Today we have selected Modupe Sanni to take her interview. She is the Founder of Digital Square Ltd
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
At the moment, we are doing okay. That wasn’t the case in the first and second quarters of 2020. Like everyone else, the pandemic hit us hard and it took a while for us to adjust to the new normal’; setting up virtual work systems, managing the team working remotely and effectively, etc. We miss office interactions, though. As creatives, our workspace and in-person interactions promote creativity and team bonding, but I am sure the team enjoys the flexibility that working from home offers and quite frankly, so do I. So, I am not complaining much. The traffic in Lagos is renowned, and I’m truly thankful for not having to deal with that daily.
Tell us about your career and how you founded or joined this company.
I knew I wanted to run my own business from a young age. My career has spanned different sectors, but most people don’t know that I started as an actress and even featured in a few movies. A few months into my acting career, I started to crave more. I needed something that would allow me to explore my creativity, challenge me to be better, study harder and learn new things (you could say I’m a sucker for knowledge). I wanted a career that would be versatile, giving me the knowledge, tools, and resources to come up with creative solutions to problems around me. I found that in advertising.
Once I realized that Advertising was what I wanted to do, I started teaching myself Digital marketing skills, taking several courses online and in person. I went to an APCON-certified advertising school (O2 Academy, Lagos), gained experience working for different brands, and eventually started my company, Digital Square. A Digital Marketing & Advertising Company focused on solving marketing and communications-related challenges for corporate organizations.
What I love most about this industry is that I get to work on different projects, which makes me fulfilled. The look on the client’s face after proffering a solution to them is very fulfilling. Taking on new projects means a lot of time spent researching and studying industry trends which we use to devise solutions tailored to the project. It can be very challenging, but I love challenges.
How does your company innovate?
We operate in a space that is constantly evolving – the digital space. To play in this arena, you must be creative and on top of the pulse of businesses and their target audience. We have built a culture of living and breathing in the digital space as individuals and as an agency. This allows us to react very quickly to even the most invisible shifts in the different markets we operate in. In our business, speed, relevance and responsiveness are key.
How did the Coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
The pandemic affected us as a company and as individuals. We were all forced to deal with living in a pseudo-isolated state while learning to work in new and unfamiliar ways. A few of our clients were hit hard by the pandemic and started withdrawing; others stayed on but couldn’t pay for our services. We lost some of our clients, which was difficult, but we understood that we didn’t exist in a bubble. Many brands were forced to cut their marketing budgets. We, however, realized that our clients in e-commerce were not as hard hit and even had more demands. As a company focused on being flexible, innovative, and creative, we pivoted, shifting focus to e-commerce businesses and bounced back after a few months.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons?
We had to make really difficult decisions. The toughest decision we had to make was to cut staff wages. It hurt to have to do that because I’ve always believed that it’s very important for my team (and creatives in general) to worry less about income so they can focus on the job and being creative. I tried to absorb the impact on my team by taking the larger chunk of the pay cut.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
We use Zoom for meetings, Slack for office interactions, and Google Questionnaires for intel gathering and consumer feedback, amongst other project management tools.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Well, many people and companies are operating in the internet market right now and to a large extent, I feel it is healthy competition because it drives my team to innovate. The world needs more creatives, People who have a passion for solving never-ending marketing-related challenges. Brands in alignment with our vision and mission will always find us. Every day we set out, challenging ourselves to research, remain flexible and focus on solutions rather than capital. This team wants to solve problems.
As Marketing specialists, our job is to help brands grow. We do this by creating brand awareness to drive engagements, ultimately increasing sales. With the devastating effect of the pandemic, we feel that we can do more than help our clients but also help others through practical skill acquisition and other development tools. This is why we have decided to start the DslAcademy; an arm of Digital Square that will offer training in Digital Marketing to new entrepreneurs, small businesses, and students interested in pursuing a career in the Digital Marketing space. It’s a way to give back while doing our part to invest in our community, industry, and future.
- Spokesperson: Modupe Sanni (Founder)
- Company: Digital Square Ltd
- Website link: https://www.digitalsquare.com.ng