Worried by the negative effect of the COVID-19 lockdown, the National Institute of Marketing Nigeria (NIMN) has said it is devising strategies on how its members can overcome the economic challenges in the country occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was made known at a virtual event where 48 persons were conferred with the NIMN Fellowship Award, the highest membership grade of the institute.

Congratulating the recipients, the institute’s President and Chairman of Council, Mr. Tony Agenmonmen encouraged them on the need to promote the Institute within their circles of influence, urging them to perceive the conferment as a call to serve the Institute and offer valuable advice and initiatives that will further build its equity.

According to him, the growing number of Fellows is an indication of the rising profile of the Institute as it continues to attract quality practitioners into its fold.

Agenmonmen explained that those conferred with this membership grade belong to the elite cadre of the Institute’s membership structure and therefore have a responsibility to project the image of the Institute; since many would look up to them for leadership, counsel, and directions with regards to activities concerning the Institute.

He assured that the Institute’s comprehensive mentoring programme designed to support young marketing professionals would be unveiled soon.

According to the President, the Institute will continue to activate events, and programmes to promote the practice of the marketing profession in Nigeria and collaborate with other relevant associations and professional bodies to advance the profession and the industry as a whole.

Guest speaker at the award ceremony, Mr. ‘Lolu Akinwunmi, in his presentation argues that in every recession, marketers find themselves in poorly charted waters.

He said: “Of course during recessions, consumers set stricter priorities and reduce their spending. As sales start to drop, businesses typically cut costs, reduce prices, and postpone new investments. Marketing expenditures in areas from communication to research are often slashed across the board; we all know that in many instances, such cost cutting decisions are indiscriminate, and can even be a mistake.”

He said further that, “What are the likely possible impact on the Marketing industry? The industry will suffer serious reverses associated with the general business environment, and specifically targeting the marketers. While we are a critical sector of the economy, we will sneeze as the overall economy catches a cold.”

Akinwunmi said in the midst of this uncommon level of uncertainty, there are certain imperatives the marketer must grapple with.

These include, changes in marketing and marketing communication; how to embrace the chaos and rebuild and how to manage new imperative of growth.

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