Young local entrepreneur, Matthew Daniel (26), started Digital Edge Investment (DEI), which he operates from Brava Island Street, Erf 787, Rocky Crest, to enhance digital marketing after noticing a niche market in the industry.
DEI offers an online marketing platform to businesses that need to connect with potential clients through the social media. Daniel points out, he aims to present the product to the market in a modernised way.
The business administration Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) graduate developed the desire to launch a business in digital marketing when he realised it was time Namibian businesses switched from traditional to digital marketing.
“The presence of digital marketing is felt across African and is on the rise. It is time to market the continent’s plentiful raw resources in a more advanced way; in a way the world out there can identify them. Our mining, fish, oil and gas industries tend to benefit from such digital marketing from foreign investors, though,” he says.
Thus, DEI was established in March this year to create a digital networking hub where service providing firms and consumers can interact and create a strong brand within the marketing industry in Namibia. Daniel’s services therefore include arts funding proposal, web digital brand creation and marketing solutions, web design and entertainment consulting needs. Beside the marketing world, DEI has another arm, which deals with landscaping and construction of houses.
In the beginning, Daniel had to run the business on a part-time basis because he worked at DHL Namibia.
“It was hard to run my business and work at DHL Namibia at the same time. Although I could only sleep for merely four to five hours a day, I still could not find adequate time to complete my tasks from both ends. So in June this year, I quit my daytime job to focus solely on my business,” he says.
Daniel admits to initially being unable to build a profile or a clientele-base, which resulted to corporate companies, such as FNB Namibia, MTC, etc, putting him on hold. He could neither dream of squaring it off with larger corporations nor convince clients to adapt to changes brought about by technological trends then.
Other obstacles included opening a business account, which Daniel reveals took him three weeks and resulted in cancelled appointments, one after another because some of the requirements needed to be revisited. He, however, highlights the registering of the company cost nothing compared to the much he has had to part with in disseminating more information to his clients.
On a positive note, Daniel’s business has taken the correct pace for an infant organisation. It has since approached a handful of potential clients whose responses have been positive thus far.
With three permanent employees and five consultants, Daniel acknowledges his business’ visibility on the local market came through a chance he was recently accorded by the Namibia National Students organisation (Nanso).
He was tasked with creating an SMS line, 55755, through which the students’ organisation would promote awareness campaigns among their fellows across the country or report on academic-related issues.
Nanso chairperson, George Kambala, says the idea to approach DEI came while they were desperately trying to look for creative ways to connect with tertiary students across the board in more effective, confidential and affordable ways.
To stay relevant, DEI follows international marketing trends, for which Daniel beams: “Our trends are set out not just by the products and the services we offer but also through the methods and manners in which we carry them out. We also attend online conferences offered by certain firms, consultants, freelance marketers and bloggers across the globe. Such firms include Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Loyalty 360 and Carl de Lucia, among others.”
Internationally renowned tourism marketing firm, Solimar International’s marketing specialist, Natasha Martin notes online advertising, which was once open to mostly big businesses, now levels the playing field for all of them; small and large alike.
Passionate about instilling an entrepreneurial spirit amongst the local youth, Daniel stresses the latter’s mindset needs to change to adapt to a more open-mind mentality if they are to venture into successful entrepreneurship; otherwise, they will always wait on Government jobs.