MAZ hosts 2022 Winter School
Marketers Association of Zimbabwe will be hosting its annual the
Annual Continuous Professional Development Master Class (Winter
School) offering different career development classes to members.
The Winter School is for continuous professional development for
marketing and related professionals.
This year’s Winter School will run from June 22 to 25, 2022 at the
Hwange Safari Lodge and will be facilitated by local, regional and
international business executives.
The three day Winter School will see participants attending three
classes running concurrently.
Class A is for the Marketing Practitioner Status.
The target audience for this class is qualified marketing personnel,
Public Relations Executives, Customer service personnel and Digital
Marketers. Among the topics to be covered in this class are;
Advanced Marketing Strategy in the Digital Era,the CEO opinion:
Getting the marketer into the C Suite; preparation of Digitally
integrated Marketing Plan and the Role Of Marketing In Sustainable
Product Development And Innovation
Class B is the newly introduced Sales Practitioner Status whose
target audience is sales personnel, Business development, Sales
managers and key account executives. The Sales person has not
been spared the demands of a changing landscape. Topics to be
covered include ; high Impact sales strategy in Digital World; the CEO
opinion: Getting the marketer into the C Suite, Sales Techniques to
foster lead generation and conversion in digital era and managing
Complex Decision making units in B2B Markets
Class C the Continuous Professional Development Master Class
targeted at among others senior managers, marketing managers,

Digital Managers , existing marketing practitioners, public relations
personnel, customer service personnel, product development and
research personnel, among others. Topics for this class include ;
Culture Management to foster customer centricity; the CEO opinion:
Getting the marketer into the C Suite; budgeting Techniques and
Pricing in a volatile environment; leveraging customer experience
and Customer Analytics, the Role Of Marketing In Sustainable
Product Development And Innovation, marketing automation and
Artificial Intelligence in Marketing, brand Management Across omni-
channels in the new normal; managing Digital Campaigns and
maximising customer experience through e-commerce.

Some of the confirmed speakers for r the Winter School are;
Lawrence Kupika divisional director, Retail Banking at POSB, Mr
Nkosivile Madinga head of Section-Marketing at University of Cape
Town, Mr Lawrence Kutinyu- Group Marketing Executive at National
Foods, Mr Admire-Ndumo General Manager Hyundai, Delta
marketing director-Mr Irimayi Muzorewa; Nkosana Mapuma-
General Manager Sales and Marketing PPC Zimbabwe, Emmagness
Ruzvidzo-Head of Brand & Marketing · Global Payments Inc.
Registration for the program is ongoing.
For registration contact Rose on training@mazim.co.zw or 0774 361
163

Marketers Association of Zimbabwe unveiled the Top 200 brands at a Breakfast meeting held under the theme ‘Brand Relevance and Dominance in the Age of the New Customer’.

The Breakfast meeting attended by over 100 marketers, brand managers and senior executives was held at the Monomotapa Hotel on Friday 13 May 2022.

The unveiling of the top 200 brands, is an annual event which culminates to the Superbrand Awards held at the end of the year.

In his welcome remarks at the Breakfast meeting, MAZ president, Professor Zororo Muranda thanked all participating brands that have partnered MAZ for the last 12 years.

“We would like to thank you all for your support and participation that has seen the Superbrand being recognised in this country as a key indicator for brand supremacy,” said Prof Muranda.

He also appreciated the Superbrand Adjudicating committee for its hard work that has ensured that the Superbrand keeps going.

“Thank you very much team, your commitment and efforts are recognised,” said Prof Muranda.

He highlighted that the past three years had seen a paradigm shift from the normal way of doing business and the brands were not spared from the rapid changes that have taken place.

“But, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you brand custodians who have stood forth and ensured that your brands pass this litmus test that began in 2010,” he said.

Guest Speaker at the event, Mr Gilbert Tsongorera, the Chief Commercial Officer for Ecocash Holdings said in the new normal, the customer had become had become ‘king’.

“There has really been a shift in the way we do marketing, and that shift will come through because initially companies used to control the narrative .We never gave the customer a chance and now we have customers now controlling the narrative, “said Mr Tsongorera.

He said the consumer has become a determinant factor in the success and growth of brands.

 “As marketers we have been forced to co-create with customers in mind which really speaks to the value that the customer brings to us. The question is how relevant is your brand as far as the customer is concerned,” he said.

Mr Tsongorera said it was important for brands to strive for success but also to be willing to fail.

“With the advent of Covid 19 there is now less bricks and more of clicks, it’s important that we also follow the trends and embrace technology,” he said.

He added that it was compelling to have a strategy as you build your brand and have a corporate vision.

Superbrand Adjudication Committee chairperson, Mr Arza Khan highlighted that it was important for brands to be associated with Superbrand.

“It is important for Zimbabwean brands to be associated with the Superbrand process because, it has been designed to specific way that is adjudicated in a way that has not been done with most awards.

Our Superbrand process is right up there with some of the best in determining whether a brand is recognisable in the market. Being recognised is something that’s quite important and relevant and important specifically for this particular program,” said Khan.

He highlighted that the consumer remains the determinant factor in the Superbrand process.

Mr Khan led the unveiling of the Top 200 brands at the Superbrand Meeting.

MAZ Head Marketing and Operations, Mrs Enia Zimunya thanked all sponsors and partners that made the Superbrand Breakfast Meeting a success.

In closing remarks , MAZ Business Development Executive-Superbrand and Research , Mr Wesley Kasambira urged participating brands to pay research fees to ensure a flawless Superbrand countrywide research process.

The Superbrand Business Breakfast Meeting marks the first phase of the Superbrand process. As usual, before the unveiling of the shortlisted brands, the Adjudication Committee was given a chance to verify and endorse these 2022 sectorial brands in Zimbabwe.

After the unveiling of the participating brands, the next step is to take these brands back to the consumers for rating and ranking through a representative and nationwide consumer research. The survey is conducted among Zimbabwean adults aged between 15 years and 65 years. This is a quantitative research in which personal face to face interviews are conducted with the selected respondents.

Birthed in 2010, the awards celebrate brands that break new ground and go beyond excellence in service delivery and brands that are always on the mind of the consumer.

Proton was adjudged as Zimbabwe’s Superbrand for the year 2021.

Marketers Association of Zimbabwe is set to unveil the 2022 top 200 Zimbabwean brands at a Breakfast meeting on Friday 13 May 2022 at the Monomotapa Hotel.

The unveiling of the top 200 brands, is an annual event that culminates to the Superbrand Awards held at the end of the year.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Mr Gillian Rusike said this year’s Superbrand Breakfast Meeting is being held under the theme ‘Brand Relevance and Dominance in the Age of the New Customer’ which is relevant to the times ever-changing business environment and customer.

“I think the times that we are operating are also putting a huge demand on the brands in order for them to transform to be able to speak to the aspirations of the customer, in order for them to speak to the expectations and to speak to the trust of the customers.

We are in a volatile environment where everything and anything is just coming by and changes are taking place therefore for brands to be sustainable they need to be part and parcel  of the customers’ life journey , they need to be solution providers,” said Mr Rusike.

He emphasised that there was really need to look at branding from a different perspective if they are to be relevant to the growth of the economy as well as impact they are making to customers.

“We need brands that are speaking to the aspirations of the customers, they need to look into the future. It’s no longer business as usual but they need to connect intricately, emotionally with the expectations of the customers,” he said.

He added: “We are in an environment where there is a lot of mistrust people are no longer trusting the person that is next to them and so is the same with the products that they are interfacing with and so we really need that transformation to take place in order for brands to be relevant to the economy”.

Mr Rusike said Mr Gilbert Tsongorera, the Chief Commercial Officer for Ecocash Holdings would be the Guest speaker at this year’s Superbrand Breakfast Meeting.

The Superbrand Business Breakfast Meeting marks the first phase of the Superbrand process. As usual, before the unveiling of the shortlisted brands, the Adjudication Committee was given a chance to verify and endorse these 2022 sectorial brands in Zimbabwe.

After the unveiling of the participating brands, the next step is to take these brands back to the consumers for rating and ranking through a representative and nationwide consumer research. The survey is conducted among Zimbabwean adults aged between 15 years and 65 years. This is a quantitative research in which personal face to face interviews are conducted with the selected respondents.

Birthed in 2010, the awards celebrate brands that break new ground and go beyond excellence in service delivery and brands that are always on the mind of the consumer. Proton was adjudged as Zimbabwe’s Superbrand for the year 2021

The MAZ Charity Foundation, an arm of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe in January handed over food and other basic commodities to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) in Chinhoyi.

The donation is part of the Association’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The toiletries were sourced and donated through MAZ’s Charity Golf Day where MAZ corporate and individual members participated in the annual tournament while the basic commodities included mealie meal and flour were donated by National Foods.

The MAZ Charity Foundation and MAZ staff travelled to the ZPCS, Chinhoyi Depot on January 28 to handover the donations to inmates.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Chinhoyi, Mr Samuel Matema a committee member of the MAZ Charity Foundation said it was such a great honour to be part of such an event which uplifts other people’s lives.

“As MAZ we don’t give out of abundance but out of sacrifice, and we believe in rebirth and resurrection thus we give sacrificially” he said

Speaking at the same ceremony, MAZ Executive Secretary Mr Gillian Rusike said they were driven to donate to ZPCS after learning of some of their challenges in the media.

“Early last year we saw in the newspapers that those in the correctional services were having a difficulties accessing basic commodities and we give thanks to the ZPCS officials for giving us such a prestigious opportunity to help out.”

“We decided to buy buckets, soap and other basic commodities in partnership with National Foods. We believe that in these times of the Covid 19 pandemic hygiene is of paramount importance and also the need for basic food stuffs,” he said

He encouraged all inmates to utilize opportunities availed during their time in prison to do what they desire most.

“I would want one day to see one of you in my office saying that I got a degree in marketing during my time in prison and I’m looking for a job or just saying that I motivated you to study while you serve your time in here, I would be happy,” he added.

The Provincial Public Relations Officer Mr Emmanuel Kondowe who happens to be appreciated MAZ for the donations and opportunity availed to the prisoners.

“I want to thank MAZ for this opportunity they have put in front of us, for this is a first time when our inmates are offered a chance to start afresh when they leave this place, therefore I urge each and every one of you to study and graduate one day you shall be free and will visit us just like these humble ladies and gentleman,” he said.

One of the female inmate gave thanks to MAZ Charity for the gifts they had been given.

“On behalf of my fellow inmates ,I’m really grateful for these donations that you have given to us , love is very  important and this is  great love that you have shown to us as prisoners, we are really grateful for your love”

She went on to thank MAZ Charity Foundation in partnership with National Foods on this initiative they are partaking in as an Association and said such opportunities should be extended to others as well.

Other MAZ Charity Foundation members who were part of the ceremony include, Mrs Enia Zimunya, Monica Nyawera, Tawanda Rusike and Tanaka Tapasowa also helped with the handover.

MAZ has been involved in different corporate social responsibility initiatives through the MAZ Charity Golf Tournament that include the donate  a shoe campaign which saw the Association handing over school shoes to Chokera Primary School in Masvingo and to Mathew Rusike in Epworth.

In 2020, proceeds from then Charity Golf Tournament were used to buy sunscreen lotions which was donated to the Zimbabwe Albino Association. In the same year, the MAZ Charity Foundation responded to the Covid 19 pandemic by donating food baskets and other basic commodities at the Methodist church in Epworth.   

The Charity Foundation also donated stationery to Dambudzo Primary School in the Midlands province. The school had its roof blown away by heavy rains and a lot of infrastructure and learning material was destroyed.

In commemoration of  Women’s Month, Women in Marketing (WIM), the ladies desk of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe hosted The Wellness and Fun Day at the Old Hararians Sports Club.

The event was held under the theme BREAK THE BIAS, continuing with The Donate a Pad Campaign, an initiative started by the WIM CSR pillar in 2021.

The fun filled day was characterized by wellness activities which included tug of war, balloon race, relays, dance challenge to mention but a few. To encourage a spirit of competition, participants were grouped into different teams according to their colour tags.

In the course of the event each group was challenged to fill a plastic bin with as many pads as they could buy thus leading to the event raising 1 200 in a period of 3 hours.

The Fun Day was well attended with over 100 ladies and girls as well as corporates that were exhibiting their products. These included MedOrange ,Misfort Tax,Gunhill Medical Village, Inuka ,Cancer care and Population Services Zimbabwe to mention but a few.

The Population Services Zimbabwe team gave a presentation on the discomforts of menstruation cycle and how they affect a lot of women in different ways.

They also emphasized on the importance of parents teaching their girl child on menstrual health.

The Women in Marketing CSR Committee Chair, Caroline Dyirakumunda gave a short speech thanking everyone for participating and taking time to be part of such events.

“I’m really grateful to all the ladies who made it here today despite their weekend hustles and all, thank you very much. As the CSR Committee we launched this initiative last year when we donated pads to Chingwere Primary school in Mhondoro.

This year we decided why we don’t do it again but slightly different let’s include everyone and I want to thank all of you for supporting this. There are girls in the rural areas who are using leaves, random clothes and some are just walking with nothing to hold the blood so we have made this initiative to help them in the smallest ways we can,” said Dyirakumunda.

She went on to announce that the total pads donated on that day was 1200 pads which is a great achievement to the Women In Marketing who are still to decide where they will be  going this year.

The WIM team is grateful for the sponsors who made this event a success. These included Proton who sponsored the giveaways that had cake mix and cookies, T-shirts sponsored by Image Magic Corporate and caps and gym bags from Tram Graphics.

The winning teams were, Team Orange/White, who won the Overall challenge, whilst Team Purple won the Pad fill up Campaign. Everyone went away with gifts and those who won got their prizes for the challenges sponsored by Proton.

TWENTY-FOUR marketers were conferred with the MAZ Marketing Practitioner Status and eight conferred with the Sales Practitioner Status at a graduation ceremony held at the Marketing Hub on in February.

The 32 practitioners attended the 2021 Annual Continuous Professional Development (ACDP) Master Class from the 9th to the 11th of September 2021.

The Marketing Practitioner Status, (MPS) is a prestigious status, recognized by industry to authenticate one’s skills in marketing. One has to be a holder of a Marketing Degree/ or Higher Diploma from a recognized institute, with a minimum of 2 years’ experience in a marketing position.

The curriculum expands each year to suit the current marketing and industry trends, but still maintain the aim of putting marketers in a strategic competitive advantage.

The 2021 class had a successful turnout and covered some of the following topics:

1. Advanced Marketing Strategy in the Digital Era

2. View from a CEO: Expectations from the Marketing Function.

3. Measurement Metrics for Marketing Efforts

4. Preparation of Digitally Integrated Marketing Plan

5. High Impact Sales Strategy in a Digital World

6. Modernizing the Sales Process for today’s Selling Environment

7. Go to Marketing Strategies in the Digital Age

8. From Elevator pitches to compelling B to B Value Propositions

9. Preparation of High an Impact Sales Strategic Plan

The marketing practitioner program which is offered in conjunction with IMM is aimed at continuously developing the marketing career.

Guest speaker at the graduation ceremony, Marketers Association of Zimbabwe Executive Secretary, Gillian Rusike highlighted that attaining such a status is key because one is distinguishing themselves from among the rest.

“Attaining a status is also key because you are actually distinguishing yourself from among the rest. I am so excited that we are witnessing one such activity or programme today’.

“Colleagues, we are operating in extremely dynamic environment such that if you sleep or slumber you can wake up one morning without a job because the demands of a marketer or shareholder are also becoming dynamic,” said Rusike.

Rusike said the current environment required agile professionals who are abreast with current trends and demands of the consumer.

“We are now in an era where tactics are much more important than strategy. What’s important is the day to day demands. The customer and the consumer is the one that has got more power than us marketers because of the social media platforms that are now available.

If you are not agile and active, one day you wake up and your organisation is red flagged on social media, consumers are speaking all sorts of things about your brand and by the time you want to respond it’s already too late,” said Rusike.

After his speech, Gillian Rusike, conferred and handed over certificates to the Marketing and Sales Practitioners.

The Marketers did not only walk away with a lapel, tie or scarf written “Marketing Practitioner or Sales Practitioner”, but instead they have been equipped with a wealth of powerful and unparalleled decision making skills which will turn around their organisations’ fortunes.

Some often ask what comes next after achieving the MPS and SP, they can then opt to attend the Continuous Professional Development Master Class which is targeted at current Marketing Practitioners, Marketing team members, Public Relations, Sales Teams and Customer Service Teams.

By Godfrey Dube

This article seeks to contribute on the role of executive leadership in product development and brand building. Deal and Kennedy (2000) postulate that leadership is about the future, it is about change and it is about values and emotions. He further argues that a mixture of transactional and transformational skills is needed for most management and leadership roles in product development and branding, and that leadership is the centre of company activities.

Product development

The development of products to be sold to potential and existing customers improves the growth vector of the company in the existing market where existing products are declining. In contrast to competing companies, new products or offerings may be created to replace existing ones to raise market share. Alkier, Milojica and Roblek (2015) point out that in the case of product development, the business will attempt to increase profitability and growth by introducing new products targeted at the existing customer base. This involves the creation and development of new products.

Strategies for product development enable companies to reinvent and look at new ways of extending their current products’ life cycle. This growth strategy involves the production and alteration of stock goods in order to make them preferential and thereby increase market activity (Butler, 2006). It seeks to expand products and make use of common trademarks, and provides businesses with growth by creating new products for established markets to solve the problems of consumers. Carson et al. (2001) asserts that firms have to give those solutions and be aware of their underlying needs, wants and demands of customers, which will consequently gives you an opportunity to develop new solutions for existing customers. Lufthans (2012) points out that there is a significant correlation between the development of new products and the growth of companies.

Role of executive leadership on corporate branding

Brands need to provide a meaningful reason for consumers to buy the products. These value-related reasons might refer to values such as trustworthiness, integrity, aesthetics, heritage, authenticity, accountability, sustainability or social and environmental responsibility and financial solidity. Executive leadership should have a clear focus and effective communication of these values which might not only contribute to avert the pressures but give the company even a differential and competitive advantage. For organisations to be successful in the competitive environment they should develop corporate brand orientated leaders with its core task of creating a corporate culture to authentically reflect the core values of the brand

Executive leaders should ensure that a corporate brand identifies, differentiate and position the organization, based on a single and unified message, the entire product offering in the minds of all the organization’s stakeholders to build trust in the entire organization. Its source for originality, uniqueness and individuality is the organization’s heritage and the values and beliefs that the corporation and all its stakeholders hold in common. Corporate branding intends to attract and remind stakeholders of why they belong to or should join the community of values.

Corporate branding enables an organization to more economically and emotionally differentiate their products, increase communication effectiveness and respond to social trends.

Brand oriented leadership

Brand-oriented leadership is the catalyst to brand building behaviour in terms of influencing employees’ brand-related behaviours effectively. The leadership culture of the organization plays a very important role in brand building. For corporate brands to be successful, employees should also be empowered to live brand values themselves. Such leadership results in an increase of brand commitment by strengthening employees’ identification with the organization. Organisational transformation will occur when employees have accepted the corporate brand values as their own.

Executive leadership as organisational leaders should be brand oriented. Intangible assets such as corporate and executive leadership reputation and credibility, and customer relationships affect customer satisfaction and loyalty. Some organisations have lost customers and suppliers due to the bad reputation of some executive leaders. Many company managers have recognized the significance of these factors in attempting to attract and retain customers in long-term relationships. Executive leadership and corporate reputation, leadership, relationships and communication are inseparably related because they contribute to executive leadership ability to direct and responsibly control desired outcomes. Customer satisfaction and corporate credibility play important roles when creating good relationships and maintaining customer loyalty to a company as well as public faith.

The executive leadership’s image and a corporation’s reputation both play significant roles in determining a company’s success in building relationships with various publics, which is why media coverage of any executive leadership or corporate activity is considered important and has the potential to alter the relationship-building process.

Negative publicity about companies and their products can influence other aspects of their operations, such as human resources or reputation, as well as the markets that sell the company products. Negative information is considered to exercise greater influence than positive information does, unfavourably affecting a company’s image. The negative impact of such coverage makes marketing communications a critical issue.

CEO and brand reputation

The CEO is an important component of credibility that is influential in persuading consumers to patronize the organisation. Thus, the CEO’s corporate credibility is one important aspect of a corporation’s reputation. Fombrun finds that companies with positive reputations are in a better position to change consumers’ attitudes than are those with negative reputations, and that a company’s perceived credibility is closely related to its sales record. There is an association between a CEO’s positive reputation and the success of a company. Reputation is credited with playing a major role in generating market capitalization for a company and many argue that it should be treated as its most important long-term asset. Managers and leaders, although both are important, are profoundly different. To manage means to bring about outcomes, to accomplish something, to take charge of or responsibility for, to supervise transactions. Leading involves influencing people to modify their behaviour by providing direction, charting a course, stimulating action or altering opinion. Leaders can shape and elevate the motives and goals of followers.

Effective leadership should be closely related to successful organizational outcomes and that successful organizations focus on leadership factors and understand the need to provide employees with the necessary skills, networking opportunities and training to prepare them to address economic challenges. Furthermore, it can be assumed that a strong and capable leader will contribute in a very positive way to the future configuration of an organization.

Mr Dube is the pioneer, past president and current Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe. He is the Head – Marketing and Business Development at the Standards Association of Zimbabwe. He is a PHD candidate and a holder of a Master of Science in Governance and Leadership degree among other qualifications.

Marketers Association of Zimbabwe in conjunction with 3Ktv hosted the Marketers Luncheon with major highlights on projections of economic growth in 2022.

The event saw a presentation from a renowned economist and also CEO of Bullion Group,Persistence Gwanyanya on the 2022 economic outlook predicting growth of the economy as of 2021 up to 2023 through the agricultural sector and mining.

“Growth is expected to continue in 2022 at 5, 5 percent, driven by; agriculture and mining sector as well as the manufacturing sector” he said

He highlighted that the key drivers firming metal prices in the mining sector growth, strengthening of the auction system and the new monetary policy and exchange rate measures.

Mr Gwanyanya also highlighted that despite the growth there are factors that will always weigh down the economy which include high levels of informalisation and unemployment, the economy continue to be driven by a handful of exports, individuals & corporates.

“Unemployment is one of the major factors that will always weigh down the economy, with many people unemployed there is also high crime rate therefore there is need to increase recovery progress & deal with mounting pressure on the ground.

However we expect a bumper harvest despite the excessive rains and also New Monetary Policy & exchange rate measures to support viability of exporters,” he added.

Gwanyanya pointed out that there are also key risks that could hamper economic growth among them the 2023 General elections which will result in more focus on politics than economics, waning confidence in foreign currency system, widening gap between the interbank and parallel market rate as well as the Covid 19 pandemic among others.

On the positive interventions by Government, Gwanyanya highlighted the recent 50 percent of duties and royalties in the Zimbabwe dollar, 50 percent duties on designated vehicles payable in ZWL and the dual interest rate policy.

“On the outlook, almost everyone is seeing better prospects for Zimbabwe. The IMF and World Bank have recently projected recovery of the Zimbabwean economy.

There is also notable progress on currency stability as well as infrastructure development,” said Gwanyanya.

The event was hosted at The Venue on the 18th of February 2022 with was well attended giving marketers an opportunity to meet and interact as last year it was not held.

At the same function, guest speaker, Dr Dennis Magaya, the Director of Rubiem Group, who was the presenting on how to leverage on the market trends, emphasised the importance of Digital technologies in today’s business.

He also spoke of disruption due to digital marketing.

“Uber the biggest transportation company doesn’t own a single car but it has workers , the biggest social media platform-Facebook  owns no journalist but it has multiple people writing articles , selling and doing different stuff on for free there things have changed in the business environment,” he said.

Dr Magaya said that business should have a flow and understand the customer journey and it should be designed around customer journey but content as well focusing on the customer value.

.

“It is the customer who defines a brand. A brand is the gut feeling you get when a brand is mentioned. A brand is not mentioned by an organisation.

You don’t own the customer, the customer is on a journey. Our organisations and marketing functions were designed in owning the customer but you don’t own the customer. The best you can do is to understand the customer journey,” he said.

3Ktv, the official partners for the 2022 Marketers Luncheon also gave insights and shared highlights from their television station which has since been launched.

The television station’s General manager, Emmanuel Nyamayedenga shared 3Ktv’s objectives among them brand acceptance, recruiting viewers and promoting headline shows as well as brand positioning.

He said the station is good for Zimbabwe as it creates opportunities for young Zimbabwean creative talents, offers training and support in productions and tells the intriguing Zimbabwean stories by Zimbabweans.

3Ktv is now broadcasting on DSTV channel 293.

Using Analytics to Enhance Customer Experience

By Grad Zimunya

Many companies globally and locally are putting customer experience (CX) at the centre of their strategy, with the goal of providing products and services that satisfy customers at every touch point. Great customer experience, that is delivering what the customer wants and experts when they want it can be a source of a great advantage in a crowded multichannel economy.

In the digital economy, defining customer experience as a combination of buyer persona attributes, market segment data and customer purchasing histories is no longer enough. Business now needs a definition that provides a 360-degree view of your customer’s journey covering every interaction with a brand.

To get such a 360 view of CX marketing leaders invest in customer journey mapping taking note of the key touch points. A useful model for understanding the stages of the customer lifecycle was released by Forrester.

The first three stages – Discover, Explore, and Buy – correspond to the sales funnel and explain the element of the customer’s journey that relates to it. Sales and marketing are concentrating their efforts on the front end of the customer journey in order to increase top-line income.

The following three stages – Utilize, Ask, and Engage – explain the customer’s post-sales journey, including how they use products, seek support, and engage with the company’s brand.

With such a model the idea is to immerse marketers in a specific customer experience and direct their attention to each stage of the customer journey. Attention at each of the stages of the customer experience is enhanced when you break each stage into the customer touch points.

Focusing on customer touch points help the marketers manage the customer journey and thereby the customer experience better. Looking at the discover stage in the pre-sale stage, channels like social media and blogs are very important to check the initial customer sentiment when you launch a product. In the post-sale stage feedback from social media, email and other platforms will also help.

Marketing Analytics can therefore help marketers in giving insights on the customer behaviour and feedback on how the customer is relating with your brand.

The first thing that the analyst will need to look at is the data collection. To have sound analytics insights you need to make sure you collect the requisite data to allow for the analysis. Some retail outlets offer loyalty cards which is a way of making sure that transactional data will be tied to customers and this can then assist if you are going to have detailed customer analytics. Others tie transactional data to mobile numbers for the same reason.

In the advent of Big Data where data is being generated online every minute by the interaction between your customers and the digital channels, online platforms like Social Media Analytics tools, web analytics tools also become a very important source of data.

The Donald Trump campaign of 2016 where user data from Facebook was used to target voters with personalised adverts is a very clear example of how data customer data is becoming very important for business.

The collected data can be used for two main purposes.

  1. Analysis of the customers experience to see how you are performing. This is more of a hindsight approach which help to see where you need to improve. Sentiment Analysis, Churn analysis are some of the insights that will give a picture of the customer experience.   
  2. Customer Experience Analytics which look more into predicting and shaping the future of your customer experience. By applying past data and some statistical algorithms you can predict the future of the customer experience and thereby make adjustments to design a better customer experience.

 Customer experience analytics is very important in designing your customer experience and this will work well with other aspects of Marketing analytics which include:  

The idea of hindsight, insight and foresight that is encompassed in analytics can be a very vital tool to enhance customer experience in this data driven environment.

Zimunya is a digital marketing and data analytics trainer , lecturer anf consultant with a strong interest in marketing and customer analytics , digital strategy and digital transformation . He runs a digital agency and lectures at a local university ,a college and is part of the MAZ DIGITAL MARKETING CERTIFICATE FACILITATORS. He holds a Msc in Big Data Analytics . gradzimunya@quraglobal.com/gradzimunya@outlook.co.zw

THE DILEMNA OF PROMISE VERSUS DELIVERY

By Pamela Gwanzura
The onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic has brought with it a lot of dynamism in the operations of businesses. What has been most interesting to observe are the varying trends among the different players in business. Covid 19 has been a blessing to many organisations whose profits shot up because of the emerging needs that came with the pandemic. On the other hand there are many organisations whose performance took a downturn as the pandemic set in.

A close analysis of the data provided by the authoritative national research dubbed the Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (ZAMPS) shows the following general trends in the last two years:

An attempt to understand why there is such a disparity among common players that points to winners and losers in the same playing field led us to an observation that the distinguishing factor is the dilemma of promise versus delivery. So much is promised to the customer but very little is delivered by some organisations.

We are living in an age where corporates have caught up with the essence of advertising and brand positioning. As you look around you, one can confirm that each brand’s Unique Selling Point (USP) is glaring. As one looks closely it is easy to depict that the brand imaging, brand promise and messaging in most products and services are well articulated and crafted.

This gap is experienced by the customer at varied levels. For the customer to have developed an interest in the product, it is because they would have heard about it on the radio or television, social media or newspapers. The detail and promise in the messaging is what entices the customer and in some instances, there is a physical promise incorporated in the messaging such as, “If you bring your flier to any of our branches, you will get a 20% discount” Then a customer goes to one of the branches and the staff are not aware about this promised discount. The result is a disgruntled customer who will tell her many friends about her disappointment and this has a negative implication on the organisation’s sales if the word spreads widely enough.

What has been interesting to note is the way most corporates have been dynamic in the style of advertising they have embarked on with the key motive of being relevant and current to the targeted audience.
Brands have done well in terms of the leadership in the organisations being clear on what the brand is all about and what it stands for. But they have failed dismally in communicating internally to the staff on the following key issues;



Advertising has also advanced to dizzy heights and has become very apt and target specific in reaching the targeted audience or customers.
Key objectives in most cases have been met and these include, the lingering effect and the call to action that results in heightened interest in the product or service which often leads to actual purchase.

With all the good communication in place and the most attention grabbing messaging, it is important to point out that there is still a serious huge gap between the marketing team who craft the communication and the campaigns and the front line sales people who handover the final product to that walk in customer. Stories have been told of various customers walking into certain organisations after following a promise they got through a catchy advertisement, only to be deflated by the person who is supposed to be giving them a promised excellent service.

What is the mode of operation in your organisation? Are you in sync from your point of communication to your point of delivery? Is the whole organisation on board when it comes to representing the brand and all it claims to offer. My personal encounters with certain banks, certain retail outlets, certain telecommunications companies have led me to conclude that the dilemma of promise versus delivery is an urgent matter to be addressed by many organisations, big or small within the Zimbabwean market. Recognise that customers take you seriously when you make promises through articulate, aggressive advertising. It is high time you took customers seriously in return by simply delivering on your promise. Once you communicate it via adverts make sure it is activated on the ground. Ensure that all staff are advised of all external communication and developments so that they do not get surprised when customers are making reference to advertisements at the point of purchase.

Organisations need to be intentional about bridging this gap,                    perhaps    through training, if organisations are to perform at their optimum. The ball is in your court, do not make false promises to your customers, back up the promises by fulfilling them.

Pamela Gwanzura is the Chief Executive officer for ZARF. She is a seasoned marketer and communication strategist with vast experience.