The Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, Mr Kwamina Asomaning, has emphasised the vital role of the media and marketing communications industry plays in the country’s post COVID-19 economic recovery process.
He said it was an industry that humanity could not do without and also one that could not be ignored in any development-oriented discussion.
“Therefore, it is imperative to find ways to allow the industry to continue to lubricate the economy such that it would promote consumption, trade, commerce and investment.
“The media and marketing communications industry, no doubt, is like the oil that lubricates the economy. This industry is a potent force in social, economic and political progress for which reason it is imperative that, it presents Ghana as the brand that must be managed for growth and profitability,” he said during the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.
It was on the theme, “Media and Marketing Communication Post COVID-19: A Catalyst for Africa’s Socio-Economic Resurgence”.
Read: Tackling post COVID-19 challenges: Economic recovery not easy to fix
COVID-19 on economies
Mr Asomaning noted that evidently, the COVID-19 crisis had dealt a major blow to the world economy and plunged it into a deep economic crisis.
He said the media had also suffered great disruption accelerated by technology and the proliferation of mobile phones.
According to him, the simple and yet complex tool provided the platform for innovation and, therefore, small agile teams could access computing power and capabilities that were previously the preserve of well-funded industry giants.
That, he said, had challenged the structure of the media and marketing communications industry and society, prompting players from across the media ecosystems to adapt to remain relevant.
He said banks were also having their fair share of disruptions caused by financial technology (fintechs) and mobile money (momo).
Mr Asomaning noted that COVID-19 had demonstrated how the spread of misinformation amplified on social media and other digital platforms had proven to be as much of a threat to global public health as the virus itself.
He, however, noted that these same tools were also amplifying the pandemic that continued to undermine the global response and jeopardise measures to control the pandemic.
Therefore, it behoved the media to find novel ways to garner citizens’ support to help recover from the brunt of the pandemic.
“How will the industry ensure that there is no disparity in the information flow process such that all citizens are well informed to take certain required actions?
“To what extent should the media channels divert efforts and attention to the more substantive agenda of helping to rebuild the economy?” he quizzed.
Read: Private sector to be at forefront of economic recovery - Prez
Speaking on the theme, the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful, said the media had a clear responsibility and mandate to restore the hope and confidence in the African continent as it worked to restore the economy to pre-COVID-19 levels.
He said the impact of the pandemic on the sectors from where taxes accrued to the state was high. The hospitality industry saw its net occupancy drop from 70 to 20 per cent, aviation industry was hard hit and media and marketing communication industry also had its share in revenue dip.
“At the height of the first wave of the pandemic and post lock down period, newspaper sales in the sub sector dwindled and advertising services for the industry also plummeted. Each sub-sector will have its own litany of woes,” he said.
He said COVID-19 had caused a change in social life and impacted the way of communication such that face-to-face interactions which had been part of the cultural set up had been forced to be mediated by other communication channels.
“Therefore, to help situate what the role of the media and marketing communications industry is (including film- television and radio, digital and interactive integrated campaigns, brand identity and collateral design, among others) and how critically important it was, is key.
“All these sub-sectors that come under the marketing and media communication umbrella have experienced disruptions. When we build strong brands and communicate around those strong brands even in terms of depressed economies, they will come back bigger and stronger,” he said.
Mr Afful said the media had a duty to help rebuild social cohesion in an African society whose basic culture of looking out for one another through either personal visit or financial assistance had been fractured by COVID-19.
“The success of this duty will depend on how the media exploit its agenda setting role. We should not be focusing on what it is that we could not, can’t do or what somebody else is not doing but what is it that is possible and what it is that we can do,” he said.
Equally important, he said was the role of marketing communications in helping both service and manufacturing companies regain their foothold.
“As we work ourselves up and develop products and services, we require creative marketing communications that is relevant, engaging and disruptive enough to attract the attention of our audience member networks and taste segments that are scattered across channels,” he said.