Experiential Practitioners Tasked on Innovation, Creativity

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Raheem Akingbolu

Players in Nigeria’s experiential marketing, a segment of Integrated Marketing Communication industry that is going through excruciating times, have been told to redefine themselves and leverage the opportunities associated with the increasing focus on consumer insight and engagement by companies.

Today, the primary concern of businesses is to connect with the consumer and this resonates with what experiential marketers do.

Therefore, speakers at the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria, EXMAN 2019 Business conference, recently in Lagos, said the industry should not complain of lull in business, but tap into the opportunities presented to them by the market demands.

“You are better positioned than other agencies in assisting businesses achieve their objectives, given where we are today,” CEO of Africa Context, Mike Ikpoki, told EXMAN whose slogan is ‘growing Nigeria’s brands through meaningful experience’

Ikpoki, who was the first Nigerian CEO of MTN Nigeria, said if the management were saying connecting with the customer should now be a priority and they needed to do that speedily and engage their organisations around it, that is what you do, then why are you complaining about tough business, he said.

“You are in the golden age of business of experiential marketing. That is what the businesses are saying that they want to understand their customers and connect with them. You should be driving that course”, he challenged them.

He also challenged them to bring more value to the table through deriving data, insight and intelligence from customers when they organise events.

“By virtue of connecting with the customer, you can unlock some data and that will make you more sought-after agencies. This means you are bringing something to the table”.

In view of projections of slow business growth, technology disruptions, need to engage with the consumer and short tenure of CEOs, Ikpoki said marketing agencies need to understand how CEOs are thinking and therefore connect with the realities of where they are today.

 “You already work for big organisations but you can develop new markets, the SMEs and new industries trying to break new grounds. There are more opportunities with small businesses than established businesses”, he added.

Citing the example of Uber business which shifted the paradigm from taxi drivers’ dictates to passenger control, Ikpoki said businesses could take such model and present CEOs what they never knew they needed.

Also speaking at the forum, Feyi Olubodun, the CEO of Open Squares said understanding cultural nuances play important role in marketing success.

In his view, George Thorpe, Chairman, MarketSpace who also cited the initial high price of GSM SIM cards at  said unique service and product can sell for any price.