An expert in the Experiential Marketing subsector of the integrated marketing communications industry and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GDM Direct, Mr. Gbenga Afolabi, has advised that agencies in the industry irrespective of their core areas of their competence, must work hard towards stimulating consumers’ demand in order to increase purchase of their clients’ products;.
Afolabi, who made this known recently in Lagos said that, agencies should stop complaining of budget cut, but rather should forge ahead by stimulating consumers’ demand for their clients.
According to him, one of the characteristics of a recessed economy is that there is a slump in the demand of goods and services, but by stimulating customers’ demand there is the likelihood that brands could have amazing returns and high customers’ patronage.
Afolabi stressed that agencies that know their onions experience a boom during a tumultuous recessionary period like Nigeria experienced in 2016, citing GDM Direct as a typical example. The agency, he disclosed, grew its billings by 27% in that year.
He explained that from the lay man’s perspective, a recessed economy depicts a shrink in consumers’ disposable income, high cost of living, low patronage, amongst others, noting that this is the time when agencies play crucial role in stimulating consumers’ demand to boost the sales of their clients’ products.
“Recession for an average man on the streets is not GDP, it is the fact that the amount of money that they have as disposable income has shrunk, things have become more expensive, there are things that I want to buy, I cannot afford, so, I am forced to make rational choices, low patronage, yet cost of materials are going up, so ,the only way brands need to stay afloat and stay profitable is more patronage.
“I need more patronage yet the consumers want to spend less, that is the definition and the interplay of the forces of recession, not GDP for the consumer on the street.” He noted
He said; “However, this is the time where agencies play crucial role because the role of the agency, basically, is to stimulate demand, that is the job of the agencies, our job is stimulation, so if the characteristic factor of a recessed economy is a slump in consumer demand, a slump in product off-take, that is when agencies should experience a boom because they should deploy their expertise to ensure their clients have more patronage..”
Further, he pointed out that clients that had enjoyed what is called a natural pull over the years are forced to engage advertising, experiential, and public relations agencies to connect with their customers in order to keep a top-of-the-mind awareness about their products amongst consumers.
“Once an agency person does not understand the fact that my key role is to create stimulation of demand and patronage, then there is an issue. So with a recessed economy, demand is low, agencies have found themselves very relevant.“ he said.
Stories by Godwin Anyebe