More than ever before, policymakers and brand owners are realizing the importance of advertising, public relations and other branches of marketing and business communications because of the intervention roles played in stimulating the economy. these last years. In this interview, the CEO of Modion Communications, Odion Aleobua, talks about the different stages of evolution of the industry and the impact of the digital revolution on the practice in recent times. Raheem Akingbolu brings the extracts
What can you say about the talent retention challenge plaguing the PR and marketing communications landscape?
The challenge is not unique to the public relations and marketing communications industry, although it may be more pronounced in some industries than in others. Increasing talent attrition is one of the multifaceted effects of Covid-19 and its attendant economic gear and health issues. Our most valuable resources at Modion Communication are our employees, and despite the economic conditions during the pandemic, there have been salary increases rather than layoffs. Beyond the economic dynamic, we pay particular attention to their overall well-being. Businesses need to take care of their employees.
The evolution of social media and advancements in technology seem to have dealt a big blow to creativity. Do you agree with the view that social media or technology poses a threat to the creative growth of traditional marketing communications?
Technology has truly revolutionized consumer behavior and the way people interact and consume media. It has also expanded access to creative communications and improved creative production. With technology, we merge computer generated imagery (CGI) and special effects into creative spaces with more intensity and high definition output that allows us to get closer to reality with our creative storytelling. We create magic and digital technology allows the target audience to experience immersive interactions and engagements. Digital technology has also democratized and expanded creative boundaries and gained new tribes of the community. There are creative young renegades outfitted with the latest tools and developing stunning videos, animations and music that brands are happy to step up to for consumer engagement. Creative agencies and consultants must accept that the space is democratizing and find ways to integrate them into integrated and comprehensive strategies for brands.
What is your vision for affiliation and do you see this direction in the future?
Memberships are essential for global integration and business growth. It’s a nice arrangement that needs to be approached with a clearer understanding, terms of reference and contract. We look forward to an Affiliate Agreement in the near future.
COVID-19 and the lockdown that characterized most of 2020 appear to have changed the way things are done in the industry; how did you adapt to it and to move forward, what advice can you give to marketing communications professionals?
The public relations industry has not been spared by the economic realities that have indeed colored the year 2020.
The diversity of our client portfolio has helped the agency through the throes of the pandemic. Going forward, practitioners need to move towards a hybrid of new and traditional platforms, which should focus on value creation and solutions.
With your years of experience, both client side and agency, how would you rate the practice of advertising between the 1990s and today?
The practice of advertising in the 1990s was completely transformed with the recent digital explosion. The commercial then focused on their understanding of consumers, but today the consumer leads the conversations that the advertisements have adjusted to ensure they get their opinion. Consumers today are leveraging digital technology to instantly initiate or cancel brands based on their social appreciation.
Ads that promote product offers on their own, as was the case in the 1990s, are no longer convincing enough. Today, infusing social impact messages or aligning with a social cause are powerful advertising tactics that engage consumers in your product or service.
New media platforms have also provided more precise tools for targeting consumers with ads and metrics to measure performance and conversions. These capabilities have attracted ad spend as more and more brands are drawn to these tools to precisely hit their targets.
One of the results of the many modes of media consumption is the “fleeting attention span” caused by the volume of information available in microseconds. Therefore, today’s advertising message must be kept simple while leaving consumers with impacted value. The underlying principles of advertising still hold; technology has only led to incredibly different ways of thinking and doing.
When Modion Communications was created, you would have thought that the agency would have a hard time competing with the big agencies, but it started arguing with the so-called big agencies and won in most cases. What is the strength?
The agency is populated with creative people that I can beat my chest are the best in the world; young men and women driven by a pure passion to redefine what marketing communication is and how it will have a continuing impact on our world today and in the future. These values are of great appeal to the clients with whom we are currently working or those who are references.
In recent times, your agency has become one of the most famous in Nigeria and abroad; given the number of awards he’s racked up, what do you do differently?
In our six years of existence and even in our first year, we have had the opportunity to provide creative communication solutions for brands much older than our young existence. Our diverse portfolio has broadened our strategic and creative knowledge. The Agency’s innovative solutions are guided by in-depth information and a series of iterations and brainstorming sessions that have marked the “refinery of ideas” to question and achieve the most convincing results and solutions for our clients.
Beyond the price, if you are asked to name a campaign that you recently managed and that you are most passionate about and that has an impact on the bottom line of your client’s business, which one will you choose?
In achieving the superior results we envision for our clients, the campaigns and communications solutions we deliver are tailored to core objectives, resulting in diversity in our execution.
We love the captivating “See Finish” teaser campaign for Leadway Assurance, but Dele Fathia’s story is intensely inspiring. Dele’s determination to succeed through education aligns with the Nigerian Can-Do spirit, so it is an emotional and social cause worthy of emulation and reward. We leveraged our understanding of cause marketing and the power of a person’s story to illuminate a larger issue to create a winning campaign.
Conceptualizing a PR strategy for Lumos Solar to light up Dele Fathia’s house after a photo of schoolgirl doing her homework at night with ATM lighting went viral on social media is the accomplishment ultimate of our agency. It is also a tactic that won the inaugural Platinum Saber Award for Nigeria and qualified Modion Communications for the Global Saber Award final.