In case you missed it, the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) hosted one of the most anticipated events by marketers of all levels in the country. The 10th Annual Marketers Convention, which was held at Kingdom Hotel Victoria Falls from the 31st of October to 3rd of November 2018, running under the theme Innovate! Thrive! Consolidate.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon Rajesh Modi also graced the event by his presence as attendees experienced and embraced new and useful skills that can be used to propel business and organisations to greater levels.

Most striking of these was how marketers can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big data analytics to achieve a competitive advantage, a presentation that was brought to life by Vinod Sharma, a representative from Cassava Zimbabwe. 

Now, from a marketer’s point of view, imagine how much competitive advantage your business or organization would have if the two are merged into your operations.

This is what Mr Vinod Sharma wanted marketers to understand, that the industry and foresight is actually in your hands, you just the need right tools!

 “Already 57% of enterprise executives believe AI will improve customer experiences and support using machine learning apps to more accurately predict outcomes. 58% of enterprises are prioritizing personalized customer care and new product development. By 2020, real-time personalized advertising across digital platforms and optimized messages targeting accuracy, context and precision will accelerate,” added Mr Sharma.

Furthermore, depth of the Convention was added after a presentation by the CZI representative, S. Jabangwe whose key issue was to encourage all marketers to drive performance as the current economic trends portray wider opportunities to come for 2019.

Mr Jabangwe noted that marketers should keep in mind that the economic growth has been increasing each year since 2016 (that is, in 2016 economic growth was 0.6%; in 2017 it increased to 3.7% and in 2018 it is projected to be at 6.3%).

You might think an economic growth that is standing at 6.3% has a bleak future. But do you know the required level of economic growth needed to achieve the Government’s vision of 2030? (Making Zimbabwe a middle economy by 2030)

It is only 10%. In other words we are 3.7% away from achieving this goal and we have 12 years to do it! It doesn’t look like a bleak future anymore, does it?

He added that with the numerous efforts from the Government, it is quite lucid that it is committed to supporting local industry.

Marketers have all the reasons to drive their performance. How far a business goes depends on the line of sight of the marketer.

“Those businesses that go far have marketers who see around corners. A business will not go to a place where a marketer’s sight has not reached. I believe that it is marketing that makes things happen. It is marketers who chart the direction for companies leveraging the company’s strengths to take advantage of opportunities,” added Jabangwe. 

Furthermore, the Hon. Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce showed gratitude and appreciation for the efforts made by MAZ in ensuring the survival of the market at a time when the economy is facing multiple challenges through initiatives that integrate business and the Government.

Hon. Rajesh Modi further applauded the Association for hosting the Convention which is very significant due to its nature of drawing local, regional and international speakers and marketers of all related professions together under one roof.

“The Association has made great strides in ensuring the uplifting of the marketing profession, which has resulted in business and professional growth. I would like to commend the Association’s efforts to integrate business and government initiatives, not just with Ministry of Industry and Commerce but the different Ministries relevant to every marketer,”

“Marketers are the key drivers for the national goal of industrialization through promotion of domestic products in the local, regional and global market, thus taking Zimbabwe to the next level of development. As a country we are indeed thriving to ensure the provision of goods and a better marketing hub for us and our associates,” the Hon. Minister addressed the delegates.