Adetu raises concern over marcom industry fragmentation, undercutting

By Felicia Nwosu

Seni Adetu, a seasoned executive and CEO of Algorithm Media, Nigeria’s foremost marketing communications firm, has emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive reforms in media planning and buying.

The renown brand builder also highlighted the challenges of fragmentation and detrimental effects of undercutting in the industry. He advocated for a shift towards data-driven strategies and unified scaling to enhance professionalism and sustainability amidst evolving market dynamics.

Mr. Adetu, said this during a recent interview with MARKETING EDGE ONTV in Lagos, expressed serious concerns over the fragmented state of the media planning and buying sector, and urged for comprehensive reforms to address escalating challenges.

In a candid assessment of the current landscape, the media planning and buying expert underscored the need for professionals to embrace data-driven strategies and operational efficiency.

“It’s crucial for industry players to adopt insight and data-driven approaches. Shooting in the dark is no longer viable. Financial prudence is paramount, and ensuring that accurate insights and data precede any marketing solution is non-negotiable.”

“Ensure that you’re data-driven. Ensure that you bring innovation and technology into play. A lot of people talk about technology, innovation, not understanding what they entail. What that does for you is that in addition to giving you a solid creative background, it enables you to reduce costs. So those are some of the things that I think our players should think about going forward. It could be a lot better. I am an advocate of less is more. I think we’re a highly fragmented industry.”

Likening the situation to a cycle of instability where departing personnel often establish rival agencies, he said, “We are seeing a highly fragmented sector where personnel changes can lead to the birth of new agencies overnight. This practice not only undermines industry standards but also exposes agencies to exploitation by clients seeking lower fees elsewhere.”

Highlighting the detrimental effects of undercutting and fierce competition, Adetu urged for a shift towards industry-wide scaling. “We need scale to achieve economies that empower better client negotiations. Currently, the industry is plagued by a relentless race to the bottom, harming profitability and professionalism.”

Despite these challenges, he remains optimistic about the industry’s potential resilience. “While the landscape is fraught with challenges, the sector remains lucrative. If we consolidate and emerge stronger, with fewer but more robust firms, we can enhance industry value.”

The versatile thought leader called for reforms that will resonate with Nigeria’s media industry, signal a pivotal moment for stakeholders to prioritize sustainability, efficiency, and unity in navigating future complexities.


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