Embrace Financial Discipline, Innovation As Disruption Rocks Industry, FITC Boss Charges  Stakeholders At MIPAN Conference


The focus was on current challenges that agencies operating within the ambit of the integrated marketing industry face at the conference put together by the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) at the Lakowe Golf Resort in Lagos, recently.

Delivering the keynote address for the conference titled ‘Collective Triumph: Strategic Financial Navigation for Agency Stability & Profitability’ Chizor Malize, Chief Executive of the Financial Institution Training Centre (FITC), rolled out a comprehensive strategy for agencies to achieve financial stability and profitability despite economic headwinds.

Addressing MI agencies, industry leaders and critical stakeholders , Malize didn’t mince words as she dissected the challenges plaguing the industry – from currency woes and shrinking ad budgets to the disruption caused by new technology and content creators.

Top on Malize’s agenda was the stark reality of economic uncertainty. With inflation soaring and the naira’s value fluctuating, she warned that marketing budgets are increasingly at risk of being slashed. “Clients now demand more results, measurable ROI,” said the FITC boss. “To survive, agencies must get smarter with financial planning, client communication, and innovative service models.”

Her advice? Be proactive, not reactive. Malize urged a shift towards diversified income streams, robust cash flow management, and ruthless cost-cutting to insulate against economic shocks. Turning to technological disruption, Malize sounded the alarm on the double-edged sword of AI. While lauding its potential for task automation, personalization and efficiency gains, she cautioned that AI could make some traditional agency roles redundant.

“The rise of AI-powered content creation, social media management and more poses a clear threat to human labour,” she stated bluntly. “But those able to merge technical AI skills with human ingenuity will be winners.”

Training her sights on the explosive growth of skit makers, influencers and other new-age content creators who are reshaping media consumption habits, Malize remarked, “These new players are siphoning eyeballs and ad revenues with their direct audience engagement, niche appeal and cost-effectiveness,” she said. “Ignoring them is ignoring reality.”

Her recipe for traditional agencies to stay relevant? Understand what makes influencers click with audiences, and retool offerings accordingly. Providing more solutions, she also advised on consolidation – via mergers, acquisitions and partnerships – to unlock economies of scale, skills diversification and market dominance.

“Joining forces with global partners can open agencies to new markets, knowledge sharing and enhanced brand credibility,” she stressed.

But growth strategies hinge on robust corporate governance, emphasized Malize. Aligning with international best practices in areas like board oversight, transparency and ethical conduct is crucial for investor confidence and sustainability. “Strong corporate governance isn’t just good optics, it’s good business sense. The path to collective triumph demands we get this right,” she said.

In her conclusion, Malize who is not a stranger to the dynamic IMC space, having served as MD/CEO of BrandZone Consulting unveiled a holistic “6P” paradigm for future-proofing agencies: Product excellence, smart Platforms, optimized Processes, nurturing People, strategic Positioning and relentless Performance management.

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