IMC practitioners recommend surviving strategies against economic crunch

By Felicia Nwosu

In a bid to survive the prevailing economic crunch affecting all sectors of the economy, key players in the Nigerian Integrated Marketing Communication industry have shared how they have been able to weather the storms of the current harsh economic environment, while decrying the negative impact on businesses.

In separate interviews with MARKETING EDGE, the industry stakeholders decried the adverse effect of the economic crunch on their businesses, and reeled out business secret survival tips needed to navigate the economic maze.

Top industry expert, Steve Babaeko, president of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), lamented the ripple effects of the economic downturn plaguing all facets of the economy. He urged agencies to follow the scale of preference model but to also ensure that they spend more on long-term investment as part of their survival strategies around the crunch.

“Well, it’s tough because honestly when you talk about the cost of operation, it   affects the clients as well. You know whatever affects the clients immediately affects agencies. It’s been difficult. One of the things that we have tried to do is to find creative ways to reduce cost without it having a negative impact on the quality of service that we provide. If you were flying business class before it is time to cut it down to premium economy. If you’re the kind of person who has two, three cars, reduce it to one.  That is the only fundamental way.  It is a short period hopefully, and we’ll get past this one,” he said.

Maureen Ngwu, Managing Director, Media Seal Limited, disclosed that it has been very challenging trying to surmount the deluge of economic challenges confronting practitioners in the IMC sector.

“I nearly cried the day I signed off a diesel of 956 naira per litre. I am in a service industry, I don’t produce, but my fees are not increasing. To get a new business is also a tug-of-war because the clients are also complaining. We just need to find ways around it by being more effective in our work operations and the way we do things and also to invest in people,” she said.

Feyisayo Alayande, Head of Product, Digital and Marketing, Letshego, explained that her company, while trying to stay afloat, has devised some resistant mode against the economic crunch.

“In the quest for survival, we have to let some people work from home and switch some businesses to online because we are thinking smarter ways of doing things for our clients, while offering them valuable credit facilities to scale their businesses,” she said.

Ilonah Idoko, Chief Executive Officer, Lona Group Limited, noted that the change in economic conditions has hugely affected business transactions, forcing practitioners to adopt various survival strategies.

“Truly, running costs have really increased. The daily increase on diesel is becoming very alarming, even fuel prices have also gone up and the government is not saying anything. Its impact is really taking a toll on businesses, especially with the nature of outdoor advertising where we power generators to service our clients. It has not been easy,” he lamented.


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