Samuel Dingba is an exceptional, resourceful, multi-talented and highly skilled Creative Artist, Web Designer, Motivational Speaker, Advertising Campaign Planner, Brand Merchandising Frontier, Brand Manager and Advertising Practitioner, with over 11 years of experience in Advertising / PR Agency, Client Service / Customer Service, Publishing, Merchandising, IT / Technical Support, Consultant, Engineering, Broadcasting, Training and Development, Management Client Relations. He is well experienced in creating top-notch innovative ideas for client marketing challenges and provide extraordinary solutions.
He holds a First Degree in Mass Communication from Lagos State University, Nigeria. Samuel is a self-trained creative artist couple with Graphics Artist from Shaw Academy, Dublin, Ireland. He started his working career before joining Lagos State University with Bold, Brand Builder, an Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) member agency. More about Samuel can be read at About.me/sdingba. InterviewStories got Samuel to tell us why he ventured into Digital Marketing and what a digital marketer is doing as a CEO of MeboFarm. His Interview with InterviewStories goes below.
Why study Mass communication and relevance of the course to what you currently do?
Whenever I see adverts at the end of TV Programs at NTA program then, I create a fond memory for me, coupled with my love to sketch a lot from children books and reading materials but I almost got distracted by choosing then either Science course or Art course, I settle for the latter; Art for me was a drive of passion and without external motivations its always so strong for me. I was confronted in a serious scenario from advice from friends and family, to choose either theatre art course or mass communication course, it was a serious dilemma for me, am sharing this to show my history before finding myself in Advertising.
While searching for the preferred university, my uncle’s friend hire me to become an intern in his printing/graphics studio, which I fascinate me then, because I was wondering how come he was able to design his graphics so well that, he works like a hot cake by clients and business associate, so this spark my inquisitive minds and my passion, I dig deep into this new flare of passion, then come to the school of my choice, It was like my gift to confront me, then I began to search for schools that will build my skills as a Graphics Artist, from there and then I choose mass communication than theatre arts. Then specialize in Public Relations and Advertising(PRAD). My origin from printing opened my eyes in communication and working with B3 Communications (Bold Brand Builders) gave me the all needed skills to be where I am now.
How has been an Alumni of Orange Academy helped your career?
I did a course in orange academy Integrated Brand Experience Formally Co-Partner by Mr Kenny Badmus.Branding and how ideas can shape the conversation in the contemporary world was understood by me at Orange Academy. I remember this advert, Dirt is Good my Omo; that singular campaign shapes the brand, though it was dismissed and Banned as colloquial advertising, such advert shape people thinking. So we were thought to be bold in our message and ideas so the academy gave me the confidence in Branding Language, copywriting ideas, understanding client brief. I was part of the Maiden students of the Academy when the Academy was established at Maryland, Lagos.
How did you venture into digital marketing?
During such time, conventional/ contemporary advertising using the billboards, TV, above the line and below the line was a niche then, but a saw then that social media was a thing with my interest in News media which was a little popular. So this makes me search for ideas on how to understand it, though challenging as the internet was not that fast like then, we were using radio links, with slow bytes, this spurs my interest in web design, blogging, google AdSense and google AdWords with encouragement from friends. So finding new ideas and building on it made me learned more about the internet and its roles. As at 2007 Facebook and Twitter was a phase. I quickly picked an interest and here I am, Graphic Artist, Brand Manager, and digital media Practitioner.
What is the difference between Advertising 11 years ago when you started and now?
A lot of difference If I had not taken that leap of faith, I am sure I wouldn’t catch up with the contemporaries in digital media. Advertising has gone way beyond the norms like billboards and television, it’s more about consumerism and consumerization which is personal unlike before when advertising was non-personal. Every message relayed out there has to be targeted to a person who one is seeing before conveying that message.
Your first working experience ? Your expectations and shortcomings? Why did you leave the organization?
It was a challenging period for me having got no previous experience from the profession but just a school of thought from Orange Academy, due to my passion, I was hired as the organization needs new minds to fill in space as interned in advertising. My boss Mr Christopher and Mr Joe Anatune saw the passion in me, gave me my first brief which after few months was the first creative boost in the company ROI.
Anytime there was a new brief or pitch. They called on me first as I always had new ideas to set the balls rolling. It’s wasn’t an easy ride but I got a hang of it, understanding what my roles, client brief, pitching for new business, etc. I didn’t leave them, I felt I needed more challenges in my field so I took the bow to pursue my goals in freelancing with a different organization, merchandising and digital marketing. I joined One-to-One events where I learn a lot in Show business and PR (Public Relations).
What advice do you have for people who are struggling to create an online presence? How can they improve it and what do you consider when helping set up a digital agency for an organization?
My advice is simple; all messages should be targeted to someone who might need your services. Most times, I hear clients say they want to target everybody. When it happens, their message wouldn’t be felt, so clients should be specific in their message
- Service to the customer is very vital
- Geographical locations
- The language tone shouldn’t be overlooked.
These above points mentioned, set goals should be number one points that have to be achieved, goals could be budget and audience. While you might be struggling, focus on niche target, which most times boost your brand image. For instance, if you are seeking for news on Instagram, one will think of Instablog, they didn’t focus on all media, but Instagram, see how they got their customer or followers, simple and targetted. A client can improve their online presence via these media, and also include something that can never be forgotten, be human with your messages, like freebies or ticket, these bring more followers, just simple gesture.
Who do you recommend to use the following platforms LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to help market their product or services?
Like I tell client, you can use Snapchat to reach your intending customers or Facebook, but been everywhere is not advisable, use the platform that is majorly for the product and services you are selling. You cannot be using LinkedIn to be selling how to weave cloth, while there is Instagram, or use Twitter to build your brand. This is because Instagram is more like the show and tell. Though you can blend two, using one above the other should be the focus. If a client has a huge budget that can accommodate the two, is welcome.
What skill is the most important in digital marketing? What has made you stay relevant in this field for over 10years?
I think it is more in ideas. The world evolves, so ideas created yesterday is obsolete, which explain creating new ideas to stay relevant that is our motto. Ideas evolves and the world revolves around ideas and innovations
What benefits do you get from joining all these professional bodies and why is it important to be a member?
Networking and learning more in my field.
What challenges did you face while founding Jay Kay Friends Liberation Movement and why did you join the political group?
We had the challenge of funding and how to shape the political terrain to be shifted from APC predominantly space into new space (PDP) in Lagos. Our impact was felt and the whole experience was worth it. Where we domicile our campaign at Opebi which was predominantly APC terrain, the opposition saw how we challenge the status quo and we got some larger share in the fight to make Jimi Agbaje (Jay Kay) felt when he recontested again for governor of Lagos in 2019. The tone we set, was what gave him the much larger share in this last political election.
What is Mebo Farms about and why is a digital marketer the CEO?
After careful reviews about the current administration, we felt we need to focus our business to build more business and felt to enter the space of agriculture. But more in the supply chain management and there were gaps we need to fill in knowing; The right specifications of the product to be supplied. Note, we all said advance agriculture is the innovations Nigeria need to concentrate on but recently due to our misplaced priorities in the oil-based economy.
The current administration is doing everything to focus on a non-oil economy reason why we set up Mebo Farms Limited. A team of agronomist that will shape the commodities trading. We pride ourselves in bridging the gap commodities trading using our digital marketing skills. The resources we use to get business rolling was minimal but more works will be done subsequent years to come because not all farmers are online.
Have you regretted taking a job before and why if there is any?
Regret, I don’t use such words. Any business or job taking, do brings itself its learning phase. We have lost money and capital in the business, there were times it might not be my fault, but the team who you trust, what we do is dust the mistakes and move on. A valuable lesson is learned which guides me into reinventing the wheels in decision making.
Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur?
Setting up three business. It takes more than me to be an entrepreneur. I see myself as both an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur. An intrapreneur is someone who carries the company and people along into setting the goals and aspirations of an entrepreneur while an entrepreneur is one who drives the business and culture of the company. All my staff are entrepreneurs but it takes an intrapreneur to harness the skill set of every individual.
Do you have a mentor? If yes how has your mentor helped shape your career?
For every business, I venture into, I find myself having different mentors. They encourage me to be better. I didn’t have a mentor when I started my business. I randomly shifted myself into getting one who pushes me into my better self.
Do you think everyone should embrace entrepreneurship?
We all encounter challenges one way or the other. Some see such challenges as an opportunity to kickstart their entrepreneur spirit, while others are docile in such quest. One way or other it will come out. So embrace entrepreneur even if you don’t own a business, even with the business you are managing, it’s because of the entrepreneurs’ mindset, makes you relevant there.
So entrepreneurs tackle one or more challenges that are opportunities in the making at a time. You must focus more on building more skills than what you are currently relying on, as my motto is no knowledge is wasted. As for me, I was coming from different experiences which when I found myself in that challenges, I see myself overcoming it, due to me finding myself in such problems way back. So, learn and unlearn anything that catches your fancy, you might never tell how its will aid your entrepreneur spirits someday.
What advice do you have for unemployed or underemployed youths who are good with social media?
This day and age, social media is a source of wealth for some people due to their passion, for instant, Maraji, who has the passion while in school was able to convert it into wealth, so been unemployed shouldn’t be an excuse, first focus on something that excite you then work on making it better, by reading more and improving daily, being out of a job is something that most youth will experience not just once, but possibly several times during their career span. Focus on learning tools that can improve your skills using social media and proffer solutions as people need more that has to be filled.
How can people get in touch with you?
Sam@samueldingba.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and via mobile 08060374414