Marketing, Mentorship and Motivation
People don’t really care about what you know, until they know that you care; relationships are key.
In our first edition of #SpotOn for the year 2017, an eccentric marketing cum business dev. expert shed exciting life lessons laden with a decade of hands-on experience in the Marcomms industry.
Tayo George who is the VAS Propositions and Promotions Manager of arguably the leading telecoms service provider in Nigeria brings to bare sine qua non interplay and her accidental foray into the path that has made all the difference.
Enjoy the chat but more importantly apply these truths to your life.
1) Having had over a decade experience in Marcomms, What can you say motivates you and keeps you thriving?
My generation has witnessed the most amount of transformation in the world. From record players to the Walkman, video cassettes to CDs, computers to tablets, driverless cars and grocery shopping without needing to check out! The growth has been phenomenal.
In Marketing, you’ve got to predict, spot and keep up with trends in order to maximise the benefits of that trend for your brand, product or service. The transformation happening in the world keeps me motivated in addition to the fact that Marketing is a field that gives one a platform for expressing creativity, having fun and getting paid while at it.
2) What are the most important life lessons you’ve absorbed while at MTN Nigeria?
I’ve learnt to keep first things first and that some things are more important than others; learning to give my energy to 20% of things that will give me 80% of the impact needed. I’ve also learnt that people don’t really care about what you know, until they know that you care; relationships are key.
Finally, if there’s something you believe so strongly in, go for it. If you always wait for the world’s buy in, you may end up not making any progress.
3) How did you come to develop interest in Brand Management and Marketing
I stumbled on it! I had no idea I would end up in this field when I was at the university. I started my career at an ad agency and that lit up my interest in brands and advertising; I loved to just browse newspapers for adverts and admire or criticise those I saw, I would literally study billboards as I passed by, watching for executions. So, I knew I had more than a passing interest.
4) With your exposure to tech and Digital innovations, what are the evolving trends you believe youths can leverage on particularly in Africa?
It’s easier to appreciate where we are now, if you know where we’re coming from. I remember many years ago; I would have to physically write a letter and beg my sister who had access to a computer at work, to help me type and send the letter as an email to my friend(s). Whenever my friends wrote back, she would call me on the landline at home to read the emails to me. So much has changed since that time!
The proliferation of the Internet is the biggest trend I think the youth can leverage on. You can literally learn anything, go to any school, meet anybody, the possibilities are endless! Internet penetration in Africa is still at about 29%, which is lower than the world average of 50.1% so we still have some way to go. From published stats however, 1 in every 2 Nigerians has Internet access, so we’re making good progress. However, we haven’t scratched the surface yet, when we talk about the power of the Internet and I’m not necessarily referring to anything complex.
Upon the foundation of the internet, the other possibilities are endless from offering youthpreneurs free access to promoting themselves to the world via social media, to opening up global streams of income through online talent monetization, your mind is the only thing that can limit you. The benefits that the internet brings should be fully embraced and harnessed.
5) Have you ever failed at an endeavour before and how did you handle it?
When we say ‘years of experience’, it’s years of failures and successes. Failing teaches you what not to do next time. I fail everyday, in little ways and not so little ones. The important thing is not to beat yourself up about it, learn from it and move on. As long as you’re taking the lessons, you’re in and good place.
The proliferation of the Internet is the biggest trend I think the youth can leverage on. You can literally learn anything, go to any school, meet anybody, the possibilities are endless!
6) What is the role of mentorship in achieving one’s dream?
Mentorship has played a huge role in my life. It set me off on the right path in my career and got me thinking ahead about my life and my desired outcomes. I also have people that I admire and learn from certain aspects of their lives, I don’t know if to call them mentors.
For the women who have excelled in both family and career, I watch and learn how they are able to balance it all or if there is even such a thing. These are both Nigeria and foreign women who I follow online or read books and articles on. One must however remember that for one-on-one mentoring experiences, it must be a two-way thing with the mentee carrying as much responsibility, or more, than the mentor.
In addition, choosing a mentor is not something that should be done carelessly. A mentor must be trustworthy, willing to commit to your progress and of course have succeeded in the area you’re looking to grow in. A mentoring relationship is one that requires commitment from both parties.
7) How do you stay afloat in a male dominated industry?
Male dominated? How? *laughs*
8) What are your three most important nuggets?
– The dots will connect and it will all make sense in the end. Don’t give up.
– You’re smarter than you think. Don’t under rate yourself.
– Take that step, make that move. It doesn’t matter how slow you’re going as long as you’re moving forward.
– Don’t compete with anyone but yourself. (I thought I’d add one more for the road *laughs*)
9) Your top three most inspiring books would be?
To be candid, I only recently started picking up books and want to improve on my reading habit. So, I have purchased and started on 3 books that I will finish reading in the next month. They are: Winning by Jack Welch, Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
10) Is there any gap or divide you have observed amongst the present youths and what do proffer as a solution to it?
I urge the Nigerian youth not to accept mediocrity. Please do not settle for ‘just okay’. I know it’s tough in our environment but I could list so many young people who are standing out in different fields today. Be hungry for knowledge, learn something new every day no matter how small you think it is. The world owes you nothing and what you get out of it is what you put into it.
I’m quite passionate about well written and spoken English and find it quite disheartening every time I see a word misspelt or wrongly spoken. With the internet, it’s now so easy to just go online and check for spellings and usage. I would like to see young people who are driven enough to want to get better and be more responsible.
Watch Out for the next edition of #SpotOn!