Marketing Lessons From Nigeria's 2023 General Election

5 Marketing Lessons From Nigeria’s 2023 General Election

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The 2023 Presidential Election would remain a great history. Apart from Nigeria adopting the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the first time, the country experienced the young elite standing against the age-long cabals and breaking the power dichotomy. 

The Labour Party’s presidential candidate, a minority group, contested against the ruling parties, the All Progressive Congress and Peoples Democratic Party, ending with each candidate winning 12 states but with a margin in the total number of votes. This is the closest election we have ever experienced in Nigeria, reflecting the diversity and inclusivity of the modern Nigerian political era.

While this stiff competition can be ascribed to several factors. We cannot nullify the importance of the marketing strategies adopted by the political parties. This includes:

  1. Identification of need
  2. Strategic market segmentation
  3. Value differentiation 
  4. Amplification of antecedents (Go and verify tactics)
  5. The potency of social media platforms

One thing is glaring in Nigeria’s needs identification: the evolving social change. Nigerian youths are tired of the oppression and negligence of the governments and the upper classes, as evident in the #EndSARS campaign. However, no resolutions but heightened tension and coverups so far. Hence, they hold that any individual beyond the ruling parties would be the answer to Nigeria’s socioeconomic needs.

While the Labour Party candidate targeted the youths during the presidential campaign, the APC and PDP candidates targeted the Nigerian populations by region, as usual. The youths cover 70% of the 217 million Nigerian population. They are known for their drive for political change and ability to influence the other 30% of the population due to their relationships and energy.

This strategy enhanced the market segmentation, location for the presidential campaigns, and value message for the campaign, which included relevant economic statistics, transparency, advertising messages and discipline. As such, ‘Go and Verify’ became a famous slogan for any statements that require to be checkmate and ‘Emi Lokan’ became a positive declarative statement. 

This election is not the first time a younger and minority group would stand up against the ruling parties. An example was Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC) in 2019. However, it has never been so smooth and surreal. 

The Labour Party understood the pain of Nigerian students in Nigeria and internationally regarding infrastructures and foreign exchange trade, among others. However, as much as the ruling party tried to leverage these identified pain points, it kept backfiring. This indicates the power of good antecedents. This was primarily contextualised in value-based messaging to make a tremendous trenchant statement for the next election.

As a business owner, while market research is crucial, no matter the discovered opportunities in the marketplace, there must be sufficient strengths in the products or services to fall back on. Hence, optimal customer service is needed through customer polling, product testing and implementation.

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