only for results and stay firmly in charge of costs, and 'turns advertising from an art into a science.'

She said, 'There are no big upfront costs when advertising on-line. Advertisers connect with potential customers at a time when they are searching for information - which makes it far more likely that this potential will turn into new sales. Instead of taking a scatter-gun approach, search marketing enables advertisers to target warm leads.

'It is payment by results. Advertisers only pay if a potential customer makes the decision to click on their advert. As this is an active, deliberate decision, it's far more likely to be rewarding for the advertiser. The Internet allows advertisers to root out waste and target their potential customers by geography and time.'

According to the Google Nigeria boss, search marketing deals in cold, hard numbers; as advertisers know their cost per customer acquisition down to the very last penny.

Online search, she explained, had changed the dynamics of marketing, as it allowed firms to target very accurately consumers who are actively searching for products or services they are interested in.