By Ahmed Rahma
An agenda has been set for the female marketing professionals in Nigeria, who intend to advance their careers.
This outline was set at the prestigious Women in Marketing and Communications Conference/Awards (WIMCA) held on November 13, 2020.
The special edition themed Generation equality; imperatives of gender inclusion for the growth of brands and marketing communications had various experts and leaders in the Nigerian marketing communication industry as participant and resource persons who dissected the subject of the occasion.
“The theme of the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration commemorated every March has always informed the theme of WIMCA and this year was no different,” the convener of WIMCA 2020, Mr Joshua Ajayi, explained while welcoming participants to the event.
He revealed that this year’s WIMCA topic was to explore how women can navigate through the tough terrain to shatter the glass ceilings to attain their potential professionally, especially in the Industrial Management Consulting (IMC) industry.
“As usual, women continue to encounter challenges when it comes to advancing in the workplace—and in many facets of society.
“Some of these challenges include Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), the issue of equal remuneration or equal pay, a bias which is an issue women continue to deal with at the place of work, and advocacy, among others,” he explained further.
The Group Managing Director of GDM, Mr Victor Afolabi, who was the keynote speaker of the conference, admonished brand custodians and marketers to always ensure that women are always made the fore focus of marketing strategies as they are economically empowered to make purchase decisions.
“According to research, globally, women control over $20 trillion of the total consumer spend as they wield an influence of over 80 per cent in buying decisions.
“They spend more time than men daily, making economic decisions for their families — from consumer goods to services. These women hold crucial purchasing power. In fact, 50% of products marketed to men are purchased by women,” he noted.
The event also featured two highly interactive panel discussions which had some of the best minds in the industry as panellists.
The first, which was geared towards providing a mentorship platform for young and prospective professionals as well as igniting the potential in women towards attaining enviable heights in marketing and management, was titled Leveraging Data Science for Effective Engagement of Female Consumers.
The session had the event keynote speaker joined by Director of Marketing and Communications, SSA, Mastercard (virtual presence), Ifeoma Dozie, the Executive Director of Marketing, Hs Media Group, Dr Tola Elatuyi, and the Founder/CEO of Kucheza Gaming, Bukola Akingbade as the session moderator.
“Data analytics helps marketers in understanding what happened in the past. It helps you understand the ‘why, what, when, where and how’ of consumers actions in the past.
“With this information, you are better informed and know where the gaps are and of course where the opportunities are. Data science, on the other hand, is predictive data.
“Meaning it is a kind of data that tells you if a customer bought this item, they are likely to purchase this other item. With data science which is predictive, marketers are able to think of product management and innovation.
“It shapes the way the brand thinks, the way we are communicating and the way we are packaging products even to the way we put our products on the shelves,” Dr Elatuyi mentioned while explaining the relationship between data analytics and data science in relations to marketing.
On her part, Ifeoma Dozie decried the dearth of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, especially cybersecurity and artificial intelligence during her response to the moderator’s question on the place of digital in marketing to women and how Mastercard is engaging the female consumers in this digital age.
She, however, added that, “MasterCard is cultivating young tech enthusiasts as parts of our signature platform called Girls for Tech.
“This is a fun and engaging curriculum built around global science and mathematics. And we have made a commitment to reach 1 million girls globally by 2025 with this programme.
“Our second step is at the product stage, by creating the right solution. We asked ourselves, “are our products and services meeting the actual needs of women? Do we have insights that can help us incorporate women’s experiences into the design and innovation process?
“As a payment technology leader with global insights, we have invested significantly in understanding women’s financial priorities and mapping out these priorities across different stages.
“So, we are committed to designing and developing a world with both women and men in mind; because creating a better world for women creates limitless opportunities and possibilities for us all.”
At the second session moderated by the Customer Marketing & Commercial Manager of Coca-Cola Company, Pheobe Dami-Asolo, Ayodele Otujinrin of Godrej Consumer Products Limited who spoke on the theme Each For Equal: Navigating Through Tough Terrains, explained that beyond the workplace, there are internal factors from the family as well as the society that make it hard for women to go far professionally.
She advised that for women to advance in their careers, they need to be more aspirational beyond the need to get married and raise a family.
“We need to rise up to battle out our challenges. Women need to be more aspirational. Personally, my upbringing was different as the daughter of a single mother. Like Kamala Harris who says she eats ‘No’ for breakfast, I have had to find my way competing with every other person on an equal pedestal.” She further advised women to better themselves by going for training among other things.”
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