Octagon Rooms

The Brand Ambassador / Influencer Dilemma

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by The Moderator 8 Comments

Toks: Data. Biiiiiiiiiiiggggg problem in these parts. I’ve had to cringe and sulk at some of the projects we were doing back at my former employers’ just because a “star” brought it.

Eddie: That’s tricky….besides impressions what metrics can u really use to appraise the effectiveness of a brand ambassador’s inclusion in a campaign really.

Wale: Come on guys. We live in a digital world. By simply A/B teasing a Falz banner ad versus Tekno. Everything in marketing should be A B tested.

Tayo: @Wale I have always said A/B tested banners should even decide what goes up on billboards. Have you tried explaining AB testing to an average client?

Eze: What I will never understand is why a brand can pay an ambassador x amount, but then not invest [at least] the same amount in creating proper campaigns and strategies leveraging the brand ambassador(s)?

Chuka: But by this short discourse alone, we already know the agency/agencies we really need to open in nigeria. Same reason why they won’t run the avant garde, different ads but will do the mundane- a total disrespect for the science that the art of marketing is. For them it’s all a magic wand- wave a brand ambassador and watch sales spike.

Bayo: From my end of the table, is there a fit? So there is a fit, now what is the strategy? Does the talent understand the strategy? Can the strategy be tweaked so it’s in his image and likeness? If we are able to answer these questions, we have solved one half of the problem

Chuka : Same reason why they won’t run the avant garde, different ads but will do the mundane- a total disrespect for the science that the art of marketing is. For them it’s all a magic wand- wave a brand ambassador and watch sales spike. Because if you ask me, the reason why we hopped in the bed in the first instance was to make explosive sex abi? (Pardon my Bad Van Gaal Expression).

The Octagon: Tayo, had mentioned earlier that influencers should drive conversations. Should brand teams and agency’s decide what these conversations are and how to they ensure that these ambassadors/influencers stay on brand.

Tayo: Influencers drive conversation and conversion. I think that the influencers and the brand team should seat at the table and decide what the conversation will be. I don’t see the point of using an influencer when they cannot speak naturally. When the brand confines or restricts them to speak a certain way. If you are using IamKanmi, you can’t make him sound like IK. You are using him because he is influential for a certain reason, why take him out of that space.

Eddie: Your are after all signing then on to sway public opinion in your favour, a skill set they have developed independently over time with positive results. Scripted conversations rarely gain traction.

Bayo: Most certainly. It is imperative to have them sit at the table together. Tayo, this is the one time I think it is necessary. So the brand doesn’t lose its message. I remember the Glo rap that was written for Modenine. I’ve never been able to understand it. Same goes for Naeto.

Toyosi: Is I am Kanmi a good MC? I don’t know. I know a lot of editing goes into making videos and can make videos appear funny on the fourth and fifth take. Do people know that? No. Will they attend to “laugh” because it’s I am Kanmi? Yes. Has I am Kanmi drawn a crowd for the concert/event? Yes. The Marketing strategy worked.

Tayo: To digress a bit, I think the use of Funke in the latest Glo ad was spot on

Wale: “Instagram comedians” marketing has truly evolved. But Falz has got to be the best example out there now.

The Octagon: Is there a way to truly measure how much an ambassador / influencer is worth and as a result pay adequately? Or should the brands pocket be the deciding factor.

Wale: If we can measure the worth of footballers, we can definitely measure the worth of ambassadors. It’s a numbers game.

Toyosi: But what are the footballers promoting? Are you sayin anything that they promote will sell? I understand nike and adidas but if Messi tells me about milk…

Wale: No. I’m saying they have stats you judge them by. Numbers. Number of goals, assists etc. Same should go for ambassadors. Be it number of records sold, awards won,social media stats (legit or bought).

Toyosi: There are solid stats to back that up though

Tayo: @Wale but sometimes, a ‘rave of the moment’ guy may not have those numbers and may be a fit.

Wale: See I’ve worked with Germans long enough to know that rave or not, you can put numbers to anything.

Eddie: Seen That one too many times.  Influencers with real followers but can’t amplify anything. Clients run with the numbers always.

Toyosi: I feel like it’s easier for influencers to sell certain things though. They shouldn’t be used across all industries

Tayo: @Eddie, I simply check their engagement rate. Let me give you an example. When you compare the average number of engagement Twyse, Maraji, Nedu wazobia and Kanmi get per video to the followers versus the same for Crazeclown and some other people, you’ll know where to put your money.

Wale: It depends on what numbers you’re looking at. If I want awareness. I go with follower count. f I want engagement and conversion, I have to look at engagement. Numbers don’t guarantee anything. But then again, strategy can be a factor. I know blogs with way more traffic than some popular ones but are they generating that much in ads revenue?

Toyosi: But where are those followers? Are they where your product is being sold? Who checks that ?

The Octagon: How do the brands then know the figures to pay out? In a scenario where an iamkanmi and a don jazzy are picked for a project but kanmi is a better fit. Should he be paid more?

Eddie: I always go with engagement. Follower count means nothing these days. Imagine a stylist with say 100k followers engaged to amplify and advocacy campaign.  Epic fail.

Wale: Well, not all platforms have detailed analytics yet. But it boils down to the objective of the campaign you engage them for.

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8 Responses

  1. Man! My brain wants to blow up! As a small business owner, I think a CEO is supposed to understand every single aspect of his business, from profit/loss statements to how many satchets of Omo it takes to mop his office floor. And my mind has been opened up to the inner workings of digital marketing (crucially)in a Nigerian context.
    Good one, guys!

  2. Adeyemi says:

    Hello house, you guys put up a great conversation filled with fantastic insights. My take away includes brand fit and be careful of copying strategy. It seems people don’t want to do the hard work. Asking some clients deep questions as to why a customer should buy what they sell make them feel somehow. No market research done, no customer insight. But you are to strategize and sell.
    Guess you guys could help answer this question someday: as a digital marketer, how do I sell product I don’t know to people I don’t know?

    • Eddie Madaki says:

      Hello Adeyemi.

      The answers to your questions are actually embedded in your comment, research and market analysis. To complete a sale, your product must fill a need to your target market . So complete understanding of said product is key, next your communications / marketing strategy must appeal to your target market on an emotional level , convincing them off your value preposition, here is where in depth market research comes in. Identify creative ways to over come potential cultural , religious, socio-behavioural trends with that community or target demographic that may impede your campaign. This you can achieve by running your marketing strategies through focus groups, A/B testing as referenced in our discourse, using locally recognised and respected personalities to introduce your offerings etc. Most importantly monitor feedback and modify your sales strategy as need be. Marketing is quite organic so it’s important to make small changes along the way to make for a more persuasive product pitch. Understand the product and position for worst case responses to how it’s recieved, research your target market and communicate values over generic advertising and mentions. Hope this helps.

  3. Klaze says:

    Highly informative and I really like the tone of conversations here but then if i may lend my thoughts on Bayo’s rhetorical question on women buying pampers because of Tiwa or Pepsi because of wizkid I would like to share my personal opinion concerning that, ..umm I stand to be corrected but I believe there are women that actually buy pampers because of tiwa savage or at least have renewed confidence in the brands ability to upgrade and keep up with younger and new generation motherhood, sure it myt not be the average mother and I know there are better and more trendy brands than pampers now but then with Tiwa’s image reckoning with the brand I believe it also gives it if not an edge at least an equilibrium with newer brands and helps create the impression that pampers is not old school yet (or should i use the word obsolete) its still trendy .. “Tiwas uses it” trust me mild variables like dis reflect on sales even if its 10 or 15% higher than it woud have been if they dint make effort to connect with younger generations, as for Pepsi, there was a time when i would not be caught dead with pepsi or any of their brand in public due to the stereotype on it being a substandard version of coca cola, Wizkid’s affiliation might not necessarily make me a Pepsi regular (Of course my favourite sodas still remain Cocacola and sprite) but at least am not shy anymore about associating with the brand and of course when faced with the choice of purchasing Pepsi at an event or an outdoor party i would do so and even stroll around with the brand in hand.. so yes in my personal opinion the choices on brand ambassadors for both pampers and pepsi respectively were not misguided i believe they actually influence sales on both product, but then what do i know, Y’all are the pros and of course ” I stand to be corrected.”
    But I really appreciate this platform theres so much to learn here and the interactive set up just makes it so interesting Lol ‘Regards

  4. Bunni says:


    I’ve once bought Loya Milk because of Don Jazzy.

    Iyen tu nko?

  5. San Weaven says:

    I sincerely enjoy this platform, but,there are every limited people that are aware of this type of platform.

  6. Gidyon Thompson says:

    I really appreciate your effort in engaging thought leaders in solving basic market, economic and social political issues .

    As part of my final year project is to research on the relationship between brand endorsement by celebrities and patronage. Truth be told, what may have worked for company A maynot work for company B. We know that people model their behaviors based on role models and thats the hinge of using brand ambassadors for a brand. But the real sense is, can you effectively transfer the clout of a particular ambassador into real customers for your brand?
    It goes beyond advertising! That’s the big question.

  7. Subomi says:

    Whatever advertising strategies are put in place need to align with brand essence and appeal to the emotions of the target market. In Nigeria today, it just seems the norm to sign up a popular face as a brand ambassador whether or not the individual in question depicts what the brand stands for “the bandwagon effect”.

    If you must have an ambassador, then it needs to be tactically done; some brands have done this successfully while some see it as a jamboree and just have a clutter. when done right, it would positively influence the perception of the consumers.

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