In line with its goal of creating lasting solutions to real-life marketing challenges, Eko Innovation Centre, in collaboration with GDM Group has officially launched the maiden edition of its Media and Marketing Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0 which is also regarded as the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The two organizations are poised to change the marketing and media landscape with tech solutions that would disrupt and tackle some of the challenges faced in the industry.
The official launch of the hackathon which was held at the D’Podium Event Centre, Lagos was well attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, marketing, and media professionals while many others across the world joined the event virtually.
Organizers of the event revealed that over 500 individuals registered to participate in the hackathon from 72 locations, 5 countries (which includes Nigeria, California, Kenya, Pakistan, and London), and 3 continents (Africa, Europe, and North America). It also announced that the best 10 teams with the most viable concepts will go head-to-head at the finale on 18th May for a chance at the $20,000 prize pool and an acceleration program with up to $50K equity investment to get their products ready for the market among other benefits.
Speaking at the event the Founder, Eko Innovation Centre & Curator, Art of Technology Lagos, Mr. Victor Afolabi said that marketing is the most effective engine of economic development as it can rapidly develop entrepreneurs and managers but the industry is yet to see a technological breakthrough within the country considering the growth of Martech globally, an industry estimated at $344.8bn in 2021 according to Martech Alliance (2021).
In his words: “The Nigerian marketing industry has started to see preliminary innovation but acceleration is slow to disrupt the future in line with changing consumer behaviour. “We are yet to experience notoriety for a homegrown technological breakthrough at a remarkable scale in the Marketing Industry.”
He stated further that the MarkHack was conceptualized to make a difference. According to him, it is “A gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, Policymakers, and Marketing Professionals, to create solutions to real-life Marketing challenges in an intense period of time. Using creativity, technology, and mentoring, resulting in prototypes, fresh new concepts, and innovative usages of tech for Marketing and Media.”
The organizers disclosed that participants would be split into teams of 5 and would be required to work together for 3 weeks, brainstorming and ideating new concepts based on their focus areas. They would also be sub-grouped into 8 focus areas which include consumer experience, media consumption, consumer recruitment & interaction, trade & retail engagement, analytics and metrics, events marketing, media monetization, and content creation.
Each team would pitch its ideas to a respected Jury of experts in the subject matter, and the best 10 teams would be picked by the Jurors. Overall, 21 Mentors, 30 Selection Jurors, 8 Speakers, and 6 Final Jurors are partaking in the event and are the industry’s best with decades of experience in marketing, media, technology, business management, and others.
Delivering the keynote address on the topic, “Tech Disruption in Marketing: The Key to Redefining Consumer Recruitment and Interaction”, David M. Raab, Founder/CEO, Customer Data Platform Institute urged marketers to be innovative, understand the concept of disruption and be deliberate about it, stating “Change is everywhere. Usable disruption is hard to find. Look for strong benefits and good defense. Support disruption with innovative solutions for business success.”
The Zone AOA Asst. Regional Manager (Sub Saharan Africa), Nestlé, Kayode Oladapo, and the Principal Partner, Apex Marketing UK, Dr. Rotimi Olaniyan also spoke on the topics “Experiences in the Marketing Ecosystem, Responding to Modern Consumer and Retail Audiences” and “Rapid Brand Innovation Playbooks” respectively. They cited the importance of data-inspired insights, marketing innovation, disruptive marketing strategies, and technology-driven initiatives among others.
Some of the government officials at the event include Mr. Segun Fafore, The Executive Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on New Media, and Mr. Olatubosun Alake, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology. They applauded the initiative and restated the government’s commitment to a technology-driven economy which is in line with the smart city agenda of the current Lagos State government.
Eko Innovation Centre is one of the leading tech hubs in Nigeria, curating events like Art of Technology Lagos, and The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon amongst others while GDM Group is Nigeria’s leading marketing and innovation company.