Dr. Fidelis Nwankwo is the Registrar ofÂ the Institute of Direct Marketing of Nigeria (IDMN) and the Direct Marketing Association of Nigeria (DMAN), he spoke with Princewill Ekwujuru on the activities of the institute, saying that National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria ACT does not cover the regulation of direct marketing in Nigeria. Read on.
Could you please differentiate between Marketing and Direct Marketing.?
Well, the truth is that Direct Marketing is part of marketing. I want to see it from the perspective of who is trying to say what the difference between Direct Marketing and the other marketing we know about is.
But lets use it this way, when we talk to professionals in marketing, there is what we call the marketing mix;Â the four Ps of marketing and Direct marketing is part of what we call the promotional mix; that same promotional mix is also calledÂ the communication mix and these are the traditional five brothers of the promotional mix. These brothers are made up of Advertising, Public Relations, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing.
Let me quickly add also that there are some people who will also tell you; of course, modern writers, who believe that in the promotional mix,Â it should include Event Marketing, some will go ahead to include exhibition, trade etc. Marketing is not an exact science and that has given some people the liberty to go ahead and continue extending definitions and coming up with their own.
Conventionally, in the old school, we know that there are the five brothers of the promotional mix, which cannot be questioned, Public Relations, Advertising, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing. So,Â Direct Marketing comes in from the promotional angle, so that is the way we put it.
Has the Ministry of Education accredited your certificate?
This is the way we look at it. We say that marketing is performance driven, and your certificate cannot be better than the paper on which it is written,Â if your cannot perform. As far as we are concerned, Direct Marketing, the certificate given by the institute of Direct Marketing or the African Marketing Business School (AMBS), is world class. So, when we say recognition, itÂ is not only in this country, but internationally, in no less than six continents.
What we mean by that is,Â the certificate we issue in this country, if you take it to Australia it is world class, take it to America, to Europe it is highly recognised.
We do not have any member who has studied direct marketing from us and say I am unemployed.
Companies are coming here pleading for those we have trained, because they know the kind of training we give. Our certificates are highly recognised, but if you mean whether it has received the stamp of the Ministry of Education, No!.
We have not bothered to do that, andÂ even at that our certificates are recognised. Our certificates, I make bold to say that all the Universities in the country have always been taking holders of our final certificate for their MBA, MSc programmes.
So, for many years now that has been happening. We are yet to see any Nigerian Universities that turn back our candidates. We are yet to see any employer who will say, because you have Institute of Direct Marketing Certificate (IDMN) we canâ€™t employ you.
What are you doing towards the accreditation for the instituteâ€™s certificates?
You know if there is are challenges, solutions will come as a result of the challenges,, we do not have the need going to the Ministry of Education, to do what, of course any day we have time, we may do that for formality sake.
Employers are looking for those who have the training, because they know that our training is world class. As a matter of fact, I make bold to say you must have seen the courses we run through the AMBS. You will not know the number of professors that have called us. You wouldnâ€™t know the number of Head/ DeanÂ of Marketing Departments of Universities and faculty of Management that have called us to develop this courses for them.
Because our courses take cognisance of modern realities, and that is critical, and we dare say that in the whole world AMBS is the biggest school of marketing giving our course offering, and that is why we say, go to all Nigeria Universities, Polytechnics go to their marketing departments, aggregate marketing courses they do, they are not up to 50 per cent of the coursesÂ we offer, as a matter of fact, many of them already, are working hand -in- hand with us, to learn from us, so that they can run some of those courses in their institutions.
How many courses are run by the institute now?
We have about 1, 200 marketing courses that are being run at certificate, Diploma, PGD level. I make bold to say that we have developed all these courses toÂ BSc, Masters and PhdÂ levels which we are going to run in our proposed International University of Marketing. I should quickly add, we are the first marketing Institute in the world to come up with a Marketing University. It is a contribution we have made to the body of science. The second contribution is the new courses we have designed that the world would have to copy from us.
So, we are an institute that say we know our pedigree, we have courses to make our own contribution to the marketing science. Already the world is watching us. So, this is important, you knowÂ this is African, and as an African , and black people, we are not really known for making outstanding contributions to the body of science. We are saying that we are taking the marketing profession or science by storm by designing courses that has not been taught anywhere before now.
When you are talking about the Universities, the Universities already are consulting with us. They know that we are the tutor of marketing, globally. Itâ€™s wrong to compare us with any marketing institute. On what basis?Â Is it on the basis of intellectual contributions to marketing science?, or on the basis of the things we have done.
Are you aware that National From April, additional copies of Business Traveller Africa will feature 16 pages dedicated to the Nigerian travel industry with focus on business travel.
Tradeblazers said the development not only gives travel companies in Nigeria a professionalplatform to target business travellers, but offers a direct way for south Africa travel products to reach Nigerian corporations.
Richard Lendrum, Founding Director of Future Publishing, said that business Business Traveller Africa has shown exponential growth and become a must -read for all corporate travellers who frequent Africa. Now, after only only two and a half yeats, Future publishing is ready to take the next step with the publication and its extending to west Africa.
According to Lendrum, â€œThis joint venture is exactly in line with our envisioned plans to expand business Travellers Africa into the rest of Africa. We are looking forward to a prosperous relationship with our new business partners,â€ adding that,â€ â€œour companies are well poised to make the union a success.â€
Tope Ogbeni-Awe, Chief Service Officer Of Tradeblazers, said, â€œthis is the first of its kind in Africa travel publishing sector.â€