GDM @ 10: Evolution Of Nigeria’s Marketing Innovation Group

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By Jeremiah Agada

Introduction

‘Innovate or die’ is a phrase often used to describe the approach brands must take to stay ahead in an ultra-competitive market characterised by rapidly changing consumer demand. Antonio Lucio who was the former Global Chief Marketing Officer of HP but now with Facebook in similar capacity captures the importance of innovation in marketing when he said that innovation is not one more thing that marketing professionals need to do, but the way they need to think and behave. This relates to what the famous Peter Drucker said: “because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions; marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. This is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

This is reason enough to take a deeper look at the purpose and role of marketing from an innovation perspective. Marketingincludes tasks to increase sales. The focus is on customer and market orientation; all products, services and processes are to be aligned with the needs of customers and users. Basically, its influence is key to ensuring new offerings fit with a strategy determined by customers’ needs, so companies are not stuck trying to sell something for which there is no demand. But brands have to balance being insight-driven with being able to launch products that no one would ever think to suggest.

Here is where innovation plays a pivotal role. Innovation is about establishing desirability, feasibility and viability. Do customers want it? Can we make it? Can we make money from it? Innovation is as much about insights as ideas. The insights come from knowledge of consumers, users and customers, and provide opportunities to meet recognised needs, as well as to identify potentially unrealised ones.

To help brands and organisations in the highly competitive Nigerian market effectively proffer answers to the posed vital marketing questions and to help its many clients solve marketing problems from an innovation angle, Generating Demand Management (GDM) Group, one of Nigeria’s foremost 360 marketing consulting firm has evolved into Nigeria’s premier marketing innovation outfit.

Having worked for over40 multinational companies and 182 brandsNestle, Unilever, Nigerian Breweries, Suntory, Lafarge,  Friesland WAMPCO Campina, Diageo, the Lagos State Government, BOI, Mouka among others, GDM Group has identified the need to go beyond providing just 360 degrees marketing solutions to clients. Its understanding of the need to help brands under its portfolio evolve with the dynamics of today’s market reality has made it embark on the journey of being Nigeria’s premier and for now, only marketing innovation firm.

Getting to this point was a journey that started some ten years ago at a small office somewhere in Ilupeju, Lagos. Brand Communicator’s Jeremiah Agada takes a look at the chronological evolution of GDM from a typical Below-The-line (BTL) agency to what it is today.

The Birth of GDM Direct – The BTL Agency

The evolution of GDM from a Below-The-Line (BTL) agency to a marketing innovation firm in ten years of operation can best be viewed in the light of the metamorphosis of the butterfly. Before growing into an adult, the butterfly goes through various stages with each stage having a different goal. It starts life as a tiny egg which hatches to form a caterpillar. As soon as the caterpillar is done growing, it forms itself into a pupa – the resting and changing stage. During this stage, it undergoes remarkable transformation or ‘metamorphosis’ to become a colourful and adorable butterfly that’s ready to share its beauty with the world.

Like the butterfly, GDM Direct was incorporated in June 2009 as a BTL agency. The experiential agency, however, commenced operation in January 2010 with a vision of becoming a frontline BTL agency in Nigeria in ten years, a feat it easily achieved in less than five years of its operations. In consideration of the depth of experience already acquired by its promoters, it was apparent that GDM Direct will become a frontline player in Nigeria’s competitive integrated marketing communications landscape within a short time.

Since the agency commenced operations, the creativity that it brought to bear in servicing the many accounts on its stable as well as its focus and never-say-die spirit in interpreting briefs from clients translated into many astounding successes. In fact, GDM Direct wasted no time in establishing a reputation as a leading experiential marketing business that is delivering service in a precise, professional and efficient manner.

The journey of the then young BTL agency is closely linked with that of its Founder, Victor Gbenga Afolabi. Like many of the frontline professionals with background in non-marketing or communications related fields dotting the IMC space locally and internationally, Afolabi is a pharmacist by training. He is also a health economist and visionary entrepreneur. He maintains his pharmaceutical interests as he is the Chief Executive Officer of Hazon Holdings – a conglomerate with interests in pharmaceutical distributions, health insurance, marketing communications, outdoor advertising, insurance brokerage, real estate, print production, commodity trading, investment and financial services.

Victor Gbenga Afolabi, Founder, GDM Group and CEO, Hazon Holdings

Armed with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Afolabi joined a pharmaceutical company as a salesman where he was in charge of administration for the South Western states. Afolabi who obtained his Master’s degree in Managerial Psychology from the University of Ibadan, proceeded in career to join one of the foremost multinational FMCG giants in Nigeria. After about eight years, the Lagos Business School Alumnus who currently holds an MBA from Alliance Business School, Manchester University, UK, left to set up GDM Direct, with three others.

This move makes him perhaps, the first professional from the client side of the marketing divide to start a BTL agency in the Nigerian market. Looking back at 2009 when GDM Direct was established, Afolabi recalled that there was no ingenuity in the BTL sector and the sector at the time lacked fluidity in creativity. He also recollected that things looked like they were permanently etched in stone. This necessitated the need to chart a new course. He reiterates: “10 years ago when we came into the marketing communications industry, we picked a segment, BTL, because we felt that we have something unique to offer there.  But when we came in, the segment was to a large extent fragmented and unstructured; there was no barrier of entry and very little differentiated one agency from the other.

Speaking on starting GDM Direct and the rationale behind the name recently in an exclusive interview, Afolabi said that GDM Direct was one of the many options he had and one of the many other options he pursued when he quit his job at the end of 2009. “I quit my very lucrative job at the turn of the decade because I wanted to start the new decade doing something else. At GDM Direct, I began sending out proposals to a couple of companies and one of the companies gave me a chance. We started by January 2010. About three to four months after I quit, around May, we got our first brief.”

On the name, GDM, Afolabi said that his background working for a greater part of a decade as a manager with a multinational FMCG company has opened his eyes to what the needs of companies are. Among these needs are growing the top-line of the business and generating demand for clients’ products. Unfortunately, BTL as at that time was ‘stereotyped’ to activations, dancing, drumming and other razzmatazz that experiential agencies were known for. “To help clients achieve this with very visible and quantifiable results, we came up with the name, ‘Generating Demand’ because it is all about demand generation. Demand generation is the same thing as driving sales and marketing. So, it was sales marketing expertise that was our focus.”

He added: “We didn’t want to approach our clients’ project like a typically agency that was just responding to briefs or like an agency that saw it as dancing in the market or recruiting brand ambassadors. Ours is about approaching briefs in a more scientific and professional business oriented manner. We help organisations generate demand which is the greatest challenge of any business, company or commercial entity around at that time. This is what led to the formation of GDM.”

The Growth of GDM Group – The 360 Company

While some agencies pride themselves at being the best in what they do, others have, with mastery taken it a notch higher, by weaving these different areas of unique business strength and specialization to form one formidable company and with considerably more output. From being a BTL agency that established itself as a leading experiential marketing firm, delivering solutions to clients in a precise, professional and efficient manner, GDM Direct underwent a metamorphosis.

Having invested heavily in growing capabilities within the agency, GDM Direct was ready to evolve. In 2016, it transformed from GDM Direct, a typical BTL agency to GDM Group, a full-fledged marketing operations firm connecting brands with people through redefined outsourcing business services in terms of marketing operations and marketing communications. With operations that spans Nigeria with presence in 36 states, to Ghana,Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya. With a dynamic business model to address the peculiarities of each region the agency operates in, it has since continually driven value for its clients through innovative digital solutions that guarantee maximum Return on Investment (ROI).

In an interview granted Brand Communicator Magazine then, Afolabi, stated that the company fully metamorphosed from a BTL company into a brand solutions company based on the evolving needs of their many clients. He added that the change did not stop at the organisation’s structure but obviously trickled down to their logo and their essence; “creating a strong connectivity between the brands and people, with a measurable 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 BTL, because it is direct marketing. So, we felt BTL should be at the forefront of that new call and twist for the expectation of marketing.

“Meanwhile, our evolution started by restructuring our business model. And like every business ought to closely re-evaluate itself from time to time, we needed to revisit who we are. We wanted to re-assess and fully wrap our heads around our very core because only then can we offer our clients the best solutions. So, 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.”

Following the evolution of GDM Direct to GDM Group, seven divisions were created to cater to every part of clients’ needs. The company in other words, broke down its marketing operations into seven value drivers or divisions. The seven divisions include Engage, Retail, Creative, Analytics, Digital, Shopper and Source.

GDM Engage handles to a large extent, the group’s engagement, connectivity, exhibitions and direct marketing. Most times, there is so much noise around a brand or product but the said product is actually not available at the retail end. Afolabi attributes this challenge to the fragmented retail landscape which he said makes it difficult for clients to get their products out to the retail landscape. But in order to ensure that products are made available for the final consumers, GDM introduced the GDM Retail to handle the retail challenges brands are facing.

He added that the company has employed technological tools which have helped them to enumerate consumer touch points and also build database for brands.  He added: “To offer our clients retail key solution, we engaged in recruiting people with competence and are exceptionally retail and sales focussed. We have created a database of relevant retail outlets and detailed geocoded records. We wanted to shorten the time it takes our clients to get into the retail space which is where they can have the final encounter with the consumers,” the GDM Group Founder reiterated.

GDM currently on its database has 750 thousand retail outlets with their phone details and 4400 field retail staff (foot soldiers) that can grant them access to any part of the country and also help them in creating the necessary presence for the brands they work with.

GDM Retail is the mother body of Retail Express which serves as a connectivity in communications, while also creating physical bridges between the brand and the people. Retail Express covers the logistics, which involves retail trucks provided by the company to get products to the final consumers.

“Many of the clients are not willing to create the infrastructural support for the distribution of their products, so, we decided to step in. Currently we have about 50 trucks that are distributing products and ensuring listing. We are at the pilot stage; bearing in mind that we are just about 3 to 6 months into this project. We are currently in Lagos but we hope to spread out to five major cities in Nigeria including Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, and of course spread our tentacles in Lagos.

GDM Creative is a strong division of GDM that handles the ideas and strategies of the group. The company believes that strategic direction is essential to every successful business, so the outfit has over time built a competent in-house team whose job is specifically to evaluate brands and create the right ideation.

GDM Analytics is a team with the sole responsibility of analysing brands; their run rates, job sizes and nature of their products, including the consumer purchasing habit. Analytics is research oriented. GDM Analytics therefore, provides clients with such information and proffersthe right solutions.

As E-commerce is evolving, the consumer space is always changing with every passing second. GDM Digital,therefore, focuses on creating a lot of value for clients via digital media. With the current phase of the internet, clients to a large extent rely on digital.

GDM Shopper chiefly focuses on offering solutions to clients in the shopper marketing sector. The shopping environment in Africa is quite different from most shopping environments in the developed countries. GDM Shopper creates a balance by introducing unconventional executions. The division equally provides a strategic focus; understanding and engagement for the shopping environment. It creates shopper-oriented and shopper-focussed activities around the point of sale.

The Evolution of GDM – The Marketing Innovation Firm

Following a further evolution beyond 360 marketing, GDM Group, as it clocked ten, became a marketing innovation hub. With its evolution to a marketing innovation firm, GDM Group is launched three innovative initiatives into the marketing communications ecosystem as a way of promoting the sector from which it has gained so much. It unveiled these products when it hosted many of its clients at a Client Appreciation Dinner event held at the prestigious Radisson Blu Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos. The products are:

Retailar

One of such initiative is the launch of Retailar, Nigeria’s first B2B e-commerce platform. B2B e-commerce, short for business-to-business electronic commerce, is the sale of goods or services between businesses via an online sales portal. In general, it is used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s sales efforts. Instead of receiving orders using human assets (sales reps) manually – by telephone or e-mail – orders are received digitally, thereby reducing overhead costs.

Afolabi explained more on this: “We are unveiling Retailar, the first BTB e-commerce platform based on our experience working in retail in the last four years with our analytics and data science people, all over the country. We have finalised the beta testing and we are going fully live in March, but we will be unveiled to the ecosystem on the 31st of January, this year.

“That is one part of our contribution in transforming the B2B e-commerce space. This is the very first in Nigeria and in West Africa and GDM Group is part of this great venture. This is strictly done by technology where you have an app which is linked to a ride hailing app, plus an ordering app and analytics app to the retailer. Through the app, the retailer can be linked to any warehouse or distributor to order for goods. The retailer can see price slash, promotions and adverts. Today, we have about three to five thousand retailers on-board, and we have been doing transactions in the last three months every day on that app. This is one of the things we have learnt and feel we can use that experience to transform the landscape.”

Retailscope

Yet another initiative the marketing innovation firm is deploying into the marketis Retailscope. This is an in-house audit platform. Retail audits are studies of selected retail outlets performed by brand representatives or retail store employees for the purpose of collecting data about the health of the brand’s products.GDM Group is deploying this because of the importance of retail audit for the growth of the market. It understands that for brands to stay competitive in today’s marketplace, it is imperative to design and implement a strong retail execution strategy.

Experts agree that utilising retail audits is the best way to capture critical field data that affect the health of these brands. By analysing longitudinal data, business owners and managers can prove what works and what doesn’t to make more informed decisions and adjustments to their retail plan. Conversely, the benefits of conducting retail audits are twofold. On one hand, they serve as a tool for suppliers to ensure that retailers are complying with pre-established agreements on product placement, pricing and promotion. On the other hand, they allow brands to accurately measure their success in the retail environment.

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of retail data in the Nigerian market today.  There is an unhealthy over-reliance on secondary localised data provided by global audit firms and some research companies. It is based on this that GDM leveraged on the capacity it has developed over the years working for different multinationals, the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government and with its people spread across the entire country, to publish a monthly report in BusinessDay newspaper and Nigeria’s most consistently brand, marketing and corporate communications focussed magazine, Brand Communicator.

“Retailscope is just like a telescope for looking at the retail space across different categories. What Retailscope provides for you is quantitative primary retail data about the FMCG products. It is going to be shared with people in the marketing ecosystem for free. We have the capacity and competence to have had people across the entire country and in all local governments. We were in 774 local government areas for TraderMoni and we have built competence in the last two years. We have developed the right set of tools and the software that can work well on this.

“We are going to be partnering withBrand Communicator magazine and BusinessDay newspaper to have a double page pull-out every month where we are focused on a category. We believe that our brand managers need to know more, they need to be equipped.  At times, they don’t know the price of their products in Sokoto, Gombe or Yola while they are seated in Lagos State here making decisions. With our primary data, you can determine your numeric distribution, and the price that they are selling your productanywhere.

“What other value can we give with this? We can customise.  For instance, you notice that there are cities not captured by any of our researches, what you can do is send us an email and tell us where you want us to research next and in whatever category. We will inform you what is happening in markets across the FMCG market to start, but the whole vision is to cover the entire retail space. We are a lot more flexible and can give tailor-made data.

This initiative is free because it is our way of giving back to an industry that has given us so much value. Our belief is that if we are in the industry that we have benefitted from, a place we have grown from, we have partaken from this ecosystem, we owe the ecosystem a duty to give back our token.”

Alpha Geek

Lastly, GDM Group is unveiling another tech product called Alpha Geek. Alpha Geek is a subscription based solutions platform which the firm has used in the past two years for enumeration, for validation and managing point of sales material for salesmen automation like a Sales Force Automation (SFA) developed for big projects.

Afolabi says its new identity as a marketing innovation firm puts it in a position to democratise innovation by opening up to the ecosystem. “Why are we doing that? A Unilever, Friesland, etc. can afford to buy SFA database but smaller companies cannot buy SFAs customised for them. So, we are opening up based on licenses which will enable smaller brands to subscribe to Alpha Geek and deploy it to their people.These brands can use it for anything including event management.

“If we have the capacity to own these bespoke tools developed in India, Bangladesh or any part of the world, we feel that the best way to give back to the ecosystem is to democratise it. This is also the way we can help increase the number of brands. While the multinationals are growing, the middle level brands are struggling because they can’t scale up. We want to help them grow. We are also doing this so that BTL agencies will stop fighting over the few available brands. The only way this market can be sustainable for BTL agencies is by having more brands in the space. Beyond pitching for businesses, we need to ensure that we keep developing more and more brands in order toimprove the Market.

Ground Breaking Initiatives Over the Course of The Decade

‘Projectisation’

GDM Group has over the years of its operations spearheaded and pioneered many ground-breaking initiatives as well as executed talk-of-the-town initiatives that have become a compendium of references in the IMC industry today.

One of these is the introduction of ‘projectisation,’ an initiative that many experiential agencies and ATL agencies have adopted. Afolabi explains: “When we first entered the industry, I found out that the use of operations and client service managers was prevalent. A client service personnel will go out to get a brief from a manager and debrief an operations manager who has no clue what was discussed. This process has already watered down the communication,and this is always a source of frustration because of misinformation.”

Coming from a strong FMCG background where he had carried out huge projects across West Africa, Afolabi thought that all marketing executions should be seen as projects. The GDM Group Founder believes that the world has moved on to the era of projects in marketing activities. “In 2012, just coming into the industry barely two and a half years, we changed it. We began the first ‘projectised’ agency. We stopped calling our people client service, we started having end-to-end project managers.  What does our project manager do? He takes the brief, does the costing, does the plan, engages the client, executes, reports and closes. So, when I have an account, I get a project team for it. This approach was so effective that others in the industry started towing the line. We then have ‘project leads’ and other related titles.

TraderMoni

Armed with the knowledge that millions of Nigerians, at the base of the economic pyramid lacked access to credit facilities in 2016, the Federal Government initiated the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP). Also, in the quest to support the 20 million petty traders in Nigeria who are in dire need of capital to expand but are unable to access loans to trade, the government introduced TraderMoni, one of three microcredit products of GEEP. The TraderMoni scheme is a collateral-free loan programme which allows petty traders and artisans the opportunity to access an initial capital of N10,000 which upon successful repayment, grows into an interest-free credit up to the sum of N100,000.

To help the administrationaccomplish this programme, the Federal Government enlisted GDM Group among othersto enumerate two million petty traders.

Asides enumeration, GDM handled the publicity, garnering both earned and shared media running into billions of naira. Interestingly too, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) applauded the agency for its professionalism in handling the TraderMoni 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, the agency took bio-data, including photographs of these numbers of people, many of who became beneficiaries of the scheme.”

Asides the political angle to the programme, TraderMoni is a compendium of several success stories. Adjudged the largest Social Investment Programme in Africa,TraderMoni was awarded as the Most Impactful Financial Inclusion programme in Africa. Over 2 million micro-enterprises received collateral-free, interest-free loans to grow their businesses, across all the Local Government Areas in Nigeria, making it the largest government-led microcredit program globally. The vast majority of these micro-enterprises are petty traders, merchants, enterprising youth, artisans and agricultural workers.

Speaking on the project, Afolabi said, “TraderMoni is one of the biggest pojects we have done in the last ten years, in terms of scale. We enumerated about 4,000,000 people in 774 local government areas including IDP camps.

Afolabi addedmore: “In terms of scale, we had about 3,500 full enumerators, by the time you add the total boots on ground,it’s about a team of 4,000 people who worked in six months. With the success recorded, I think we did well. We took the Vice Presidentof the country and put him on a rig in the open markets. The amount of technology deployed not only by us but by Bank OfIndustry (BOI) and all other partners involved in it made it phenomenal. We had our downsides but that campaign was adjudged one of the biggest social investment programmes in Africa with many awards to show for it.”

Additionally, GDM Group was an integral part of the BabajideOlusolaSanwo-Olu (BOS) campaign that produced the current Governor and Deputy Governor of Lagos State. They took the then relatively unknown Sanwo-Olu who was pitching against a known candidate, Jimmy Agbaje and made him the most popular man in Lagos, using the campaign strategy: Know him, trust him, vote him.

People

Afolabi says that the biggest strength of the company is its people. “I think our driving force is the lot of talents we have in the space. We are conscious of the fact that we need to constantly create an enabling environment for them to thrive.Though, people working in Nigerian companies are usually overlooked because they think we are not skilled enough but the driving force that made me quit my job to start this agency has made me determine to prove that local competence can deliver value.”

He also said that to keep the members of staff abreast of current trends in the industry, the marketing innovation firm ensures the team is compliant, by ensuring only team members with a second degree are promoted to certain positions within the Group. To assist them also, the Group pays 50% of tuition for staff undergoing their second degree. Afolabi lays more emphasis: “We told our guys to shape up or be ready to be shipped out. Half of our management team have gone back to school. Not going back to school for academic purposes but they have gone back to retool.

“A number of them are currently in the school of media communications. And we are about recruiting more people with strong business management expertise and understanding of marketing operations which is a strong combination of sales, marketing and finance. We believe that a combination of these people make a good business person. Consistently, we have been doing extensive back to back training for top management staff across the business.

Awards

GDM is no stranger to the awards arena as various institutions including student bodies and professional bodies among others have honoured it locally and beyond for the job it has executed through its years of operation. For instance, 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 the 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.’’

In the second edition of the awards held in 2019 as well, it won big across categories. GDM Direct won Marketing Edge Outstanding Experiential Agency of the Year award in 2015.

Marking An Eventful Decade By Giving Back To The Ecosystem

Asides from the initiatives it mapped out to give back to the ecosystem, GDM has also outlined other strategy for giving back to the society in commemoration of its decade-long sojourn in the market. The marketing innovation firm will set its eyes on the education sector.The firm empowered students of Gbagada Junior Comprehensive Secondary School with educational materials. It also renovated the Junior Secondary School’s multipurpose hall and presented 21 new white marker boards for classrooms, among other educational items.

This, it explained, would enhance the capacity of the students to learn whilst harnessing their creativity and encouraging innovation. The Founder, Afolabi, while speaking at the event, disclosed that the effort was also driven by the idea of giving back to the society.

According to him, “The wealth of this nation is in its people which is one of the reasons we decided to take our quota of corporate social responsibility to a secondary school. Where we can directly reach and impact the future of our nation.”

Afolabi added: “This is the beginning of what would be a prosperous partnership between our organisation; the Lagos State Government and the society, as we intend to continue to do more of these development-driven initiatives. Our staff will also volunteer to teach them from time to time.

Same day, the firm unveiled a new logo in-line with its new ‘innovation’ status. The firm also organised a Client Appreciation Dinner event which held at the prestigious Radisson Blu Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, in January.

This was followed by an impactful Marketing Innovation masterclass tagged ‘Raising the Bar’ in held in January as part of activities line-up to give back and show its appreciation to the ecosystem that has contributed to its successes. The free event featured foremost and seasoned industry players who drew from their wealth of experience and knowledge to impact participants at the Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Setting the tone for the well-attended full day programme was the Managing Director of Nitro 121, Lampe Omoyele, respected business leader who has been previously Marketing Director at Cadbury, Airtel, PZCussons and Glaxo SmithKline; Managing Director, Nielsen West Africa. He lectured participants on the topic, “Marketing Innovation and Strategy in 2020.”

This was followed by a session from the Managing Director of Entod Marketing, Mrs Iquo Uko. Mrs Ukoh who by dint of hard work and high level of professionalism at Nestle Nigeria, became the first and only Female Marketing Director at an Executive Management level till date, took participants through an exciting journey with “Timeless Principles of Effective Marketing.”

Group Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer of Nigeria’s most creative agency, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko who was named among the prestigious Adweek 100 most creative professionals in the world followed Mrs Uko’s presentation with a high-powered inspiring motivational salvo on “The Guts to Win the Innovation Game.”

Other faculty members that impacted participants at the event include Frank Ozekhome, Head, Group Strategy, Insight Redefini who spoke on “Trends to Leverage in Marketing Innovation and DojaEkeruche, Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre who covered the grounds on “ROI-Focused Marketing.

At the end of the rigorous but rewarding exercise, participants were all issued certificates free of charge. This gesture, according to the Founder and CEO of GDM Group, Victor Afolabi, is part of the Group’s gesture in giving back as well as impacting the ecosystem. He said that beyond the maiden edition, this will be an annual event the GDM Group will be organising.

He added, “Marketing innovation masterclass is an annual GDM platform where the company connects with stakeholders in the marketing and innovation industry for knowledge sharing purpose. The 2020 maiden edition will curate conversations around innovation in marketing, leveraging trends, data, storytelling and technology.”

Earlier in his address, Afolabi shared the decade-long story of GDM Group and how they have been successfully distilling complex marketing problems, how they serviced some of the largest homebred and cosmopolitan brands, how they emerged as an institution leader, and now they are now raising the bar.

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