In this interview with chief executive officer (CEO), Ideas Lilvera Group, Buchi Johnson, he speaks on the need for experiential marketing to carry out intra-study, develop crisis management plan as backup plan for businesses post-COVID-19. KINGSLEY OKOH brings the excerpts:
How would you describe the present business environment with rising insecurity across the country? Will you say the environment is still conducive for doing business?
The situation in the country has made many investors to start leaving the country. As a result, we are already losing brands. We are losing top business relationship and clienteles too. We have different investors and business relations that are pending on zoom and video conferencing because they have not been able to come into the country to do some on-the-ground checks, answer some key questions to be able sign pacts for partnerships because of the level of insecurity in the country. Our business interest and investor’ confidence have been greatly affected.
Has digital advertising truly come to stay, and what challenges do you foresee?
Digital advertising has come to stay. For the challenges, majority of what we have are backup and maintenance issues and we are not too good with intra-studying. We can’t harness and connect with our database system.
We don’t have good storage platforms and we have managerial issues too on managing the digital platforms to create a proper structure and this will be done by pulling international bodies to harness the energy here by signing SLAs with them to train our own digital normads in this space to give room to reexamine and offer solutions to them.
We are already in the second quarter of 2021, so what innovations are you bringing onboard?
Peculiarity is actually the core value. Each brand has its innovation that has been designed for them to work. So what we look at is the product and brand they are looking at selling and we offer that solution to them. We design a solution that fits into the particular brand they want to sell.
Recall that the position we were in last year was the actual COVID-19 period, with its own peculiarity. So the experiences and positions we created for that field cannot work now. Now we are in post-COVID time and there are lots of allowances opening up for the economy to breathe properly. We will fit our ideas into the current scenario to bring the strategy for COVID actual and Post-COVID which is peculiar to the brands we are representing.
What were the lessons learned from COVID-19?
A lot was learned, personally and as a business too. One of the lessons learnt is to create a crisis management team that will help you with the damage control when such scenarios arise. Also, to ensure we work with a team to create remote working as a back-up plan.
We need to create a structured platform for workers to work from home, and with video conferencing and zoom meetings, businesses will float without constraints. For clientele, they had their own structures which were entirely different from ours.
What are the three key elements that can boost an advertising campaign?
This is not cast in stone. It is relative to the particular audience or the particular execution you are looking at achieving. Let’s start by saying that campaign objective is like primary one, while target audience is primary two, then key messaging and what you want to sell as primary three. If you factor these three things together, it would answer the questions and give the peculiar results you need.
Do clients still get returns on investments?
Clients still get returns on investment (ROI). But where failure would succeed is when you have incapable agencies and vendors representing you. ROI is something that every business should look at. But it is strategy-based, when you say ROI are you talking about capital or other objectives? If you take up a campaign, the first thing you want to know is what the campaign objectives are. If your campaign objective is to capture one hundred thousand data base, then you have gotten your ROI. So it is relative to what your campaign objectives or what your clients are looking for, but there is also a situation where there is no ROI and that is when you have poor planning.
What is your managerial style?
My managerial style is I don’t believe in hierarchical system within my management team. When a structure is created, a position is given to you. There are rules of engagements to that particular job description given to you. You know what you are supposed to do. The ABCD characters have been hired in the business. You know who your line managers are, that you are suppose to report to. The hierarchical system is when you’re being bossy and when you take leadership as a throne. It sucks you up, but within my management team, it is not what is obtainable. When I was running the business, that was my application. Presently, decisions are not taken solely by me, I have to gather my team and get their insight on how to deal with it. In dealing with the teams that are answerable to me, I take off the hierarchical system. I allow them to make input in whatever decision I am taking. In most cases if their decision supercedes mine, I go with that option.
I don’t believe in hierarchical system. I believe in equal rights. Everyone should be given advantages, equal rights to share their views and opinion.
The ‘Yes Boss’ syndrome should be eliminated at the workplace. Learn to connect with people, by staying at the bottom while remaining at the top too.