By Dennis Mambure

The events of 2020 and 2021 have transformed the way customers behave in a number of ways. Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic progressive organisations  regardless of sector, especially   on our continent were spending significant resources in trying to migrate their clients to the digital platforms or to take ecommerce seriously. We now  have seen a significant migration to ecommerce even in areas that we never imagine.  So much has been the digital migration by consumers that  Steve Tzikakis, the Chief Executive of Sitecore  suggested that “ for the first time , the consumer is ahead of the technology that their favourite brands are offering”.  That is really commendable. We are observing clients going digital on almost everything from ordering food, tele-medicine, holiday booking, education, church services, also sorts of payments  among a plethora of other use case. We have also observed a lot of things happening that has a significant impact on how brands and marketers need to respond.  As we approach the yearend and look into the new year, there are a few “this and that” pointers that we have to raise.

Cocreation

How do marketers keep pace with the customers who are way advanced and knowledgeable about technology? Gone are the days that brand can come up with something out of the world that the customers have not heard or thought of. If that is the case, brands need to embrace the concept of co-creation. The time of working with clients to improve innovations, experience and brand acceptance is now. Our customers are an oilfield of knowledge and experience. Involve them, harvest the knowledge that they have. Every Single Point of Contact ( SPOC) is an opportunity to learn, influence and impress. There is no room for zero-value encounters (ZVE). The enemy of progress going into 2022 is ZVE. Every encounter should counter. Marketers should put in place mechanisms of harvesting data  that is generated at every SPOC. No option. If we do that we keep abreast with customers’ expectations and lived experiences.

Hedonics

There are few things that are necessary to do in the next normal that we are now permanent residence of. From what we see things like masks are here to stay. These should now graduate from being viewed only as Personal Protective Equipment. They are also part of our  dressing. Marketers working together with designers and fashionistas should recognise that the blue , white or black versions of masks that we see available are boring. How can these be designed to meet the required health standards while addressing the functional, fashion and even hedonic needs of customers. Remember prescription spectacles have moved from simple thick lenses to fashion statements. We see a lot of styles and big brands on these spectacles. How about on the masks? How do we make them interesting and fashionable? Clients are looking to brands to do this at scale.

To be trained or not

It is interesting to note the pandemic has played a significant part in the growth of the marketing profession.  Digital marketing has also grown phenomenally to the extent that there are some reckless statements being thrown out there that one does not need to have a marketing  qualification to do marketing. This is so because a number of digital marketing planning and executions such as programmatic advertising, SEO Marketing,  among a number of similar tactics and strategies seem to be effectively done by anyone , even those outside the profession. What escapes the proponents of such dangerous statements is that almost all careers are going through some transformation. The core of marketing still remains and at some point, the skills of a marketers remain grounded in basics. At the core of marketing is not beautiful creatives or pushing out content on the digital platforms. The core of marketing is the ability to create value for clients and the organisation. That value creations goes beyond the ability to run SEO campaigns. It is about the ability to create brands, understand clients behaviour on and offline, clarity of the financial aspects of marketing, having insights of the marketplace- customer, competitors, industry, regulations among others. As we go into 2022, let’s not glorify one sided views of marketing but rather focus on a holistic and well-grounded marketer who has a 360-degree view of the business. Let the marketing teams be trained the basics of marketing, Martechs, Big Data among a plethora of other key marketing concepts and practice. Get trained!

Data Privacy and the Marketing Question

One interesting development that is going in the world is the tightening of data privacy and protection regulations. This has a big impact on how marketers need to approach their digital marketing going forward. In the years past, advertisers could get away with generic advertising riding on the abundance of third-party cookies. Put simply , third party cookies  allow marketers to track  users’ internet behaviour over time. However, this is changing .We have already seen big tech companies blocking third party cookies on their respective browsers. The net effect  of this move is that data becomes difficult to get. Brands need to start building their own customer data and the only way to do so is to attract clients to their digital assets if they hope to utilise ecommerce as a way to serve these clients. The success of ecommerce and indeed digital marketing hinges on availability of customer data for effective targeting.  This is where loyalty building strategies become necessary among marketers. Marketers need to figure out how to navigate a cookieless future.

Waning Customer Patience

Clients endurance and patience has waned because of the pandemic. Spending 30minutes in a queue is no longer acceptable. Clients have learnt that every second counts. What ecommerce and digital purchases have enabled is the ability to go through the entire transaction process in a matter of seconds. Now going to the physical shop may cause a lot of unhappiness if there is a gap between online and offline experience. Brands need to be innovative. Where possible certain processes may need to start online and get completed in store, in order to reduce time, spent in store.  Introduction of digital driven self service points in shops maybe one way of  dealing with customers sensitivity to time. Customers should be able to pick their grocery items , for example, walk to a self-scanning point, use their credit, or debit cards and check out without any human interface.

The year ahead is promising, and marketers should scale up and take advantage of what the future holds. Merry Christmas and a happy new year

Dennis is a Marketing and Communications Practitioner with interests in branding, strategy , customer experience and digital marketing . He writes in his personal capacity and feedback can be sent to dnmambure@gmail.com

FAST moving consumer goods (FMCG) and essential services have remained as top priority in Zimbabwe as reflected by the Top 10 Business to Consumer and Business to Business categories of the Superbrand Awards in 2021.

Consumer brands were more dominant in the Superbrand Awards this year, depicting the state of the economy and that consumers are now more focused on basic needs than other luxuries.

Results from the research are often reflective of the ever changing consumer tastes and preferences.

The essential services and products were ranging from health, insurance and telecommunications services.

This was revealed at the Superbrand 2021 awards held at the Rainbow Towers on the 3rd of December 2021 hosted by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe.

The prestigious awards were held under the theme Super brands: Towards Nation Pride and Business Growth’.

Proton Bakers was adjudged as the overall Superbrand Winner for the year 2021 and was on pole position in the Top 20 Business to Consumer Brands.

It was also the winner in the FMCG bakery sector.

For the Top 10 Business to Consumer brands the winner of the category was Proton followed by OK Zimbabwe, Econet, Mazoe and Bakers Inn on fifth position.

On 6th position was Eco-Cash, followed by Nyaradzo Funeral Services, Chicken Inn on 8th position, Coca-Coca and Zimgold on 10th position.

In the Business to business category, the winner was Old Mutual, followed by Cimas, Delta Corporation, PPC Zimbabwe and CBZ Bank on fifth position.

On 6th position was Seedco, followed CABS and Larfage Cement on 7th position.

The last three in this category were National Foods, The Herald and Toyota Zimbabwe on 10th position.

Superbrand Adjudication chairperson, Mr Denford Mutashu in his speech at the awards ceremony highlighted that there has been a shift from luxury brands which have continued to drop rankings due to shifts in availability, prices and consumer priorities.

“From the research we observed that most mentions were that of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) because of the state of our economy which has become more consumer oriented. This is an indication that it is those very basic goods which are leaving an impression in the mind of the consumer,” said Mr Mutashu.

He said the priorities are reflective of the prevailing consumer experiences as shaped by the prevailing economic challenge.

The dominance by the Consumer brands is also a sign that the custodians of the brands are pushing hard as evidenced by jingles, billboards, product innovations, rebranding and new products on the market.

He added that because of the Covid 19 pandemic there was also high demand for detergents products and hygienic services has significantly increased during these Covid 19 times.

He also acknowledged the auditor partners, Grant Thornton for carrying out an audit process in determining whether the ranking of the brands surveyed were in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedures set out by the Superbrand adjudication committee.

Nemchem, one of the service providers of hygienic services was on 18th position in the Business to Business categories.

Banks and mobile money service provider, Eco-cash were also cited by consumers as an essential service in the Superbrand Research.

Health Care and Funeral services were also key as mentioned by consumers more particularly due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Superbrand Awards has earned a solid reputation as far as celebrating brand excellence is concerned.

These awards which were birthed in 2010 celebrate brands that go beyond excellence in service delivery and those that are top in the minds of the consumer

One critical element that makes Superbrand authentic over a lot of awards is the fact that the process is consumer driven where the participating brands are chosen and rated by the consumers through a nationwide consumer survey.

MAZ would like to congratulate all the winners and thank all the sponsors that made the event, a success.

It was all glitz and glamour at the Exceptional Marketers Awards held on October 30 at the Carribea Bay Hotel with as guests followed the event’s theme, Met Gala.

The dress theme for the Awards was Met Gala with colours gold, blue red and white. The colours resonated with the awards dinner sponsor colours Nyaradzo and Zimgold.

The Exceptional Marketing Awards are an annual event that seek to recognise and honour organisations and people who would have exhibited exceptional marketing prowess and at the same time showing professionalism at the highest level.

Zimnat Group Marketing Executive Tatenda Marongwe was adjudged as the National Top Marketer of the Year at the recently held awards ceremony.

Marongwe leads a team of creatives that have come up with interesting innovations and advertisements in the past months.

Upon being called out as the Top Marketer, Marongwe received a thunderous applause as well as a standing ovation from the guests at the awards ceremony.

This award is given to an individual who has spearheaded or implemented a financially viable campaign. The award winner should be innovative and should be a team player.

They are required to demonstrate the highest level of customer relationship management skills and extraordinary success despite unavailability of adequate resources.

The individual should also have been with the company for at least 6 months.

The second runner up for this award was Linda Mariga, the Marketing Manager of United Refineries Limited and first runner up was PPC Zimbabwe General Manager Sales and Marketing, Nkosana Mapuma.

One of the night’s tightly contested categories was that of the Marketing Oriented CEO. The category had two second runner ups namely Zimnat’s CEO Mustafa Sachak, Dandemutande’ CEO, Never Ncube and Ingwebu’s Dumisani Mhlanga as first Runner.

The award went to Nyaradzo CEO, Philip Mataranyika.

The award criteria looks at the following, forward thinking, a risk taker and always comes up with innovative ideas. He/She must motivate and inspire marketers and other aspiring marketers around, ensure that executions meet objectives.

The CEO must actively share responsibility with his or her team, executes excellent communication skills and customer relationship management for both internal and external staff. He/She must appreciate the use of IT based strategies and Set high standards of integrity.

His /her organization must be producing excellent results and outputs.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Godfrey ‘Chief’ Koti scooped the National Public Relations Practitioner of the Year 2021 with Multi Choice’ Elizabeth Dziva finishing as second runner up and Doreen Dzamatira from ZITF Company as first runner up respectively.

The award is given to an individual who has managed to maintain good corporate reputation for the organisation that he or she works for and has good media relations. He/she must maintain good relationships with both internal and external stakeholders and have the ability to effectively respond to public inquiries and complaints.

Econet’s Kudzai Munemo was voted as the National Brand Manager of the Year followed by Getrude Chipamba and Gamuchirai Sibanda as first and second runners up respectively.

The National Sales Manager award went to Proton’s Daniel Chipato, followed by Sharon Musodza from ZimSwitch and Anotida Kereke from Doves Holdings.

The Best National Jingle / Radio Advert of the Year award went to Zimgold for their Zimgold flava town. The first runner up in this category was Ingwebu for their Royal Brew jingle and Econet for their Digital Lifestyle network jingle.

Zimgold won the Best National Video / TV Advert for their Zimgold flava town. On second spot was Nyaradzo Group – Sahwira wear and win advert and Ingwebu was second Runner Up for their The Royal Brew Icalabash advert.

The Best National Print advert of the year went to Nyaradzo Holdings for their Nyaradzo wear and Win Advert. The first and second runner ups in this category were Zimgold and PSMAS.

Zimnat Parkade Billboard was adjudged Best National Region Outdoor Media Advert of the Year 2021 followed by DSTV premier league and Econet’s –Live the Difference.

Again, Zimnat scooped the Best National Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year 2021 Winner with their WhatsApp Drama (Jabu Homecoming) , beating Zimgold and Bulawayo Chiefs in that category.

Impala Car Rental was adjudged as having the Best National Website of the Year.

The Exceptional National Customer Experience of the Year award was awarded to Nyaradzo Holdings with Cimas and Engen also finishing as runner ups in that category.

The award for the Best New Product or Innovation went to PPC for their Surerange cement with Econet’s – 4g mifi kambudzi and Proton’s  – sponge cake mix in that same category.

Yanaya was adjudged as the Best National Marketing Oriented SME of the Year with Image Magic Corporate and Powerlive as the first and second runner up in that category.

The Best National Marketing Services Supplier of the year award went to Barkers Ogilvy. Askeland Media and Image Magic Corporate were first and second runners up respectively.

The National Promotional Campaign award went to Nyaradzo Holdings for their Sahwira Wear and Win campaign.

For their Corporate Mad Campaign for Recycling , Delta Corporation won the National Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year award followed by Trek  for their Christmas Benefit and Green Fuel  for the – Vimbo “Hope for a Better Future initiatives.

Congratulations to all the winners!!

Marketers Association of Zimbabwe successfully held its second hybrid Annual Marketers Convention with virtual participants following on Zoom from different parts of the world and physical delegates in Kariba.

The 13th Annual Convention was held at Caribbea Bay in Kariba from October 27 to 30 under the theme Marketing in the Age of AI.Change is Inevitable. Reinvent or Die.

The first speaker at the Convention was Old Mutual Zimbabwe, Head of Group Marketing and Innovation Lilian Mbayiwa who presented Driving the Marketing Function.

She delivered a powerful presentation that also focused on Customer experience. Lilian emphasised that organisations have to answer some key questions on what makes them distinctive, how they can engage customers in an ongoing dialogue and how to involve customers in brand innovation.

“We need to understand what our customers are saying so that we use those insights in guiding the development of our value propositions,” said Mbayiwa.

A networking dinner sponsored by ZB Bank which was commemorating its 70th anniversary.

Ministers Monica Mutsvangwa and Mary Mliswa-Chikoka graced the Dinner.

Engineer Nyasha Thusabantu from the Harare Institute of Technology presented on Data Driven Marketing –Big Data and Decisioning in Marketing. She highlighted the importance of Data Driven Marketing

Kenyan based Nelly Wanaina from the Coca-Cola Company spoke on the Millennial Consumer and PR response to the Changing Consumer.

“When targeting Millennials, look for Millenials that appeal to them. Their following is also important .Look at agility and relevance,” said Wanaina.

She highlighted that when creating content in an organisation, include Millenials as they know what is trending and attracts their age mates.

London School of Digital Marketing Founder, Marriot Lusengo shared on reaching the Diaspora Market. He pointed out that in order to reach the Diaspora Market, the content shared has to be to be relevant and resonate with the target market.

“We need to change the hierarchical way of doing things in this Digital generation, we must be agile.

How are we utilising video on our social media platforms to reach out to our consumers? asked Marriot.

Potraz Head of Marketing and International Relations Sibo Muteyiwa, RTG Head of Business Information Systems and Gateway Stream, Taremeredzwa Chipepera, Ray Fernandez C00, Kasha, Kenya and Daniel Maison Head of SME Growth, MFS Africa, jointly presented in a panellist session on E-commerce Businesses.

They highlighted that some of the things that can improve the adoption of e-commerce in Africa include improved connectivity, affordability of data, refreshing policies by governments to promote adoption and use of e-commerce.

The President’s Dinner hosted by National Foods rounded off the day with MAZ President, Professor Zororo Muranda sharing on the Association’s activities and achievements for the year.

To cap the three day Marketer Convention on Friday were presentations by Delta Corporation Limited , General Manager –Corporate Affairs , Patricia Murambinda , Success Motivation Chairman Dr Nigel Chanakira , Economist Professor Gift Mugano and a panellist session on

In her presentation on Building Purposeful Brands, Patricia highlighted that it important to introspect on what brand.

“What is the purpose of your brand?  You must have a comprehensive purpose for your brand. Brands speak on purpose. Brand purpose is important. For companies it is the Foundation of every experience. It makes a brand necessary,” she said.

She highlighted that consumers are highly valuable stakeholders who insist on transparency.

“You need to activate your Brand purpose in the Market. Brands have to be human. They have to have feelings, involve customers and employees,” said Patricia.

Patricia highlighted that what one posts on social media has a bearing on their professional status in particular, those rising up the corporate ladder.

Next on the podium was Dr Nigel Chanakira with an interesting topic on Organisational Politics: Navigating organisational politics to influence change.

Every organisation or institution has its own politics, to ensure your survival, be authentic .Do not use dirty tactics and do not try to change your own value system to suit the organisation,” said Dr Chanakira.

Sharing from his own personal experiences, Dr Chanakira highlighted that office politics can be toxic and affect one’s mental health.

“Office politics  affect the progress of individuals. As a new employee do not involve yourself in politics when you join in. Cross check information and after a few months you would know what to say,” he added.

He emphasised that it was of paramount importance to respect autonomy and to listen more and always consulting before making a decision.

Professor Gift Mugano shared on the Impact of Covid 19 and the 2022 Economic Outlook for Zimbabwe.in his presentation he highlighted some of the critical elements needed for the growth of the country’s economy. In his presentation, Prof Mugano also explored some of the shortcomings such as of Treasury which include how the auction system is conducted, budget allocations among others.

A panellist session featuring IPC Managing Consultant, Memory Nguwi, Kenyan based Telecoms Marketing Director, Mellany Mariri and Priscilla Sadomba, Head of Change Management Xarani Pvt (Ltd) presented on the New Marketing Professional: 21st Century Skills for the Global Marketer.

Nguwi emphasised on the need for critical thinking and creating value beyond what a machine can do.

Mellany presenting on Agile Marketing pointed out that marketers need to embrace Data Science for Marketing. She said one needs to disrupt themselves before someone else does to develop resilience.

Priscilla highlighted that in the same way that organisations are transforming, it is the same way individuals must transform. They must read up on Digitalisation and innovation.

The Networking Dinner sponsored by ZB Bank ,President’s Dinner hosted by National Foods and the Exceptional Marketing Awards sponsored by Pure Oils Industries and Nyaradzo Holdings as well as a Sunset Boat Cruise for all delegates  were some of the major highlights of the 13th Annual Marketers Convention.

Ends//

Government has commended the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) for hosting the Sourthen Region Exceptional Marketing awards highlighting that noble initiative resonates with its Devolution Agenda.

Speaking at the inaugural awards, Guest of Honour, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Rajeshkumar Modi said the awards were important as they recognised effort and excellence.

“I would to commend the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe for putting these awards together as they not only boost confidence in the Sourthen Region but also a show of excellence from regional personnel. As Government we commend such efforts from the private sector,” said Hon Modi.

He highlighted the awards theme ‘Strong Brands Link to Regional Growth’ is apt as it resonates with Government’s thrust of devolution.

“As you may be aware Government is implementing economic devolution where provinces and districts will act as economic hubs competing with each other to attract investment and transform themselves into economic zones with own gross domestic product (GDP) to ensure sustainable and equitable development of the country.

We need strong brands from the Sourthen Region that will spur economic growth in all the provinces. In the previous years Bulawayo was the economic hub of the country and we are working together with the private sector to ensure that it goes back to its former glory as well as all the other provinces through the devolution agenda,” he said.

Hon Modi highlighted that the years 2020 and 2021 were really tough for business due to the Covid 19 pandemic which made the environment hard to operate in.

On that note, Hon Modi implored the private sector to be part of the National Development Strategy 1 which is the economic blue print of the country.

In his welcome remarks at the Awards, MAZ Executive Secretary, Mr Gillian Rusike said the idea to host the Awards came after the realisation that there were members in the region who work tirelessly pushing their brands but probably fail to be recognised the national awards as they save a specific segment market.

“With that in mind ladies and gentlemen, we therefore decided to honour and reward excellence for our members in the Southern Region comprising of Bulawayo, Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Provinces,” he said.

Mr Rusike demystified a lot of misconception about Awards highlighting that Awards are not supposed to be just a money making activity but need to be held in dignity, authenticity and genuineness.

“It is not a competition but awards are held in order to give recognition where it is due. They are meant to massage the ego of those who genuinely deserve them. We are excited to announce that us at MAZ, we try as much as possible to be genuine and authentic in our quest to recognise our members. The process is open for any and all to witness.

He added that the evidence of the work produced is visible for all, be they statistics, figures or profits they are definitely all at hand.

“Professionalism is at the centre of our conduct when we are dealing with processes, and we as your secretariat always provide the support to our committees to ensure that all is transparent and clear to every eye or ear. In order for us to further authenticate the results we celebrate, our biggest awards The SuperBrands Awards are the only awards that are verified by auditors in the countries. Assuredly, the same spirit we always carry in all other awards we conduct as we are fully conscious that brands and personal brands are expensive assets hence we don’t want to be found wanting,” said Mr Rusike.

He added that the main thrust of MAZ is to push for the recognition of the marketing profession hence we have come up with various initiatives and programs to push the profession.

The SREMA adjudicator’s team is led by Mr Brezhnev Mathonsi and other committee members are Ms Stella Nkomo, Mr Prosper Dube, Mr Rabson Masunda and Spiwe Mandina.

ENDS//

MARKETERS Association of Zimbabwe hosted a colourful inaugural Southern Regional Exceptional Marketing Awards in Bulawayo on September 24, 2021 in Bulawayo.

The SREMA Awards held under theme ‘Strong Brands: Link to Regional Growth’ sought to award marketing excellence in the Southern Region.

The dress theme for the Awards was Southern African Glam and delegates showcased a variety of Southern African traditional outfits in a glamorous way. Some accessorised their outfits with beads, bangles and head gears symbolising Sourthen African attires.

The overarching goal of the awards is to honour organizations and people who would have exhibited exceptional marketing prowess and at the same time showing professionalism at the highest level.

The most coveted award of the night was the Marketer of the Year, it was won by Nkosana Mapuma, General Manager Sales and Marketing at PPC Zimbabwe

Paulo Moyo from Arenel and Linda Mariga from United Refineries were the second and first runner ups in this category.

This award is given to an individual who has spearheaded or implemented a financially viable campaign. The award winner should be innovative and should be a team player.

They are required to demonstrate the highest level of customer relationship management skills and extraordinary success despite unavailability of adequate resources.

The individual should also have been with the company for at least 6 months.

The first runner up for this award was Linda Mariga, the Marketing Manager of United Refineries Limited and second runner up was Paulo Moyo from Arenel.

One of the night’s tightly contested categories was that of the Marketing Oriented CEO pitting PPC Zimbabwe’s Kelibone Masiyane, Busisa Moyo from United Refineries and Dumisani Mhlanga from Ingwebu Breweries.

The award went to Mhlanga while Masiyane and Moyo were first and second runner up respectively. 

The award criteria looks at the following, forward thinking, a risk taker and always comes up with innovative ideas. He/She must motivate and inspire marketers and other aspiring marketers around, ensure that executions meet objectives.

The CEO must actively share responsibility with his or her team, executes excellent communication skills and customer relationship management for both internal and external staff. He/She must appreciate the use of IT based strategies and Set high standards of integrity.

His /her organization must be producing excellent results and outputs.

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair‘s Doreen Dzamatira was named as the Public Relations Practitioner of the Year. She was battling it out Bulawayo City Council’s Nesisa Mpofu, Hwange Colliery’s Rugare Dhobbie. Mpofu and Dhobbie finished as first and second runner up respectively.

The award is given to an individual who has managed to maintain good corporate reputation for the organisation that he or she works for and has good media relations. He/she must maintain good relationships with both internal and external stakeholders and have the ability to effectively respond to public inquiries and complaints.

The Best Southern Region Jingle / Radio Advert of the Year went to Ingwebu for their Ingwebu Royal Brew jingle .The first runner up in this category was Zimgold with the Zimgold Flava Town jingle and Fortwell Wholesale- for their Fortwell Outserve Show jingle.

Ingwebu won the Best Southern Region Video / TV Advert for their The Royal Brew “iCalabash” advert. On second spot was Zimgold flava town advert and Royal Brands – Taste of Royalty advert.

Again, Ingwebu won the Best Southern Region Print Advert of the Year 2021 went to Ingwebu Royal Mahewu-The Taste of Royalty followed by Image Soap “Dancing soap and URL’s Fresh Health Joy Soap.

Macdonald’s Bricks Billboard was adjudged Best Southern Region Outdoor Media Advert of the Year 2021 followed by PPC and Cake Fairy.

The Best Southern Region Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year 2021 went to Bulawayo Chiefs with URL and Ingwebu as first and second runner up respectively.

Edgars was adjudged as having the Best Southern Region Website followed by Macdonald’s Bricks and Regency Hotels and Leisure Group.

The Exceptional Southern Region Customer Experience of the Year award was awarded to Holiday Inn with Edgars and Tregers in that category.

PPC’s Surerange scooped the Best Southern Region New Product or Innovation followed by Ingwebu’s Royal Mahewu and lastly Arenel’s Fruletta Juice.

Bulawayo’s Cake Fairy was adjudged as the Best Southern Region Marketing Oriented SME of the Year with Equitrail Africa Parts and Aquamat Drilling as the first and second runner up in that category.

Impression Designs was awarded the Best Southern Region Marketing Services Supplier of the Year followed by Winning designs and Artistic Brands.

United Refineries Limited scooped the Exceptional Southern Region Promotional Campaign award for their Unity Mealie Meal Win a Cow Promotion. Ingwebu was first runner up with their Royal Lunch pack challenge and lastly Arenel for the #KasiPride Twitter Battle.

The Exceptional Southern Region Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign was won by United Refineries Limited for their Hospital donations followed by PPC Zimbabwe for their Gwanda Provincial Hospital Incinerator and Quarantine Repairs and first runner, Davis Granite – Quarry and builders Stone Donation.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, successfully held its fourth edition of the Annual Charity Golf day on Friday September 3, 2021 at the ZRP Golf Club in Harare.

The tournament had a high turnout of 20 teams drawn from member corporates and the Marketers Golf Society who took time on the golf course to play for the Charity.

This year’s golf day ran under theme ‘Prison Campaign’. The campaign initiative seeks to raise funds to purchase toiletries and blankets for inmates in Mashonaland West province.

It was indeed a fun day for golfers after a long break due to the lockdown restrictions which saw many sporting activities being put on hold.

This year’s event, was hosted by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the Marketers Golf Society.

The Charity Golf Day also gave company representatives an opportunity to interact and market their works to other corporates. The event provided opportunities for sponsors and gave them a chance to gain greater brand visibility and gain exposure.  

MAZ Executive Secretary Mr Gillian Rusike, thanked all the people who came through to support the charity initiative and highlighted its importance to the needy.

“We will make sure that any money that comes in through the door is spent on the people who need it. We’ll be making sure they get the full service they need, and that they have all the basics they need through the funds we have raised here,” said Mr Rusike.

MAZ Charity Committee member, Tichaona Gandanhamo applauded the golfers for supporting the initiative which is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the Association.

“Over the years, we have managed to impact on the society in particular the needy through this Charity Golf initiative. We have had the ‘donate a shoe campaign as well as the ‘donate a hat’ campaigns.

We have managed to donate school shoes to the needy in Masvingo and Matthew Rusike Children’s Home. From the ‘donate a hat campaign we then donated sunscreen lotion to the Zimbabwe Albino Association last year,” said Gandanhamo.

He said funds from this campaign will be channeled towards purchasing blankets and toiletries for inmates in Kadoma.

In an interview of the sidelines of the Charity Golf Day, More Moyo highlighted that it was ‘more than just a golf event’.

“I’m both honored and privileged to be able to offer support to the event after being in contact with the organisers. I’ve seen the videos and pictures from previous years and it’s a testament to everyone involved that the event is going from strength to strength.

If I can help support that in any way possible then I’m happy to oblige. I’m sure this year’s event will be another brilliant success and vital funds will be raised to help the prisoners,” he said.

The MAZ grand prize, a floating trophy named the Agrippa Mugwagwa trophy was won by Oswell Farayi Ndoro was the overall winner.

Other winners were; Russell Chiradza , Trust Muchenje . Jane Salimu , Faina Bungare , 

For the ladies, Olivia Shumba won a prize for the longest drive Hole 1  together with P Madera.

More Moyo won the nearest the pin(Men) together with G Mangisi. For the ladies nearest the pin winners were G Rupara and A Marowa  and for the nearest to the pin (ladies) winners were S Nyamutsaka , longest drive Hole 3  and A Marowa.

The event’s sponsors were Delta Corporation , Cassava Smartech , fbc Holdings , Premier Corporate Gifts , Nyaradzo Group , Clarxon Actuaries , Proton , Holiday Inn , SanServ Hygiene ,  Altran Security , POSB , Toyota Zimbabwe , Croco Motors , Dandemutande , Cimas , Lobels , Dairibord Holdings , Ensell & Company , Schweppes , Proton , Clean Box , JB &Media and Media Partner , Daily News.

Written By: Professor Zororo Muranda

The interface between academia and industry has assumed a new meaning and urgency in recent times in Zimbabwe. Now, more than any other time in our development trajectory, has there been need for enhanced interface and collaboration in human capital and industrial development. Interconnectedness and mutual dependence will be central to defining new and more robust pathways. As the growth of the economy gains momentum under the National Development Strategy (NDS1) from 2021 -2025, there will be need for an appropriately skilled human capital that fits into the new industries as envisaged by the plan. Appropriateness in this instance is about fitness for purpose and fitness of purpose.     

The interface between academia and industry assumes different modes in different education jurisdictions and systems and industrial setups in the course of development of nations. Although traditionally academia and industry have tended to exist side by side, as the new economy and new development management models evolve, convergence of outcomes by the two domains becomes inevitable and a parameter in evaluating future success. Planned convergence will be the defining success factor. The future of human capital development with specific attention on the development of skills and competences necessary for the new industry will hinge on the attainable level of collaboration and interdependence of these two. The Interaction has to be therefore modelled on the basis of recognising the multi-layered nature in the synergistic relationships. The interaction is multi-layered because development of skills and competencies at various levels of our education system has to factor in knowledge expectations of industry hence the need of enhanced collaboration.  

Academia has always defined its role in terms of knowledge generation. Conversely, knowledge generation by industry, especially in developed economies has clearly demonstrated there is more to be gained in collaboration and interdependence than continuing on the traditional parallel path. Such knowledge has now become the basis of a lot of modern theory from which academia has coupled and extended for the benefit of mankind. Generation of knowledge by academia and industry is increasingly iterative, thus strengthening the argument of enhanced collaboration. Sometimes there has been failure to recognise each other’s roles and dialogue has failed due to inflexibility and protection of an empty nest. The gap between academia and industry has always been pinned on the weakness in application by academia. On the other hand we have an industry that is stuck to old technologies. They ignore that science, engineering and the management of industrial complexes have evolved and are now at a stage where they are looking forward to embrace artificial intelligence in new industries. However such weakness is not insurmountable. It should be addressed through genuine consultative processes that seek converging outcomes focusing on the development of skills relevant to the new industry. At this stage of our development trajectory both academia and industry should be focusing on a student with sharp cognitive skills and innovative intuition for wealth creation; a student with an appetite for innovation and making money. There are countries worldwide that have now gone beyond enhanced interface. They sent their best brains to study how to reverse engineer products and services in industries that have grown way beyond what came through reverse engineering. Their industry collaborated with academia knowing well the new industry will be for the good of the country. Such is what has defined their development; development that generates jobs and futuristic entrepreneurs. As a country, these are practices we should benchmark.

In Zimbabwe, recognition of the need for academia–industry interaction has mainly been through workplace placement programmes particularly through the technical college and university system. This form of interaction is an attempt to close a yawning skills gap of several decades. It is now part of the curriculum of universities, although a belated realisation. It is an attempt by academia to supply relevant manpower to industry. Zimbabwe’s industry has always been of the view that graduates should hit the ground running when offered employment. In the past such a perspective has not been well received by academia who argues that knowledge acquired by college students should give them important principles that can be further developed by the employer. The academic system should not necessarily develop a graduate whose knowledge is meant for a specific employer. The duty of fitting and developing knowledge for a specific operation should squarely lie with the employer. Although the argument, on the surface, may sound logical it lacks the realisation that the disjuncture between the two areas slows down innovation and industrial development. The employer can only develop the appropriate level of skills if fully knowledgeable of how the graduate came to be. There lies the importance of interlocked collaboration; interface and collaboration that starts from developing and nurturing the basic idea that can be grown into a new industry. It is not about student placement and gaining from cheap labour; very far from it. What academia and industry interface seeks is collaborative development of innovations that generate new products and services i.e. new wealth and new industries.

 As a country, enhanced interface and interdependence is what is now needed. Although the country’s higher education system has now adopted the Education 5.0 philosophy, which in addition to focusing on teaching, research, and community service is now pushing for innovation and industrialisation as core domains, industry senses a threat particularly about the last domain on industrialisation. There has been grumblings from industry why academia is trying to enter and occupy their territory. There lies the elephant in the room. This should actually be an opportune moment for industry and academia to sit and firstly, define the future of our human capital and industrial development and secondly map the necessary framework centred on honesty interaction, collaboration, and interdependence. Countries that have enjoyed sustained industrial development have adapted their interaction to the fact that neither side has the monopoly to the nation’s industrial development question. There is enough space for both.

Shared knowledge on research, innovations and industrial development models is what underlies how developed economies came to be. This is not to say the country has to copy and paste human capital development and industrial development models of the past, far from it. If anything Zimbabwe needs novel industrial models and totally new industries that do not replicate industries of the past. Replication appears doomed. However, the current industry, with all its challenges remains an important source of knowledge of what to do and what not to do.

 Going forward, collaboration between academia and industry can take a leaf from the advisory note of those active in the two domains. It is clear neither has monopoly of knowledge and capital to go it alone into year 2030 and beyond. Genuine dialogue specific to interaction and collaboration through platforms such as conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia will quicken processes. Within the academic domain future pursuits not incorporating industry desires of the moment will  not only slow down closing the skills gap but also the pace of establishing new industry in line with desires of NDS1. Achieving middle income by year 2030 can only be through enhanced interface, collaboration and interdependence in both human capital and new industry.  

Over time, Marketers Association of Zimbabwe has noted that a myriad of practical marketing trends emerge in industry due to the changing technological landscape. Further, each year, academic institutions conduct researches which never get to be seen by industry.

The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe then engaged with the University of Zimbabwe and the two institutions have signed a memorandum of Agreement to facilitate and host the Summer School whose aim is to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

This collaboration seeks to close this gap and provide an interface where industry outlines the practical marketing applications in industry, whilst the academia share relevant research findings.

This interface dovetails with the University of Zimbabwe’s transformative journey where one of its five strategic objectives is to develop strategic partnerships to leverage knowledge-sharing, resource mobilization and investments for advancement of innovative research, outreach, teaching and business development.

Among the objectives of the Summer School are;

  1. To provide a platform for the academic world to share research insights and findings/ outputs from their wealth of research, which will assist industry in decision making;
  2. To provide a platform for industry to share practical insights, challenges, and opportunities, as well as new trends which will open opportunities for further research;
  3. To provide a networking platform for both industry and the academic sector so as to encourage a consistent flow of ideas between the two sectors, in particular in the business and marketing spheres.
  4. To identify research gaps that can create many research questions for masters and doctoral students at the University of Zimbabwe.

The proposed dates for the Summer School are 9th and 10th September 2021 at the University of Zimbabwe Post Graduate Centre.

The Summer school seminar will be held over a 2 day period and will be open to marketing lecturers from all relevant universities and colleges in Zimbabwe; marketing personnel in the relevant Universities and colleges from the Administration Side; marketing Students from relevant universities and colleges in Zimbabwe and Industry practitioners, captains of industry and business executives.

Professor Zororo Muranda is the president of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe. He is a seasoned, goal driven and highly experienced academic with over 25 years teaching at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. He is also an accomplished researcher and author of a book, book chapters, and published articles in local and international journals, monograph, and reviewed and non-reviewed conference proceedings.

The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, (MAZ) and the University of Zimbabwe, (UZ) have signed a memorandum of Agreement to facilitate and host the Summer School whose aim is to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Over time, MAZ has noted that a myriad of practical marketing trends emerge in industry due to the changing technological landscape. Further, each year, academic institutions conduct researches which never get to be seen by industry. This collaboration seeks to close this gap and provide an interface where industry outlines the practical marketing applications in industry, whilst the academia share relevant research findings. This interface dovetails with the University of Zimbabwe’s transformative journey where one of its five strategic objectives is to develop strategic partnerships to leverage knowledge-sharing, resource mobilization and investments for advancement of innovative research, outreach, teaching and business development.

The objectives of the Summer School are;

  1. To provide a platform for the academic world to share research insights and findings/ outputs from their wealth of research, which will assist industry in decision making;
  2. To provide a platform for industry to share practical insights, challenges, and opportunities, as well as new trends which will open opportunities for further
  3. To provide a networking platform for both industry and the academic sector so as to encourage a consistent flow of ideas between the two sectors, in particular in the business and marketing spheres.
  4. To identify research gaps that can create many research questions for masters and doctoral students at the University of Zimbabwe.

The Summer school seminar will be held over a 2 day period and will be open to ; marketing lecturers from all relevant universities and colleges in Zimbabwe; marketing personnel in the relevant Universities and colleges from the Administration Side; marketing Students from relevant universities and colleges in Zimbabwe and Industry practitioners and industry-based lecturers in Zimbabwe and abroad.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Mr Gillian Rusike who signed on behalf of MAZ said the MOA resonated with the association’s thrust to promote marketing professionalism and synergies, thereby ensuring that marketing is learnt, recognised and implemented to the highest levels for economic sustainability.

“Over the years we have envisaged such a partnership where industry and the academia meet to exchange ideas. We are happy that we have the University of Zimbabwe partnering us in this historic initiative. We have marketing graduates across universities in Zimbabwe that have done extensive research and innovations as part of their final year projects and disappointingly most of these projects are stacked up at the Faculty office and gather dust yet they have an impact to today’s industry,” said Mr Rusike.

He said the MOA with the University of Zimbabwe will cement the relations between industry and the academia and also resonated with Government’s education 5.0 thrust.
“This Summer School will be open to all universities in Zimbabwe and industry personnel. We are also inviting students with the best projects to come through and share their projects with industry.This will create synergies that will also see industry investing in academic research projects and also getting value through implementation of new research finding from the marketing students,” added Mr Rusike.

He said the proposed dates for the Summer School are 9th and 10th September 2021 at the University of Zimbabwe Post Graduate Centre. “So, we are going to have seminars and exhibitions from the lecturers and students during the two day Summer School. The University of Zmbabwe said it welcomes the laudable partnership as it comes at a time when the University is reconfiguring and modernizing itself into a nationally relevant and globally significant higher education leader in Heritage-based Education 5.0, contributing towards Zimbabwe’s development of a productive and sustainable research-innovation-industrialization ecosystem.

University of Zimbabwe Vice chancellor Professor Dr Paul Mapfumo said, the partnership between the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is a great initiative which is creating a base for real practices between graduate students and industry. “Traditionally, universities were only known for teaching and research, but of late they have become both innovation explorers and innovation merchants. The partnership will create new teaching, research and modernization, creating a business environment in Universities which meets the needs of economy and society,” said Prof Mapfumo.

Prof Mapfumo said the partnership is a platform for game changing knowledge sharing and exchange between Marketers, the academia and universities which is meant to unravel new knowledge and ideas that have not been previously explored, hence the uniqueness of this partnership.  “This is an opportunity for the industry to achieve their own goals with the help of the universities specialist ideas and improve their products and services. Students will have the opportunity to receive practical experience and get insights into companies and their different activities. The partnership is also a platform for networking and job creation,” he said.

He urged the academia and industry to embrace the Marketing Summer School as the modern world is influenced by marketing.  “Without marketing, brands would struggle to survive and the consumer market would fail because they would not be aware of the goods and services that they could purchase. Without marketing we would revert to Stone Age and the human race would cease to exist”.

Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, (MAZ) a pioneer in offering training in Digital Marketing in Zimbabwe continues to break new ground following its recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Marketing Malawi.

The historic MOU will see MAZ offering training in Digital Marketing courses to students in Malawi.

Malawi becomes the second country in Southern Africa that MAZ is exporting its trainings to, following a same arrangement with Zambia last year.

This signifies the Association’s thrust to be a leading marketing body and impacting the Southern region and beyond.

The Digital marketing program has been one of the most sought after programs offered by MAZ and it has quoted the interest of neighbouring countries.

MAZ in 2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zambia Institute of Marketing and a number of Zambian students have enrolled for the Certificate in Digital Marketing since then.

According to the MOU, MAZ will be responsible for offering Digital Marketing program while IMM will facilitate student recruitment for the programs.

President of IMM, Isabel Kachinjika said the dynamics of the marketing industry have evolved over time hence the need for marketers to upskill.

“Digital marketing enables us as marketers to better identify arising customer needs, develop new products and services, deliver services, and facilitate for the payment of the same. It is for this reason that we decided to partner with the Marketing Association of Zimbabwe in the delivery of a locally relevant digital marketing qualification which will equip marketing professionals in Malawi with the skills required to succeed in this new digital age.” said Kachinjika.

She highlighted that the importance of digital marketing cannot be understated.

“The world is now a global village and recent developments like the COVID-19 pandemic make it even more necessary for marketers to be able to connect with their existing and potential clients wherever they are,” she said.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Gillian Rusike said MAZ was excited to be a leading body in offering Digital marketing training across the region and beyond. He further highlighted that such partnerships as this with Malawi and Zambia come at an opportune time when the world has been reduced to a global village where boarder barriers are a thing of the past.

“What is exciting about this is that we are having marketing professionals from different markets in one set up hence sharing of ideas and experiences enriches the output” added Mr Rusike

“We are really excited with our regional penetration, we had an MOU with Zambia last year and we have enrolled students from Zambia and even some from Namibia and Botswana as well. Now we are moving into Malawi and we hope to take this program further in the region. Our desire is to be the pioneers of professionalism in the continent and beyond.” he said.

He said besides the regional students enrolling for the Digital Marketing program there were other students from as far as UK who were taking part in the program. Rusike said from 2016, when the first training was conducted by MAZ over 3000 Digital marketers have graduated from the Association and the program continues to be refined with time to meet the ever changing digital landscape. These include marketing managers, officers, media personnel, entrepreneurs (SMEs) and marketing teams of some of the leading corporates in Zimbabwe.

MAZ offers the following programs for Digital Marketing;

Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing Course (PCDM)

This is the leading professional Digital Marketing qualification currently being offered in Zimbabwe. Offering the program online has enableDDMAZ to widen its geographical coverage and attract students from countries like Zambia and the UK. The course is designed for individuals ready to expand their skills set in today’s internet driven market. It explores the several aspects of the new digital marketing environment and integrates them to current business operations.

Executive Certificate in Digital Marketing (ECDM)

The ECDM program is an 8 weeks certificate course designed for senior executives who will not find enough time to go through a detailed Digital marketing course. It is meant to equip participants with an appreciation of activities and roles of Digital Marketing professionals as well as the strategic aspects. The ECDM is ideal for Senior Managers/Executives from any field.

Certified Digital Marketing Expert status (CDMEXP)

The CDMEXP program is an upgrade from the Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing qualification. This program is an in-depth, practical Digital Marketing course that imparts expert level skills to students. It is composed of 6 Digital Marketing Master Class series sessions, Digital Strategy formulation exercise, a 6 months practical period and an evaluation and assessment stage, which students need to complete to earn the Expert status. Target students for this program are current holders of the Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing qualification or equivalence who need to upgrade their skills.