Affiliation is not the sole factor, IMC operatives should embrace partnership, says Onabolu

Getting into affiliation pacts with global communications networks should never be seen as a be-all and end-all of attaining business success, instead, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) operatives in Nigeria must think towards establishing independent partnerships and workable business collaborations.

These were the views of a top Nigerian IMC industry expert, the Managing Director/CEO, Cosse Communications Group while speaking during an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE, recently in Lagos.

Reacting to the poser as to whether or not affiliations have impacted positively to the growth of Nigeria’s IMC industry in general,  the foremost advertising practitioner observed that there is practically nothing special about local companies who scramble to be in affiliation with multinational networks, adding that affiliation was fundamentally a business decision made in the interest of the particular organisations involved, depending on where they found themselves at a particular point in time.

According to the agency boss whose organisation was formerly in affiliation with Bates advertising network, affiliations could become costly, especially considering the huge financial involvement in payment of fees to the parent network.

He added that his agency decided to come out of affiliation when it became clear “we weren’t getting too much from it anymore and we could not see, going forward, where that was going to take us”.

One of the mistakes that we often make in this part of the world is to see affiliations as a ‘be-all and end-all” without recognising that business is what it is. Business is warlike and selfish. At the end of the day, the guy at the other end is hoping to make as much money as possible.

“It’s so sad for us in Nigeria and Africa that most of the time what we find is a lot of the so-called networks are always looking for a dot on the map. All they would do is to say to a client ‘look, work with us here, we have a dot somewhere there’. And as much as possible we do things that would be in their own interest and not necessarily in our own interest,” he said.

He noted further that though there may still be some upside to affiliations, the truth remains that a lot of things have changed over time globally that has made affiliations never the all-important element to success in business.

He pointed out that while in the past, affiliation was thought to be a sure route to assessing some juicy multinational businesses; meanwhile, the trend has changed so much that the industry has come to witness the emergence of multinationals across Africa,  even in Nigeria, thus rendering  the whole essence of affiliating to global networks a mirage.

“There is a reversal to what we used to know as multinationals. For example, Dangote, Oando, Glo and so on are all successful stories of multinationals with Nigerian root,” he said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.