I met Lola Odedina around 2013. I just joined a company called Terragon and we went to pitch our mobile advertising offering to her. I was in the company of Ayodr Akinfenwa who has since joined Google and has been on to great strides o er there.
Ms Odedina is intense. She could match us knowledge for knowledge, insight for insight about the mobile industry.
I asked myself if she wasn’t just supposed to be an above the line advertising person. Clearly she wasn’t. She was an excellent person. Thats all.
I went home and Googled about her educational qualification and she appeared to have just one degree. She finished from Queens College and I think University of Benin.
I could not help but follow the excellence of GTBank from then on.
GTbank under her leadership disrupted payments through #737.
I remember at a meeting with Interswitch a client at that time. We discussed the opportunities and threat and I personally highlighted how the VAS firms in Nigeria in concert with innovation driven people like Ms Lola Odedina were disrupting payments.
What used to be the mobile payments dominance of Quickteller was giving way to the biggest retail banking product. 737 was coming for the long useful quick teller. To even think that 737 was a USSD offering that will allow many things down its product development cycle, I was further thrilled.
After then, other banks have introduced their own USSD mobile payments products.
Ms Odedina and her team have pioneered several things. Like allowing you to open an account on facebook. You can play games also on their facebook page.
As a digital strategist, I cited fusion of corporate strategy with digital strategy on that ground because GTbank used the bank opening app on social media to reduce foot falls in their banking halls. A retail bank will have such challenges here and social media usage to mitigate the problem highlights the spirit of excellence in the Ms Odedina led marketing team.
They are lying in the ecommerce space with their SME MarketHub and they have other brand building products like their fashion and food events. There is also Ndani TV. Access Bank has since started Accelerate TV.
The marketing team at GTbank has ensured that they are winning on the traditional and digital front in terms of strategy and execution.
What I find important in all of this is the ability of Ms Odedina to pursue the deep things in her strategy rather than the awareness alone in brand building.
I think she is one of the chief disruptors around,but hidden under the mighty brand called GTBank.
She is also a typical Level 5 leader described by Jim Collins in his Good to Great book. She won’t jump all over the place to get the recognition. GTbank gets all the credit. She has built a stellar team and initiatives that will stand the test of time and disruption.
From her story, I can see something. When you embrace excellence, every qualification will rise up to you.
This GTBank marketing team is excellent. Ms Lola Odedina will go down as one of the best hands that shaped the marketing landscape in Nigeria.