Segun Adekoye - the spark youth empowerment platforms in Nigeria

Segun Adekoye

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Segun Adekoye is the Digital Marketing Lead of Access Bank. He shares with us how much of a role the digital team played in ensuring that the brand achieved total recall, even with the merger.

 

Background

I did my youth service at Zenith Bank. After that, I joined an advertising agency called, Silver Sale, where I served in Client Services.

I was also designing the website of clients of Silver Sale. From there, I started to write for blogs. I was writing for CP Africa, covering topics from economics to technology. From there I started writing for IT News Africa, a Kenya-based technology journal.

Then I also wrote for a Cairo-based online digital publishing company called, Bikiamasi.

I did this for a while and then started to write for 360Nobs fully. While I was writing for 360Nobs, I still had articles published for YNaija, Bellanaija, Ladun Liadi, Linda Ikeji, BBC UK amongst others.

I had a short stint at an advertising agency called Discovery Brands, where I was responsible for strategy as well as digital content.

So, while I was at Discovery Brands, I created a social media account for one of their clients called, Gomini Foods.

Gomini Foods owns the Debonair Pizza brand. In 2013, I applied for a role of Social Media Manager at Access Bank and fortunately, I got it. I started as the web and social media officer of the bank and moved up to becoming the lead for the social media team.

Right now, we have grown from being a social media team to being a full-fledged digital marketing team, covering all the ramifications of digital marketing, from search engine optimisation to email marketing, mobile marketing, display advertising, social media marketing and website management.

 

Our Strategy: Win

The essence of a strategy is to take you from Point A to Point B and it is supposed to show you how to get there. At Access Bank, our vision is to become the most respected African bank and everything that we do drives us towards that goal.

It is important that our communication strategies align with the overall business objective; otherwise, there will be a nearly irreparable gap.

 

The Recipe

To achieve a lasting impact, we always want to ensure that our communications objectives are in place; we know exactly what we are trying to achieve.

In some cases, it is an awareness campaign and in other cases, it is a conversion campaign where we want people to take certain actions. But there are underlying principles governing some of the campaigns we do.

One, we want to ensure that the campaigns are shareable; that means people are happy to share things that they feel will make other people happy or they are just seeing for the first.

We understand that it is like social currency to them because they have information that other people don’t.

Also, we want to ensure that there is an emotional tie; we want people to see themselves or someone they know in the creative (in whatever forms it comes in).

We want it to evoke happiness, gratitude or joy. Again, we want to ensure that we tell good stories.

It is almost like a Trojan horse where you create a story and you put a product right in the middle of it that can make the people feel good about themselves and so they can feel understood by Access Bank.

Additionally, sometimes, the campaigns we create border on causes that we are passionate about and some of these things are; climate change, health care, education.

We try to create awareness through our campaigns so as to improve people’s lifestyles.

 

The Merger on Social Media

Basically, we were doing a lot from social media community management, responding across all platforms to customers’ enquiries, requests and also communicating the benefit of the merger.

We tried to allay fears of customers and try to get feedback from customers and feeding that feedback to the customer experience team and other stakeholders within the bank.

Beyond that, we are also responsible for listening using different tools so that we could respond and take certain actions as people talked about the merger and how it affected them or their business and how they felt about it.

That helped us with sentiment analysis and taking corresponding action to ensure that sentiments remain positive.

Again, we are responsible for Online Reputation Management and one of the things that happened during the merger was different rumours and wrong information spreading, especially that there would be mass layoff as a result of the merger.

Being on the digital team and on the inside, we understood it was going to be a full marriage and no layoffs across teams.

We also understood the strength of both brands; the strength of Diamond Bank in retail and technology and the strength of Access Bank in the corporate, treasury and risk management.

We were basically fusing both institutions to create one of the largest financial houses to come out of Africa. Understanding this, we had to communicate this to customers clearly.

It was also our duty to run promotions where necessary, creating awareness about the merger at that time across all platforms.

It was also the responsibility of the digital team at Access Bank to work closely with the digital team at Diamond Bank to ensure that beyond the physical merge, there would also be the digital merge of platforms across channels that both banks had presence on; LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as well as YouTube.

The role of the digital team was quite enormous in informing the public about news, events, update and maintaining that relationship through consistent engagement and taking feedback from the public to the executive management.

 

Editorial Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.

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