Strategy is everything in marketing and brand positioning – IMC Practitioners

By Ibidunni Banjoko

If a brand fails to find a priority position in the consumer’s mind, it becomes just another product or commodity on the supermarket shelf. For a product or service to attain top-of-the-mind awareness, there must be a strategy to navigate the brand, consumer/ customer journey.

The above was the submission of facilitators at the recently concluded MARKETING EDGE 2022 Fireside Conversation, which had the theme: “Marketing and Brand Positioning in a Digital Age”, and organised by the MARKETING EDGE Group.

The programme, the third in a series, which was held at the National Employers Consultative Association (NECA) House in Ikeja, on the 2nd of February, 2021, was specifically designed to retool the professionalism of the internal staff of the group.

According to John Ajayi, CEO/ Publisher of MARKETING EDGE magazine, the Fireside Conversation is the leading publication’s way of upskilling its workforce and expanding their capabilities.

“The new normal has imposed imperatives on corporate organizations globally. The Fireside Conversation is our management initiative with the objective of further re-strategizing and radically repositioning the publication for continued market leadership and dominance across the Nigerian brand and marketing journalism sphere,” Mr. Ajayi said.

The conference was facilitated by notable figures in media and the IMC industry, including Managing Director/CEO, O2 Academy, Ozoemena Mbanefo; Specialised Nutrition Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Dolapo Otegbayi; Executive Director, Media Career development Network (MDCN); Lekan Otufodunrin, CEO of Taijo Wonukabe Limited, Taiwo Obe; CEO, Publicis Groupe/ Redefini Nigeria, Dr. Tayo Oyedeji;  General Manager Marketing/Beverage at 7up Bottling Company, Segun Ogunleye; Executive Creative Director/ Chief Operating Officer at Slice Media Ltd, Mobolaji Caxton-Martins; President of Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP) and also Vice President, Product Marketing and Growth, Terragon Group, Oti Ukubeyinje, and Strategy Lead, SPV Communication Solution (MTN Nigeria’s Marketing Communications Agency) Sherif Lanre Akinpelu.

Addressing the conference forum of participants, which included majorly members of staff and management of the frontline publication, Ozone Mbanefo tutored the audience on consumer journey, emphasizing that a day in the life of the consumer is key.

He also spoke on the need for businesses to be people-centric in their relationship with consumers/ customers, adding that people-centric marketing shouldn’t just end in promotional materials. It should be consistent in the mind of the brand and the minds of the people interacting with the business.

“Becoming people-centric requires that brands ditch the product-driven and sales-driven marketing strategy to become more consumer-centric in all their dealings, by focusing their marketing strategies on providing a positive personal experience for their consumers through getting to know their customers, understanding who they are, their buying behaviour, carrying out researches on what they need, and also launching platforms that enable personalised interactions and feedbacks,” he said.

Tayo Oyedeji on his part emphasized rethinking the business model as the key place to build new values in the digital space.

For Lekan Otufodunrin, to market and position in the digital age, brands need to know their target market and consumer, know where they are in the digital space, invest and use suitable digital tools and channels to reach them, have organizational digital policy, and speak digital language.

For Dolapo Otegbayi, positioning is how the consumers perceive a product or service in relation to competition, while advising that it is important to strive for distinctiveness in the mind of consumers.

During his presentation, Segun Ogunleye noted that brands should have an insight that drives the intelligence of business strategy.

On his part, Sheriff Akinpelu posited that the very first step for any brand is to identify their objectives, and also emphasized the need for brands to build penetration by increasing their mental and physical availability.

Oti Ukubeyinje, who drew the curtain on the conversation, stated that consumers at different stages of their lives aspire to be better than where they were. He highlighted the need for brands to pay attention to how these consumers’ lifestyles are changing and how to adapt their messages to suit them at each stage of the shift.


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