Home FEATURED Steve Babaeko: African Businesses Must Adapt Or Die!

Steve Babaeko: African Businesses Must Adapt Or Die!

Steve Babaeko

Adapt or die! That, according to Mr. Steve Babaeko, the Managing Director of X3M Ideas, one of Nigeria’s biggest marketing communications agencies, is the single most important rule in business. Especially now. Regardless of the industry, businesses must evolve to remain relevant. This is even more important in the new media industry where technology is ever evolving. The way content is being consumed now is not how it was consumed few months ago, not to talk of years ago, he added.

‘As a marketing communications company, we understand the need to continually seek out ways to keep up with the changing tides or get lost in obscurity. This is the secret to our success and we want to share this ideal with all of Africa. We believe that the dinosaurs were great creatures in their time, top of the food chain, giant predators that no other could challenge, but then something changed; the earth began to change and they needed to evolve. Some dinosaurs succumbed to the changing tides, understanding that this was the only route to survival. They evolved and became dragons. The others who were late to the evolution party had no choice but to become preys to the larger, fire-breathing creatures.’

Throwing more light on the reason behind such a massive PR stunt, he stated that, “We like to believe there is a lot to learn from the dinosaurs. How could a creature so powerful become extinct? While the reasons why these dinosaurs erased off the face of the earth is open to interpretation, we are of the school of thought that they got devoured by bigger, better equipped creatures – dragons. These creatures who also were dinosaurs evolved and took over and the dinosaurs who couldn’t, or rather, didn’t evolve became prey. Hence the mantra, Adapt or Die.”

The dinosaurs represent most agencies and media houses who are still stuck up on old ways. Refusing to embrace technology, social media, or the changing tides in media, either out of ignorance or doggedness.


“This is the most ideal depiction of modern business landscape and we have come to spread the message – adapt or die. The success or failure of Nigerian businesses is hinged on their ability to evolve.

“When we started 6 years ago, we knew what we wanted to do but we always kept an open mind of how we could evolve with the ever changing business landscape. Both from a business and creative standpoint, we always give room to adapt, room to evolve.” Mr. Babaeko revealed.

“We, at X3M, have gone through great lengths to make our point and it isn’t just about the message, the execution too highlights how controlling the narrative is different now compared to just a few years ago. Some of the channels that would have been previously considered when doing a PR stunt are now obsolete. Back in the day, print was the medium of choice to spread information. Now, print gets its news from social media.”

Mr. Olasunkanmi Atolagbe, X3M Ideas’ Group Head, HR/Admin, also echoed X3M’s shape-shifting strategy. “We know the business we’re in, but sometimes we forget to continually learn. We get caught up trying to run a business that we forget to study the industry. Steve has been doing this for a long time, he has seen it all, from the era of print, to TV, to social media. He knows how the industry has evolved and how its consumers have adjusted accordingly. An ad that would have been brilliant 5 years ago may strike a wrong cord now. This keen eye for observing trends and adjusting accordingly is what has set X3M apart.”

As a content provider, a business owner, or consumer, therefore, you must stay ahead of the game, anticipating changes and adjusting your strategies to allow your business thrive because of these changes, not in spite of them.

“It’s not easy to predict the future of media. Technology often plays a huge part in these changes. It also isn’t easy to adapt, but nobody said being successful was going to be easy.
If there is a trick to it, it is being grounded enough to understand that tomorrow is never given. Once you become safe in the achievements that you have and refuse to continually innovate, you will be left behind as the game evolves.” Slotted in Mr. Babaeko again.

After numerous awards, with stunning numbers in revenue, and a hugely impressive clientele, including some of Nigeria’s biggest brands, X3M remains a dominant force in marketing communications in Nigeria because they are constantly evolving and also constantly winning.

“So, our message to African businesses is simple – Adapt or Die!”

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