This week on ADMARP One-on-One, we had the pleasure of hosting founder of Zedi Africa, Ized Uanikhehi, an astute marketer whose impact driven career spans nearly two decades of experience in Technology, Marketing and Digital media.
ADMARP: Did you choose marketing, or marketing chose you?
Ized: Marketing definitely chose me.
I was a science student. I am still inclined towards bio sciences, it is my first love. I studied Biochemistry, I was supposed to become a Doctor, I had my life of surgery all planned but life happened.
Somehow I have always loved Sales and Marketing and that has always been my side gig right from my University days until the Digital Marketing bug bit me and took over my life completely. I love it though. I love marketing, so lucky matches are made in heaven I guess. It worked out las las.
ADMARP: What is your greatest weakness?
Ized: My weaknesses change per time until I fix it, and then it’s no longer a weakness.
Right now, my weakness is my inability to delegate efficiently. I still try to do most things by myself; I am working on it, and have been getting better.
I know it’s only been 10 days in the new year but since the new year started I have been actively delegating tasks, it’s been a lot more efficient and I am much improved, I am still getting over how it makes me feel lazy though, but it’s a battle we are fighting and winning.
ADMARP: What is the idea of you people have that is quite contrary to who you really are?
Ized: One of the biggest misconceptions about me is pretty much that I am an open book; I love it though. I have somewhat perfected the art of giving enough info so people think they know Ized and everything going on in Ized’s life, whilst I am building like crazy under the surface and having 70-80% of my life in stealth mode and quite discreet.
I love meeting new people and making new friends but I am also quite shy and I cover that up by talking a bit too much when I get to a new place and I am meeting new people, so people think “wow, Ized is so great at mixing and networking” and all the while I am just covering up my nervousness.
There is a misconception that I don’t understand that I am very outgoing, I have also gone 8 months straight only going to 4 places – Zedi Office, home, church, football practice and football, but there are people who’d swear that I am an outgoing person. Perception is key I guess.
Finally, I am terrible with faces, I have to meet you at least 3-4 times for your face to register in my memory, so now I say hello to everyone excitedly, because I believe that I may have met them before.
ADMARP: What can you describe as the most groundbreaking moment/period in your career journey?
Ized: In my entire career, nothing has been as groundbreaking as when I resigned my last job and everyone, save 2 full time staff, resigned too to leave with me. Nothing said “we trust you and we have got your back” like that moment did and nothing has quite motivated me ever in my life as much as that moment did.
Post that, I didn’t have the luxury to be lax, all of a sudden I was “responsible” for 25+ people. Currently topping most pivotal moments in my career, all other moments pale in comparison.
ADMARP: What is your favorite food?
Ized: I have favorite foods but it’s not constant, it changes per season. Right now, I am loving Banga soup and Onunu (Yam pounded with ripe plantain). Several months ago, it was catfish peppersoup. At some point, I ate it so much, I was eating it 3 times a day, for almost 2 weeks.
I have remembered beans being my favorite food at some point. Avocado on toast too, at some point too it was Bitterleaf soup, Ofe Onugbu. I am versatile. I like trying new foods and have different best foods at different points until I discover the next best thing.
ADMARP: What food do you think is the most overrated?
Ized: Plantain. Ripe plantain. I eat it if it’s fried crisp and thin but it is most definitely overrated.
ADMARP: Tell us something, an unpopular opinion about marketing that you think people should embrace more?
Ized: Most likely going to get flack for this, but for (Nigeria) Fintech (virtual bank) app marketing, more focus should be on acquisition.
Budget allocation should be 70% on acquisition, 30% on Retention. (Even 80:20 to be honest), Retention strategies are great, but to be fair, once a user has gone through the process of signing up on your app and has carried out at least 4 transactions, chances are they are not closing the account.
Rare, few and far in-between. Even when they abandon the account, they will come back at some point when they experience network issues with other banks. So focus more of your marketing spend on acquisition, Acquisition over retention, I tweeted this once and a few people nearly chewed my ear off but I am yet to be proven wrong. People who spend more budget on retention end up not growing much.
ADMARP: If you weren’t a marketing expert, what would you have done differently in life?
Ized: House Wife. I would have been a housewife living the baby girl life, I would have married for money and right now I would be enjoying my husband’s money. My biggest worry would be what car to take to go grocery shopping tomorrow.
To be fair though, I may most likely have been a teacher because I love sharing knowledge. But a house wife’s life would have been sweet!!
ADMARP: What state are you from?
Ized: Edo State – the heartbeat of Nigeria
ADMARP: What are you afraid of the most?
Ized: I used to be afraid of death, but not recently, everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives, so now I am afraid of dying without fulfilling my purpose or leaving a legacy, that’s my key driver, to build a business that doesn’t need me to keep growing.
ADMARP: Who is your bestie in the industry?
Ized: Victor Ekwealor, Muyiwa Alesh, Mobola Akingbala and to be honest everyone in DigiClan prime