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Experts advocate rethink on strategy in uncertain times at Marketing Edge summit

by Goddie Ofose
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Media professionals at the recently held 2021 MARKETING EDGE virtual annual summit have unanimously agreed that, in order to make necessary impact for clients and brands, industry stakeholders would need to rethink on strategy in these difficult times. The theme of the MARKETING EDGE virtual annual summit was: “Rethinking the Blue Ocean Strategy in Uncertain Times”. The paper was delivered by Mr. Vikas Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy Africa, and the panelists were drawn from integrated marketing communications sector.

 Speaking from a media point of view, Mrs. Maureen Ngwu, Business Director, MediaSeal WPI, noted that the media is currently on fire from all corners of the communication ecosystem. She explained that it is as a result of so many players making the space a Red Ocean. According to her, “It’s no longer about the strategy; it’s no longer about the process of getting to where you are and that is because everybody is now playing. The implication of this is that the big agencies will be getting the upper hand because we are jostling for the few advertisers that place advertisements. The small agencies need to redefine their territory; they need to redefine their boundaries or they will see themselves being whizzed away.”

 She continued: “Though repositioning and seeking your Blue Ocean may be difficult, it is not impossible. You just need to look at the pain point of the industry that you service. So, with these I say that if you are trying to disrupt the status quo and beat bigger competitors, you are not going to do that by playing their game. You need to change the game; either you redefine the game or create something new.”

 “And of course, we know that part of the uncertain times we face now is the digital and tech acceleration. When you look at the Nigerian market, you will know that there are over 50% millennial and Gen Z, and that is where most of the brands play. Understanding these generations’ fast-changing habits and how they interact socially and culturally will help you leverage and set yourself apart in the digital and tech world.” She advised that for media agencies that are struggling, they need to reconsider their offerings and services in these uncertain times.  Also speaking at the summit, Akintunde Johnson-Bada, Country Manager, Viacom CBS Networks Africa, argued that digital media is the Blue Ocean for the media industry. His words were, “Is it possible to apply the Blue Ocean strategy in today’s post pandemic world? The answer is yes. Implementing a Blue Ocean strategy involves a change of mind set. Now that the economic situation has changed, the question is how can one stay profitable and generate growth?  How do we recreate and maintain our current content format, as well, as our current distribution platforms? Are there other ways to do radio differently? Are there other ways to deliver content on linear TV? More importantly, how do we create pipelines and pathways to budget and new revenue strips?”

 Speaking from a media point of view, Mrs. Maureen Ngwu, Business Director, MediaSeal WPI, noted that the media is currently on fire from all corners of the communication ecosystem. She explained that it is as a result of so many players making the space a Red Ocean. According to her, “It’s no longer about the strategy; it’s no longer about the process of getting to where you are and that is because everybody is now playing. The implication of this is that the big agencies will be getting the upper hand because we are jostling for the few advertisers that place advertisements. The small agencies need to redefine their territory; they need to redefine their boundaries or they will see themselves being whizzed away.”

 She continued: “Though repositioning and seeking your Blue Ocean may be difficult, it is not impossible. You just need to look at the pain point of the industry that you service. So, with these I say that if you are trying to disrupt the status quo and beat bigger competitors, you are not going to do that by playing their game. You need to change the game; either you redefine the game or create something new.”

 “And of course, we know that part of the uncertain times we face now is the digital and tech acceleration. When you look at the Nigerian market, you will know that there are over 50% millennial and Gen Z, and that is where most of the brands play. Understanding these generations’ fast-changing habits and how they interact socially and culturally will help you leverage and set yourself apart in the digital and tech world.” She advised that for media agencies that are struggling, they need to reconsider their offerings and services in these uncertain times.  Also speaking at the summit, Akintunde Johnson-Bada, Country Manager, Viacom CBS Networks Africa, argued that digital media is the Blue Ocean for the media industry. His words were, “Is it possible to apply the Blue Ocean strategy in today’s post pandemic world? The answer is yes. Implementing a Blue Ocean strategy involves a change of mind set. Now that the economic situation has changed, the question is how can one stay profitable and generate growth?  How do we recreate and maintain our current content format, as well, as our current distribution platforms? Are there other ways to do radio differently? Are there other ways to deliver content on linear TV? More importantly, how do we create pipelines and pathways to budget and new revenue strips?”

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