The rise of apps that have become integral parts of our daily lives owes their success to marketers who know how to spark our imagination.

Their campaigns helped us to immediately see how these apps made our lives easier. They convinced us that we couldn’t get by without ordering a cab from the palm of our hands, streaming videos on the go, making payments with our phones or sharing our photos with our friends instantly. The growth in popularity of these apps has required a nuanced approach to marketing in different global markets, and Africa is a particularly unique one.

Africa has one of the youngest populations globally – with more than 70% under the age of 30 and while mobile broadband coverage continues to grow, the usage gap is still relatively wide. Despite this, it has one of the fastest-growing and most innovative content-creator ecosystems in the world. Coupled with Africa’s growing tech space, the continent’s youth population has the potential to carve new career paths in tech that previous generations generally didn’t have access to. One such career option is that of a product marketing manager.

Adetutu Laditan has always been a huge fan of the power of storytelling, having grown up amongst the rich tradition of oral storytelling in Africa. This led her to some of her first roles in marketing before landing her current one as senior product marketing manager for YouTube, sub-Saharan Africa. Adetutu’s role entails leading initiatives and working with cross-functional teams to grow the market and position the platform across sub-Saharan Africa. In her decade-plus of experience in digital product growth strategies and brand-building, she has seen the power of eliciting emotions in strategic storytelling lead to brand and product development through strong product marketing.

Adetutu feels that in addition to storytelling, defining and re-imagining product vision, setting strategy, prioritising features, and driving execution align with having a deep understanding of your target audience and their unique needs. In fact, she has found that mapping the journey of your audience for success is an ongoing process in product marketing. It requires a commitment to delivering value at every stage of their interaction with your brand or product. She has seen how using emotion to connect with your audience is a powerful way to create a deeper, more meaningful connection, helping grow and retain your audience.

While you don’t need a background in tech to be a great marketer in the sector, there are some things Adetutu has learned over the years that have stood her in good stead.

Here are some of her key tips for any aspiring product marketer:

  • Remember that succeeding as a product manager is an ongoing process. Continuously refine your skills, adapt to changing circumstances, and stay committed to delivering value to your customers and your organisation.


  • Eliciting emotion in storytelling is critical to success. However, before you can use emotion effectively, you need to understand your audience’s values, beliefs, and pain points. Conduct audience research to gain insights into what resonates with them emotionally.


  • Stories are a powerful way to evoke emotions. Share stories that are relatable, authentic, and emotionally charged. Use storytelling techniques to create a narrative that captivates your audience.


  • Show empathy and understanding toward your audience’s challenges and concerns. When your audience feels that you genuinely understand and care about their emotions, it builds trust and connection. Use language that speaks directly to your audience’s feelings. Use metaphors and analogies to make complex concepts more relatable.


  • Be willing to adapt your emotional strategies based on the feedback and data you collect. Experiment with different emotional approaches to see what resonates best with your audience.


  • Remember that at any time, your future team or employer is in the same place as you. Adetutu recalls being head-hunted by someone who had seen her previous work and credits some of her success to that early opportunity


  • Don’t wait till you get the title before you build your leadership skills. Adetutu feels that organisations don’t always just reward the work, but what they see as your leadership. This can come in many forms: your capacity to influence, your strengths as a communicator, or the ability to network effectively to the benefit of the business. These are all leadership qualities that Adetutu feels we can continually develop as part of our evolution in our careers.


  • Understand the power of partnerships. In her role, Adetutu has seen real pay-off in ensuring solid partnerships with different players in the digital ecosystem – from influencers, content creators and telecom companies.

Adetutu feels that these are all critical cogs in one wheel that ensure audience growth, user engagement and a circular economy from which all the stakeholders can benefit. She believes that the role marketers play in the growth of brands and products can be an impactful and incredibly powerful one in ensuring a good fit between user and technology. She champions more women in Africa becoming leaders in the global tech ecosystem, whether as product marketers or one of the many other roles the digital economy continues to create.

About the author

Adetutu Laditan leads the growth of YouTube in sub-Saharan Africa. As a product marketing manager, her role involves growing the video channel’s premium products, developing brand partnerships, analysing how consumers use YouTube and guiding video creators and influencers on making more engaging content.

Adetutu initially joined Google (which owns YouTube) nine years ago providing sales support to the Telco and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry. She side-stepped into growth strategy where she found a natural talent, becoming product marketing manager for Google’s consumer apps across all of sub-Saharan Africa, tasked with improving the usability and user ratings.

Today, Adetutu is driving the growth of untapped video audiences across sub-Saharan Africa, inspiring the one million+ internet users on the continent to use YouTube more. Her strength lies in creative storytelling, constantly designing new ways to engage audiences with compelling content, and helping brands and creators find emotional angles to connect to the user.