What interests marketers globally is finding the right key and platform to connect with consumers. The engagement, when properly utilised usually activates consumer actions, creates loyalty and revenue. In this report, Daniel Obi looks at how brands are connecting with consumers, leveraging Mamador recent example.
Presently, businesses are struggling to cope with the challenges and opportunities that Covid-19 created. The pandemic engendered new ways of conducting business as it has obviously disrupted most traditional methods of doing things. One thing is therefore clear, only businesses with creative and innovative thinking, will survive the disruption as those businesses that think outside a box will be able to innovate, connect with their consumers and remain stable.
It was clear that many CEOs, marketers and other executives were really unprepared about the degree of the disruption and the impact of the pandemic on businesses.
As the pandemic which has reset the world is not slowing down, a new phrase in business lexicon, ‘New Normal’, has become the new currency defining businesses. Understandably, some businesses in different sectors in Nigeria are realising the changes as times and trends continue to evolve.
Connecting with Consumer
Unfortunately, the pandemic hit Nigeria at a time there is growing interest in experiential marketing among consumer businesses. This is with the aim of properly engaging and interacting with the consumers.
With growing competition, many businesses want to remain relevant and meaningful before the dynamic and changing consumers. They want to achieve this by creating touch points where the brands and the target audience meet. Brand owners are therefore allocating more resources to experiential campaigns and activations seen as impactful. This allows consumers to have direct experience with the products as the brands and the target audience interact directly.
Simply, brand owners are putting consumers at the centre of their decision making and marketing strategies. It is said that “real world experiential marketing campaigns provide an opportunity to leave an impression, intrigue and compel consumers” but marketers are equally enhancing this with digital”.
To a marketer, finding the right touch point with the consumer is always the bull’s eye which is expected to produce the expected impact.
Mamador connection with August Meeting
In August this this year, brand managers at PZ Wilmar Food Limited, a joint venture between PZ Cussons and Wilmar International, producers of Mamador brand of products, came up with a striking brand connection and association with their consumers around the world. Mamador products include, Mamador cooking oil, Mamador seasoning cubes and Mamador spread.
With understanding of the relevance and importance of the August Meeting usually marked by Igbo women, the brand refused to allow the various challenges posed by the pandemic affect this year’s August Meeting.
The August Meeting is a women gathering recognised amongst the Igbo community as it is the annual homecoming congress. This gathering of women has been used over the years, as an opportunity for the Igbo womenfolk in diaspora and in the cities to travel back to their villages to meet with their local counterpart to discuss matters pertaining to national development and other cultural and socio-economic initiatives.
In the South East, many of the wives live with their husbands in urban areas. They hold their separate meetings in their cities of residence. Every end of the year, usually at Christmas period provides an opportunity for most of the women to congregate in the village and deliberate on certain issues. It is also a time to reunite with their mother-in-laws and understand some cultural nuances. The Christmas period gathering is called Home and Abroad meeting. But this period has other events that do not allow for proper tackling of issues in their communities hence the women settled for August, a month they think has less activities.
Unfortunately, this year, the Covid-19 pandemic posed a major threat to the gathering for this year’s August meeting, owing to the fact that many are keeping safe and are unable to travel, especially those in diaspora.
Mamador virtual meeting
With a deep thinking informed by consumer insight, the Mamador brand managers therefore took it upon themselves to create an opportunity for these women to gather online as it organised the very first virtual August Meeting.
This is a commendable and innovative move as the brand took a normal physical gathering to online which however saw more participation that perhaps would not have been possible if it was organised offline.
The virtual meeting which incorporated key events synonymous with the ideals of the August Meeting provided opportunity for the hundreds of women who participated to deliberate on relevant issues as most of the women where grateful to Mamador for providing such window for women deliberations.
The Mamador’s organised August virtual Meeting for Igbo women kicked off on August 20, 2020 with a cooking master class hosted by Chef and Mamador brand ambassador, Ify Mogekwu, where the audiences were taught how to prepare some Igbo delicacies such as making Abacha and cooking bitter leaf soup.
The meeting also featured an empowerment session themed Women: The vessels for transformation. The session, which was moderated by super star actress and also Mamador brand ambassador, Ufuoma McDermott had guest speakers which included, veteran actresses, Ngozi Nwosu and Chioma Akpotha, where the role of women and building consciousness of their capabilities in transforming the nation in all sectors was discussed.
The event which was well attended across various social media platforms, climaxed with a thanksgiving celebration as it is synonymous with the August Meeting, the audience was treated to a live performance from a cultural dance troupe, signalling the end of a successful virtual August Meeting on August 28, 2020.
Speaking on this initiative the Marketing Manager, PZ Wilmar, Chioma Mbanugo congratulated the brand on the success of the Mamador August Meeting 2020.
“Understanding the importance and significance of the August Meeting, not just the cultural aspect, we felt it was necessary to host an online version. Times are fast changing; we now live in a world where distance shouldn’t be a barrier to our collective growth and development. This August Meeting has always provided women with the opportunity to gather and foster community growth and development, as well as support each other whichever way they can. Which is why I am very delighted that we have been able to achieve likewise with our first ever Mamador August Meeting” she said.
In today’s world, technology has enabled brands to communicate in ways that past societies would never have dreamed. Actually, brands like Mamador and others are using this increased dependence on technology to amplify the impact of experiential marketing. The experts say by using digital marketing, brand owners can inform more people about their brands and therefore can see the best results.
Mamador’s innovative digital connection with the August meeting has, expectedly given the consumers the chance to learn more about the product while also enjoying the experience.
Deserving entrepreneurs in the food industry who were participants of the Mamador August Meeting were empowered with Kitchen appliances, and a Free Digital Masterclass at Utiva, a leading Tech education company in Sub-Saharan Africa that helps people learn premium technology skills virtually.
In his comment on Forbes, Steve Olenski said “”the goal of experiential marketing is to create lasting impressions on consumers that they want to share with others and that, ultimately, leads to brand loyalty”. By organising the virtual meeting, Mamador has not only ingrained its brand in the minds of thousands of Igbo women by letting the women see and feel what their lives would be like with the brand. It has succeeded in creating a long lasting emotional relationship.
When bonds are built with consumers beyond shopping, it creates lasting connections and this is where the innovative approach of Mamador is compelling. Ordinarily, according to experts, most people go out of their way to avoid commercials, yet most will also go out of their way for a new experience. That’s why experiential marketing works so well. With insights, data about consumers, it becomes easy to know where and how to reach consumers most effectively. This is a learning point for most brands.