Factors, events that will shape IMC this year

The beginning of every year presents the opportunity for individuals and corporates to review the preceding year, preview and re-strategise, if need be, for the new  year.

Just like in the  other sectors of the nation’s economy, the race and scampering for the resources of 2019 are  gradually taking off in its  integrated marketing communications  space.

Yoruba actresses, Fuji musicians, others rally round for MC Oluomo

Advertisers are looking for how best to  increase their share of the market  and, or consolidate on the achievements of the previous year.

“Interestingly, it’s a blend of cautious optimism and apprehension among  practitioners and other relevant stakeholders,  in the industry, concerning what the year portends for the industry,” said a practitioner, who would not want his name, while responding to Brands & Marketing’s enquiry on the issue.

Not a few analysts would, therefore, readily attribute the decision of stakeholders to stay on the side of caution to the fact that the industry, of late, is fast becoming an endangered specie. The advertising spend in the space, many believe, is  waning by the day.

For instance,  a media report,  between the third and fourth quarters of  last year, had shown that despite the country being  technically out of economic recession, in early 2017, the  total advertising spend for the year  was N88 billion, as against the 2016 figure of N91 billion; indicating  a 3.3 per cent decline  on its performance in 2016.

The report, released  by MediaReach  OMD, also revealed that  besides TV medium which recorded a growth of 3 per cent in the year under review, with a total spend of N33.5 billion as against the N31.5 billion of 2016, other media vehicles such as radio, outdoor and press recorded a decline in the amount generated during the period.

While the TV medium was able to increase its share of the total advertising spend from 35 per cent of 2016 to  38 per cent in 2017; radio and  press only managed to  maintain the 14 per cent share of the total ad spend, each of them recorded in the previous year, 2017.

Of note, however, is the drop in the advertising spend in outdoor in the year under review.

For instance, the sector that was able to muster 32 per cent of the total ad spend in the industry in 2016, ended 2017 with 28 per cent share of same market;  an obvious  4 per cent drop for other media vehicles to grab in the year.

But despite the daunting challenges, experts in the sector  believe some events or factors in the new year may swing the tide in the industry’s favour.


The general elections

Since the nation’s return to democracy in 1999, practitioners in the sector have always seen every four years, when elections and electioneering campaigns are supposed to take place as a peak and boom period. Stakeholders are always upbeat in the period for the simple reason that politicians, desirous of marketing themselves to the electorates would always come calling.

Curiously, whether there is ground for such optimism this year leaves much to be desired! For instance, not a few practitioners have continued to lament the low patronage, despite the fact that the general elections are around the corner.

“Even the few ones we are seeing now is not beneficial to the industry,” argued the Publicity Secretary of the Outdoor Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Mr Femi Ogala.

According to the OAAN”s Publicity Secretary, instead of the industry being the better for it during this period, its gains of previous years are rather being reversed, especially with the continued patronage of fake practitioners by  the politicians.

“When we thought we had gone beyond planks. See what  we  have  on the streets of Lagos as signages for politicians. Besides constituting clutters, it has continued to deface the cityscape and brought us back to the era of plank and nails,” Ogala stated.


‘Council-less’ APCON

The refusal of the Federal Government to appoint a governing council for the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON),  for over three years, many believe, will remain a big issue in the new year.

For instance, not a few have attributed the seeming ‘anarchy’, presently being witnessed in the industry  to the absence of a council at the apex regulatory body that could wield the big stick.  More worrisome, to stakeholders in the industry, is the fact that the agency has not really been heard since the exit of its former Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, last year.


Attitudes of new governments to advertising

No doubt, the year will witness some changes of batons in some states, perhaps at the centre, too.

What may likely be the attitude of some of these new governments to the industry, has continued to give stakeholders goose pimples.

For example, not a few outdoor practitioners in Lagos had complained at the inception of the incumbent government in the state of its insensitivity to the plight of outdoor advertising practitioners.

Will the new government maintain a friendlier approach, or continue where the incumbent must have stopped on May 29, this year?


NIMN Presidential elections

It is another elections year for marketers in the industry under the umbrella body of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN).  It is time to re-validate the mandate, freely given to the incumbent president of the institute, Mr Tony Agenmonmen.

Since taking over the institute’s leadership mantle, two years ago, the institute is gradually witnessing a transformation. For instance, the quality attendance at the institute’s events, the relocation of  its corporate office to a more conducive ambience at the Government Reservation Area in Ikeja and the gradual enhancement of the institute’s membership base are pointers to the fact that there is a new lease of life around the nation’s marketing firmament. The elections, many believe, is key in the institute’s march towards complete transformation.


The 2019 AFCON

Perhaps what makes this year’s African ‘World Cup’, the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, unique, is its timing. This would be the first time in recent years that the tournament would not be holding in January.  Interestingly, many are of the opinion that the June date for this year’s tournament has its advantages. It provides the sponsoring brands ample opportunities to make adequate marketing arrangements for the tournament, unlike when it is in January. Perhaps, brands that have been smarting from the not-too-encouraging patronage at the 2019 general elections will be provided the opportunity for making up for such ‘losses’.


BPMI and the business process management gap

The launch of the Business Process Management Institute (BPMI) in 2018,  to address the yawning business process management gap in the country, received an all-round commendation in the year.

As a way of reiterating its commitment to supporting the development of the business process framework and operations in the country, the institute offered to support the first 50 SMEs, Startups and Corporates that approached it for assistance, free of charge. Such ‘promos’ and ‘bonanzas’,  are expected as the institute prepares for its second key events – Awards and Annual Conference, billed for August and September in Abuja and Lagos respectively.

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