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Marketing practitioners chart new role for marketing in a ‘changed’ Nigeria

Not a few participants at the 2015 Annual Marketing Conference held in Enugu and organized by the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) agree with the fact that for marketing to remain relevant in an economy such as Nigeria’s, there is that need for urgent re-engineering of the practice.
For instance, the nation’s economy has continued to witness a nose dive, since the price of oil, which has been its mainstay, has continued to fall in the global market, thereby making the need to diversify the economy more imperative than ever before.
Participants have, therefore, argued that for the nation’s economy to be able to survive the vagaries of the coming years, attention must shift to small businesses, which all over the world, have always proved to be engine room for economic growth.  But the question of the lips of the participants remains: what will be the role of marketing in this new economic order?
Flagging off the Conference, the President and Chairman of Council of the institute, Mr. Ganiyu Koledoye expressed the need for marketing practitioners in the country to up their skills in order to remain relevant in the present- day economy and in the future.
Besides, he argued that the country’s economy had continued to take a plunge because of the failure of those in the nation’s corridors of power to avail themselves of the value-creating services of marketing.
According to him, one of the success stories  of the Council, in the past few years, is the acceptance of the olive branch waved by the Council to  members of the marketing clan plying their trade in the nation’s tertiary institutions, as evident in the increased number of participations in the institute’s activities from the nation’s academia in recent times.
‘These were people who would not want to have anything to do with the institute in the past. The fact that they are becoming more interested in the institute’s activities now show that we are moving closer to our dreams of building a marketing institute of our dreams,’ he stated.
He however explained that the decision of the institute to weave this year’s conference thematic focus around the role of marketing  at a time the nation is experiencing a paradigm shift in her development equation, was informed by the need to ensure that the practice continues to serve as an engine room for value creation and economic growth; since that is the only way to keep it relevant.
‘What would be our role when the nation’s economy is no longer driven by oil, but by small businesses,  the small and medium enterprises? How can we, as marketing professionals, contribute our quota in an SMEs-controlled economy?.

‘So one of the chief reasons we are here is to see how marketing can contribute and stimulate small businesses to the betterment of the larger economy,’ he argued.
And, interestingly, one of his panaceas is that there is the urgent need for marketing professionals to re-tool, to enable them address the issue of vocational skills and micro-marketing.
In his own paper, a professor of marketing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Ireneus Nwaizugbo noted that the country is about to experience another giant stride in her socio-economic development, as being presently witnessed in the GSM  and home movie industries, adding that all that is needed by stakeholders is to come up with policies that will unlock  those economic potential.
He, however, believes that any policy or regulatory framework that will unlock  such opportunity for growth in the MSME sub-sector must recognize and appreciate the indispensability of marketing profession in the scheme.
‘Marketing is notable for its competence in value delivery process and to effectively deliver the value of serving as a penance for unlocking growth opportunity for SMEs in Nigeria, the contribution of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) has become imperative, since it has that mandate to design, plan, determine and suggest to relevant stakeholders, the academic program that will ensure the production of quality marching professional,’ he stated.
In his paper titled ‘Integrating Marketing Concepts into Enterpreneurship and SMEs’, Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Enugu State on SME and Investment Promotion, Mr. Anayo Agu argued that there is the need for small businesses to understand marketing and its concepts; since competition in every market is increasingly becoming global.
‘One thing businesses in Nigeria must know today is that their competitors are no longer their next-door neighbours, but businesses from India, Japan and other countries through globalization.  They must therefore be ready to compete effectively on the global stage through the provision of quality goods and services,’ he stated.
He argues that one of the challenges facing small businesses in the country today, especially in Enugu state, is that of attitude and the reluctance of operators of small businesses to play by the rule, to be able to access the facilities that will grow their businesses.
‘Sometimes, to our amazement, we discover some of them who have been in those businesses for a couple of years cannot even produce any form of documentation and are really too keen doing this. And these are the same people that will go about complaining of lack of facilities to grow their businesses,’ he lamented.
He however believes if such attitude is to change, there is the need for marketing practitioners to intervene since their main pre-occupation is value delivery.
Interestingly, the Vice Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Charles Ayo believes marketing practitioners must be ready to play in the digital space to actually remain relevant.
In a paper titled Impact of Digital Marketing on Emerging Economies, the university don argued that the world is gradually going into the digital space, a development that has made online marketing very imperative for marketing practitioners.

UniPort undergraduate emerges NIMN 2015 Best Marketing Student

24 year-old, 400 levels student of the University of Port Harcourt, Miss Mercy  Onyinyechi  has emerged winner of this year’s edition of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) Best
Marketing Student Award, organized by the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) and
sponsored by Unilever Nigeria Plc.

Onyinyechi who emerged victorious at the end of the competition that witnessed participation
from 67 students from 35 of the nation’s tertiary institutions, was rewarded with a N100,000
cash, a plaque and some marketing books at the Award presentation held in Lagos, recently.

Speaking before the presentation, the Institute’s Registrar, Mr. Sidney Ogodo explained that the
award,  introduced in 2005, for marketing students in the nation’s tertiary institutions, was designed to promote the spirit of competitiveness among the nation’s marketing students, while also giving such students the opportunity to get ‘a peep into the exciting world of marketing’.

According to him, 67 students from 17 universities and 18 polytechnics participated in the competition that saw 6 finalists, instead of the traditional five, emerged for the final rounds of the competition.

While expressing delight at the level of brilliance displayed by the finalists, the Institute’s Registrar
noted that the eventual winner had demonstrated a good grasp of the subject at both written and
oral tests conducted by the Institute at the University of  Lagos.

In her response, the star prize winner expressed delight at the opportunity being provided by the
institute and Unilever for students of Marketing in the nation’s tertiary institutions to exhibit their talents.

She however charged other corporate organisations to emulate Unilever’s gesture by supporting other initiatives in the nation’s tertiary institutions that would enhance learning and impact the nation’s economy positively.

Five other students from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Adekunle Ajasin University, Babcock University, Benue State University and Federal Polytechnic also won various prizes at the Award Ceremony.

    NIMN boss decries members’ apathy to Institute’s activities

The President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Mr. Ganiyu Koledoye, has expressed reservations over the seeming lackluster attitude of some members, especially Fellows, to the Institute’s activities, noting that such attitude is capable  of hindering the marketing body from benefitting from the vast experiences of such members.
Speaking at the induction ceremony, organized by the Institute for its new set of Fellows, in Lagos, recently, the NIMN President expressed his displeasure that some Fellows of the Institute had constituted the habit of staying away from the Institute’s events immediately they are conferred with the Institute’s highest honours.
While stressing the need for active participation from all members of the Institute, Koledoye argued that such participation had become imperative to enable the Institute achieve its value-creating role.
According to him, the new fellows were being recognized for their various contributions to the growth of marketing practice in the country, adding that the  council had done its investigation and homework and found the new Fellows qualified for the Institute’s fellowship..
‘It is sad that many of our members, including Fellows of the Institute stop attending the Institute’s activities immediately they are conferred with such honours. This is not too good for the Institute and the practice at large.
‘For instance, while it will deny us the opportunity of drinking from the fountain of experiences and knowledge that these people represent, it also denies the Institute the opportunity of engraving the continuity culture in the people. Either you like it or not, we on this side of the divide are on our way out.
‘You represent the future of the Institute and that is why you have to be active, so that when we leave there will be no vacuum. That is why I would like to appeal to all of you here to be fully involved in our activities,’ he added.

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