Experts canvass for female-centric marketing approach at WIMCA 2020

As female consumer spending continues to rise globally, giving opportunities for producers and marketers to increase their advertising focus on them, a forum on women in marketing communication last week deliberated further on how to leverage data science for effective engagement of female customers.

The 2020 edition of the Women in Marketing and Communications Conference, WIMCA which is the first virtual special edition and the fourth edition held last week via the Hibrid/zoom platform.

The online edition but held at a physical ‘Hibrid’ location had various experts and leaders in the Nigerian marketing Communication Industry as participants and resource persons who dissected the theme for the occasion which is “Generation equality; imperatives of gender inclusion for the growth of brands and marketing communications.”

Convener of WIMCA 2020, Joshua Ajayi while welcoming physical and virtual participants to the event had explained that the theme of the International Women’s Day (IWD) Celebration commemorated every March has always informed the theme of WIMCA, and this year was no different.

Further explaining the rationale for the event, Ajayi revealed that this year’s WIMCA topic is exploring how women can navigate through the tough terrain to shatter the glass ceilings to attain their potential professionally, especially in the IMC industry. “As usual, women continue to encounter challenges when it comes to advancing in the workplace—and in many facets of the society. Some of these challenges include lack of Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAS), the issue of equal remuneration or equal pay, bias which is an issue women continue to deal with at the place of work, and advocacy, among others.

Victor Afolabi, Group Managing Director of GDM Group was the keynote speaker of the conference and he spoke on the general theme as he admonished brand custodians and marketers to always ensure that women are always made the fore focus of marketing strategies as they are economically empowered to make purchase decisions.

He noted, “according to research, globally, women control over US$20 trillion of the total consumer spend as they wield an influence of over 80% in buying decisions. They spend more time than men daily making economic decisions for their families — from consumer goods to services. These women hold crucial purchasing power. In fact, 50% of products marketed to men are purchased by women.”

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The event also featured two highly interactive panel discussions which had some of the best minds in the industry as panelists. The first which is geared towards providing a mentorship platform for young and prospective professionals as well as igniting the potential in women towards attaining enviable heights in marketing and management is titled “Leveraging Data Science for Effective Engagement of Female Consumers.” The session had the event keynote speaker joined by Ifeoma Dozie, Director of Marketing and Communications, SSA, Mastercard ( virtual presence) and Tolaelatuyi, the Executive Director of Marketing, Hs Media Group. Bukola Akingbade who is the Founder/ceo, Kucheza Gaming was sensational in her role as the session moderator.

The second session was themed “Each for Equal: Navigating Through Tough Terrains.” It had Ayodele Otujinrin, Head of Marketing, West Africa, Godrej Consumer Products Limited; Amaechi Okobi, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank; Nkiru Olumide- Ojo, Regional Executive Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications Africa, Standard Bank Group and Ilyas Kazeem, Marketing Director, Eat‘n’ Go Limited as discussants. The session was moderated by Pheobe Dami-asolo, Customer Marketing & Commercial Manager, The Coca-cola Company.

Despite the exciting numbers and the new influence women wield, their inclusion for brands’ growth continues to be downplayed. If women make over 80% of most strategic decisions… why are brand custodians not aware of this? Brands must make women the core of their strategy in order to drive a sustainable business growth, the speakers emphasized

The panelists agreed that to transform economies and ensure the growth of brands and businesses, it is critical that brand custodians make women the central and core of not only their communication strategy but business model strategies as well.

Just after the thought leadership sessions, organisers of WIMCA recognized and rewarded outstanding women who have contributed to the growth of the IMC industry as well as corporate organizations who have contributed to the growth of women in the country at large.

Commenting on the awards, Ajayi said WIMCA is one of the awards in the industry that is not paid for and remains credible since inception. In his words, “women who are making the difference in their various fields are being rewarded for their exceptional role to the growth of the marketing communications industry.

“Yearly, we want more women to be inspired, break the glass ceiling and change the narrative of Nigeria. Also, we encourage brands to continue to support women with various initiatives which we reward every year,” he said.

Similarly, the Project Coordinator of WIMCA, Tolulope Egbewumi said the event continues to inspire women to be the best they can be year in year out. “More women are rising to the top of their career, some who spoke to us said our award is part of the motivation and they look forward to it every year hoping that soon WIMCA will recognize them,” she disclosed.

Remarkably, in the individuals’ awards category and in the fastmoving consumer goods category, Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications Manager, Nestle Nigeria Plc was awarded the Outstanding Female Corporate Communications Professional of the year. Similarly, Bunmi Adeniba, Marketing Director, Home Care, Ghana and Nigeria, Unilever Nigeria emerged the Outstanding Female Marketing Professional of the year.

In the financial technology category, Cherry Eromosele, Chief Marketing Officer, Interswitch Limited emerged the Outstanding Female Marketing Professional of the year while Chineze Amanfo; the Lead, Public Relations, 9mobile was awarded the outstanding female corporate communications professional of the year in the IT &Telecoms category.

Temitope Jemerigbe, Managing Director, DKK & Associates Limited emerged the outstanding female creative advertising professional of the year; Nike Odutola, General Manager, Southern Africa, X3M Ideas Limited was awarded the Emerging Female Creative Advertising Professional of the year for her remarkable performance in the advertising space.

For her exceptional performance in the public relations space, Caroline Oghuma; Executive Head, Corporate Affairs, Multichoice Nigeria was awarded the Outstanding Female Public Relations Professional of the year. In the same vein, Tolulopeolorundero, Founder, Mosron Communications was awarded emerging female public relations professional of the year.

In the Out-of-home Advertising category, Khadijah Okunnu-lamidi; Founder/ CEO, Slice Media emerged the outstanding female out of home advertising professional of the year while the Outstanding Female Media Independent Professional of the year went to Yetunde Adegbite; Managing Director, Posterscope Nigeria.

Other awardees for the individual category include: Ose Osundeko, Group Head, Digital Marketing, Fidelity Bank Plc who emerged outstanding female digital marketing professional of the year; SimisolaHughes-obisesan, Creative Director, Leo Burnett Lagos clinched the outstanding female creative advertising director of the year.

Omokehinde Thomas, Group Head, RED WOI.F Company was awarded emerging female digital marketing professional of the year; Omobolanle Victor-laniyan, Head of Sustainability, Access Bank Plc emerged outstanding female sustainability professional of the year and Uduneje N. Daphne, News Reporter, Pilot Newspaper emerged outstanding female brands and marketing journalist of the year.

In the brand category, Knorr Seasoning, Unilever Nigeria emerged Outstanding Seasoning Brand of the Year while Darling Hair, a Godrej Consumer Product emerged Outstanding Hair Care Brand of the year and also the Most Outstanding Female Friendly Brand of the year. Access Bank Plc (The W Initiative) was awarded the outstanding female friendly bank of the year and the Felix King Foundation emerged outstanding female centric foundation of the year.

Advertising veteran, Mowunmi Owodunni was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award for her role in growing the marketing communications industry in Nigeria.

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