GDM Group: Deploying Disruptive Marketing Solutions

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By Azeez Disu

Victor Afolabi, MD/CEO, GDM Group

“Provide an experience that is both useful, usable, desirable, and differentiated and you will create demand for your brand and delight your customer.” David Armano, Edelman Digital once said.

Interestingly, exploring new areas of creating experience for consumers is vital in today’s world. In line with this, brands must deploy disruptive marketing strategy to win in a highly competitive and evolving market. In this regards, GDM Group is one of the leading marketing solutions company in the country making the difference.

The agency provides commercial supply chain and retail solutions for businesses to ensure overall sustainable and profitable growth.

From its wonderful execution of Trader Moni, a federal government loan scheme to help petty traders to grow their businesses and among other great projects for brands, the agency has become the go-to place for marketing solutions.

Amazingly, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) applauded the agency for its professionalism in handling the Trader Moni project, thereby referring to it as a major player in technology and innovation because of its deployment of advanced technologies in its experiential marketing activities. 

According to him, “GDM, also a Nigerian-owned Marketing Services and Research company… Not only enumerated our 2.5million potential clients, they took bio-data, including photographs of these numbers of people, many of them who became beneficiaries of the scheme”

Basically, GDM Group is a marketing solutions company providing commercial supply chain and retail solutions for businesses to ensure overall sustainable and profitable growth. The company has since evolved from a typical Below the Line (BTL) agency to a full-fledged marketing operation firm connecting brands with people through redefined outsourcing business services in terms of marketing operations and marketing communication.

In recent times, some of the memorable events and activation handled for brands are Nescafe Pop Up Café, Pepsodent World Oral Health Day hosting over a 1500 school kids in Lagos, launch of Maggi Signature and among others.

It also works for brands which include: Harpic, Close Up, Pepsodent, Imperial Leather, Mouka, Airtel, Pfizer, Huggies, Smirnoff, Malta Guinness, Milo, Nescafe, Maggi and among others.

The beginning…

Generating Demand Management Consulting (GDM) was incorporated in June, 2009 with a vision of becoming a frontline marketing consulting firm in Nigeria. The experiential company finally commenced operation in January, 2010, as GDM Direct, a BTL agency, and within a short time established itself as a leading experiential marketing firm, delivering solutions to clients in a precise, professional and efficient manner.

However, GDM in 2016 started what they termed an evolution and as a result has finally transformed from GDM Direct, a BTL company into GDM Group, a full marketing firm. Victor Afolabi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, GDM Group, stated that the company has fully metamorphosed from a BTL company into a brand solutions company. Afolabi added that the change did not stop at the organisation’s structure but has obviously trickled down to their logo and their essence; ‘creating a strong connectivity between the brands and people, with a measurable Return on Investment (ROI).’

“Clients demand that marketing agencies focus more on ROI. They want to see specifically, the output of their expenditures. And there is no place you can measure it more than in Below the Line, because it is direct marketing. So, we felt BTL should be at the fore front of that new call and twist for the expectation of marketing.”

He added, “The need to create a connection between brands and people led us into redefining ourselves and going beyond BTL. Over and above creating connectivity, we offer connectivity that has brand value, connectivity that is measurable, and connectivity that is in alignment with ensuring that we give our clients clear cut ROI.”

Core Philosophy

With a vision to be the leading BTL business solutions provider to companies in emerging economies, the agency has continued to improve on its creativity and innovation.

Also, its mission to partner with businesses in ensuring overall sustainable and profitable growth by developing strong sales, marketing and channel strategies focused on the effective and efficient management of all commercial assets have become its watchword that are attracting many brands to the company.

Today, GDM Direct has become a leading BTL and online service agency in Nigeria, offering commercial, strategy and business solutions. One of the nation’s leading experiential marketing companies is committed to delivering service in a precise, professional and efficient manner; saving the clients’ time and money while helping them attain higher human and corporate effectiveness.

Interestingly, at the core of its operations were the questions – What does the client really want? What is the most effective way of delivering superior value to partner with clients? With these questions in mind, the team has focused on delivering value-adding campaigns through rigorous ideation process which births winning strategies ready to be pitched to the client.

Till date, GDM has succeeded in building a result-driven culture based on fairness, hard work and equity. The team comprises young vibrant men and women both frontline and field staff who passionately plan and execute campaigns, each doing their part to deliver on the overall objectives.

Closely observing the changes in the industry and with a mindset of offering experiential content in a timely and cost effective manner to the clients, the company has transitioned from being strictly a BTL agency to a TTL agency.

Awards

Through sheer hard work and tireless dedication, GDM Group won a Gold medal at the inaugural edition of EXMAN awards for its work on ‘Smirnoff/Guinness/DJ Spinal Launch’ in the best use of digital in Experiential Marketing Category, a silver medal from its work on the Guinness/Orijin Experience campaign in the Best Customer Activation (BCS) Category and a Bronze in the Best Event (B2C) Category for its work on ‘Nescafe/Get Started Tour’.

“We won a Gold medal at the EXMAN maiden award that took place recently, for the best activity that was able to use Digital Amplification for a brand engagement. The Gold medal was a testimony to the fact that we have made a radical departure from the traditional way of activation to our essence which is of connectivity,” he stated.

Interestingly, it did not do badly in the 2019 edition of the EXMAN Awards as well, winning big across categories.

Excitingly, GDM Direct in 2015 won Marketing Edge Outstanding Experiential Agency of the Year award, amongst other numerous awards.

Recall, speaking on the strategies employed and the impact of one of its campaigns that won at the inaugural edition of EXMAN awards on client’s ROI, the GDM boss said, “I will start with the Smirnoff brand that got us the Gold; the Smirnoff House Party.  We started and pioneered the concept of the Smirnoff House Party. Our aim was to achieve two things: to make the Smirnoff House party a concept that resonates with the target audience, which is key, and to connect the target audience to the brands. The House Party concept was very successful in achieving this.

“The House Party equally helped the brand owners achieve a huge and verifiable ROI.  And needless to say that it cost us less to organise the same party subsequently and with more mileage with the use of technology. With technology, we now have life streaming of all those parties, improving mileage and reach. We use the digital media for pre, during and post events and the reach is massive, which is a key success factor.”

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