International School of Advertising Director Susan Makau(left) congratulates Njoki Muriithi of Redhouse Advertising on successfully completing her course alongside her trainer Wamai Robert, an Integrated Marketing and Communications Consultant.
Local universities have been urged to adopt a global brand communication curriculum that will enable local Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) agencies to compete with their international partners for the global brand business in Africa.
Speaking at the inaugural graduation of brand communicators drawn from various agencies at the International School of Advertising (ISA), institution Director and Communications guru Susan Makau noted that even after receiving professional training from universities, professionals still need specialized training around the marketing and communication industry dynamics as they join agencies and corporate institutions.
“Arguably, fresh campus graduates face challenges at recruitment because their academic qualifications fall short of the practice expectations. This ends up being a costly affair since an employer is looking for work ready employees,” said Susan.
Adding, “ISA complements the course work undertaken at pre-graduate level by filling a market need for staff ready for the competitive business environment that is increasingly intensified by the entry of global companies into the Kenyan market.”
During the event, Ogilvy and Mather Chief Operations Officer Matthieu Plassard noted that the cut-throat nature of advertising and communications requires a workforce that would hit the ground running.
“The new-age customer is bombarded with all kinds of advertising, and the most compelling advert wins them over; and for companies to go beyond the rhetoric, ingenious market intelligence and professionalism is crucial to remain competitive among the global audience,” said Matthieu.
The advertising and communications industry in Kenya has grown with international agencies partnering with the local firms. Global creative agency BBDO Worldwide recently partnered with Media Edge Interactive, the advertising division of Redhouse Group, alongside Omnicom’s TBWA, while South African PR firm Burson- Masteller is affiliated with Engage PR.
These partnerships have widened the Kenyan market to global brands with more companies leveraging mobile penetration to boost advertising. The mobile has also opened job opportunities in various fields of communication.