Advertising Is Critical For Economic Growth – Mr. Lampe Omoyele Managing Director 141 Worldwide Ltd MWorld CEO, INTERVIEWS Lampe Omoyele, Managing Director of 141 Worldwide in this exclusive interview with MarketingWorld discusses advertising spend, unique offerings at 141 Worldwide and career fulfilment . In recent years, you are becoming more of an agency man, first with Nielsen and now 141 Worldwide. Are there reasons for this? I would not call it becoming an ‘agency man’. I would rather say that I am a marketing practitioner who now works on the ‘agency’ side of the marketing ecosystem having worked on the ‘client’ side for several years. Reasons for this? When the opportunities at Nielsen and 141 fortuitously came, I saw them as platforms to learn new things, gain fresh perspectives, and grow as a marketing professional, leader and a human being as a whole. I am hoping that the experiences make me a stronger and more influential business leader in order to make more significant contributions to the industry at large. What are those differences and similarities you have observed within the two spheres i.e. agency and client side? The most important similarity, in my view, is that both sides work to grow brands and businesses, the difference being that they do it from different sides of the marketing table. The agency seeks to address client’s briefs as best as it can in order to fulfill the brand and business objectives. In this regard, agency side may seem to be in the reactive mode most times, whilst client appears to be almost always on the driving seat. I believe this need not be so, and calls for agencies to be more engaged with clients’ business, and for clients to elevate the relationship with agencies to one of partnership for the overall good of the brands and respective businesses. What are the unique offerings at your new work place; 141 Worldwide? 141 Worldwide is one of West Africa’s most creative and proactive ad agencies. We are strong in client engagement with specialised attention to the accounts we manage. One thing which stands out for 141 is a high sense of integrity and transparency, which are two of our core corporate values. What are your concerns about advertising spend that has nosedived and the future of the sector amidst economic doldrums in Nigeria? The decline in advertising spend is a consequence and reflection of the state of the Nigerian economy in the past 2 years. When there are challenges in the economy as we have experienced in recent years, the tendency for most businesses is to cut back on advertising. Whilst it is arguable whether it is advisable to do so, that’s the reality. I believe advertising is critical for economic growth, and paradigms should shift in this regards. The challenge of course is to develop cost-effective marketing campaigns that impact positively on business growth. With the economy in Nigeria starting to recover, I expect that advertising spend would increase. The onus would remain on both agencies and clients to partner to develop and implement impactful campaigns. The industry would also need to work on measurability of what it does in order to justify marketing spend. What do you think the sector can do to find relief in the next five years? I would offer a 6-point agenda. First, move from a servicing mindset and model to one of partnership between clients and agencies. Agencies should seek to be more proactive and ‘own’ clients’ business strategy. Value needs to be more visible and measured, because according to the World Federation of Advertisers, clients are looking for 3Fs: Faster, Fresher and Fraction of cost. Second, cultivate white spaces such as SMEs. Third, consider collaboration and/or consolidation amongst existing agencies. Fourth, Leverage technology more strongly. Fifth, invest more on people and build human capital. Be more in touch with global trends and their local applicability. Sixth, ensure strong corporate governance, ethics and integrity. Can the government help in any way? Government can help by facilitating an enabling environment, such as fixing infrastructure, addressing multiplicity of taxes and business-friendly regulations, as well as implementing sound economic policies that drive economic growth. How fulfilling has it been career wise? Very fulfilling as I have had the opportunity to work in exciting roles, at leading companies, across various sectors, industries and countries. I am very grateful to God for the grace and favour that I have experienced through peaks and valleys. What do you do when you are not in the office? I invest time with family, friends and faith-based engagements, teach and read, amongst other activities. Could you describe yourself in 3 words? I would rather this question is asked of other people. I hope they would describe me as God-centered, calm and caring. Smile.