Experts want marketing leaders in Africa to pay close attention to strategic thinking if they want to maintain the competitive edge in today’s very challenging business environment. This advice came at a free strategic training programme organised by experientialNG Academy for top marketing executives across West Africa.
The free training which was done digitally via zoom was part of ExperientialNG’s goal of providing world-class marketing training to help deepen workplace skills for firms looking to drive strategic advantages and growth through innovation, strategic thinking, top-notch research and practical commercial leadership across Africa.
Speaking on a topic entitled: ‘Strategic Thinking for Marketing Leaders” CEO/Managing Partner, Tytron Group, Austin Ufomba who was the first speaker, disclosed that strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term goal.
According to him, it is the strategy that creates the vision and direction for everyone in the team to follow, It is quite vital he explained, for everyone within the team to have clear goals and the direction they are following. “Strategic thinking is an intentional and rational thought process that focuses on the analysis of critical factors and variables that will influence the long-term achievement of set goals,” he explained. He also spoke on choices and the methods through which the strategy can be pursued, while stressing that how strategies are formed and how they are implemented are equally important.
Using UBER as a case study, he pointed out that, “UBER, the disruptive peer-to-peer ride-sharing service, has practically decimated the traditional taxicab industry in over 60 countries (and growing). Within ten years of launch, it has become the face of the On-demand Marketplace and inspiration of ‘Uber for X’ entrepreneurs.”
He disclosed that, “UBER adopted a theory that, “transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone. They welcome people from all backgrounds who seek the opportunity to help build a future where everyone and everything can move independently.
On the lesson from UBER, he said; “strategic thinking works, but only as good as strategic execution; don’t give up on your bright idea, select a great team, find the right investment, create the perfect solution, select the right technology, build Global and Live Local, keep it simple – you can excel by doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way”.
The second speaker, Stuart Hamilton, Head of International Trade, Scottish Chambers of Commerce spoke on: ‘Practical Commercial Leadership’, as he answered the questions; “why do companies Fail? He highlighted and analysed extensively those reasons. He listed poor management, complacency, resistance to change, lack of true leadership, employee disengagement as factors responsible for companies’ failure.
Hamilton equally stressed the relevance of coaching and mentorship in leadership. He explained that coaching is a part of the process that can move a Manager to the level of leader with higher abilities to help the company succeed more.
Also speaking on the topic: ‘The Reflective Marketing Practitioner & The Learning Organisation’, the publisher of experientialNG and the convener of the training, Dr. Rotimi Olaniyan shared some hard lessons he had learnt in his thirty-three years in the marketing communications industry.
Providing answers to key questions, he disclosed that he has learnt over the years that ” leadership is HARD. And success, both personal & Corporate is never guaranteed. That the most advanced individuals, corporations and societies are those who are always asking themselves the most reflective questions, but also humble enough to deal with the truth of whatever answers they find.”
Continuing with the life lessons Olaniyan said that, “I learned that the richest man in the world is also the biggest learner & action researcher. That organisations, teams, eco-systems & nations that thrive on constant experimentation, create the biggest innovation and value-producing funnels. That Marketing leaders fail when they stop learning how to think strategically, and the most successful commercial leaders were actually the best at creating learning organizations”.
For almost 45 minutes Olaniyan held his audience spellbound as he dissected key situational factors that enhance reflection and reflexivity in the team is leadership.
He also spoke on transformational leadership and how it can facilitate the development of individuals or groups acquire, interpret, reorganize, change or assimilate clusters of related information, skills and feelings through reflection.
At the same event, the presentation ceremony for the first set of marketing professionals that graduated from ExperientialNG Academy also took place.
It was with pomp and excitement that Ezinne Okalanwa of Max Connection and Ifunaya Olisaemeka of Brainbox marketing marched out to collect their certificates as the best graduating students in Events and Experiential marketing. The duo bagged distinction at experientialNG master class in marketing and were profusely congratulated by the presenter and Course Director of ExperientialNG Marketing Academy, Mr Tunji Adeyinka – GMD , Republicom Group.
A highly elated Rotimi Olaniyan, Publisher of ExperientialNG explained that ” the success of this programme was not just from our efforts. We owe a lot to partners like Hybrid Studios, Abelinis, Emporium, Connect Marketing, Ideas House, Trybes, Max Connection, Francey Tansley, Linkpoint, Brainbox Marketing, Leverage group and many others. Without them, the race would not have been so smooth:”.