The entire marketing communications industry is ruled by ideas. One core professional who believes that great ideas rule that terrain is Fillius Osubor, the Chief Executive Officer of Rinet Advertising Limited. In this interview with MARKETINGSPACE.COM.NG, the agency helmsman talked about the new trend in the industry. Excerpts…
In the entire marketing communications industry where you operate, there are tools that are used to grow brands. Tools such as PR, advertising, experiential marketing, in your own view, which tool do you think grow brands best?
There are a couple of windows, vehicles and specific strategies that you can deploy to grow brands. In fact, these things have continued to dovetail from what they used to be to what they are now. Initially we kept talking about advertising and at some point in time because of the scope it became integrated marketing communications which is the umbrella that covers everything that you are doing to be able to communicate your brand to your end user, consumer, public and others.
When you talk about this, you are talking about both Above The Line and Below The Line, Advertising, Production, Public Relations, Social Media marketing and others. But, because of the new wave of communication and the trend, most agencies and clients are now realizing the value that they are deriving from digital marketing. So, it is the rave of the moment, people are asking that how do they meet their target? They want to reach X, Y, Z target audience and if you segment them, you want to be able to identify what platform you want to deploy to get to them quicker as well as cheaper. So, that is where social media now comes in because you can measure it, it will cut across such a wide scope within a shortest possible time and it delivers result.
There is this assumption or conclusion now, that creative guys in Nigeria are now the faces of contemporary advertising landscape and are dominating the industry by winning awards, in your own opinion, what do you think brought about this sudden change?
First of all, the only thing that is constant in life is change. We only crave or look for positive changes. Secondly, ideas rule the world. These ideas often come from creativity. In history and from experience, the people in the creative department have always been valued more because they are the ones who generate the ideas that the agency is running on. Yes, you can get a brief; you can get a call from a client that this is what we want to do.
Client service people would normally go for meetings, bringing the briefs but what brings money into the hub of the agency is, first major thing is that you call all your foot soldiers to put on their thinking caps and you would find out that the people in the creative department understand what you are looking for, they brainstorm, generate ideas that they think would mesmerise the client. It is not surprising that creative agencies are picking up awards in Cannes, Loeries and others.
The reason is those ideas, that creative ingenuity are even more appreciated outside our shores than here. Once we are able to show up our performances to compete with foreign agencies, so why not, the awards are there for you to become yours.
Digital marketing is dominating the space and environment, your agency, how prepared are you and kindly share some of your achievements in terms of clients and other major accolades?
Talking specifically about Rinet Advertising, we have always outsourced development of ideas tailored towards digital and social media marketing. However, we are beginning to understand that outsourcing does not really give us all the mileage.
So, we have looked inwards and we are gradually developing an aspect of the business that will take care of such briefs.
We have developed or created some brands and have taken them to the level they are today and they are better positioned in the various market categories where they operate. I recall that I did a meeting two days back at Lagos State Television (LTV8) ground and after the meeting I had to reminisce it was on that same ground that we launched a High Speed Lubricant which is produced by Grand Petroleum, a subsidiary of Nosak Group.
We nurtured Nosak Group to an enviable level where it has grown businesses. Today, Nosak Group has not less than thirteen SBUs, chains of businesses. We have some traditional clients that cannot be underrated and they don’t toy with us because since we started working with them we ensured that their values and market relevance are sustained. It has been a jolly good ride with them.
What is your projection in the next five years?
I see Rinet winning more brands, servicing more clients and getting more recognition. We have just been signed on under the International Advertising Association umbrella of agencies and I see that there will be a lot of opportunities inherent in that registration. Apart from that, we are making efforts to work more for governmental organisations.
We have discovered that if you have the ears of those that dictate or direct policies in the governmental circles, find any of them that listens to you, the potentials are better. We need to change the statue quo, we need to disrupt the way government thinks and we need a lot of communication. So, if we specialise in getting the government to reason with us, then there will be a lot of progression. There will be more understanding between government and her people. You will now have opportunities to relate more, do more because essentially what we want is a better society.
What is your assessment of individual practitioners in the Nigerian Integrated Marketing Communications Industry?
That is a big question that has many legs. Practitioners have done well. Look at our fathers in the profession, today, somebody like Biodun Shobanjo is carting away a lot of recognitions and awards because for a very long time he has added values and done very well sinking this in the minds of the people that advertising is an enviable. So, whether traditionally or whatever, he has made name and has shown professionalism. Moving forward, they all have played their roles. They have trained a lot of the youths to take charge.
So, little wonder that you find some practitioners distinguishing themselves in this chosen industry. Don’t forget that the industry is not a flamboyant industry. It is not an industry that you think that you can display wealth or flamboyance. It is a place for creative minds.
Equally, it is recently that agencies started having their hubs while many have expanded beyond the shores of Nigeria. They thought that why must we operate only within Nigeria, so you find some who are in Ghana, Gambia, Kenya and other African countries. That is growth and we must sustain the profession. We must ensure that the upcoming youths do not get discouraged.
Who is your role model in the industry and a brief profile about you?
When you call role models I will like to classify them. I didn’t work in Insight but I admire Chief Biodun Shobanjo. Because when you talk about marketing communications strategy, board politics and strategy, business acquisition and others, I admire his intellect and disposition particularly the few times I have met him. But for youths, I have a young man that I admire who is Steve Babaeko of X3M Ideas Limited, because he has disrupted the marketing communication landscape positively and I think I share with his success.
And talking about my humble self from my humble beginning, I read graphics in school, I graduated and moved into Media. I worked in media houses such as Concord Press and African Guardian before I delved into advertising.
There used to an advertising agency called Oasis. That was about 1985 or 1986, I had a stint there. I also worked in an agency called Type Technologies before I moved to Cassers that dovetailed into DDB Lagos piloted by Mr. Enyi Odigbo, a very humble and highly respected gentleman who anybody would love to work with.