Stakeholders call for seasoned marketing professionals
Professionals, stakeholders and members of Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) met in Lagos recently and identified dearth of seasoned marketers as one of the challenges facing the industry. At the ADVAN industry dialogue that had as theme ‘Industry trends (Nigeria) and Implication for embers’, the stakeholders also discussed other crucial issues such as regulatory policies, media effectiveness, and agency relations.
In his opening remark, ADVAN President, Mr. David Okeme, stated that young people and digitization have had the largest impact in the industry in the last decade. According to him, “Young people, due to their numbers and spending power, have shaped marketing practice globally. Digitization has brought positive impact such as data-driven targeting, audience scale, automated technology and consumer technology. The negative sides to digitization are data privacy, fraud, ad misplacement, ad blocking among others.”
On trends in advertising regulations, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria’s (APCON) Registrar, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi, said these were trying times for a lot of advertising agencies and to make matters worse most advertisers don’t follow the code of advertising.
“Our office is littered with all sorts of complaints from you trying to outdo one another,” he lamented. President, National Institute Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Tony Agenmonmen, said the greatest challenge today is the dearth of seasoned marketing professionals. According to him, “These days, everybody is a marketer. Most of them do not even understand what they are marketing; they also cannot express themselves in good English. We need to separate the seed from the shaft.”
Agenmonmen said NIMN would regulate and ensure full compliance to its laws. Also, Onome Asagbara, reiterated the need for a synergy between advertisers and the agencies, as well as the need for training. He said duplication was only dragging the industry backward, adding, “NIMN is on track but APCON has the power to bring people together faster; we can bridge the dearth by constant communication. We need more of these forums.”
On trends in agency relations, the panelists insisted on ample collaboration with the clients, advertising practitioners, agencies and the media, noting that times have changed due to technology.
Managing Director of Noah’s Ark, Lanre Adisa, who was also a panelist, said there was need for training as a succession plan, adding, “Your creative work can be as good as your presentation.”
Concerning trends in the media, Managing Director, Media Fuse Limited, Emeka Chris Okeke, listed 10 facts that would shape the way business is done in 2017. Some of them include new skills set will be required to drive competitiveness in the area of data; exchange rate debacle will stifle growth in the digital space; people-based marketing should rise over proxy-based marketing; according to the World Economy Forum report, the digital economy will create hundreds of trillion dollars of value by 2025; spending will continue to shrink due to recession and media rates will be resisted, and delivery of mass media by television will be challenged by effectiveness on VOD platforms.
President of MIPAN, Dr. Ken Onyali Ikpe, stated that the train of marketing has long left the station, saying, “Basic and rudimental advertising today would no longer deliver. Marketing is different from selling. In selling, you exchange goods and services.
“But in marketing, you have to fill a gap or create value for the consumer. And this consumer has to be understood very well. Today’s consumer is very sophisticated. Their disposable income is getting lower by the day, so they need deep understanding of the product they want to buy. He is also faced with a plethora of choices. What advertisers need now is not so much of feasibility but engagement with the consumers. Then you will not only build adaptation for the brand but also adoration.”