CEO tasks creative professionals on multiple competences

By Felicia Nwosu

Israel Obatunde, the Chief Executive Officer of Ideas Origin Media, has advised that creative professionals need to have an inkling in other areas of the integrated marketing communications space instead of being vertically deep in creative operations alone.

He explained that the conversation has to extend to other spaces such as brand management, adding that cross-functional fluency will help professionals in the creative to offer a more holistic service to clients’ business and also deal with unnecessary bureaucracies.

He stated this during an interview while giving his assessment on how well Nigeria creative agencies are doing in terms of practice and brand management.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but my agency. One of the things we’ve been able to take care of on time is bureaucracy. As much as bureaucracy is good, it can also affect top notch creativity and innovation ,because if there are so many blocks in terms of chains of command and who you report to, for instance, a junior that is so fantastic in thinking might not be able to find the opportunity one day to eventually become the best in the industry. So some of the things we are able to learn fast are to engage with the industry.”

Obatunde noted that as traditional silos across the industry crumble and service lines blur among many professional service companies ,that creative professionals should be able to offer holistic services that goes beyond creative point of view to boost multiple competencies so they can seamlessly move from the frameworks of creatives to also immerse themselves in other areas of practice.

“We are able to ensure that brand management is part and parcel of everything we do. Brand management is more like client management. A creative should be able to understand and manage clients, whether the brand management people are there or not, and that is one of the successes that I am also enjoying. I started my career as a creative person. Today, I’m running a business successfully by the grace of God. It tells how much I’ve been able to innovate and evolve. It is because some people gave me the opportunity to,” he said.

Recalling his career journey, he urged agencies to deepen their capacity building efforts in the industry to enable them to get the best hands and also encourage future professionals on how they can learn from one another with humility.

“While I was growing, I learned the financial part of this business. I learned the brand management part of this business. I learned almost every part of it, the strategic part of it. So as a result, I was able to offer holistic service as a person, as a brand, and now as an agency. In this case, brand management is key and shouldn’t be limited to the people called brand managers. We should all be brand managers and it is how open we get to be, so it is critical for us to adapt as a creative agency into good brand management.”


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