Cadbury Marketing boss lists conditions for brands’ consumer attention
By Felicia Nwosu
Morolake Emokpaire, the Head of Marketing for Cadbury Nigeria Plc., a subsidiary of Mondelez International, with responsibility for West Africa, said that only brands with customer-centric ethos in their marketing strategy in an era marked by economic challenges will eventually get into consumers’ shopping baskets.
The innovative marketer in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE on TV explained that creating a customer-centric business model in today’s market is key for brands aiming to inspire customer loyalty and equity.
“At this point, it is brands that stay at the top of mind that will eventually get into shopping baskets. Selling is important, and, as a marketer, it is in understanding the power of driving fiscal availability, ensuring that your products are within reach to the consumer at this time that matters.”
According to her, staying true to the promise of brands to consistently deliver quality products at the right prices and meeting their needs are the greatest challenges that face manufacturers or business owners today. She challenged brands at this point to strive for salience as typical paradigms of marketing.
Reflecting on the lessons learned from the floating economy, Emokpaire outlined several strategic perspectives professionals can adopt to scale through the turbulent era, balance efficiency and effectiveness while citing the case of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What I have learned is that if you are active in the consumer goods space today, you need to understand how to militate against those weaknesses. I remember very clearly that times like this are challenging, but there are some outliers that you can leverage.
“In such economic environment and volatility, first and foremost, it can be an opportunity for marketers and manufacturers to do some introspection, taking a proper internal analysis of what opportunities there are,” she said.
“It is an opportunity for marketers to operate more leanly than ever before. It is an opportunity to drive more focus around the right portfolio mix and understand the opportunities with price-pack architecture. It is also time for marketers to be closer to consumers more than ever before and prioritize the key need to be able to meet those needs profitably at scale and with a high degree of meaningfulness,” she added.
She averred that, for businesses to survive the current economic turmoil, they must put in place adaptable initiatives that align with the new economic reality to ensure they come out unhurt while continuing to service customers with excellence.
“It is a game about penetration; it is going to be about penetration in the days to come. A typical school of thought will tell you to drive penetration and drive frequency. Getting into more households, and into more stores is critical. It is a critical implication of the times that we are in.
“Also, costs to the consumer and your costs as an organization must be optimal to survive these challenging times. Finally, the promise of convenience, which is the alternative for the consumer to choose from, is the power of variety within reasonable limits.”
Giving her assessment of the Nigerian marketing ecosystem, the marketing maven opined that in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, marketers must devise a strong understanding of key elements of the change to help them reframe the situation.
“The marketing ecosystem does not operate in isolation of the macro-environmental climate. If you look at the indices in the country today, you will agree with me that it presents a formidable challenge. Both manufacturers and marketers need to read the current trends and understand where the opportunities cross-intersect their strengths as an organization.
“For any marketer, whatever strategy, planning, or execution starts first and foremost with the proper context of both the macro and the micro-environment. It is also important to be very mindful of what your barriers are as a marketer or a business leader. If you are a marketer, you are going to have to have a good understanding of the macro and the micro-environment.”