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Marketing budgets at risk over new austerity measure

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The elected president of National Institute of Marketing of Nigerian (NIMN) Ganiyu Koledoye recently told Daniel Obi that now the institute which was torn by crisis has put its house in order it will now be involved in advocacy of national development. Another area is to ensure that marketers who are members of the institute are respected and recognized in the industry. Excerpts

Now you have won the election, could we know the lined up programmes for the institute

What we have done is to change the process of choosing leaders. We have made it more transparent. It is one of the greatest achievements of the institute. Because for decades change used to come with trauma but what we have done this time is that those who voted are properly accredited. I am only going to stay for one term in office. The reason is that I have contributed and put in my quota.

At the election it was my colleagues who insisted that I see through some projects I started before I leave. We just brought two bodies together and the people are getting used to each other. We don’t want to experience what we had in 2009 when the institute broke. As part of my programmes, what you have seen as reconciliation is one part of the story.

The academia is still outside and we intend to bring them in.  The institute supposes to be a plane with two wings. For several years, one wing of the institute has been bartered that we just managed to fix it. The other wing – the academia, for several years has excluded itself from the activities of marketing institute.

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No professional institute can survive if it does not have the faculties of the people who are teaching and who will design the curriculum and who will be part of the factory for turning out students. If the cohesion and the interplay between the two wings does not exist then there will be no institute. In December, we will sign a new greed on how to work together with the academia so that students can participate in the institute affairs.  My second objective is to make the institute relevant in terms of national discuss because marketing is crucial to national life. That is why the institute has a charter status which it has not being playing well. It is essentially because we have not put our house in order. Now we have put our house in order we have to be involved in advocacy of national development. Another area is to ensure that marketers who are members of the institute are respected and recognized in the industry. People accuse the institute of not reaching out to its members but members also have a responsibility on how they project the institute. We will start from January 2015 to  inform marketers to regularize their membership with the institute and after 6 months we will start to take appropriate action to inform organizations on those who are not our members and why they should not occupy the marketing seats.  We will not encourage people to practice marketing if they are not members of the institute.

You speak about sanctions against those who are not NIMN members practicing marketing, could you explain the sanctions

We are going to use moral suasion. We will use name and shame strategy. When I put out the names of those who are members and when you don’t find your name there then you are not a practicing marketer. We have a law which says that only those who are recognized by the institute can practice the profession. It is our responsibility to make people understand the law. What we are doing is not to use police but just to announce to the public that those contained in the list are our members.

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Government has announced belt tightening, do you see this affecting marketing activity

Nigeria has not experienced what we are going through now since 1994. What transpired in that year is now being replicated. Internationally there are crises because of interjection of war all over the world but our own challenge is our own making. About 20 years ago we discussed about not relying solely on crude oil as our mainstay but our leaders have refused to adopt this which would have freed us from experiencing this difficulty. From marketing point of view, it will necessitate cut in marketing budgets. There are two types of marketing. We have imported goods and manufactured goods. People who are bringing about 5 containers will now reduce to about 2 containers.

This may not improve immediately because there are other local issues like political transition. We have also monitored that the broad economy use to suffer but the local economy where the elections are taking place use to boom. It is up to marketers to identify where the opportunities are because a lot of funds are still being expended in the society. Marketers should tighten up their belts, reduce cost but continue to satisfy customers’ needs and look for areas where expenditures are continuing.

As NIMN, how are you playing part on the issue of lottery and sales promotion which are largely handled by APCON and CPC

We are aware of what lottery and sales promotions are. But it is one of a continuum. When does a sale promotion become a lottery is in the methodology. We have agreed to define when sales promotions become lottery.  When we have been able to build the framework, we will call all parties and we will ensure that we operate within the guidelines. When we find out where lottery is involved in sales promotion  is where NIMN comes in. the Institute is concerned that if our members are still incurring additional costs over and above the cost which they incur in sales promotions, then you are now reducing their ability to meet their purpose in the economy. We must understand that Nigeria’s GDP is largely based on consumption and the movers of consumption are marketers. If you strangulate the organizations to the extent that they are not able to invest enough money into industry, then the economy will not grow. Though government wants to generate tax but it will be better to allow the economy to generate the funds.

You said that that you are not going for second term, is this to ensure that the integration between NIMN factions is well cemented

That is one of the objectives and there are a lot debris to clear.

Marketing is becoming complex as internet is playing a big role in marketing, how therefore is NIMN prepared for the marketing dynamics

Internet is changing the approach of marketing and our role as professional body is to include in professional programmes the opportunity for people to understand the need to acquire such skills.