ADVAN Exco in New Strategic Trust, Designs Proactive Agenda to Court Industry Influence
Indeed, nothing should be left to chance as a good strategy is the fulcrum of success. The new Executive Council of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN Exco), a voluntary association of leading advertisers in the country, led by Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney as President, was inaugurated last month precisely, 14th September, is leaving no stone unturned in galvanising members to support its vision and concrete moves to achieve set goals.
Young, Dynamic & Determined ADVAN Exco
Led by a woman, with a fair number of women, all relatively younger than previous tenures, the exco exudes ‘fire’ and determination not only to succeed but move members of the association, the industry and the economy to greater heights.
Following its inauguration, the exco embarked on a strategy retreat to deliberate “long and hard” on what the focus will be; debate and prioritize initiatives to most effectively achieve its set goals and objectives.
Leading the crack team of these young and talented professionals the President, Mrs. Ani-Mumuney, a Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications with First Bank of Nigeria revealed that the dominant idea which would drive the new ADVAN exco ’s actions is captured in the theme: “Proactively creating an empowered future in Marcoms today”, adopted at the close of its retreat. Other members of the team are: Wasiu Abiola, ADVAN 1st Vice President, Mrs. Nkiru Olumide Ojo, ADVAN 2nd Vice President, Onome Asagbra, ADVAN Publicity Secretary and Abiona Babarinde, ADVAN Ex-officio among others.
Visionary Thought Leadership
According to the ADVAN president while speaking at an interactive session with the media, the adopted theme would be achieved across 4 thematic pillars – Driving Visionary Thought Leadership; Encouraging Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building; Effective Stakeholder Engagement and Facilitating and Procuring Access to Data, Research and Insight
All four is hinged vision on an empowered future, in view of the fact that, “our current operating MACRO presents certain challenges and realities and indeed opportunities for us all” explains the President.
Confronting Tougher Regulatory Regimes
She further buttresses, having only recently emerged from recession we are operating in an economy that remains severely challenged. “We face increasing and tougher regulatory regimes bringing with it additional and sometimes onerous or duplicated compliance requirements. Our new norm is one of ad-hoc and sometimes arbitrary licensing fees and multiple taxations”, she declares adding that in all these, “we see unprecedented advances in technology driving new business models and creating new markets”.
Speaking for ADVAN members and what the Nigerian economy presents operators and how to adequately take advantage of the situation, “I see the future as exciting, offering many opportunities beautifully wrapped in challenges today. To be primed and positioned to seize those opportunities we must proactively take the steps today capable of creating sustainable value for today and grow that value into tomorrow”, the president declares.
Marketing Must be Strategic
The exco sees a proactive ADVAN as a catalyst for the progressive strategic marketing thinking demanded by the future. “We must be thought leaders in the industry and as thought leaders we must think for today and the future. The future is now and the age of disruption is firmly upon us. As architects of our own fortune we must disrupt if we are not to be disrupted”.
Therefore, part of the underlying strategy is for ADVAN by the exco to help ADVAN to remain at the vanguard of driving true value for its members as it has done in the last 25 years of its existence. It hopes to achieve this through empowering members through relevant professional empowerment training and seminars, effective networking opportunities, knowledge sharing and capacity building initiatives.
N150 Billion Spend Compels a Voice
As an association whose members control an estimated N150 billion marketing spend annually, she notes that ADVAN deserves a voice and should indeed have a voice. “ADVAN should not just be invited to the table but be the one that has laid the table and set the agenda”. She thinks this is necessary because the association which is set to celebrate a year-long 25th anniversary, has come of age, having provided leadership and insightful marketing for the last 25 years as a voluntary association of like-minded members.
Not willing to loose ground on the impressive records of the past, the President promises a more contemporary and data driven association. “Our ADVAN will be one that will continue to deepen the markets and build capacity through the facilitation of data and research for insight driven marketing and communication. In this data economy ADVANs objective to be at the driving seat in pursuit of a data centric industry must remain a top priority”.
Digital Age /IOT Challenge
Taking a cursory look at the multi-disciplines and specializations that make up the marketing profession such as brand managers, digital marketers, media and PR executives, CMOs etc, the Presidents comment with a tone of warning becomes instructive. In the light of great advances in the internet of things, see these job functions as “all great roles today but what will those roles mean tomorrow in the cyber age of artificial intelligence, IOT (internet of things), block chain and machine learning and digital identities, with data analysts as the new direct marketers?”, she challenges the members.
The fast evolving nature of our current world, she explains underscores the fact that whilst we are one thing we must increasingly consider and be many things, “we must shape our future rather than have it shaped for us”. We must add value to ourselves, our member organizations in order to add value to our industry and through that the nation as a whole, she added.
Bottom line/ROI Key for Members
The president urged members to create relevance through efficient value contribution to the bottom line. “Access to and use of data and research provide the much needed insight for better informed decision making, improved targeting and accuracy… elements that impact return on investment on our industry wide estimated N150 Billion spend per annum”
While also underscoring the importance and the increasing role of data across industries, the President advised that data must also be viewed through the lens of Big data and its incredible impact on the marketing industry. “As new models and channels of marketing emerge and become increasingly border-less we must not be caught napping and must pay the same attention to ad word pricing as we pay to news print ad pricing”.
The Low Points to Contend with – APCON Chairmanship
All through the interactive session, the issues of APCON chair and ADVAN house seem the low points of the discourse as these were long outstanding issues. However, the exco seemed determined As a core operator in the industry, ADVAN Exco promises to join hands with other stakeholder to compel the authourities to act decisively in appointing a Chairman to the position vacant position of the Chairman of APCON Council. This is believed will facilitate the ease of control and regulation of the emerging and evolving digital era in marketing especially as it concerns consumer protection.
While the initial “bogous” APCON house may no longer be realistic considering the economic environment, the exco is sold on the fact that the world is going digital and might want to devote more attention to building intellectual capacity than a palatial physical office structure. However, it’s not writing off the need for a self owned, smaller, but well equipped functional office. According ADVAN Exco and Vice President, Wasiu Abiola, Media Manager, Nigerian Breweries, what the association needs is its own compact office not necessarily a mighty building to provide office space for others. Abiola is sure the ADVAN exco members have the goodwill to bell the cat when the time comes, he promises.