January 4

Business Growth in 2021: 5 Trends To Look Out For In Nigeria



5 HOT Business Growth Strategies You Can Deploy To Your Business Right NOW

Would you want to know the business growth strategies to use in 2021?

I know you do.

You see, growing a business takes a lot of effort and if you don’t know what to do and how to do it, it becomes even more difficult.

If you have followed us long enough, you would know that I work with small and established businesses to help them generate customers, rapidly grow revenue and maximize profit.

In the course of my work last year, I worked with a few businesses that didn’t have any strategy at all.

For example,  there’s this company that was spending about N15 Million naira ($41,000) in their marketing every month.

So, I asked, 'what ROI are you getting'?

The head of marketing couldn’t tell me anything than there’s a budget to go to Radio and TV, so they are drawing from the budget.

That is what I call ‘0 Probability Marketing’, it’s a form a marketing where you just push out all your marketing messages and hopes that someone finds it and become a customer.

Growing a business is extremely easy if you have a sound marketing strategy, tactics and implementation.

For me personally, I see customer acquisition and revenue growth like a military warfare. No military goes to war without a sound strategy.

Point is, always lead with strategy in 2021 and beyond.

When I say always, I mean ALWAYS!

Today, I’m going to share some trends to look out (and use to your advantage) and how to use them to grow your business in 2021.

So, I’m ready to jump in but first, rise up your left hand and repeat these words after me…

‘I… promise to not only read this post but also implement every single thing so I can grow my business in 2021 and also report back to Johnson Emmanuel’

You’ve made a promise, hope you’ll keep to it.

Now, let’s dive in…

2021 Business Growth Tip #1: More Customers To Buy Using Social Media 

The Punch recently reported that 75% of Nigerians use social media as 2017  and you can expect that trend to go up because it is also the year before election year.

So, a lot of people will be very active on the internet, buying and selling.

You can see that Nigerian’s are really making it BIG on social media these days. Almost all the viral news happened on social media.

That is how powerful social media is.

I expect that Facebook will raise more this year.

According to a recent report by statcounter 91% of Nigerians use Facebook over all the platform.

Every Nigeria business should use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but if you are in the B2B sector, Linkedin is looking good since they just improve their platform last year.

The introduction of Instagram stories has positioned the platform properly and it will help you reach even a wider audience.

A few years ago, Facebook tried to buy Snapchat but the deal didn't come through, so they decided to create a tool that will be better than snapchat.

It looks like they have succeeded.

Why Social Media Marketing Doesn't Work:

Most people just go to these platform and post their products and expect that people will just buy what they’re selling like that.

When they do that and make no sale, they get frustrated and say ‘Social media isn’t working for me’. It won’t work for you that way.

It is called ‘social media’, meaning it is not a place to ‘SELL, SELL and SELL’.

If you come across  like a hungry sales man, people’ll run away. You  need to first, give them massive value and let that value speak for itself.

Take about it this way…

You go to Oshodi and on your way to Mile 2, then you see this beautiful lady going to the same place with you and you quickly whisper this words into her ears…

‘Hello, baby, we are going to the same direction, I like you very much and I would like to marry you today, pleas, marry me now’

If the lady doesn’t give you a very dirty slap, you’d be a very lucky guy but that is what most people do on social media.

You meet a total stranger and expect the person to buy something from you when you have not added any value to the person

Except you’re selling ‘commodity’, people will only buy from who they know, like and trust.

Secondly, if you want to experience an amazing business growth in 2021, you should also consider spending money on online paid advertising.

One of the hottest platforms right now is Facebook. It can literally 10X your ad spend if you handle it correctly.

Anyway, I’ll tell you more about this as we progress in this post.

The keypoint is that social media marketing is one of the trends that will help businesses grow revenue this year, so DON’T take it common.

2021 Business Growth Tip #2: Tougher Competition From Competitors

What do you think is the ultimate aim of your competitors?

To get you out of business, it’s that simple.

In 2021, expect a very tougher competition from your competitors, they will fight you with everything they have to ensure they not only get a larger market share but even ‘steal’ your existing customers.

More businesses are springing up every single day. Take a walk to the corporate affairs commission, you will see that businesses are registered every single thing.

In 2010, we had 17.1 Million small businesses but in 2013, it rose to 37Million, and this is 2021.

Existing businesses are branching into new areas, so naturally, competitions will be very, very tough.

Take the case of last December, during the ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ period.

You would see that all the ecommerce shops where competing against themselves. Jumia and Konga were chasing each other.

If Jumia hears that Konga is On Channels TV, they’ll chase them there and vice versa.

I also show their ads on Facebook. They all had one thing in mind, to undo and outdo the competition.

Check the case of MTN and Zain.

Check the case of Coca Cola and Pepsi.

They were all ‘shouting’ on top of their voice. I expect the trend to continue like that in almost every business.

What if you didn’t need to compete?

The best advice I give to my clients is, in a crowded or saturated market is ‘DON’T COMPETE’, instead create a 'NEW MARKET’.

There are several ways you can do that.

Ever heard of 'Story Sell'?

Why your competitors are shouting ‘BUY MY PRODUCT’ ‘WE ARE THE BEST’, you lead by triggering the emotional buttons of your prospect by first, telling a story as it relate to your product or service.

You see, everyone loves to hear a story and if you’re able to link that story perfectly to your market, your marketing will do brilliantly well.

According to  a research in Spain that was published by the New York Times  and another research by Harvard Business School, they both explains that our brain is the most powerful ‘business tool’. 

So, ‘story-selling’ is one powerful tool that you can add in your ‘marketing toolkit’ if you want to make 2021 an amazing year.

For example, here is ‘Mr A’ and ‘Mr B’, they are both selling the same product, sexual enhancement product.

Enter ‘Mr A’…

‘If you buy my product today, you will be able to have good sexual relationship tonight with your wife and she will know that you’re the real man. Tonight she will not sleep. It’s just N50,000, buy it now and become the man that you should be’

Now, enter ‘Mr B’

'‘Well, it was exactly January 2 1980, I had just married my beautiful wife. We met in the university, when I met him, I knew from get go that she was my wife.

Immediately we were true from the university, I didn’t get a job, it actually took me 3 years to get one, she was lucky to have secured a job immediately we left school.

She loved me even more for those 3years that I was without a job. Finally, I got a job and we got married after 18months.

Many times, we tried making out but she insisted that we could only do that after marriage. I agreed because I loved her.

Few days to our wedding, I told her how she was going to ‘suffer in my hands under the sheet’ and she also bragged and told me that she was going to ‘finish me’ under the sheet.

Naturally, I was looking forward to the wedding night and it did come but that night was the worst night in my entire life.

I was so ashamed of  myself.  True to her words she ‘finished me’ may times. I was ashamed, really, really ashamed. My wife noticed this in me but she tried to make me feel good.

I was happy that she had fun but I was ashamed as a man, very ashamed of myself.  Two weeks later, she also ‘finished me’ again.

It was then I knew I needed help.

A friend bought THIS PRODUCT for me and I used it. That day, I was supposed to close at  4PM but I closed early because I wanted to go and ‘experiment’.

Unfortunately, when I got home, my wife was yet to be home. As I was about to have my bath, I noticed a knock on the door and luckily for me, it was my wife.

I was excited.

We eat, cleaned up and went to bed that night. I wont give you the details of what happened but it was the proudest night for me as a man. My wife couldn't do anything else because she was so tired. She slept all through to the next morning. She went to work late and I felt so proud of myself. I wish I got this product earlier, it would have saved me the initial embarrassment.’’

Now you tell me, between ‘Mr A’ and ‘Mr B’, who will you give your money?

You will #sell more than your competitors if you include 'story-selling' into your #business,it works every single time.

Click to Tweet

That is the power of 'story-selling', you sell without actually selling.

Most businesses make the mistake of only competition in price, for us and all our clients, we strongly discourage them to do ‘price competition’

If you target the right set of people for your business, paying you any fee isn’t going to be a problem. The first step knowing your market.

The point is DON’T compete, instead create a ‘new market’.

Once you do that, the competition becomes irrelevant. This is one way to win BIG in 2021.

2021 Business Growth Tip #3: Online Adverts To Take Over Tradition

According to  Vanguard  Internet user is put at 91.6 Million as at June of 2017.

91.6 Million people.

In 2013, I had predicted that  internet advertising was going to take over tradition form of advertising but not many people believed me.

A close friend of mine who works in one of the leading TV stations disagreed, obviously because of the bias of where he works, data doesn't lie but the reality is before us today.

The reality is before us now, Online advertising is taking over traditional advertising. The reality is before us now!

Click to Tweet

Let me give you REAL LIFE practical examples…

According to Emarker,  Digital advertising spend was above TV ads in the US market.  

 Infact, in the US, 37% of the entire advertising budget went to digital advertising.

Netflix is a streaming service, they are like the DSTV and  Star Times of this world, the only difference is that they are online base.

That company is based online, they do online advertising A LOT

As at 2016, their revenue hit 8.83 Million United states dollars, 109 Million subscribers and towards the end of 2017, some studies show that people were even closing their normal satellite TV for Netflix.

They are not like the tradition satellite TV  you watch on TV, you watch this on the internet, yet they seem to have over taken the traditional satellite TV stations.

The good thing about advertising on the internet over  other forms of advertising is that, it allows you get the exact people you want to reach.

For example, If I want to run a marketing campaign on Facebook and I want to reach only men within a certain age group, it is doable.

If I want to reach only widowers or widow, it is doable.

No matter who I want to reach, no matter their income level, no matter where they stay or work, I can reach them with online marketing.

Now, let me even shock you further.

If you were to do traditional advertising in Nigeria, you’ll probably want to to sue TVs, Radios and Newspapers, rights?

All the leading TV,Radio stations and Newspapers in Nigeria  are on now relaying on the internet to reach more people.

They include but not limited to…








ThisDay and many others

They know that they don’t have a business without the internet. Infact, there’s even a reports that says the newspapers will not be useful anymore in the next 20years.

What about all the banks, they advertise heavily online and they almost all their operations online.

The churches in Nigeria? They are all advertising online.

As a smart business owner, you should always go where your prospect are going. No matter what you sell, the internet is the hottest place to sell it  in 2021.

In 2017, I (and my amazing team) did a research and found out that Tesla generated  $14 Billion from a sales pre-launch for their most recent product using digital marketing strategies.

If you have over 90Million active internet users, it means that if you deploy a sound digital marketing strategy in 2020, you’ll be able to win a lot of new customers.

2021 Business Growth Tip #4: Online Paid Advertising 

‘You don’t have a business yet until you can pay to acquire a customer’.

Those are not my words, they are the words of a billionaire and the founder of Amazon, Jeff Boaz.

He said one of the secrets to his success is advertising and every business MUST be advertising.

There’s even something dramatic that happened in 2016…

before i tell you that, I want to make this very clear, please, don’t get me wrong.

Traditional advertising isn’t dead yet and won’t die in 2021 but online paid advertising seems to be taking over the market by storm.

Here’s why…

Facebook currently have a population of over 2 Billion people. I use to joke a lot with people that if Facebook were to be  a country, it would have been one of the largest countries in the world after china.

If you are not currently spending money to acquire customers, you need to start doing so because chances are that your competitors are doing so.

If you are NOT currently spending #money to acquire #customers, you don't have a business. The #business that spends the most wins.

Click to Tweet

One good thing with paid acquisition is that if you get your act right, you can quickly 3X, 5X, 10X or even 20X your investment especially if you are acquiring customers through the online paid channels.

Now, let me share some examples of paid online adverts that will make you ask ‘…But why did I not do this?’


A company called Sumo grew from $5 Million to $10Million within few months using only online paid advertising.

Here's the ad the ran...

Another company called Antonia Saint New York  used paid advertising and they grew they got back 7 time return on advertising spend.

So, if they spent $1, they got back $7. If they spent $1,000, they got back $7,000.

Here's the ad...

Can you see how profitable paid advertising can be once you know what you doing?

All the BIG and popular brands you know in Nigeria are spending alot of money to acquire customers using the internet.

Look at Jumia...

Look at Konga, Jumia and Konga are competitors

Almost of the major brands you hear do 'paid acquisition', you too should be doing the same thing.

2021 Business Growth Tip #5: Sophistication In Behaviors

Did you say ‘Johnson, which one is this one, again?’

Let me tell you something…

Over the years due to many experiences that your prospects have had, their buying behavior is now sophisticated.

You can’t just say ‘come and buy’ and they will buy. Their buying pattern has since shifted and you need to understand this, and have a backup plan.

Let me paint a clear picture, it will help you understand what I mean.

Let’s assume you run a mall and prospects come their  to buy stuffs.

Like you know, most will buy, some will not buy for different reasons, others will start to buy and stop midway and different kind of things.

Sometimes, it could be that these people have a lot of questions that are yet to be answered.

One thing must business owners and entrepreneurs in Nigeria don’t know is that, the main profit is  actually with the customers who say ‘NO’ today.

Your MAIN #Business #Profit is with the #customers who say 'NO' today, you need to have a method to make them say 'Yes' tomorrow.

Click to Tweet

The main profit isn’t with those who bought today but with those who didn’t buy today.

So, lets say 10 people came into your business and 7 didn’t buy.

It may look like you made alot of money and profit from those 3 that bought BUT you would have made much more if you had a system to bring back those 7 who didn't buy.

How do you create a system that will eventually make those who said ‘NO’ today to say ‘Yes’ tomorrow?

To do that, you need to create what I call ‘Behavioral Dynamic marketing campaign’. 

I know that is a mouthful,LOLz, but the truth is that... 

Most business owners in Nigeria plan for people who buy today and forget people who didn’t buy.

So, in 2018, you must know that people are NOT likely going to buy today, so you’ve got to create a system that will make them buy tomorrow.

Now, listen carefully…

Most times, the reasons why they’re not buying today has nothing to do with whether your product/service is good or not, sometimes, it could be something within them.

You need to find out those objection and handle them before they arise.

The secret to winning is letting ‘strategy’ lead the way in all your marketing efforts.  Tactic is great but strategy should be at the forefront of your strategy.

If you have good marketing strategy in place, you’ll see that 2018 will be an awesome year. Don’t make the mistake that most people make.

You are way better than you competitors.

Let’s wrap this up…

If you are very serious about business growth in 2018, you need to start implement all these strategies I shared with you, I promise you, you’re going to see result that will catapult your business to the next level.

Business growth isn’t a rocket science once you have your fundamentals right.  It is not impossible to 10X your business this year.

We have done it repeatedly in our business, we have done it for our clients and you too can do it this year if you implement.

Over to you, what business growth hack have you come across this year or what question or comment would you like me to see, I love to read from you, drop your comment below.


Derin Ogunmola

Founder,  Dorothy David Consulting

When it comes to marketing, Johnson Emmanuel knows his onion. His passion for marketing and business growth is infectious. It's really a privilege working with him


He is the founder of, Havanzer, one of the fastest growing marketing agencies. Africa.com calls him the top 5 marketing influencials in Africa. He is considered the #1 authority on engineering profitable customer acquisition campaigns in Africa.Johnson is famous for creating multi-million dollars marketing strategies, campaigns and systems.

About the author 

Johnson Emmanuel

Johnson Emmanuel is one of Africa’s most sought-after Business growth & Marketing strategist. He has consulted and advised businesses in 69 countries and in over 100 different industries, teaching over 650,000 people through his seminars, content, and training. He’s an expert at helping companies make more sales, higher profits, and more money.

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  • I have read through other blogs, but they are cumbersome and confusing more than your post. I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone! I believe a lot of people will be surprised to read this article!

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Happy to know you love it my friend.

  • Thanks you for this post, am found of reading articles related to business growth and this one is exceptional. i like this post. Keep doing the great work.I will immediately send you an email and hopefully, you will agree to work with our company and help us rock our marketing. Thanks!

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Alright! Although we are very selective when it comes to the kind of clients we work with but go ahead and send the mail. Glad you like the post.

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