Yekemi Otaru: Starting my own company to look down at the possibilities, not up at the challenges


Before the Brexit votes came in, there was already uncertainty and a slight nervousness within me.

I have been mulling over starting my own company for over three years. After publishing my book, The Smart Sceptic’s Guide to Social Media in Organisation (Rethink Press 2016) earlier this year, I decided it was time.

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It has now been several monthd since I began to work as Founder and Principal Strategist at YO! Marketing. I have felt encouraged by conversations I’ve had but some have commented on the obvious,

“Is this a good time to start a business?”

The combination of the oil industry downturn and now Brexit has made this both the best and worst time to start a business. It’s the best time because YO! Marketing will be resilient if it succeeds. I believe my offering is timely and crucial for my customers.

YO! Marketing is a digital and strategic marketing consultancy providing rigorous data-backed market, customer and competitor analysis to B2B engineering, technology and manufacturing companies. My engineering background and strategic marketing expertise gives me a deep understanding of the purpose, language and business needs of my customers.

While I agree it’s challenging times, I strongly believe that this is the time that companies should be investing in a complete market strategy. In the busy $100 a barrel market, these analysis are often ignored perhaps because of the day-to-day firefighting that exists within companies. Plus, customers are probably coming to you. There’s little need to be proactive. But that’s all changed. I believe it’s changed forever. A thorough market strategy will allow companies:

  • Target specific customer segments
  • Create new markets
  • Identify new opportunities for new products and services
  • Align digital strategy with business goals
  • Create content that educates potential and existing customers
  • Reduce marketing costs by engaging employees in brand reach
  • Increase sales effectiveness by generating higher quality leads
  • Optimise existing organisational resources e.g. staff, website, content

The list goes on. A data-backed market strategy tells you where to invest, who to engage with, and with what. It helps long-term engagement.

In essence, I’m starting my own company to help you conserve your energy. When the market ramps up, you are top-of-mind with your target market.

Yekemi Otaru is managing director of YO! Marketing which is a marketing and strategy consultancy working at the interaction between business strategy, digital and marketing strategy. They work mainly in the B2B advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors.

She is also the author of The Smart Sceptic’s Guide to Social Media in Organisations

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