Why Etisalat favours Experiential Marketing over Newspaper Ads

Etisalat’s Head Youth Segment, Elvis Ogiemwauye, has disclosed that the GSM Company has over the years favoured experiential marketing models when targeting the youth market segment because that is what works for young people.

Speaking in a recent event in Lagos Ogiemwauye explained that as an organization, you have to know what you are in the minds of the customers. And on the basis of that you begin to find out where you can reach them.

“When it comes to youth brands, you hardly see us spend much money on newspaper adverts; we spend a lot of money on experience because we are dealing with the youth segment. For the young people, experience is everything. We create all kinds of experiences for them and we have seen how that has moved us to where we are,” he said.

One of the most popular experience models Etisalat has leveraged to expand their market is campus concerts. They contract popular Nigerian musicians, who have been chosen from a survey conducted among students.

Often times, the results of this surveys are usually not pleasant to the corporate identity of Etisalat because they throw up musicians whose social conduct and musical lyrics promote social vices.

So, the GSM company is often forced to bend over backward to project certain entertainment personalities not because they agree with their messages or social standards, but strictly because that is what the market demands.

Ogiemwauye’s explanations touched mainly on Olamide and Terry G, two of the most popular faces in Etisalat’s concerts. Both musicians have become high on demand across various higher institutions campuses across Nigeria despite their negative lyrical content and poor social standard.

“Before we hold concerts in any tertiary institutions we first conduct survey to know which artistes students like to see and we discover its Olamide and Terry G. These are the people they want to listen to and see, and these are the songs they want to listen to. So what do we do?” Ogiemwauye asked rhetorically, with a sense of regret.

These vices are not just limited to Olamide and Terry G, but they are common practice among many of the top hip hop artistes in Nigeria. And beyond drugs, sex and violence another culture that is fast gaining popularity in the entertainment industry is the issue of having children outside of wedlock. And the act is often times celebrated as normal.

Speaking at the same event, Akin Adeoya CEO of Marketing Mix raised concerns about the criteria used by brand promoters to select brand ambassadors. He regrets that little attention is paid to their negative conducts and messages.

But Ogiemwauye responded that Etisalat is equally conscious of the issue and have adopted different damage control mechanisms to ensure that young people are well guided. “So we try to make them understand that what they see is show biz and it is not real,” he said.

Etisala does this by organizing conferences where motivational and leadership experts are contracted to educate the youths, especially students on the need to keep positive attitude and adopt good morals. This is usually done before and after any Etisalat concerts.
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