Brand Intelligence Special Project

Digital Awareness Has Increased Marketing Communications Convergence – Songosanya

‘Debowale Sangosanya, Chief Executive Officer of ACT Marketing, speaks about her experiences on Nigeria’s experiential marketing terrain and the performance of EXMAN in the last two years.
How did the journey of ACT-Marketing begin?
I always knew what I wanted and over the years prepared myself for it via the various education and experiences garnered. This is simply doing what I love. I have been in the field for more than 21 years. So I would say the journey began right from the start. ACT provides Experiential branding & marketing services which basically includes advertising, consumer engagements and productions. and we have expert partners in Ghana and other Western countries.
What is your assessment of the experiential marketing sector in Nigeria vis-à-vis the other sectors in the IMC industry?
This sector though not new in Nigeria is yet to be fully tapped. The experiential segment helps you walk a mile in the mind of the consumer hence connecting with them better. With the digital segment currently sweeping the landscape, there is actually a thin line between the IMC segments as they work hand in hand to achieve the desired purpose.
How has EXMAN impacted on your members in the industry? Good impact despite her few years of existence. I foresee a lot of work ahead but the association with her seasoned professionals who are also ready to make an impact will go far.
Are there challenges facing EXMAN members in the industry and how can they be addressed?
There are quite a number, like professionalism, recognition, billing and compensation. With continued education and most important would be the creation of value to the client, the low perception is bound to change. Our experiences are mostly the good ones. But the industry is all about value perception and appropriate compensation.
What are your experiences in an industry dominated by the male folk?
I always smile when I hear that. You work hard just like everyone. Being a female has both its upside and downside. I choose the one that works for the moment.
Women are gradually taking leadership positions across all sectors in Nigeria but it is observed that there are still quite a low number of women as Heads/MDs of most firms in the IMC industry. What’s your take on it?
My take on this is that the few sectors of the economy that women have excelled and taken leadership positions are purely due to sheer hard work and a bit of luck – my understanding of luck is preparation meeting opportunity. I am a firm believer that whatever women have achieved in our society is purely based on what we have earned through sheer dedication and hardwork and the IMC sector should not be an exception.
Keep in mind that the IMC is a relatively young and emerging sub sector and like all facets of life that is male dominated, it takes a while for women to make their mark, but I am confident that it will happen sooner than you think
As a key sector that drives growth of Nigeria’s economy, do you think the industry is getting the necessary support from the government?
It has come a long way, especially in its reforms and the relationship is improving each day.
How do you see Experiential Marketing in Nigeria compared to other developed climes?
We are gradually evolving though a huge gap still exist between our market and mature ones in the developed world due to culture and technology. We surely have the right creative skills set but bridging the knowledge gap with client will surely go a long way in expanding the frontiers of creativity and depth in the industry.
As a woman, how do you describe your style of leadership in driving ACT-Marketing?
3 elements of leadership serves me as a guiding tool: a good head/ mind – I think I have a fairly good one; a good heart – I am emotional yet firm, and I have some empathy though limited and finally a good hand – I am working hard by the day to horn my skill and that of my colleagues. But like all facets of life, leadership is a lifelong learning experience. Forever a work in progress – one can always do better.
Where do you see your agency in the next five years?
One of the top 10 Agencies of reckon when it comes to working across the borders on the Western and Eastern coast of Africa.
Brief History
Born into a large family of 7, ‘Debowale Sangosanya, Chief Executive Officer of ACT Marketing had always known from youth that creativity flows in her blood. Despite opposition from her parents, she went ahead to study Fine Art at the University of Benin. She also holds an MBA from Olabisi Onabanjo University and a PGD in marketing from the University of Ghana. Within the industry, she has worked at SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi, Insight Grey and FK:G2 before moving to ACT Marketing. She is a Member of National Institute of Marketing, Nigeria, and Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM, UK). She is also a full member APCON and EXMAN.

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