10 things to know about Naked Street Media
As part of the series of activities to happen here on the CMM Academy blog are 1 on 1’s with the actual players in the Nigerian Advertising Industry. Yours faithfully, Aziz Sadiku, busied himself seeking out these information straight from the horse’s mouth. My stop happened to be at a Creative design studio, Naked Street Media, led by Moronfola Yusuf, Implementation/ Creative Lead, a Creative Design Agency situated in Ikeja, Lagos.
While the name Naked Street Media, may sound relatively non-household, it has taken on famous organizations that don’t come any bigger than Samsung, Leadway Assurance, Skye Bank, NCRIB, KBC, BUA Group, Rosewood Gardens, Bassa Sugar to mention a few.
Speaking with Mr. Yusuf, here’s what he had to say about his organization which Nigeria may not know of, but hopes they can associate to his agency.
Three strong points about Naked Street Media
- We have a great brand engineering and craftsmanship in the B2C (Business-to-Customer) arena, as well as in the B2B (Business-to-Business) arena where we work as third-party consultants. Whichever way, we deliver on quality.
- Our nimble culture offers us the ability to deliver projects at on-time speed.
- We’ve got compassionate associates with strong account management. We don’t play with Clients’ intelligence.
Several design jobs have been accomplished and here are some of the end products of their client’s brief, which Mr. Moronfola mentioned, happened to be quite interesting due to the challenges encountered while making deliverables.
Two Advices to Brand Marketers/Potential Clients
- Check references:
The culture of getting employment here in Nigeria is predominantly through referrals or who you know in top places. The same is applicable in the Nigerian Advertising Industry. But while this may not necessarily be a bad thing, what is not so good is you not doing your ground work/ background check on the agency referred to you. You don’t want to get in bed with a weakling who can’t satisfy your design need or a monster who’s gonna tear you apart. You want just the right fit who’s going to handle your design needs tailored to how you want it, capturing the very essence of your brand.
When these agencies are referred to you and you invite them over for a talk/ pitch, you have to be able to discern facts from fiction, ability from wishes. You have to be able to look past the sales team and all of their glorious pitches.
How do you that? Ask questions about their work history and if they have repeat customers. This question is particularly important because it shows satisfaction from their client and good client relationship.
At our Agency, we have long standing relationship with our numerous clients, whom we treat as individuals. We go beyond expectations they set, maximizing every kobo spent to give them job deliverables they can be proud of.
- Prepare your brief:
Before engaging an agency, it’s important to have considered a few of the following:
The specific problem you want them to solve e.g. “We want to create brand affinity” or “We want to create Brand awareness” or whatever your goal is. It reduces time wastage on both sides and when jobs are delivered as per client’s brief, it tallies with what they have in mind. Without this, you’ll forever be dissatisfied with whatever the agency creates for your organization.
As such, it is best advised that you take your time to craft a proper brief with your brand strategy department after having done your market research before contacting any Ad agency, how you will measure their success e.g. sales targets or KPIs
As part of also preparing your brief is the maximum amount you want to set aside for your campaign, plus some extra in your budget simply because other external factors also need to be considered.
“Budget can be notoriously difficult for SMBs to define as often they want to invest based on expected ROI. It’s a mistake to hold back on revealing the available budget to an agency, as a campaign or project can be delivered with varying degrees of quality based on spend. It’s important to focus on value, not just cost. If you’re clear about what you want the agency to do, and the impact that will have on your business, then you should be able to put at least a guide price on what that service is worth.”
Although more often than not, brand marketers/ clients hold back or understate their budgets, simply because they feel they’ll be ripped or vice versa.
Myths about the industry
The list is endless, but we mention a few: …
- You need to have Ad agency experience to go into brands and branding. This is a myth. Dissatisfied Customers don’t eventually care when rhetoric doesn’t match reality.
- You need to speak industry rhetoric and registers to sound smart and sell the Customers anything. It’s a myth. Gone are those days Customers don’t know what they want. We now have intelligent-Customers who have little idea about everything.
What should change within the industry
- “In the creative industries, pitching is understood to be the most commonly accepted way in which clients choose vendors. And thus ‘the art of the pitch’ has become a critical way for design companies (and freelancers) to win clients, either for specific projects, or as a retained agency.
We were invited years back for a design pitch for Skyebank’s advert design. Personally, I think pitching is a toxic and addictive habit that sucks up valuable resources, and ultimately demeans both you and the work you do. We are expected to create solutions before understanding the problem. The urge to show some creative ideas in the pitch leads us to start coming up with design solutions without having the chance to fully understand the client’s requirements, other than the vagaries of the brief. There’s almost certainly no opportunity to conduct research with users or other stakeholders.
Imagine a doctor prescribing a treatment based on a patient’s self-assessment, and you get an idea of the absurdity of trying to create a design solution without really analyzing the client’s needs. Creating pitch materials invariably means starting to do the work before you have been commissioned. I think this is the real addiction of pitching for designers—we are drawn to something new, a problem to be solved. Design addicts, we just can’t help ourselves.
But this willingness to work for nothing makes the work less valuable to the client. Clients end up believing ideas are cheap, and design thinking not something that has value. Even if you win the pitch, it makes it hard to bill a decent amount for this stage of work. Well, of all submitted designs, ours seems to top the ladder and we got the deal.
Also from my experience, the only way to get off the addictive habit of pitching is to just say no. Saying no to pitching may initially lose you client opportunities, but it may also open up better ones.
Naked Street Media being a no pitch design agency instantly makes us different from 95% of our competitors, to zig when everyone else zags. It marks us out as confident in our abilities, and crucially, it gives us a chance to explain to a prospective client why we don’t pitch. This can open up a channel of communication with a prospect that could be more fruitful instead. We educate our clients why pitches are non-productive for them as well.”
Advice to potential employees and where to go
- Millennials should develop the habit of staying longer on the job beyond two years. Today’s employers are putting high premiums on ambitious self-starter kind of employees that can be trusted. Most times positive laws and planning shoots us on the foot. Also, believe in yourself. You can do anything and go anywhere. Follow your guts.
At our firm, we love and admire employees that have a passion for what they do and have total confidence in their ability. So, if you are extremely talented in Creative Design and want a chance at working with us, then shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Words: Aziz Sadiku
Aziz is a Brand/Marketing Strategist with several years of work experience. You can send him a mail at email@example.com
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