…$20,000, more to be won, winners to be announced May 18
In line with its goal of creating lasting solutions to real-world marketing challenges, Eko Innovation Centre, in collaboration with GDM Group, has officially launched the first edition of its Media and Marketing Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0 which is also considered the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Both organizations are poised to change the marketing and media landscape with technology solutions that would disrupt and address some of the challenges facing the industry.
The official launch of the hackathon held at the D’Podium Event Center, Lagos was attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, decision makers, marketing and media professionals, while many others around the world joined the event virtually.
The event organizers revealed that over 500 people registered to participate in the hackathon from 72 locations, 5 countries (including Nigeria, California, Kenya, Pakistan and London) and 3 continents (Africa, Europe and North America). He also announced that the top 10 teams with the most viable concepts will compete in the finals on May 18 for a chance to win the $20,000 prize pool and an accelerator program with a capital investment of up to to $50,000 to prepare their products. for the market among other benefits.
Speaking at the event, Founder, Eko Innovation Center and Curator, Art of Technology Lagos, Mr. Victor Afolabi said that marketing is the most effective engine for economic development as it can develop entrepreneurs quickly and managers, but the industry has yet to see technological advancement. breakthrough in the country given the growth of Martech globally, an industry estimated to be worth $344.8 billion in 2021 according to Martech Alliance (2021).
In his words, “The Nigerian marketing industry has started seeing preliminary innovations but the acceleration is slow to disrupt the future based on changing consumer behavior. “We have yet to experience the notoriety of a local technological breakthrough on a remarkable scale in the marketing industry.”
He further stated that the MarkHack was conceptualized to make a difference. According to him, it is “a coming together of innovators, entrepreneurs, decision makers and marketing professionals, to create solutions to real marketing challenges in an intense period of time. Using creativity, technology and mentorship, resulting in prototypes, new concepts and innovative uses of technology for marketing and media.”
Organizers revealed that participants would be divided into teams of 5 and required to work together for 3 weeks, brainstorming and ideating new concepts based on their areas of interest. They would also be grouped into 8 focus areas including Customer Experience, Media Consumption, Consumer Recruitment and Interaction, Commerce and Retail Engagement, Analytics and Metrics, event marketing, media monetization and content creation.
Each team would pitch their ideas to a respected jury of subject matter experts, and the top 10 teams would be selected by the Jurors. Overall 21 mentors, 30 selection jurors, 8 speakers and 6 final jurors participate in the event and are the best in the industry with decades of experience in marketing, media, technology, management business and others.
Delivering the keynote 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 to be deliberate about it, stating “Change is everywhere. Usable disturbance is hard to find. Look for solid advantages and a good defense. Support disruption with innovative solutions for business success.
The AOA Asst. Regional Director (Sub-Saharan Africa), Nestlé, Kayode Oladapo, and Lead Partner, Apex Marketing UK, Dr Rotimi Olaniyan also spoke on “Experiences in the Marketing Ecosystem, Responding to Modern Consumer and Retail Audiences and “Rapid Brand Innovation Playbooks” respectively. They cited the importance of data-driven insights, marketing innovation, disruptive marketing strategies, and technology-driven initiatives, among others.
Government officials present at the event include Mr. Segun Fafore, the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State for New Media, and Mr. Olatubosun Alake, Special Advisor to the Governor of Lagos State for innovation and technology. They applauded the initiative and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to a technology-driven economy that is in line with the current Lagos State government’s smart city agenda.
Eko Innovation Center is one of the leading technology hubs in Nigeria, hosting events such as Art of Technology Lagos and The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon among others, while GDM Group is Nigeria’s leading marketing and innovation company.