Agencies lack originality in marketing strategy – Ailemoh

By Felicia Nwosu

One of the thought leaders in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) industry, Winston Ailemoh, Director, Commercial Operations, Marie Stopes International Organisation of Nigeria, has decried the lack of originality in marketing strategy on the part of creative agencies.

The DCO enjoined them to desist from using similar media approaches in their marketing messages by rehashing and rethinking their ideas. He highlighted that authenticity is the cornerstone of contemporary marketing as every brand needs to stand out from the clutter in making impact, as well strengthening its positioning.

Mr. Ailemoh stated this while speaking with MARKETING EDGE, even as he tasked creatives to scout for more authentic recipes for marketing messages. He mentioned that some agencies are grappling with the challenge of lack of originality and creativity.

“One of the biggest challenges of the marketing services agency in Nigeria is the lack of rigour; they are just too shallow. It is so difficult to find an agency that will stick with you today, to see that they have really done an in-depth work. Everybody is just ‘cut and paste’. The template you used for brand A, because brand B calls you, you go ahead use the same – that is the biggest problem.

“If an agency meets a sound thorough client marketing person, it will be very difficult to get the account, trust me. Agencies should sit up; put rigour to what they do. They should spend time; the data is available in the public space,” he advised.

The brand promoter also cautioned clients to aim their briefs according to their budget size to enable them get the best from agencies.

“Clients, too, have their own shortcoming. Clients want to have results of Ferrari or a Porche, but you are bringing a budget of a Volkswagen or Toyota Corolla. They need to work the talk; if you want the result of a Ferrari, the least you can do, is to bring the budget of a BM or a Benz – that is the least. On the client side, the owners of the business, year-on- year, the value of the money diminishes. At the end of the day, they want higher result, and that is a challenge from client side,” he said.

The former marketing director of Pfizer called on agencies to be more financially empathic with clients, to promote a more conducive atmosphere for business to transit and thrive mutually and cordially.

“On the agency side, agency’s outrageous ambition goes for even mark-ups that cocaine dealers cannot think of. You want to do a 50% mark-up, some are going as much as doing a 70% mark-up on budget. Who or which brand can afford such budget?

“Agencies too should live up to expectations by waking up to the reality and knowing that those outrageous margins or mark-ups that existed 17 years ago, no longer obtain. If they need to become lean within their organizations to be able to face reality, on the client side, it is also getting leaner by the day,” he noted.

Mr. Ailemoh recommended that agencies and brands should endeavour to build trust and reliability for a more enduring and symbiotic relationship.


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