Agencies should invest in workforce for cutting-edge delivery – Ufot

By Felicia Nwosu

Udeme Ufot, Managing Director of SO&U, has challenged agencies to constantly improve the knowledge-base of their professionals to stay ahead, updated and well acquainted with happenings around the industry and their clients’ businesses to enable them deliver the right value.

He stated this in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE while assessing the advertising industry growth in recent times. The marketing expert encouraged practitioners to up their games by acquiring the requisite skills, research and deeper knowledge base to respond rightly to industry needs.

Ufot commended agencies for responding to some of the challenges posed by the pandemic. He however called on them to be more accountable and empathetic through measurable value-addition to boost clients’ businesses through quality service delivery, instead of being carried away with agency self- achievement.

“The client is paying for the service and the more you can demonstrate to them that you are offering value and that value is measurable, the more you can sustain your business. Quite often, agencies are more thrilled with the accolades and awards that follow the work they have done and sometimes, they are less concerned about the impact of the work on their clients’ businesses.

“Going forward, it is becoming more imperative that the marketing budgets need to be well-deployed; these clients are suffering. Marketing directors should be held to account for the budgets given to them to grow their brands and agencies. If agencies refuse to be more accountable and marketing directors can’t be accountable, people will lose their jobs.”

The former ARCON Chairman commended the new ARCON law that supports local content production. He also revealed that Covid-19 taught advertising practitioners to look inward instead of spending much on infrastructure that the industry has been endowed with.

Reaffirming the tremendous impact the emergence of the pandemic has brought into the industry, Ufot said: “Certainly, those two years of lockdown and semi-lockdown, dealt a heavy blow on the advertising industry in terms of loss of clients as clients had to shut down. Budgets were cut, media campaigns were suspended, so all manner of things happened, and even the consumers were hard pressed to the extent they couldn’t make purchases. It is actually now that agencies are beginning to reemerge to push ahead. Another fall-out of the pandemic is the new work culture. Some clients and some people have been used to remote working and this has spurred a set of small tiny standing alone operators who are offering services that undercut agency operations.”


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