Linkpoint Resources International Limited is a vibrant experiential marketing agency in Nigeria. The agency is led by Ropo Alabi, a seasoned experiential marketing expert with core competence in Trade Marketing, Market Development and Customer Relations. In this special project interview with MARKETING SPACE team, the CEO shared different insights on how the agency was able to unlock the gains of experiential marketing during the lockdown. Excerpts…
How will you describe the business of brand activation and experiential marketing in 2020?
In Linkpoint, it’s been a year that will go down in history for sure. Designing a COVID-19 compliance experiential events/activations strategy is one that sure payoff. Continuing to undertake brand experiences, even in trying times, is a sure way to show your clients/consumers the love and commitment they desire.
But, with social gathering restrictions, lockdown, and new rules in place, it has been a trying year for everyone in the experiential marketing world.
How will you rate the performance of the sector since last year?
The sector has been able to absorb/manage the shock and drastic change witnessed at the occurrence of COVID-19. The digital age has changed the marketing landscape dramatically. A marketing campaign is nearly impossible without incorporating a social media and online presence. Yet, experiential marketing has witnessed a significant growth since last year, leveraging on digital.
Though Experiential creates a physical connection between the brand and potential consumers, study shows that people still have a strong desire for face-to-face marketing/offline engagement. Ultimately, experiential marketing leads to improve engagement, and thus sales. Relatively, the performance of the sector has indeed grown amidst the pandemic.
What has kept your organisation going in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The pandemic pushed the organisation to devise new ways of operations. Some of these ways as follows; redefined working environment, flexible work schedule, reviewing business operations cost, creating innovative ideas of consumer engagement, promoting a good health and safety workforce, ability to work with client’s budget and maintaining a positive/mindset.
To what extent would you say that the pandemic has impacted positively or negatively on your business?
Apparently, the COVID-19 pandemic came with mixed feelings. For Linkpoint, the impact has been positive and negative.
With COVID-19, the business has been able to discover its hidden potentials, strength, and ability to thrive in challenging circumstances. Positively, we are able to align our operations internally to reduce cost of operations. Also, in terms of clients and consumers engagement digital tools has helped to increase our reach and coverage in terms of brand activation and real time feedback.
Our core business operation is hinged on safety and healthy brand activation execution; therefore with COVID-19 we were able to pay more attention to activities that promotes safe and healthy activations. Furthermore, we have been able to maximise the benefits of new media to drive activations.
Now that activities in the marketing communications industry likewise other sectors of the Nigerian economy are gradually taking shape, what are your expectations in the remaining quarters of 2021?
With the gradual improvements in the industry, there is high hope for the business in the remaining quarters of 2021.
Can you take us through some of the challenges the business of experiential marketing is facing in the hands of Nigerian Consumers?
Some of the difficulties faced during activations are; noncompliance to COVID-19 protocols during activations and low turnout of consumers during open market activities.
Recently your agency won couple of awards at the just concluded EXMAN Awards, how do you feel winning these awards?
It doesn’t matter how many times we win an award; it is always very special.
So far, so good, to what extent would you say that Experiential marketing/brand activation has contributed to brand building?
Experiential marketing has greatly transformed brand building in our contemporary society. It has created a rich avenue to communicate essential brand benefits to consumers. Before now, print and broadcast media were the only channels of engaging and communicating brand benefits to final consumer, which is prone to misinformation and misconception of the brand actual benefit.
Experiential marketing gives room for face to face and trial effective consumer engagement to communicate brand essence and also to get instant feedback.
Therefore, to build a brand that will last the test of time, experiential marketing is the best campaign strategy to use.