For the nation’s marketing practitioners, the ancient city of Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, would not be forgotten in a hurry, at least for some time to come. Besides serving as the venue of the recently-concluded Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), the umbrella body they all belong, it also turned out to be a city where the institute succeeded in making history by, for the first time, electing its officers in a well-contested, but transparent election, over the weekend.
But, while the elections had succeeded in throwing up winners, with the not-so-lucky ones ‘living to fight another day’, not a few believe that the task before the newly-elected president and chairman of Council of the institute, Mr Tony Agenmonmen and officers at the council is herculean, and would require more than mere marketing prowess to surmount.
Though the immediate past president of the institute, Chief Ganiyu Koledoye had succeeded to a large extent, in enhancing unity, by reconciling the different factions of the institute, under one umbrella, not a few still believe that the new leadership still needs to consolidate on this achievement.
For instance, in his valedictory speech before handing over to Agenmonmen-led council, Koledoye had charged members of the institute, to desist from acts that would rub off negatively on the NIMN brand.
“We have to shed the toga of clannishness and tribalism. It is no longer an institute within Lagos, it is an institute that now enjoys a national spread. We are professionals, we assimilate all spheres of knowledge, sales, marketing, advertising and others and therefore should not discriminate any individual that can deliver value.
“Mails and petition writers are not helping the cause of the institute. You are damaging the brand, each time you do this. This is an institute that creates value, how can we, therefore, degenerate to a level of being an institute of petitioners?” the former NIMN boss had asked rhetorically.
Koledoye was only saying the obvious. While there seem to be some semblance of peace in the institute, the rumour mills, within the nation’s organized marketing space seems to be perpetually alive, perhaps due to mutual distrust and suspicion.
Besides, not a few stakeholders have reached that consensus that the institute needed a clean break from the past, a rebranding of some sort that would see it positioned for the opportunities the 21st Century marketing avails itself of in advanced climes.
One of the reservations of many stakeholders is the building that presently serves as the institute’s corporate office in Lagos. For a practice that prides itself as a bastion of value-creation, amny see the location as belittling and a far cry from what should be the norm.
The ascension of Tony, as the new NIMN boss is popularly called should no doubt provide a lasting solution to one of the perennial challenges the institute confronts from time to time. It is obvious that the institute has not been able to break the glass ceiling as far as getting significant corporate sponsorship and support for its activities is concerned, a development that had not allowed the institute to carry out its avowed mission of creating value in the past.
The need to shore up the institute’s purse should also be a major priority for the new leadership. While the former President of the institute was able to turn the fortune institute from a debtor institute three years ago to the one that could showcase the sum of N7million as profit in the last financial year, many still believe a lot must still be done.
The finances of the institute are in dire strait, with Brands & Marketing’s checks within the institute revealing that some of the institute’s personnel still being owed between five to six months salaries.
Interestingly, the positive in all this is that the new leadership is not oblivious of these gargantuan challenges.
“I’m committed to every letter on my manifestoes. I’m determined to overcome most of these challenges, especially with the support of other members of council of the institute,”, Agenmonmen had said in a post election chat with the media.
Gratifyingly, what the new leadership has going for it is the quality of members of the Council and the renewed enthusiastic spirits among members today.