• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Creatives must pay attention to engagement from fan base – Tosin Obembe

Creatives must pay attention to engagement from fan base – Tosin Obembe

TOSIN OBEMBE, group managing director of Luova Group, a marketing communication group that has worked with the likes of Hilda Baci, the former Guinness World Record holder for the longest cooking marathon, and ‘Head of Marketing for the FIBA Olympics Basketball Qualifiers, Eko Hotel’ for Paris 2024 Qualifiers, speaks with ANTHONY UDUGBA about the Nigerian creative ecosystem, sharing strategies and insights that can spur creatives towards growth and financial success through the art of advertising

How has the landscape of advertising evolved in Nigeria, particularly concerning the entertainment industry, and what opportunities does it present for creatives?

The rate at which marketing is evolving in Nigeria is so rapid that you would need to keep your eyes permanently open and stay informed on trends and major updates.

Nigerians are very creative in communication; there is a new trending topic every other day. Sometimes, it is an extract from a speech or a song, current affairs or the news. At every particular point in time, there is a viral sensation going on in Nigeria. If you fall behind these, you will be frustrated.

This opportunity is why we have artists blowing up without a record label because TikTok is there. This, particularly relating to the Nigerian creatives, is to understand per time what is entertaining to Nigerians.

You cannot stay in your lane, saying you are not a fan of social media, your social life is low or you don’t want people to see you. I understand that creatives like to create and do not like to bother anyone or be bothered, but it is time to understand that people need to see or hear that beautiful piece. Find people that can help you achieve it.

The fact that you are a Nigerian and also that your fellow Nigerians ‘no dey gree for anybody’ is an avenue for you to explore. Explore it.

Can you share examples of successful advertising campaigns within the entertainment sector in Nigeria that significantly boosted sales and reach for creatives?

I will speak about the most recent achievement by Funke Akindele with the movie ‘A Tribe Called Judah’. The result is all over the media. It is the intentionality of Funke Akindele in getting that movie to be on every Nigerian mind to watch at the cinema and most importantly, those who watched it came online all by themselves to say ‘it is worth the hype’.

Those comments gave the campaign ‘earned’ testimonial advertising and boom! That was it. So successful campaigns are products of good products first and foremost; then every other thing follows.

In a competitive market, what strategies do you recommend for creatives to effectively integrate advertising into their promotional efforts, ensuring both visibility and revenue growth?

Let me say this about the work of creatives vis-à-vis the commercial space, you are targeting two spaces in terms of the consumption of your work and with making money. The first is an individual or interested group of people and the second one is a brand.

For brands, it’s either the core of what you created speaks to their brand objectives and they want to work with you, or you have used your art to gather so many viewers and followers and those brands want to work with you to access that base (followers) you have gathered.

As creatives, I will advise you not to struggle too much. Firstly, know whom you are creating for, how they speak, and where you can find them.

In marketing, we call this target audience analysis. Don’t make the mistake of copying what the next person did; you might not be speaking to the same set of people. In fact if by chance, you are speaking to the same set of people, you might be missing the approach.

Let me give an example: if a company’s target audience is the ‘area boys’ in Oshodi and they reach them by using an artist the audience relates with, playing their materials in the artist songs, it will get a successful campaign.

For another company whose target audience are people in the activation right in the centre of the city, using the same strategy might be a mistake.

So to creatives, Nigerians are unique, know your people (audience), know how you vibe with them and keep doing it. There are a couple of creatives doing this very well, like Johnny Drille, Funke Akindele and Portable.

How can creatives leverage digital platforms and social media in their advertising initiatives to maximise their reach and engage a wider audience?

Data is life; that sounded like a particular brand campaign but the truth is it is valid. Creatives need to be able to understand, to a very large extent, their target audience, then keep engaging them, keep growing them, and the power in that number is unfathomable.

The good thing about the digital and social media space is that it allows you to get feedback. This is an important tool that can help creatives fine-tune the communication of their art.

If you are creating for individuals or a group of people, keep churning out good stuff; referrals in that space know no bounds. If you are creating for brands to notice you, keep your tribe (fans) together, constantly engaging, be a sensation; a lot is happening in the digital space. Do not disappear from your tribe for too long. Brands will come to you.

Considering the diverse cultural landscape in Nigeria, how important is cultural sensitivity in crafting advertising campaigns for the entertainment industry, and what challenges may arise in this context?

I love this one. Don’t stay in the North and think you can carve the best communication material for people in the South-South without thorough research and most times, legs on the ground — finding out stuff.

I love the beauty in the diversity of our cultural heritage in Nigeria, from colours to tone of voice to visual representation. It is best that we are sensitive when dishing out these communication tools to reach out to Nigerians.

Know who you are talking to, not just in communication but even in physical engagements. Imagine going to do an activation in Kano on a Friday in the afternoon and you decide to pick a major market where they don’t joke with Friday’s prayer.

It is very important that we understand this diversity; most importantly, do your research very well before carving your campaign.

With the rise of influencer marketing, how can creatives collaborate with influencers to amplify their advertising efforts and achieve a more impactful presence in the market?

In a world where everything is normal, all creatives are influencers in their own way, but that is a topic for another day.

Influencer marketing rests heavily on the fan base. The word ‘influencing’, in my own definition, is the ability to gear an individual or a set of people towards a belief or thought process that ultimately informs behavioural patterns.

Creatives need to keep their following and constantly engage them — in fact, creatively engaging them. What you will get with this constant engagement is, emotionally or functionally, they will follow you; they will be fans even when they don’t know it. This will end up being a huge marketing tool that brands will come for much later.

Another way is collaboration amongst creatives. It exposes you to other fan bases that you would not have naturally had access to. As a creative in fashion, you created a masterpiece for another creative in music. As long as you create something worthy of a masterpiece, you will have your fan base and the artist’s fan base going on and on about it.

What you now do is not waste the frenzy, capture it and use it when the brands ask what your exposure is like.

In your experience, what key metrics should creatives focus on when measuring the success of their advertising campaigns, and how can they adjust their strategies based on these metrics to ensure sustained growth in sales and revenue?

Creatives need to start learning how to analyse what is being said versus how many people said what.

The digital space gives a huge tool in analytics and insights into everything you post and put out. Most of these metrics are analysed wrongly. The drop and rise in the consistency of engagement from the fan base is something every creative needs to pay attention to.

The strategy needs to be constantly analysed and adjusted. Understand the metrics. What it means to have 20,000 impressions and 500 engagements. Creatives need to be able to understand these numbers and use it to decide the next steps.

It is what will inform the adjustments needed in strategies that can assure sustainable growth in sales and revenue.