IMC practitioners reel out new lessons to stir the tides of 2022

By Felicia Nwosu

To help stir up the tides of 2022, some industry thought leaders across board and from various IMC spaces, have shared varying lessons and takeaways from 2021 even as they prepare for the opportunities of 2022. They reaffirmed that 2021 provided many enduring lessons that have helped businesses to become more efficient and more consumer-centric.

Dr. Lekan Fadolapo, Registrar/CEO, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), while sharing his experience within the outgoing year noted that the year has been a very challenging one. The APCON leader excitedly mentioned that the year is also one of the most remarkable and historic in the journey of the Council.

“For me, this year, the AISOP provides learning and it is a completely new thing in our entire industry. My takeaway from this year is that there is so much learning for us. Social media is playing a major role in this whole conversation. There is a major shift from advertising spend from the traditional media to the new media, it means that we need to be where that conversation is. As a regulator, we must not only be regulating from our office, we must be part of that conversation. . We are trying to see how we can build capacity for next year so that we can be stronger when it comes to the regulatory framework.”

Commenting from the creative perspective, Steve Babaeko, Chief Executive officer of Nigeria’s creative hub, X3M Ideas, and President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, agreed that the change is for the growth and development of the industry, adding that it has also provided new ways for people to manage their days and time without sacrificing productivity.

“My biggest take-away is, despite all of the challenges that we didn’t even anticipate at this moment, of course, nature is going to throw at us all kinds of curve balls, but as long as we keep our wits about us, and we have our determination, then we will overcome all of these. We are really positive about 2022. We have learnt that being able to stay in touch with your clients, being able to anticipate their needs, to be more proactive and not waiting for the briefs to come to you all the time, is the way to move forward to 2022.”

Israel Opayemi, Managing Director/Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Nigeria, and President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), on his part, admitted that the year has taught practitioners in PR sector, on how to examine current business practices in order to increase long-term operational efficiency and competitiveness, as well as how to protect the core business and pivot to new opportunities.

“This is the reality, in a VUGA market, like ours, the challenges businesses confront today, are such that will make them see that we need more today than we probably needed from our public relations firms ten years ago. From the way things are evolving, you can be at the bottom of the ladder in another three years because consumers will just no longer need the services you are offering.”

He revealed that the lessons have taught the members to take a new dive in re-launching their nets for the future.

“We are preaching about rethinking our business model, I think it is paying off, more and more of our members are now positioning themselves not as agencies again. Don’t ever position yourself as an agency again, that era is gone and dead. Position yourself as consultants, invest in acquiring knowledge.”

Adenike Owolabi, brand representative of leading Cereals manufacturer, Kellogg Tolaram Nigeria, said the year has taught the brand on risk management strategies and how to generate positive impact by taking actions over words to help amplify a good brand perception in the minds of consumers in the future.

“This year we have taken a lot of lessons through the impact of Covid-19. For us, we have learnt to put plans in place to help us run through the year. We have learnt to understand the importance of planning. We are looking at planning properly for the year and also ensuring that we implement the right marketing strategies. Going into 2022 would be looking more into penetration for our brand and growth in all our categories. We are ensuring that we have Kelloggs top of mind in the minds of our consumers.”



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