How Wakanow Is Legally Hijacking TravelBeta Customers (and What You Can Learn from It).

As a business intelligence junkie, I love snooping around to see what the big businesses are doing right and what they doing wrong.

I have come to the conclusion that VC funding doesn’t equate to great strategy. Most times, it only means more money to do dumb stuff until they finally get it right (and I don’t mean it in a derogatory way…but you get the point)

Yes… the idea is great but the strategy doesn’t have a punch.

I was on my usual snooping trip and I stumbled on this very hilarious stunt Wakanow was pulling on its competitors which is quite strategic and worth implementing.

In case you may not know Wakanow received a $40 million (NGN 14.6 billion) funding from Venture Capitalist Carlyle Group.

With such deep pockets, it means only one thing: Wakanow is after total market domination and they’re well on their way to doing that.

Interesting Stats

Here’s a little insight on how extremely lucrative this industry is and why Wakanow is willing to go the extra mile to have a huge piece of the pie.

In 2017 alone, the total number of travellers who passed through the Nigerian airport was 13,394,945.

9,458,521 of that number were domestic travellers while the remaining 3,936,424 were international travellers.

Let’s say Wakanow gets between a 5-10% share of both the domestic and travellers, that’s still a sweet deal.

Now, let’s look at these

Intent-Based Marketing

In marketing, the best time to get a customer is at intent and there’s no better way to identify intent than a good ol’ google search.

The way Google Search Ads work (which are intent-based ads) is that you bid on keywords.

The more competitive a keyword is, the more money you spend on it.

In the travel space, Wakanow, Travelbeta, and Travelstart are competitors and they all invest a lot in their marketing.

But, what’s interesting is that both Wakanow and Travelstart are both bidding on the keyword “travelbeta”, so you can imagine how much money they are spending to tap into Travelbeta's customer base.

In other words, whenever a search is made on Google for Travelbeta, it calls up ads from Wakanow and Travelstart and it ranks first even before Travelbeta even shows up.

wakanow hijacks travelbeta customers

And that's a tip for Travelbeta and other companies out there.

Bid on your own brand so that, no matter what, you appear above your competition in the search results.

That way, when people search for you, they find you and not get poached by your competitors.

Site Traffic: Wakanow vs Travelbeta

Let’s also take a look at how much traffic each company drives to its websites every month through their online campaigns.

The rule of marketing is that he who spends the most to acquire a customer wins.

This rule works on the premise that you have a good idea of what the average lifetime value of a customer is.

It clearly shows Wakanow has an edge in terms of how the sheer volume of traffic visits their site.

This could be based on the fact that they were first to market or more likely, it could be based on how much they are spending to get people to their website, and of course, how they are hijacking their competitors' would-be traffic.

wakanow site vistors

But that's not all.

Dig Into The Data

When you dig deeper into the data, you'll also notice that Travelbeta seems to have a better engagement. TravelBeta visitors typically spend more time on page and visit more pages than Wakanow.

This shows how important it is to dig into the data and make decisions based on it.

What TravelBeta needs to do is look at what pages have the most visitors, and what pages people are spending the most time on and optimise them for more conversions.

Better still, they can go a step further to actually watch the interactions people have on their site.

Also, keep in mind that Travelbeta has only acquired a $2 million (NGN 730million) as compared to Wakanow’s $40 million (NGN14.6 billion).

So, that means they have a lot of room for growth.


In conclusion, it is safe to say that with a big marketing budget, the better your chances of success (if you’re doing it right). But it doesn't end there.

You need a big budget + a winning strategy to keep top of mind in your customer's mind and ahead of the competition.

In my biased opinion, if Travelbeta sat on the fat coffers as Wakanow, they’ll probably do much better with the right strategies.

Leave a Reply