COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a deadly blow on advertising spend and when the industry was preparing to resurrect, recession set in. in the interview, Mr. Buchi Johnson, Chief Idea Officer at Lilvera Group, a front-line consultancy firm in West Africa said that any agency that wants to surmount mirage of challenges facing the integrated marketing communications must be daring and innovative.
To what degree would you say Covid-19 impacted the IMC industry where you operate?
I would say that the impact is pretty high because when Covid-19 started, nobody was prepared for it. Initially, we struggled to find a balance on how to maintain our ongoing projects and forthcoming projects during the lockdown period. But, now, the industry has drifted majorly to digital platforms. This is to enable us maintain social distancing and still keep business moving.
Again, to a large extent, Covid 19 has changed the norm and made personnel realise the dynamics of going digital in the workplace. The pandemic has resulted in changes to advertising spends and target marketing, and made practitioners rely more on data from consumer analytics. It has also forced businesses and brands to re-evaluate their thinking about current and future advertising and marketing campaigns to maintain a steady stream of income.
Another perspective is that the degree to which one is affected depends on your portfolio as a business; this underscores the negative impact of COVID-19 across the industry. Lilvera as group has dealt majorly on digital marketing and supply chain hence the less Covid impact in our business.
As companies adjust to the realities of the pandemic, what are the survival strategies for the IMC industry?
Realizing that social media and other digital platforms are what we all engage ourselves with, it really help the Integrated Marketing Communications survive, I would even say thrive because we reach out to more people online than offline during this pandemic.
Brand must acknowledge the crisis and the effects it has on the economy in the present day. They must continuously reflect positive values that will keep the target audience/consumers coming back. Our Survival strategy is diverting from direct marketing to digital marketing space.
Lilvera entered the market about 4 years ago, what gaps have you come to solve for clients?
Lilvera operate as a family, we treat our clients as our families. In as much as, we like to cross the T’s and dot i’s, we listen and take our clients’ needs seriously even at our own detriment, never leaving a bad taste or bad impression.
Lilvera has a brand has changed the dynamics in its own structure. We are actively kick-starting processes that brings closer to the digitalised business ecosystem. We have been able to tap into the limitless ideas that run in the millennials of the present day and infused the pop-culture of the present day with our brand’s marketing mix. The agency has a brand has changed the dynamics in its own structure. We are actively kick-starting processes that brings closer to the digitalised business ecosystem. We have been able to tap into the limitless ideas that run in the millennials of the present day and infused the pop-culture of the present day with our brand’s marketing mix.
How would you describe your strategies in attending to clients’ needs compared to other agencies?
Depending on the Client, our system is very flexible thus we don’t have a specific strategy, we just want to serve your Business and make it achieve satisfactory results and we keep going back to the board till we reach our clients goal. Strategies should be custom-tailored. There is no one-fit all strategy formulation mechanics.
Strategies are built according to the unique situation the client finds themselves in. However, our situation analysis phase is the fundamental part of our strategy building. We try as much as possible never to miss key variables during this phase. So we try to ask the clients as much questions as possible and we honestly hope they understand the need for us to know. That said, we are always confident that once we get the situation analysis right we proffer cost effective recommendations such as we research our customers at a granular level, we link our client customer strategy to its overall identity, target customers with whom you have the “right to win, treat the customers as assets that will grow in value, leverage your ecosystem, ensure a seamless experience, excel at delivery and match client culture with your customer strategy.
More than ever before, this is the time clients’ need critical solutions to solving marketing issues in order to achieve profitability, what advice do you have for them?
There’s never a stop in the marketing industry, Study the market, study your customers and study your business to build strength, most of all chose a marketing partner that is willing to stand by you through the process. At Lilvera, we are a consultancy firm. We would remain this strong if we give our CSFs for free. We are always available to receive briefs. Agencies should daring and innovative.
The notion of the “New Normal” means a lot of things have to change vis-à-vis how they are being done previously, what are some of the changes you envisage in the business world?
Businesses generally evolves and we thrive my following the trend, Judging from what I’ve learned for this pandemic period, We are going to a world where everything will be electronically done, Even those offering manual services are making researches on how to function electronically. The new world would become even more digitalised. It gets scary sometimes. But every entity has to keep its activities in tune with the recent tides in their industry.
What advice would you give to the Nigerian government on how to move the economy especially from marketing perspective?
The Government should try to strengthen our economy’s security, they surely will gain from the evolution but they need to help us protect our businesses and put the interest of the Businesses into consideration. When most of our engagements are done electronically, we need a strong cyber security system. I advise government to invest more Nigerian Content that I mean, if Netflix would recognise this gap, what more can we say?