Stakeholders Urge Brand Owners To Embrace Digital Media | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Stakeholders Urge Brand Owners To Embrace Digital Media

George Thorpe
Posted: Jun 23, 2016 at 1:28 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Olamide Bakare
Olamide Bakare who attended a marketing summit recently writes that stakeholders in the marketing industry appear to be in agreement on the need for brand owners to embrace the digital space.   
The marketing summit put together by Marketing Edge may have come and gone but it leaves memories of great learnings as stakeholders in the industry gather to brainstorm on developments in the marketing communication industry. Apart from the fact that the summit highlights the present state of brands in Nigeria, it was an avenue to look at the future especially in the face of revolutionary trends in the digital space. Tagged Brand Positioning in a Digital Age: Challenges in a Developing Market, speakers from different generations offer diverse perspectives as it relates to how digital media could be used to optimise performance for clients
While giving his welcome remarks, the convener of the summit who also doubles as the Publisher of Marketing edge Magazine, Mr.John Ajayi  said the idea was borne out of the need to engender conversation about the future in the marketing communication industry stressing that there was no doubting the fact that digital media holds the ace.
Ajayi who commended agencies as well as clients for their support over the years said it has become imperative for practitioners, brand owners to take advantage of the unique opportunity and benefit such platform offers adding that today consumers are a bit more dynamics and mobile.
 On his part, the keynote speaker, Mr.George Thorpe while applauding the growth in the digital landscape and the inherent benefits that lie ahead said clients and agencies must begin to look in the direction of small businesses by offering their support so as to make the revolution more encompassing
Although he expressed dismay on the seeming lack of structure and framework in the digital space, he urged all stakeholders in the industry to work together by developing new framework that would be acceptable and profit driven for advertisers.
He said “With a low entry barrier, there has been a proliferation of digital marketing agencies fuelling rapid growth but development, in particular agency methodology and processes and employee competencies has yet to match the standards one has come to expect of the marketing support services industry.
“Digital marketing will not be relieved of the market research and analysis rigor, the strategy focus and the planning and execution discipline of marketing theory and practice. That, for me, is what bringing digital to the service of marketing means,”
The guest speaker who is the former managing director of the Guinness Nigeria Plc,Mr. Seni Adetu while giving his perspectives on the digital space said brands and agencies cannot afford to ignore the opportunities digital media offers stressing that growth and respect can only be guaranteed as long as the drivers of such businesses by aligns with the desires of consumers. He opined that many a consumer these days tend to spend virtually all their time on digital space urging clients to find a way of engaging them.
Although he made allusion to the fact that digital space remains a good platform to drive brand growth, he however said that success for the brands can be achieved depending on the brand managers and marketers.
While listing some of the attributes required of a contemporary marketers to win loyalty of consumers, he stated that the onus lies on them to take calculated risk especially in an environment and market that is highly unpredictable. Adetu however advised marketers to rely more on instincts as against the usual practice of depending on insights to formulating strategy for the business stressing that the reality of today’s market may not support initiative based on insights all the time
On her part, Bukola Akingbade former CEO of Bytesize and now founder and CEO of Nukleus who shared her experience noted that there is no disputing the fact the platform has now created bigger possibilities for brands by helping them to reach wider and more diverse audience in a much faster time. She urged other brand owners who are still left behind to join the fray by plugging in to the benefit the platform provides
While highlighting some of the advantages, the digital expert explained that with digital marketing local brands can now compete on the global stage at a cost that is affordable. Akingbade however concluded that indigenous brands who desire growth must see the need to  leverage technology to achieve their goals.
Corroborating her position, the Chief Executive Officer Of Brandzone, Chizor. Malize made a robust case for brands to join the digital bandwagon. She noted that the youth market in Nigeria was a great force in the market space and brands who desire to win their loyalty must discover their favourite platform of engagement.
In her short presentation, the brand expert warned that brand manager must be abreast of trends among consumers.
She said“ Brands need to know that a lot of young people are moving away from facebook and instagram and going over to snapchat. If they don’t know this they will then be concentrating their marketing effort on the wrong channels and will not get expected outcomes,”
Like Malize, co-founder of Red Media, a public relation agency which was involved in the Buhari/Osibajo campaign, Chude Jideonwo stressed the need for brands to pay attention to the streets because that is where trends in the market place are inspired.
He said “The mass market is not influenced by those who have Phd or live in Lekki, but by the streets. That is why brands must study and pay close attention to the streets”
He however cautioned stakeholder not to get too excited about the internet or overrate it because there are still millions of young people, especially in Northern Nigeria that are not on the internet. For these groups of people, the traditional media remains their primary source of information. Therefore brands that desire to engage them can only do so through traditional media like TV, radio, and newspapers.
Meanwhile, no less than 44 categories of awards were available for the  night as Noah’s Ark and Indigo Communication became one of the joint winners of the advertising and young Public Relation agency of the year respectively. Both agencies carted the award alongside X3M Ideas and Red Media. However, the highlight of the event came when about 500 dignitaries stood up in unison to  celebrate  a marketing icon, Mr.Ted Mukoro who had contributed immensely to the development of the industry