We partner with brands on their journey to transcendence – Bunmi Makinde

Mrs. Bunmi Makinde is the Chief Operating Officer of Scout Media Limited, a young and dynamic media company specializing in media buying: Above the –Line, Media strategy, planning & implementation, consumer insight, process evaluation and optimization, Out-of-home and ambience branding.

In an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE, she spoke about the agency and its offerings; and reviews the OOH advertising industry in Nigeria

How will you describe Scout Media Limited?

Scout Media Limited is a young and dynamic media company specializing in media buying: Above the –Line – Media strategy, planning & implementation, consumer insight, process evaluation and optimization, Out-of-home and ambience branding.

Our vision is to work with discerning and forward-thinking brands to deliver on corporate and marketing goals and objectives, within the projected time. We cherish relationships and delight to partner with brands on the journey to transcendence.

We help businesses reach their target audience, by improving their overall conversion rate. We try to come up with ideas that capture the attention of a niche market. We analyse the market and establish the media objective by understanding what option reaches our client’s largest audience as well as how often the reach is.

We combine our expertise, relationship and reputation to deliver best buy media values to our client and at the same time drive a win-win symbiotic relationship with media vendors, assessing other negotiating alternatives that will drive value base inventories and enhance efficiency

How would you assess the Nigerian outdoor industry?

Outdoor advertising has accounted for almost 30% of total media spend in Nigeria just behind only TV advertising. However, despite its wide usage, the effectiveness of outdoor advertising has always been more difficult to measure than that of TV and Radio through viewership and listenership statistics, thereby causing a growing incidence of low compliance. The Nigerian out-of-home (OOH) advertising supply chain is a big issue for advertisers and other stakeholders in the industry;advertisers are losing media investment and hitting short of their marketing goals and objectives, while on the other, advertising and media buying agencies are losing big on billings and professional integrity.

A recent (Q1 2020) out-of-home media monitoring and audit report by TMKG Consultingshows that about 1billion naira worth of OOH investment, representing 33 percent of OOH advertising spend by advertisers in Nigeria are either not executed or are not properly implemented as planned and booked. As such, with the level of non-compliance prevalent in the Nigerian OOH media sector, the advertisers end up receiving less than 60%campaign execution, a development which defeats the goals of media planing and strategy. However, no advertising medium can equal billboard advertising in terms of developing and reinforcing product familiarity by way of brand recall.Brands and the advertising companies are aware of this and they take good advantage of the opportunity to bombard TG’s senses with powerful messages on strategically located billboards and other Out-of-Home advertising platforms.

How are you creating sustainability during this period of the pandemic?

As measures to contain COVID-19 spread around the world and millions of people are quarantined in their homes, reliable information, news is more important than ever. News audiences are growing in record numbers, but for many organizations, especially in the marketing communications sector, income is falling. This is as a result of advertisers reducing or cutting budgets

Many businesses that are affected by the economic situation are suspending their advertisements, and public events and conferences have already been canceled since the pandemic started and possibly may have to wait longer. As a result of changes in advertising, marketing, promotional and media spends,we are aware that there will be Market alteration, increased competition, and a demand for creative and aggressive marketing practices.

So key issues will be how to sustain the brand when markets and industries are reshuffled;how to develop plans and strategies that align with the”new reality” – the New Normal. How do we help our clients deal with the media competitive landscape when consumers’ spending habits are fundamentally altered?

For us as an agency, we have been able to create sustainability by:

Flattening the curve – by showing that we care, choosing the right response to the client’s situation through the pandemic period. Understanding the situation from the client’s perspective is key. We manageinterrelated systems and market intelligence to help clients easily respond to immediate market circumstances.

Understanding what our client’s TG circumstances are especially during the pandemic and also helping the client to prioritise them by deliberately putting them – the TGs in control from the media plans perspective.

Empowering our employees to make them happier and more productive–with the new normal, where social distancing is the order of the day, widespread remote working, which many organisations have been experimenting with for several years has suddenly become an imperative. And it may mean that, once some form of normality returns, the workplace may never look the same again. Working from home has the potential to make people both happy and productive in the context of virtual working. But this only seems to happen in practice if employees feel genuinely empowered. We have been able to establish an effective, home-based working calls for the building of trusting relationships characterised by supportive leadership, mutual support, and shared commitment within the shop floor.

Innovations – we are setting, managing and also meeting clients’ expectations effectively during these difficult times. Looking for unique media ideas that work is part of our DNA. In this COVID -19 era, we bring innovations to fore to help in solving ever evolving challenges.

Global Alliances –Whenthe economy is a concern, the first thing that is cut is advertising,everyone is concerned about cash flow. We have to prepare for a new normal. This is the time to strengthen the relationship with allies and friends. We have to understand what the competition is doing and even partner with other local, foreign or regional media agencies and organizations. Partnership and collaboration have been key for us.

How will you describe the current payment delays being experienced by media owners and vendors resulting from jobs done for brand owners?

The liquidity crunch caused by delayed payments and defaults is proving to be a big blow to the Media advertising industry and clearly, there are cases of delayed payments that have come up recently and top of mind is that stakeholders must chart a course of action that is required to address these.

What is your advice to other agencies on how to stay through these turbulent times?

In these times, agency heads need to be more cautious and concerned about their clients and their ability to pay, so that they can honour their commitments to the media owners.Media agencies need a more transparent process that will give clients, media owners access to agencies operational system. We need to find a lasting solution to this problem.

What impact would you say professionalism can play in a successful entrepreneurship?

Professionalism boils down to conducting yourself in a way that shows you respect yourself, your business and the people you interact with and serve.With this in mind, the following five habits must be implemented in order to call yourself a professional.

Keeping to your word – A professional does whatever it takes to keep their word and fulfill their promises (no matter how small they are). It’s plain common courtesy and it’s something that is slowly disappearing – we’ve got to bring it back as a focus of modern-day entrepreneurship.

Value your time–You will find that some of the most successful people have more free time and grow their business faster than people who are always busy. At first glance, you may think when I become successful, I’ll have more time!” but, that couldn’t be further from the truth.In fact, it’s the other way around… when you free up more time, you’ll become successful. And this only happens by valuing your time.

Retain your composure – Maintaining composure not only gives you the ability to make better decisions, but it also sets a proper example to your family, staff and anyone you do business with.This is a habit we must begin implementing immediately as entrepreneurs. It might not come naturally to you, but I have seen great strides in people that I’ve come across in this industry, just because they focused on this as a habit that they were passionate about forming and developing.

Entrepreneurs Own their Mistakes – No matter how professional you are, you will make mistakes. Some will be because of good, old-fashioned negligence, while others will be complete accidents. But either way, they must be acknowledged. Of course, it’s embarrassing to be called out on a mistake. But what’s worse is to act as if nothing happened. This doesn’t mean you can’t move on, of course you have to move on. It’s a simple, three step process and something we all need to get better at, if we want to build our brands and businesses in a highly-respected manner, we must acknowledge the mistake, apologize for making it, amend it and move on.

Value your reputation – This is the big one. The one that will separate the ‘men from the boys’ so to speak (and the ladies from the girls, obviously!). A true professional understands that their reputation is far more important than their monthly P & L statement. Yes, we all want to grow a profitable business, but not on the back of ‘dodgy’ actions. Put a premium on the importance of over-delivering on customer service


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