How Building Strong Network Can Sustain a Start-Up

By Kenneth Horsfall

I tell you this with a great fact Nigerians are peculiar people, Nigerians are not like every African, they are a very different breed of people. They think differently, not like every African. So, today I am going to be teaching you how to really understand the psychology of marketing when dealing with Nigerians so you can take advantage of it and sell anything to a Nigerian and he or she will buy. To begin our class, let’s define what Marketing Psychology is.

What Is Marketing Psychology

Marketing psychology attempts to understand the way that consumers think, feel, reason, and make decisions. The goal of marketing is to convince people and make a calculated emotional appeal can be just what you need to land a lasting customer.

Marketing is building relationships between brands and consumers, which includes stoking loyalty and awareness in consumers. Psychology, on the other hand, is the study of the human mind and human behaviour.

Let’s just go further to explain how this truly works. Marketing psychology closely relates to consumer behaviour: the study of how and why we purchase goods or services. Borrowing insights from behavioral sciences, such as neuroscience and cognitive sciences, marketing psychology looks at how people’s feelings and perceptions influence their buying habits. So, now you get the point abi?

Psychological tactics that influence how Nigerian consumer’s behaviour

Good news! You don’t have to be a psychologist to stage a successful emotional appeal to your potential customers in Nigeria. Many successful marketers use these strategies to great effect. With a bit of research and experimentation – you can too.

An important component of successful marketing is understanding how and why people think and act in certain ways. All of your marketing efforts should stem from this understanding. If, for example, you’re a content marketer creating an infographic, your efforts will be far more successful if you begin with your end consumer in mind. Who are they and why should they care about your infographic? What action(s) do you want them to take as a result of the infographic? Is progress measurable?

Reverse engineering, this process can be illuminating. At this point, you may be thinking that this is all very obvious. But how well do you truly understand your customer? Are they a two-dimensional idea or a three-dimensional person? What motivates them to make a decision?

Understanding how people operate can be the difference between good marketing and great marketing.

  1. Nigerians Are Very Impulsive

Have you ever been waiting in line at the grocery store only to grab a few “last minute” items before your transaction? Those items weren’t placed there on accident. It’s quite intentional and has been enabling impulse buys for decades. Flash sales in email marketing campaigns are another way this psychological marketing tactic is applied. How can you use people’s impulsive nature to satisfy their needs?

  1. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Our brains can process images a whole lot faster than they can comprehend the written word. This is for good reason. Long before Harry Potter, people needed the ability to quickly assess the lay of the land in order to survive. Play into this. We live in a visual world. Spend some time pondering your use of visuals. People will form an instant impression based on visual appearance.

  1. Color Psychology

Colors have an enormous impact on our moods and emotions – possessing the profound ability to influence our perceptions. We associate certain colors with whimsy, others with trust, and others with sensuality. Depending on what you’re selling, be aware of your use of colour. It is important to send a consistent message on all fronts. Appeal to the subconscious mind first, and logic later.

  1. The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

Certain words or phrases, while cliched, evoke an emotional response. Organic. Gluten-free. Certified. Testimonial. Authentic. There is a perfectly good reason that words like these are plastered all over products: it works. People continue to go for it. Think about the products and services you’re marketing and try to find the words that have the potential to elicit an emotional response. Use them when talking about your products.

  1. The Power of “Yes”

Yes, is a powerful word. It is the green light that gets you in the door. Getting people to say yes to little things before going for the win is a time-honoured sales strategy. It creates a sense of connection and agreeability. This is as popular today as ever. Many businesses use social media in this way: warm an audience up with social ads, get them to take a small action (watch a video or sign up for an email list), create trust, and convert. This whole process is a series of small agreements that gradually open the door to a sale.

  1. Nigerians love to make Decisions Emotional

The decision-making process is emotionally driven. Even people that pride themselves on being rational aren’t immune. We all make decisions based on two things: what satisfies our needs and what aligns with how we are. Marketers would be wise to try to elicit an emotional response from potential customers.

To conclude our class today on understanding the psychology of marketing to Nigerians, we will check out why Nigerians will buy your product or service.

Nigerians don’t care about you, how much success you’ve achieved or even what you have to sell.

Nigerians care about themselves first, second, third and up to infinity.

Nigerians are naturally selfish; Including me, including you, that is reading this article is a Nigerian!

If you want Nigerians to buy what you have to sell, here is what you need to do;

Forget about what you want or don’t want and focus on giving them what they want and getting rid of what they don’t want!

The 40/40/20 Rule of Marketing – Here is a fact that explains why Nigerian customers will buy. The “40/40/20 rule” explains what constitutes the response for a marketing campaign. It breaks down like this: 40% of the success of your marketing is dependent on the target audience; 40% of the success of your marketing is dependent on what you’re offering [product or service]; 20% of the success of your marketing is dependent on creativity. That’s just it.

Why will Nigerians buy your product or service? – Nigerians buy for the following reasons. Provide these reasons and the sale becomes natural.

Utility – why should I buy this? Nigerians buy because they are interested in two things. These two things they are interested in are the same two things you and I are interested in. Because all of us are only interested in the following two things: Getting rid of a PROBLEM you have and don’t want and/or creating a RESULT that you want and don’t have.

The utility they said is the satisfaction derived from the consumption of a particular product or service. In other words, utility = satisfaction derived = value. Products or services sell not because you have bills to pay, or because you have needs to be met. In fact, if you ever hope of selling anything, you have to get ‘YOU’ out of the equation and focus on ‘THEM’. Products or services sell because your Nigerian customers want utility.

Credibility – why should I buy from you? The second reason why Nigerians will buy from you is credibility. Nigerians buy from people they trust. After a Nigerian sees the utility in what you are offering for sale, the next thing they want to see is credibility. Are you for real? Can you really deliver this utility? Are you capable of delivering on your promise? This is very crucial for making the sale.

Relevance – why should I buy NOW? I see the value in your offering, I trust your ability to deliver, but is what you are selling relevant to my current situation? I am interested in what you are offering for sale, based on a certain track record, I think I trust your brand, but how well is your solution –product/service suitable for my current needs? This is the most crucial phase of the three reasons why Nigerians buy. To successfully get over this phase, two key skills are required; The ability to question skillfully and the ability to listen carefully

To uncover the relevance of your product/service to the current needs of the customer, you’ve got to dig deep beyond the surface. Nigerians find it naturally difficult to express their deep desires until skillfully led. The more you skillfully ask questions and listen carefully and patiently to the answers, the more the customer will open up and talk to you.

Takeaway: As an entrepreneur, you are trying to sell to Nigerians, the best way to do it is to create the kind of environment where the Nigerians feel comfortable expressing themselves openly and honestly. Your goal is to see things like a Nigerian, see things from their perspective and make them trust you then see how they will run to you with their money.

Kenneth Horsfall is the creative director and founder of KS Kennysoft Studios Production Ltd, fondly called Kennysoft STUDIOs, a Nigerian Video and Animation Production Studio. Horsfall is also the founder and lead instructor at Kennysoft Film Academy and can be reached via


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