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NAC 2023: Stakeholders Adopt Resolutions, Recommendations To Advance Industry, National Growth

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In a move that could redefine the advertising and marketing communications landscape in Nigeria, advertising practitioners and stakeholders arising from the 3-day National Advertising Conference (NAC) held in Abuja last December have adopted a comprehensive communique outlining resolutions and recommendations that could catalyze growth, foster collaboration, and position the industry as an important driver of national development.

The communique which was jointly signed by Mr. Tunji Adeyinka, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the conference and Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Director General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) outlined seven key resolutions and recommendations.

In recognition of the inextricable link between a robust economy and a thriving advertising industry, the conference issued a clarion call for sweeping economic reforms and strengthened financial governance. It urged for the strengthening of Financial Governance, enhance the tax system by eliminating multiplicity of informal taxes, harmonizing tax administration, and leveraging technology and big data.

Additionally, the conference underscored the need to prioritize spending on basic needs to address multidimensional poverty, a persistent challenge that has hindered the nation’s progress. It also advocated for a reclassification of budgeting priorities, with a focus on human capital development, infrastructure, and overhead expenses – critical pillars for sustained economic growth and societal advancement.

Advertising’s economic Impact and its multiplier effect is another area that was broadly addressed. Advertising’s role in driving economic growth and development has long been recognized, but the conference sought to quantify and amplify this impact. With the benefit of insights gleaned from an examination of GDP reports across sectors, the conference resolved to foster increased collaboration and synergy among professionals, leveraging the diverse value contributed by each sector.

In a bold and ambitious move, the conference set a national goal of achieving a $2 trillion advertising industry by 2030. This target not only underlines the industry’s significant economic impact but also serves as a rallying cry for stakeholders to unite and harness the multiplier effect of advertising on employment, investment, and overall economic prosperity.

Brand Nigeria was another point of discussion. Recognizing the power of storytelling and the need to reshape Nigeria’s narrative on the global stage, the conference resolved to initiate a nationwide campaign that would encourage ordinary Nigerians to share their personal stories reflecting the positive aspects of the Nigerian identity. The campaign is expected to create a groundswell of authentic narratives that celebrate the country’s rich cultural heritage, resilience, and untapped potential.

According to the committee spearheading the campaign, the initiative is entirely unique and different from the ones we have had in the time past. In fact, it represents a departure from traditional branding efforts, placing the spotlight on the lived experiences of Nigerians themselves. It is an effort aimed at fostering a positive and inclusive national identity, one that transcends stereotypes and celebrates the diversity and aspirations of Nigerians.

The advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has opened new opportunities for cross-border trade and economic integration across the continent. However, it has also highlighted the need for harmonized advertising regulations and streamlined approval processes for advertisers operating in multiple member countries.

Recognizing this challenge, the conference emphasized the importance of developing a standardized system for obtaining approvals that are valid across multiple AfCFTA member states. It also resolved to collaborate with other African countries to enable a community of learning and cooperation aimed at sharing best practices and insights on effective advertising regulation.

The Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising segment has undergone a remarkable transformation, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer behaviors. Recognizing the need for accurate audience measurement and data-driven decision-making, the conference agreed on the importance of establishing acceptable OOH audience measurement metrics.

It emphasized the necessity of leveraging data to explain past trends, understand present dynamics, and predict future trajectories within this rapidly evolving segment. By embracing data-driven insights, the industry can navigate the complexities of the OOH landscape, optimize campaign strategies, and position Nigeria as a globally competitive player in this burgeoning field.

In an increasingly globalized world, the conference reaffirmed the importance of preserving and celebrating local cultures and identities. It emphasized the need for cultural sensitivity in content creation and deployment, recognizing the power of resonant messaging to forge deeper connections with target audiences.

The conference advocated for a greater infusion of “Nigerianess” in marketing communication content, celebrating the rich heritage of traditions, values, and perspectives that define the Nigerian experience.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of any thriving economy, and the advertising industry plays an important role in their success. Acknowledging this symbiotic relationship, the conference resolved to implement a comprehensive marketing communication plan specifically tailored to the needs of SMEs.

The plan prioritizes strategic customer relationship building, moving beyond short-term sales leads to foster long-lasting connections with target audiences. It also emphasizes aligning marketing activities with sales conversion goals, ensuring that every marketing effort translates into tangible business outcomes for SMEs.

Additionally, the conference recognized the value of collaboration, advocating for partnerships between SMEs and relevant industry experts to address sector-specific challenges. By leveraging collective expertise and tailored strategies, the industry aims to unlock new growth opportunities for SMEs, positioning them as drivers of innovation and economic diversification.

Education and talent development are the bedrock of any industry’s long-term success. Recognizing the need for a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, the conference resolved to collaborate with academic institutions and industry experts to develop and implement a revised curriculum for the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) industry.

This initiative aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, to ensure that graduates are equipped with the necessary skills and insights to navigate the ever-evolving advertising landscape.

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