Home Opinion Lessons from Providus Bank’s intervention in Dosunmu market fire incident

Lessons from Providus Bank’s intervention in Dosunmu market fire incident

21 min read

In the dynamic world of business, effective communication is not merely about broadcasting messages; it’s about connecting with your audience on a personal level. The recent intervention by Providus Bank in the aftermath of the Dosunmu Market fire incident exemplifies the power of meeting your audience where they are, a crucial strategy for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

Lagos Island stands as the bustling heart of commerce in Lagos, where the relentless hustle of the nation is on full display. On an ordinary day, the streets and markets teem with traders and businesses. However, the recent fire incident that ravaged the Dosunmu Market brought a sudden halt to this vibrant commercial activity, leaving countless traders devastated.

Providus Bank’s Swift Response
Recognizing the critical situation, Providus Bank immediately decided to take action. The management of the bank, led by a dedicated team from the Nnamdi Azikiwe Branch, swiftly organized an intervention forum for those affected by the fire. This forum was open to both customers and non-customers, showcasing the bank’s commitment to the broader community.

1.Intervention Forum
During the forum, Providus Bank outlined various measures to help the affected traders. Key among these measures was the allocation of N5 billion in loans specifically designed to assist small businesses in their recovery. This financial support aimed to ensure that these businesses could get back on their feet quickly and with minimal stress.

The forum served as a platform for dialogue and empathy, where the bank could directly understand the needs and concerns of the traders. By engaging with the affected community in person, Providus Bank demonstrated that it is not just a financial institution but a vital part of the market community, deeply invested in its well-being.

2.Commitment to the Community
Providus Bank’s intervention underscores its belief in being an active member of the market community. The bank recognizes that its success is intertwined with the prosperity of the local businesses it serves. By stepping in to provide immediate and substantial support, Providus Bank reinforced its role as a reliable partner in times of crisis, ensuring that commerce never stops for its customers and prospective customers.

3.Announcing The Commitment
Providus bank created a short video of their engagement with the Dosunmu market traders and shared it on their social media handles. By sharing the video on social media platforms, Providus Bank was able to reach a wider audience, including current and potential customers who may not have been aware of their efforts.

i. Emotional Connection and Loyalty:
Providus Bank’s compassionate gesture has forged a strong emotional bond with the Dosunmu Market traders. This initiative is expected to strengthen the loyalty of existing customers and garner goodwill from prospective customers and their families.

ii. Increased Engagement:
The video shared by Providus Bank generated a significant amount of likes, shares, comments, and most importantly, discussions. This surge in activity has markedly increased engagement with their audience on social media platforms.

iii. Media Mileage:
Providus Bank’s proactive approach has also resulted in substantial media coverage. As you read this article, no less than nine other media outlets have published similar stories. This widespread coverage has significantly amplified the bank’s visibility, translating to a vast number of eyeballs on their novel action.

iv. Media Mentions:
The initiative has led to numerous media mentions, further enhancing Providus Bank’s reputation and reinforcing its commitment to community support.

Key Lessons for professionals

1.Proximity and Empathy in Action
Effective communication starts with understanding and addressing the immediate needs of your audience. This my assertion is tooted in streams of studies which have shown that understanding and addressing the immediate needs of your audience can enhance communication effectiveness, credibility, and engagement {Bell, A. (1984); Jurin, R et al, (2010); Gann, T., & Barr, D. (2014); Lundgren, R., & McMakin, A. (2018); Meredith, D. (2021)}. Providus Bank’s intervention forum is a prime example of this principle. By organizing a face-to-face forum for the affected traders, the bank provided a platform for direct engagement and support which positions the bank as a caring and supportive bank willing to understand plight and addressing the traders’ concerns need.

This approach aligns with the concept of “proximity marketing,” which emphasizes the importance of being close to your customers, both physically and emotionally. Providus Bank’s personalized approach during the intervention resonated with this finding, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty among the traders.

2.Financial Support as a Communication Tool
The allocation of N5 billion in loans to support the affected businesses was more than just financial assistance; it was a powerful communication tool. It conveyed Providus Bank’s commitment to the community’s recovery and economic stability. This tangible support spoke volumes, reinforcing the bank’s dedication to its customers.
A study by Invesp, a 5% increase in customer retention can result in a 25% increase in customer lifetime value (The Mentor group, 2023). Providus Bank’s proactive financial support highlights how targeted assistance can strengthen customer loyalty and attract new clients who see the bank’s value in times of need. Additionally, this can also lead to greater revenue for the bank in the future as it helps the bank to retain their existing customers. This has been proven by a report by Harvard Business Review which shows that a 5% increase in customer retention rates can significantly increase profits by 25% to 95%.

3.Leveraging Digital Platforms for Broader Reach
In today’s digital age, meeting your audience where they are also means utilizing online platforms to extend your reach. Providus Bank’s video documenting their intervention efforts serves as a clear message of their intentions and mission. This digital outreach not only amplifies the bank’s message but also connects with a wider audience, including potential customers who may not have been directly affected by the incident.

A report by HubSpot indicates that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support. Providus Bank’s use of video content aligns with this preference, enhancing their brand’s visibility and emotional connection with the audience.

4.The Role of Community Engagement
Providus Bank’s intervention at the Dosunmu Market exemplifies its commitment to community engagement and social responsibility. By stepping in to support the traders affected by the fire, Providus Bank showcased its role as more than just a financial institution—it proved to be a vital community member deeply invested in the welfare of local businesses.

This action aligns perfectly with the findings of a study conducted by Parsa et al. (2015), which revealed that most consumers are willing to pay a modest price increase for businesses that are environmentally and socially responsible. Providus Bank’s swift and substantial response to the Dosunmu Market incident demonstrates its dedication to social responsibility, reinforcing the bank’s reputation as a trustworthy and caring partner in the community.

By prioritizing the needs of the affected traders and providing tangible support through the N5 billion loan facility, Providus Bank not only helped businesses recover but also strengthened its relationship with the community. This alignment with consumer preferences for socially responsible businesses underscores the bank’s strategic approach to fostering loyalty and attracting new customers, thereby driving long-term success.

5.Tell Your Own Story
In the digital age, businesses have the unique opportunity to tell their own stories and connect directly with their audience through social media. Providus Bank seizing this opportunity by creating and sharing a short video of their engagement forum with the affected traders at Dosunmu Market on their social media handles is a strategic move that will not only amplified their message of support but also demonstrated their commitment to transparency and community engagement.
The video showcased Providus Bank’s genuine concern for the affected traders, detailing the measures taken to support their recovery. By documenting their intervention and sharing it publicly, the bank has built trust and credibility with their audience. Transparency in actions reassures customers and potential clients that the bank is committed to its community and values.

According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, 81% of consumers said they need to be able to trust the brand to do what is right. Providus Bank’s transparent communication through social media aligns with this finding, reinforcing the bank’s reputation as a trustworthy and reliable partner.

Providus Bank’s video also garnered likes, shares, comments, and discussions, increasing engagement with their audience. Engaging content not only keeps current customers connected but also attracts new ones by showcasing the bank’s values and actions. Findings by a group of researchers Filho et al, (2019) indicates that video content on social media generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. By leveraging video, Providus Bank maximized their reach and impact, effectively communicating their message of support and community involvement.

One of my recurring statements in my Executive class is “Meeting your audience where they are is not just an essential aspect of effective communication in business, it has become imperative”. This is because as Simon Sinek wisely puts it, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Providus Bank’s actions reflect their belief in community support and their commitment to their customers’ well-being. This approach not only strengthens loyalty but also attracts new customers who resonate with the bank’s values.

Additionally, Peter Drucker’s insight that “the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” highlights the importance of Providus Bank’s deep understanding of their customers’ needs. And the bank’s intervention is a testament to their effective strategy, showing that meaningful community engagement and targeted efforts can lead to significant financial returns and customer satisfaction.

In today’s competitive landscape, engaging with the audience on a personal level and demonstrating genuine care and commitment is essential for any organization aiming to thrive. True success in business transcends profit; it is a measure of the connections we forge and the trust we inspire.

Ishola, N. Ayodele is a distinguished and multiple award-winning strategic communication expert who specializes in ‘Message Engineering’. He helps Organizations, Brands and Leaders Communicate in a way that yields the desired outcome. He is the author of the seminal work, ‘PR Case Studies; Mastering the Trade,’ and Dean, the School of Impactful Communication (TSIC). He can be reached via ishopr2015@gmail.com or 08077932282.


1.Drucker, P. F. (1973), “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.” New York, USA: Harper & Row.

2.Filho, C., Souki, G., Randt, D., & Chinelato, F. (2019). Marketing in a socially connected world: the impact of value on sharing of commercial videos. Revista Economia & Gestão. https://doi.org/10.5752/p.1984-6606.2019v19n53p5-21.

3.Gann, T., & Barr, D. (2014). Speaking from experience: audience design as expert performance. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29, 744 – 760. https://doi.org/10.1080/01690965.2011.641388.

4.Jurin, R., Roush, D., & Danter, J. (2010). Analyzing Your Audience. , 83-105. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3987-3_6.

5.Lundgren, R., & McMakin, A. (2018). Analyze Your Audience. Risk Communication: A Handbook for Communicating Environmental, Safety, and Health Risks. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470480120.CH8.

6.Meredith, D. (2021). Understand Your Audiences. Explaining Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780197571316.003.0002.

7.Parsa, H., Lord, K., Putrevu, S., & Kreeger, J. (2015). Corporate social and environmental responsibility in services: Will consumers pay for it?. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 22, 250-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JRETCONSER.2014.08.006.

8.Providus Bank (2024), “Providus Bank Helping Business Prosper.” Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/posts/providusbank_helpingbusinessesprosper-ugcPost-7214658599023763457-fq37?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android on 5th of July, 2024.

9.The Mentor Group (2023), “THE CUSTOMER RETENTION BLUEPRINT: STRATEGIES FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS.” Retrieved from https://www.mentorgroup.co.uk/insights/the-customer-retention-blueprint-strategies-for-long-term-success on 5th of July, 2024

10.Sinek, S. (2009), “Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action”. New York, USA. Portfolio imprint of Penguin Group.

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