BrandArena: Innovation, Strategy to Drive IMC in 2018 - Experts

Thursday 4 January 2018

Innovation, Strategy to Drive IMC in 2018 - Experts

Despite the fact that Nigeria exited recession in the third quarter of 2017, the rate at which the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) industry in Nigeria experienced growth was insignificant as business close their financial books for the year; awaiting a better 2018.

2018 being a year preceding another general election in Nigeria, many Nigerians are hopeful it will be a better one.  President Muhammadu Buhari government during his New Year speech promised better lives for the people. And from the proposed budget been submitted to the National Assembly, big sectors such as power, works & housing; transportation; ICT; retail among others are likely to be major focus.

For IMC industry, Advertising, Public Relations, Out-of-Home, Experiential; Media Buying, Research, and Digital Marketing agencies will likely experience a better year, according to experts.

Above all, pitches will be won and lose base on innovation, strategy/ceativity and budget.

According to former Managing Director of The Quadrant Company and founder of Precise, a facilitation company, Mr. Bolaji Okusaga, “What happened in 2017 is the fact that when an hurricane just blows over an area, there will be a period to clear the debris; so largely, what we were doing in 2017 was clearing the debris. I am sure that the coast will be clearer in 2018 for growth but what happened in 2017 is more like a gradual, slow but painful recovery for the marketing industry.”

He stated that PR practitioners were busy grappling with disruptive, alternative services that leverage on cutting edge technology which created disruption in the industry.

"Brand owners are now innovative in the way they deploy their spend. They now understand that there is a changing media consumption habit that is borne out of the fact that they are now disruptive technologies – be it chat, be it social, be it even mobile which is from the device end – that has affected the way people consume news and interact; so there is now so much interactive bases that are more measurable than when you look at the traditional media and also have the opportunity to be able to back check and predict from a deterministic perspective, the return on investment for marketing efforts”

“So you find that technology has really created a lot of transparency around all of these and to the extent that technological tools, technological platforms and proprietary tools have, in some sort of ways, disrupted this practice. So, added to the economic issue is the disruptive tendencies and that take a big chunk from the economic issue because from an economic standpoint, clients now want to do so much more at less cost; so it puts a lot of pressure on the guys who still use traditional media”, he said.

Managing Director, CMC Connect, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, said technology, data analysis and strategy will play be key considerations for businesses in 2018 as the year proceed. He stated that many companies are not just interested in being a market leader but maintaining a profitable margin for their business. "To achieve these goals for business in this rapidly changing business environment, IMC experts will need to hone their skills in areas of tech innovation, data usage and strategy to profer solutions to brands' challenges."

Another expert, Mrs. Fumilola Williams, stressed that the issue of impact assessment and measurement will lead industry conversation in 2018 as many companies want clearer evidence on the impact of the IMC budget spent on their businesses. "The market is getting tougher and companies want to ensure that every kobo spent is judiciously utilised. The industry will have to agree on a clear measurement approach on impact of advertising, public relations, sales promotion, sponsorship, etc in terms of return on investment (ROI)."

"I believe 2018 is going to be a great year for the industry. It's a year leading to another general election so therefore the economy is expected to experience some growth in terms of cash flow and hope IMC get part of this development", she said.

As the year unfold, fingers are crossed to see how it will impact the IMC industry. 

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