Economic recession, time to maintain brand building – Iquo Ukoh

Marketing Managers have been urged to leverage on the recession to maintain brand top-of-mind awareness with consumers as a way of achieving future sustainability of their businesses. This call was made in Lagos by CEO, ENTOD Marketing, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh.

According to her, the ability to creatively deploy marketing budgets to generate sales and retain or increase brand awareness, is critical for the business post-recession period. She said: “The marketing manager will benefit from approaching the business with an entrepreneurial mindset. How differently will you manage this business if you were a start up? We can do so much with small budgets when we can think as a start up. This may not be the time for fancy stuff. Stay in survival mode. It’s about ensuring that your effort is driving brand awareness at the same time pushing stock out of the warehouse.”

Noting that it makes business sense to reduce spend and protect the business, Ukoh explained that it is important for brand owners and marketing personnel to ensure consistent and top product quality during the time of recession, adding that consumers are less sympathetic when they lose money to a brand due to reduced quantity or / and quality of the products.

Speaking further, she said: “Nigeria is officially in recession and so many brands have muted their brand activities and media noise. When businesses are in survival mode, normal activities that should support business growth and sustainability are reduced in magnitude or rationalised. The emphasis is to get sales numbers first. The question is what should be kept and what should be chopped off? Even for business with positive financials, the attitude is to remain cautious in marketing and other spend areas.”

Economists and financial analysts posit that the Nigerian economy will be back on track by 2019; meaning consumers will be able to patronize their preferred brands again. However, Ukoh maintained that this would only be possible if such brands are still available and how much the brand has remained top of consumer’s minds during the recession.

One of the ways in which the Marketing guru outlined for brands to remain relevant is by employing the use of the social media.

“Whilst social media may not be free, its cost per contact and benefit of reach when creatively used is far reaching. These are not times to just bask in number of likes for your posts. Consumer engagement is what matters. Walking in your consumers shoes during these trying times, providing tips and solutions to some of their everyday challenges, is a gesture they will not forget. It does not have to be directly about your product all the time,” she said.

Accordingly, one-on-one messaging and activation with sampling can also be used to enhance word of mouth testimonials which the brand needs. She stated that since disposable income is been squeezed to the limit, many consumers are understandably careful about trying out new products.


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