BJAN@10: Embrace Technology Or Go Extinct, Experts Tell Brand Owners

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Discussants at the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria 10th Annual Brands & Marketing Conference held recently at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.

Stakeholders in the Integrated Marketing Communications space and allied sectors have urged brand owners to adapt to the new ‘now’ by embracing technology if they want to remain relevant, given the increasingly unstable and unpredictable environment.

The call was made during a panel session at the 2022 Brands and Marketing Conference and Awards organised by the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) on Friday at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.

This year’s event, which marked the association’s 10th anniversary, was themed: “Brands and The Role of Technology in A Disruptive Economy”.

Speaking at the session, Femi Falodun, Chief Executive Officer of ID Africa, said any service that is centred on solving the problems of the consumer is in the right direction and with technology in the mix, the company commands value.

“Talking about consumer centrism, some of the best brands are the ones that do not joke with the need of their customers. For free, with access to the internet, you can get answers to any query that is of value and if you are able to deliver value to customers and charge them premium you get their buy-in,” Falodun said.

“Ultimately people just want value whether it’s the Gen Z, the generation Alpha, or what have you. I think what that also says in terms of business, is that with data, brands need to look at the needs of the customers and find a way to meet them.”

“Regardless of what technology there is, as long as the fundamentals remain, I think what we just need to learn is to make use of the new technologies. Before there was a smartphone, products were being sold, customers were being satisfied. Smartphones came and marketers decided to learn how to digitize then came social media marketing, and cloud computing, so whatever the trend is, in my own opinion, the philosophy is to stay within the fundamentals to satisfy customers’ yearnings. As long as we stay within those fundamentals, we will be fine,” Falodun added.

According to Chineze Amanfo, Lead, Public Relations, 9Mobile, the goal of every business is to make a profit, and this is not possible without customers’ patronage. According to her, marketing will get so conversational, so much so that brands will get so interactive to the extent that they will use technology to solve some of the needs of the customers and bring them into the conversation in such a way that they feel like they are part of the brand.

“Every business exists to make a profit, how much of that is a factor of how intentional the company is and the availability of technology at their disposal in identifying and solving those things that they need,” she affirmed.

On his part, founder and Chief Executive Officer of DigiCulture Consulting, Nelson Ochonogor, said for projected results to be achieved, there is a need for available data to be up-to-date every now and then for it to be relevant for use.

“Some people can argue that there are no data but I believe that there are enough data but how have we used them?
Do we have the right algorithm to put them to good use? Without proper data we find a situation where people who have died are still in the system and somebody is marketing to them – how much value can come from that?” he queried.

Business Lead, Quadrant, Oluwarantimi Olaniyan, stated that technology serves as an amplifier that is available to modify whatever we do.

“Digital or whatever we call technology amplifies what a brand is and if a brand or corporate organisation or individual finds their essence, technology will amplify that.

“Whether you are seeing crisis on social media or issues anywhere, it is fueled by technology because that brand has not figured out who they are. So the first place to always start is who are we whether as individual or brand,” she posited.

In his keynote address, Lampe Omoyele, CEO of Nitro 121, said the difference between survival and being phased out of the market is the ability to act quickly and make fact-based decisions.

According to him, as markets, economies, and other factors change in the unstable and unpredictable environment, companies that can adapt within the eco-system have a distinct advantage.

“Companies can adapt through products and services that must be relevant to the consumer and think ‘Glocal’ in their business strategy.

“To survive, organisations need to meet ever-growing consumer expectations. To thrive, organisations must go one (or many) steps further and create novel and memorable customer experiences”, he averred.

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