Consumer apathy, economic headwinds top ad industry concerns

By Zion Rufus

Economic crisis, inflation, consequences of the war in Ukraine are some of the most peculiar issues currently facing the global economy. However, some top professionals in Nigeria’s marketing communications industry have highlighted bigger challenges facing the industry. Some of these challenges include ad fraud, dearth of third party cookies, economic headwinds, talent migration and shortage amongst others.

Identifying talent emigration and shortage as a rising concern, ADMARP President, Oti Ukubeyinje pointed that the pandemic and the current economic crisis has prompted people to rethink their careers, work ethics, wages, and location. According to the professional, this has fueled the demand for greener pastures, remote/hybrid jobs, and increased wages. 

Validating the President’s premise, Lanre Basamta, Group head, mobile financial services, Interswitch pointed out that competition for talent is now so stringent, that it has become more challenging to win the battle. 

He shared: “In Nigeria the biggest challenge is that we are losing our talent to greener pasture pursuits or foreign climes such as Uk, Canada, US and more.”

The marketing professional further explained that the current inflationary pressures and economic headwinds have adversely affected the business world. 

“Global inflation is affecting our ability to support our systems from a forex perspective. Licenses we have to pay, wages and salaries of team members outside the country which are typically in dollars also have to be paid. Not forgetting the attendant consequences of a devalued Naira makes it all the more challenging,” he said.

Digital ace, Franklin Ozekhome on his part consumer apathy, financial liquidation, and short term planning as some of the pressing issues in the ad industry. 

He said: “Consumers are overwhelmed with the same series of electronic, online and mobile advertisements all seemingly communicating commoditized stories, themes and narratives. Most of the top spenders in marketing fail to empathise with the current realities faced by Nigerians – high inflation, evolving needs states, and changing lifestyle priorities of the average Nigerian. In a changing world where consumer cultures keep evolving with attendant impact on behavior and purchase power, brands seem to forget that awareness and attention alone does not cut it anymore. It’s business as usual, and it’s telling on sales, product consideration, repurchase ratio, likeability, and brand equity. There’s so much noise out there that consumers fail to distinguish ideas, messaging, and content themes.”

Commenting on financial liquidity, Ozekhome explained that the traditional business model for remuneration is adversely affecting small and upcoming agencies. The digital expert explained that sometimes, major projects have to be refinanced by agencies through banks with a steep interest rate, and payments tend to exceed agreed timeframe.



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