By Raheem Akingbolu
For economies, businesses and brands to grow, brand custodians must make women the core of not only their communication strategies but the business model strategies as well.
These were the words of the Chief Executive Officer of Hazon Holdings, Victor Afolabi, at the special first virtual and fourth edition of the prestigious Women in Marketing and Communications Conference/Awards 2020, held recently.
Afolabi who was the guest speaker at the conference, noted that women are more economically empowered to make purchases, just as they also enjoy and have the numbers
He said: “According to research, globally, women control over $20 trillion of the total consumer spend as they wield an influence of over 80 per cent in buying decisions.
“They spend more time than men daily making economic decisions for their families — from consumer goods to services. These women hold crucial purchasing power. In fact, 50 per cent of products marketed to men are purchased by women.”
Afolabi who also spearheads operations at GDM as the Group Chief Executive Officer, however, decried the fact that despite the influence women wield in purchasing decisions, their role was often downplayed.
“Despite the exciting numbers and the new influence women wield, their inclusion for brands growth continues to be downplayed. If women make over 80 per cent of most strategic decisions why are brand custodians not aware of this?
“Brands must make women the core of their strategy in order to drive a sustainable business growth,” he emphasised.
Earlier, the convener of WIMCA 2020, Joshua Ajayi, while welcoming physical and virtual participants to the event had explained that the theme of the International Womens Day (IWD) Celebration commemorated every March has always informed the theme of WIMCA, and this year was no different.
Further explaining the rationale for the event, Ajayi revealed that this years WIMCA topic is exploring how women can navigate through the tough terrain to shatter the glass ceilings to attain their potential professionally, especially in the IMC industry. “As usual, women continue to encounter challenges when it comes to advancing in the workplace and in many facets of the society.
Some of these challenges include Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), the issue of equal remuneration or equal pay, bias which is an issue women continue to deal with at the place of work, and advocacy, among others.
The event also featured two highly interactive panel discussions which had some of the best minds in the industry as panelists. The first which was geared towards providing a mentorship platform for young and prospective professionals as well as igniting the potential in women towards attaining enviable heights in marketing and management was titled: “Leveraging Data Science for Effective Engagement of Female Consumers.”