By Princewill Ekwujuru
Marketing professionals have projected upsurge in the growth of experiential marketing segment of the Integrated Marketing Communications, IMC industry in Nigeria in 2018 as clients will seek growth through direct engagement with consumers.
President, Experiential Marketers Association Of Nigeria, EXMAN, Kehinde Salami in a mail to Vanguard Companies and Markets, C&M said: “Experiential Marketing activities in 2017 witnessed a definite improvement from 2016 as a direct result of many factors which includes but not limited to the following: Stable exchange rate (essential for multinational companies importation of raw materials and effective planning) and improved confidence especially in quarter three and four; Improvement in security which has helped multinationals to supply products to some no-go areas of the past.
For experiential agencies, the ripple effect has certainly been felt with many agencies in EXMAN witnessing an improvement from last year’s position. Having said this, tighter control coupled with inability of members to access working capital to finance projects has had a negative effect on profitability scores, capacity building and investments in key goal areas.
What government can do to assist agencies is to partner with EXMAN by creating accessible funds at single digit interest rate for our members. In the coming year, we intend to begin the engagement process with relevant stakeholders. As an industry that engages no fewer than 100,000 personnel annually and 500,000 indirectly, the need to further support this Small and Medium Enterprises, SME, sub-sector in 2018 cannot be understated.”
Continuing, he stated: “In 2018, we expect to see a similar positive trend of 2017 as long as there is continuous confidence in the economy fuelled by capital inflow from institutional investors (of course this is based on sound government policies), effective monetary and fiscal policy and arrest of inflation. In addition to these we would love to see a stable Niger Delta region as anything short of that will affect all government plans leading to capital flight yet again.
“With the commencement of World Cup, several brands will be busy especially with the nation’s participation so this will help experiential agencies. It’s also election period once again so this would also be helpful to the industry as politicians begin the process of grassroots mobilization and communication campaigns.
Also speaking , Mabagunje Aramide of Experience It, a Bayelsa state based Experiential company , said, “If you notice, maybe because it is cheap, clients’ prefer Below-The-Line, BTL marketing, because of its real-time value and measurability. He also noted that clients will adopt this strategy because they desire more value even though budgets are leaning out.
“In 2018, clients will be keen to connect more with consumers, so activations will be a preferred strategy for many of the clients. There is no money to waste, so those areas of marketing that clients have more confidence in are the areas they are going to be driving more.”
Also an experiential marketing expert, Jerry Uchenna of Uzara Concept, said the industry was experiencing consistent growth. “I think I see companies moving towards experiential marketing. What I have witnessed in the last few years is a situation where spend has moved gradually to experiential marketing sector from advertising. It’s the reason why you find some advertising organisations having a second line interest in experiential, simply because the spend is moving towards that experiential.
“Now some companies are actually supporting experiential marketing, they are now seeing the effectiveness and the impact on their brands. For instance, if you look at some segments of manufacturing, take for example the noodles sub-sector, they have used experiential a lot. So therefore, their marketing budget is directed to experiential marketing activities. The trend is now on, we can see the spend moving towards experiential.”