Joining us on this segment of Women In Marketing is Olubunmi Ojo who is the Digital Marketing Manager for Vlisco in Nigeria. Olubunmi fell in love with marketing due to the storytelling factor it holds. She shares with us her views on the future of remote work and why mentorship is crucial. Let’s dive in
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, OLUBUNMI. LET’S START ON A LIGHTER NOTE. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. My best memories were with my family and friends and the communal living we shared which unfortunately is almost non-existent today.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
Happy go lucky, goofy and down to earth
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
A panda, they are free-spirited, easy-going and adorable
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
A Nigerian delicacy, Amala and Ewedu. Can eat it every day and not get tired.
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I saw my mother struggle through single parenthood while I was growing up. I would set up a foundation to help support children’s education where we will be offering scholarships from primary to University Level to ease the financial burden of single parents.
Also, I would set up an idea school to help groom and develop creative thinkers that will implement different marketing strategies for all sectors in such a way that it will resonate with the target audience and ultimately promote a win-win for the client and the intended audience.
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, DR. LIEZEL BYGATE SAID THAT SHE IS AN EXPERT HULA-HOOPER!
I love babysitting
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
I identified the communication gap between brands and their audience and observed that most brands kept pushing sales strategies only. I decided to pursue a career in marketing because I believe in the power of storytelling and its effect on brands because you can connect with the audience emotionally. This way you can communicate value in a subtle way to the audience which will ultimately create awareness and drive sales
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
It’s not easiest to maintain. Oftentimes, I find myself getting caught up with a lot of deliverables but I have learnt to balance it because it affects my productivity on the job.
YOU OBTAINED YOUR BSC IN MASS COMMUNICATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS. YESSS GIRL! ACCORDING TO CNBC, RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY GLASSDOOR FOUND THAT COMPANIES LIKE APPLE, GOOGLE AND IBM (AMONGST OTHERS) OFFER WORK-FROM-HOME JOBS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE ANY FORMAL EDUCATION. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN YOUNG WOMEN UTILISE THE INTERNET TO UPSKILL THEIR CAREERS PARTICULARLY IF THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO AFFORD A FORMAL EDUCATION?
I think that the internet has helped tremendously with educational development, given that there are several online courses & resources available and the beautiful thing is that most of them are free! All you need is an internet-enabled device and you are good-to-go.
YOU HAVE A GREAT RESUME. YOU’VE WORKED FOR COMPANIES SUCH AS PRIVATE PROPERTY NIGERIA, EAT ‘N’ GO AS WELL AS VLISCO. HOW IMPORTANT HAS LINKEDIN BEEN FOR YOU AND WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN LOOKING TO ESTABLISH THEIR PROFESSIONAL BRAND FOR NETWORKING PURPOSES?
Linkedin is a platform where I get inspired and feel connected to people who have shattered glass ceilings in their various sectors. For young women trying to build a professional brand, it provides an opportunity to connect with them and gain from their wealth of experience.
SABRA MWAURA WAS A FEATURE FOR OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES. SHE MADE A FEW GOOD POINTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORSHIP FOR WOMEN. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MENTORSHIP?
The importance of mentorship cannot be overemphasized. I strongly believe in mentorship for women as I am a product of strong women mentors who advise me to make informed decisions daily. Their support over the years has been helpful in my career journey. I feel blessed to have them in my corner.
WHAT’S YOUR SMARTEST WORK-RELATED SHORTCUT OR PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
Always write down your to-do’s, by writing them down you won’t miss a thing. It also helps you track your level of productivity at the end of the day or week.
JOB HOPPING IS A COMMON PHENOMENA ESPECIALLY IN THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON JOB HOPPING? DOES IT HURT OR AID ONE’S CAREER?
Yes it hurts. Working in a new environment requires time to adapt, if you keep moving, it will slow down your career pace because one keeps moving jobs but may not be grounded in any field.
FOR IT’S 2019 MOST INFLUENTIAL CMO’S REPORT, FORBES LISTED 31 WOMEN OUT OF 50 CANDIDATES (19 MEN). IT APPEARS THAT MORE WOMEN OCCUPY CMO ROLES COMPARED TO OTHER C-SUITE ROLES. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE CASE?
In my career, I have worked closely with both but I observed that women are more passionate and detailed when it comes to marketing. Excited to see more women take up CMO roles in the future.
REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN MARKETING, PARTICULARLY, IN SENIOR ROLES IS ON THE UP. IN YOUR OWN OPINION, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WOMEN STILL FACE DESPITE THESE CHANGES AND HOW BEST SHOULD THESE BE ADDRESSED?
I believe that women are being micromanaged and they have to work twice as hard to earn their recognition at the table. I believe organisations should encourage more women to rise to the top and not overlook them because of their gender but see them as people that can take on responsibilities and deliver excellently on their tasks.
ONE OF THE LEARNING CURVES FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, IS THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES TO FACILITATE REMOTE WORK. FOR TECH PLAYERS IN SILICON VALLEY THE TRANSITION WAS RELATIVELY SMOOTH WITH THE LIKES OF FACEBOOK AND TWITTER DESIGNING A FUTURE WHERE THEIR STAFF MAY POTENTIALLY WORK REMOTELY FOREVER. THE ARGUMENT THOUGH, IS THAT THIS IS LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE COMPANIES TAKEN SO LONG TO IMPLEMENT REMOTE WORK OPPORTUNITIES?
Because organisations were built to be physical, they feel that if you are not at work you can’t get work done and there’s no way to measure employee productivity.
Before the pandemic, I had struggled with why I have to be physically present in the office every day when I can work remotely and deliver but I am excited that companies have decided to embrace this new change which will help increase productivity as many people seem to give better outputs when working from the comfort of their homes.
WORKING FROM HOME IS AWESOME! MOST OF US CAN AGREE. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT WITHOUT IT’S SET OF CHALLENGES. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS HAS TAKEN A SIGNIFICANT STRAIN WITH PEOPLE WORKING LONGER HOURS AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYEES BEING ‘ALWAYS ON’ AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SWITCH OFF. HOW CAN EMPLOYERS GUARD AGAINST EMPLOYEE BURNOUT OR IN THE WORST EVENT, LOSING THEIR BEST TALENT?
This can be achieved if the employers stick to the stipulated work hours. The employer needs to understand that it’s important for their employees to find a balance so they don’t burn out mentally.
BCG PUBLISHED ITS INNOVATION REPORT FOR 2020 AND AT THE CORE OF ITS SELECTION CRITERIA ARE COMPANIES THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MARRIED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT MAKES SOMETHING INNOVATIVE?
Personally, innovation doesn’t have to be something that hasn’t been done before, just a smarter and better way to do things is innovative to me.
HEMAL THAKKAR, BRAND MANAGER FOR BURGER KING INDIA IS A RECENT WOMEN IN MARKETING FEATURE. ONE OF THE KEY AREAS SHE IDENTIFIED FOR CONTINUED GROWTH IS THAT OF INFLUENCER MARKETING. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF MARKETING LOOK LIKE ACCORDING TO YOU?
More use of storytelling to strengthen the emotional connection between the brands and the target audience which will ultimately drive sales.
2020 AND BEYOND
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Everything good will come, with hard work and determination you will get there.
WHAT CHALLENGE IS ON YOUR PLATE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PAIN POINTS YOU ARE TRYING TO OVERCOME IN YOUR LIFE WHETHER PROFESSIONALLY, PERSONALLY OR BOTH?
Take more risks, don’t overthink the process.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
Visit the wildlife in Asia and maybe get to carry a baby panda
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
My Mum, My Aunt and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
Paperback speaks more to me, weird for a digital person right? LOL. I am currently reading ‘48 Laws of Power’ by Robert Greene
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I will come as myself, I won’t trade my journey for anything. The experiences have been worth it.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
No one, I always keep in touch.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Learn to trust yourself more, some ideas don’t always come fully to you, they may come like a puzzle, and may be dependent on some else to complete the missing piece, learn to collaborate and learn from one another.