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RED’s Culture Intelligence hosts inaugural marketing leaders’ summit

... charts course for future of marketing innovation

Driven by a commitment to help business leaders and associated professionals leverage culture and social data in achieving brand goals, Culture Intelligence from RED, on Saturday, hosted its inaugural Marketing Leaders’ Summit with Adebola Williams, CEO of RED.

Drawing from years of interpreting global brand messages in localised markets, panelists Funmi Abiola and Ngozi Nkwoji shared their views on the importance of being “obsessed with the consumer and understanding culture” while maintaining the “core brand values of a corporate organisation”.

Themed ‘Culture Intelligence and The Future of Brand Innovation’, the Summit featured an impressive line-up of industry leaders.

Drawing from years of interpreting global brand messages in localised markets, panelists Funmi Abiola and Ngozi Nkwoji shared their views on the importance of being “obsessed with the consumer and understanding culture” while maintaining the “core brand values of a corporate organisation”.

Citing Mitsubishi and Heineken as examples, the duo explained the balance between customer obsession and brand identity.

Abiola recounted how the initial Mitsubishi tagline had to be refined to connect to the average Nigerian while Nkwoji shared a similar experience where the Heineken brand took on the painstaking work of maintaining its international brand image while nurturing a deep connection with its local target audience.

According to Godwin Bamsa, “to maintain a brand’s identity while interpreting that identity to fit every sub-brand and local market is a complex task.

However, that complexity is solved by interacting with the consumer, as this helps unearth all the information needed to deliver maximum Profit and Loss results.”

Building on the submission of fellow panelists, Bada Akintunde-Johnson said that understanding and obsessing over consumer and culture requires the “painstaking task of investing in heavy research”, and is crucial to “staying ahead of the game in the marketing world.” He further revealed that “heavy research” is how ViacomCBS foresaw and prepared for the massive consumption of local content.

Giving a vivid analysis, he said that there was a time when most platforms circulated foreign music. However, after extensive research, ViacomCBS found that there was an impending switch and that African talent would soon be receiving international recognition.

The multimedia powerhouse, therefore, leveraged this insight, an effort which culminated in Burna Boy’s BET Awards win and massive equity for ViacomCBS.

As marketing leaders of top global brands, each panelist shared their experiences on sifting through data to pick up subtle and glaring hints given by consumers and circumstances.

“At the heart of marketing is the need for brands to listen to the heartbeat of their consumers — even beyond the things they say,” said Isime Esene, Chief Intelligence Officer, RED | For Africa, while explaining the inspiration behind the Summit. “Our work at Culture Intelligence from RED is to leverage on data and tacit knowledge to interpret trends and predict possible outcomes.

The summit will help business leaders identify market trends in their industries and understand how they affect consumer demands, especially in a post-pandemic era.”

The quarterly virtual event attracted audiences of different nationalities and from across industries to deliberate and chart the future of innovation in media, marketing, and culture.

Discussions in the Marketing Leaders’ Summit centred on key themes selected from Culture Intelligence from RED tools — The Masterlist and What The Streets Are Saying.

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