Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 18 Issue: 3

Digital Media and Indigenous Edutainment Programming for Promoting Customer Engagements in a Business World

Choja Oduaran, ILMA, North-West University

Nelson Okorie, ILMA, Covenant University

Abstract

This data-based study examined Ndani T.V as a digital media platform and how it was used for customer engagement. This study was anchored on the schema theory, which stipulates that many individuals gain satisfaction by watching Ndani T.V for entertainment and relaxation. This study adopted survey method and the instrument of data collection was the questionnaire. The result indicated that many of the respondents were aware of edutainment messages of GTB's Ndani T.V on You-tube Also, a majority had watched the contents of Ndani T.V. the results also indicated that edutainment programmes contributed significantly for customer engagement of GTB’s services. It was recommended that digital media are useful, not only to the disseminators in sending out information but also for the audience in providing feedback. 

Keywords

Digital Media, Customer Engagement, Edutainment, Indigenous, Ndani TV and Nigeria.

Introduction

In the realm of business, media channels serve as portent platforms for information dissemination and interactions for members of modern societies (Pagani & Mirabello, 2011; Okorie & Bigala, 2016; Okorie & Salawu, 2016; Kayode-Adedeji et al., 2017; Okorie & Bwala, 2017; Okorie & Salawu, 2017; Oduaran & Okorie, 2018). In the same vein, digital media serve as a potent marketing communication tool for promoting business in most modern societies. Scholars agree that distal media is a unique marketing communication platforms that can positively affect the different ramification of the business world (Pindaye, 2017; Okorie et al., 2018; Viglia et al., 2018). Okorie et al. (2018) observed that “advances in technology are playing significant roles in the emergence of several devices and applications with ease of use. The internet and other mobile technologies have formed veritable media platforms”. In essence, digital media have revolutionized the world of business.

In recent times, advertisers have integrated the use of digital media for edutainment purposes. From a general viewpoint, edutainment is derived from the combination of two words (education and entertainment). It refers to any type of entertainment program that is primarily meant for educational purposes. The educational function that it carries can be related to formal in different school institutes or to informal learning in daily life context (Wallden & Soronen, 2004). Rogers et al. (2004) refer to “edutainment as the process of designing and implementing entertainment messages that seek to increase audience members’ knowledge about an educational issue, create favourable attitudes, shift social norms and change overt behaviour”. In the same vein, Aksakal (2015) opines that edutainment approach provides young people the opportunity of having a good time whilst experiencing the way of creating, using information resources and teaching methods. This could go a long way to increase enthusiasm in order to teach them information and pass on knowledge. Interestingly, many organizations have adopted the use of edutainment programmes as a strategic approach to promote goodwill and corporate reputation. For example, GTB Nigeria has a digital media platform (Ndani TV) that provide edutainment programmes for their prospective and existing customers, which meet their information needs. Against this background, this study examined how digital media have influenced consumer engagement, using edutainment programmes of Ndani TV as a study example. This study has among other objectives the following:

1. To determine the attitude of young Nigerians towards edutainment messages of Ndani TV.

2. To examine the influence of indigenous edutainment programmes on customer engagement.

Theoretical Framework

This study is anchored on the Schema theory. A schema is a cognitive structure consisting of organized knowledge about situations and individuals that has been abstracted from prior experiences; it is a pre-existing assumption about the way the world is organized (Axelrod, 1973). It is used for processing new information and retrieving stored information (Graber, 1998). The concept of schema is widely used by scholars to understand how people process information. Fiske and Kinder describe schemas as “serviceable but imperfect devices for coping with complexity”. They imply that people are cognitive misers whose limited complexity for dealing with information forces them to practice “cognitive economy” by forming simplified mental models.

Graber (1998) has done research that indicates that people use schemas to process media messages. People process media messages by a number of strategies which includes; a straight matching of a message to a schema, processing through inferences and multiple integration of a story with several schemas or schema dimensions. Graber also noted that in processing media messages, people tend to store conclusions drawn from the evidence rather than the evidence itself.

The schema theory proposes that people attempt to match the information they receive from the mass media to an existing schema through a number of different matching strategies. If a match can be found, some part of the information or inferences from the information is likely to be stored in the form of a modified schema. If a match cannot be found, the information is likely to pass by without being assimilated. Schema theory explains how an individual tries to make sense out of a complex world.

Graber notes that schemas perform four major functions:

(1) They determine what information will be noticed, processed, and or stored, so it becomes available later for retrieval from memory. (2) They help individuals organize and evaluate new information so that it fits into their established perceptions. (3) They make it possible for people to go beyond the immediate information presented and fill in information. (4) They help solve problems because they contain information about likely scenarios and ways to cope with them.

It is imperative to note that schemas represent social learning (Graber, 1984). People acquire schemas over time by learning from and observing others as well as by having direct experience. The digital media play a role in schema, while some schemas develop from personal contact and face-to-face interaction, schemas can also evolve from exposure to digital media.

From this theory, it can deduced that individuals understand digital media messages based on already perceived conceptions constructed from communications which in turn can be modified by further communication, interpersonal or communication with the media. In essence, digital media serve as platforms to meet the information needs of a cross-section of any modern society.

Literature Review

Scholars agree that edutainment serve as unique platform for purpose of human development (Zorica, 2014; Aksakal, 2015; Ferrera, 2016). According to Zorica (2014), the media’s presence in the education sector, which is one of the basic elements of edutainment, has always been there. White (2003) as cited by Lim (n.d.) affirmed this by stating that “entertainment is the media and education is the content”. However the shift came as a result of the development of Web 2.0 technology which brought a major change in the interactivity segment as people became more involved in the education (pedagogical) process. Based on this, he outlined four major edutainment types as provided by White, in his article “That’s Edutainment”. The categories include: (a) Location based, which is a situation where users become a participant and can just be seated and exploring, (b) Purpose and content: This has to do with informal education which is to improve learners’ life control and skills education, which is to give experiences like simulation, (c) Target group: This is motivation oriented and it usually consists of people with the same interest, (d) The type of media: This is very important to take into consideration the media that is aiding the edutainment process. Is it edutainment on TV, on computer or on the internet?

The above vividly describes the various forms edutainment could come in or take place. Also, all of the following categories stated could be used across different age groups. Furthermore, edutainment uses entertainment in conjunction with education, including radio, television and film.

It is important to note at this juncture that edutainment is not something that happens overnight, it is carefully planned towards in order to achieve the desired result. The Soul city Health and Development Communication outlined five stages of edutainment creation. Each of these stages has action plans that would be bulleted must be put into consideration at each level. So they include:

Stage 1: Research and Planning

1. Choosing the topic, identifying the target audience and deciding on the scale of the project.

2. Starting to budget and schedule.

3. Building a supportive environment through partnership.

4. Researching the topic and the target audience.

5. Choosing your edutainment media and the formats.

6. Developing a total communication strategy.

7. Raising funds for development, production implementation and evaluation.

Stage 2: Development

1. Developing the messages and the storyline.

2. Developing educational packages.

3. Pre-testing the edutainment.

Stage 3: Production

1. Ensuring quality production.

Stage 4: Implementation and Promotion

1. Promoting, popularizing and getting the most out of your edutainment during implementation.

Stage 5: Monitoring and Evaluation

1. Evaluating your edutainment project.

These are some qualities/advantages one can gain from edutainment. Edutainment has also chosen several approaches its aim. Aksakal (2015) explains that since the aim of edutainment is to maintain permanence of teaching, the teaching methods should be fine tuned to the needs and desires of the learners. To this end, interaction is very important. Wallden & Soronen (2004) affirmed this further by explaining that in producing interactive edutainment, “learner-centered” design is advisable as it focuses on building interactive educational materials as they familiarize themselves with unfamiliar environments and learn about a new subject matter.

In sum, employing edutainment for digital media approach has aided customer engagement in so many ways, as provided by Ferrera (2016), they are:

1. Information provision and enlightenment: Through the edutainment programmes, significant knowledge improvement has been noticed among viewers. For example, Berg and Zin introduced a plot on over borrowing and financial education into a mainstream soap opera and found significant improvement in the financial knowledge of viewers.

2. Attitude and preferential changes: Edutainment programmes have changed people’s preferences in such a way that is conducive to positive behaviour, through role modeling. Ferrera (2016) noted that short documentaries telling success stories of young Ethiopians and improved viewers’ aspirations and locus of control, also leading parents to invest more in their children’s education.

3. Institutional Change: Advocacies done on the media on certain social issues could bring about structural changes by the government or concerned bodies, which in turn lead to development in all ramifications.

Methodology

The study was quantitative in nature, which explored survey to assess the knowledge and satisfaction of digital media and indigenous edutainment programming among young Nigerians. The questionnaire for the survey was close-ended questions. A standard questionnaire was developed and distributed by the researchers. The sample size for this study was 200, which is considered apt, since a sample size of “50=very poor; 100=poor; 200=fair; 300=good; 500=very good and 1,000=excellent.” Further justification for the use of 300 respondents was based on Nwana’s (1981) argument that “if the population is a few hundreds, a 40% or more sample will do; if many hundreds, a 20% sample will do; if a few thousands, a 10% sample will do; and if several thousand a 5% or less will do”. For the survey, 200 copies of questionnaire were administered among 200 students in Covenant University, they were selected because they are: (1) Internet savvy, (2) They have an online presence, (3) They have an account with Guarantee Trust Bank, who created Ndani TV.

For this study, Ndani TV was used as an example of digital media outlet that hosts several indigenous edutainment programmes such as TGIF (Thank God is Friday), Juice, Skinny Girl in Transit and Rumor has it. Importantly, Ndani TV is owned and managed by GTB Bank in Nigeria for the purpose of promoting customer engagement among young people in Nigeria.

This data adopts three levels of descriptive statistical analysis, which were univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis to generate data on use of video content marketing for customer engagement among young Nigerian. The univariate analysis presents data on demographic profile for respondents, while the bivariate analysis featured the investigation on the attitude of the respondents towards edutainment messages of Ndani TV. This study adopted multivariate analysis to test a hypothesis: to confirm the influence of indigenous edutainment messages on customer engagement. A Spearman correlation test is used to determine the relationship that exist between the variables, while Somer D measure is used to determine the strength of the relationship.

Results And Discussion

The study examined digital media and edutainment programming for customer engagement. Out of the 200 distributed copies of a questionnaire, 195 were all filled and returned bringing a return rate of 95%.

From Table 1, it can be deduced that more females participated in this study. This is because the departments the questionnaire was administered consists of more females. However, the gap between the genders is not so wide showing that the female population is also actively involved in digital marketing communications. Table 1 also shows that age ranges of 19-25 was 94.9%, while 18 and below were 5.1%. The table shows that 94.4% of the respondents are Christians, while 5.6% were Muslim.

Table 1: Bio-Data Of The Respondents
  M F 15-18yrs >18yrs Christians Muslims
Sex 22.6% 77.4%        
Age     5.1% 94.9%    
Religion         94.4% 5.6%

Table 2 shows the percent that more than 70% are aware of NDANI TV; almost 60% are greatly aware of edutainment messages of Ndani TV, Interestingly, more than 51% have learnt values on Ndani T.V at a large scale.

Table 2: Attitude Towards Edutainment Messages On Ndani Tv
Responses I am aware of Ndani T.V I watch edutainment programmes of Ndani T.V' I have learnt values from the content of Ndani T.V
Very large extent 44.1 24.6 16.9
Large extent 27.7 35.9 35.9
Rarely 11.8 16.9 22.6
Never 16.4 22.6 24.6
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0

Table 3 shows a correlation test that establishes a relationship between two variables. The table indicates that there is a relationship that exists between two variables at 0.000, which is less than 0.05. Asymp. Std. Error means the estimated asymptotic standard errors for parameter estimates in a research hypothesis. Asymptotic standard error must be always zero to indicate a relationship. Also, the table shows the Somer D’ symmetric measurement shows a concurrence between the paired ordinal values. The table shows the relationship is significant and positive at 0.000. Approx. T shows the level of agreement between the paired ordinal values as well as the significance, which is defined by the concordance of 5.518. Thus, edutainment messages have a significant influence on customer engagement among young people. This result supports the findings of Usaini et al. (2018), who explored the nature of digital media strategies as it can be applied by organizations. In the same vein, this results supports the positions of Okorie et al. (2018), they asserted that digital media platforms are potent communication channels that can positively influence the lifestyles of individuals in any modern society. Importantly, a major implication of this result is that digital media can be utilized by advertisers to promote positive engagements or conversations, which invariably contributes to sales, goodwill and corporate reputation.

Table 3: Correlation Analysis
Response I watch edutaintainment programmes on Ndani TV Ndani TV messages relates to my needs
I watch edutainment programmes on Ndani TV Pearson Correlation 1 0.373**
Sig. (2-tailed)   0.000
N 195 195
Ndani TV messages relates to my needs Pearson Correlation 0.373** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000  
N 195 195
Symmetric Measures  
Categor Mies Value Asymp. Std. Errora Approx. Tb Approx. Sig.
Pearson's R 0.369 0.064 5.518 0.000c
Spearman Correlation 0.373 0.063 5.580 0.000c
N of Valid Cases 195      

Interestingly, a major contribution of knowledge for this study is that digital media serve as a potent marketing communication platform for promoting customer involvement, engagement and experiences in any modern society. Furthermore, the integration of indigenous edutainment programs on digital media platforms can positively strengthen customer engagement for business sustainability.

Conclusion And Recommendations

The application of digital media platforms can be regarded as a purposeful means for diffusion of information as well as receiving feedback from the receivers of the message. In the same vein, digital media are useful, not only to the disseminators in sending out information but also for the audience in providing feedback.

Adopting digital media has proved its effectiveness; when objectives of the advertisers are met. Digital media are also cheaper tools; this is why advertisers may decide to engage this strategy. In addition, the digital media appeals to users because there are no stringent requirements that must be met in order to participate in discussions generated or initiated by the stories that are uploaded by Ndani T.V and thus, it is easier and convenient for users to participate in discourse and express their views regardless of geographical location, class or other societal barriers and distinctions.

References