The National Exceptional Awards, hosted by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ), took place on September 29th at the Golden Conifer in Harare.

Sponsored by Surface Wilmar, through their brand Buttercup Margarine, the event recognized and celebrated the outstanding achievements of marketers and their organizations in Zimbabwe in a glamorous all black theme with a touch of green and gold.

On each and every category, the Diamond winner was considered as the top position in awards rankings, symbolizing the pinnacle of achievement and excellence. For Best Video / TV Advert of the Year 2023, Nyaradzo Group was the Diamond winner with Rongeka Advert, followed by Pure Oil Industries with their ‘Aura Beauty Soap Skin That Glows advert’. ABC Auctions and Maisha Health Fund were both in third position which was regarded as the Gold winner. ABC Auction contested with ‘A Love Story’ advert and Maisha Health Fund had the MaishaCare Advert.

For Best Radio Advert of the Year 2023, Econet Wireless was the Diamond winner with the ‘Hallo 25 Advert’, followed by Nyaradzo Group with their ‘Wamuwana’ advert. AFC Commercial bank with ‘Bhengi rangu, My Bank, Ibhanga lami’ and Cashel Valley with ‘Tomango Kaboom campaign’ Advert; managed to scoop the third winner up position.

Another contested category the Best Radio Advert of the Year 2023, Econet was the diamond with ‘Hallo 25 ‘advert, followed by Old Mutual as the platinum winner with their Old Mutual ‘Integrated Financial Services Campaign’ advert. Stanbic with Rise above the enterprise online advert and Nyaradzo Group with Mapolicy Manyama advert; were recognized as the third position in the print category.

Zimnat Construction House Status Branding was selected as the Best Outdoor Advert of the Year 2023 followed by OK Zimbabwe Grand Challenge. Croco Holdings (Ford Raptor “What Rules” advert) and Surface Wilmar (Pure drop advert) were both in third position which was regarded as the Gold winners.

The Best Website of the Year 2023, went to Croco motors, followed by Zimnat with Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe and Nyaradzo Group were both in third position as the Gold winners.

In addition, Econet Wireless was the diamond winner in the category of the Best Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year 2023 with its Econet Victoria Falls marathon campaign, with West Property coming second with its Pomona city campaign outshining Pacific Cigarette Company and Duly Holdings Limited who were both in the third place. Pacific Cigarette Company with Mafaro Pacific, and Duly Holdings limited with Duly brand awareness campaign managed to get the third place position.

Best Customer Experience of the Year 2023 was taken by Nyaradzo group as the Diamond winner, followed OK Zimbabwe as the platinum winner. Duly Holding Limited and ZB Financial holding tied on the third position.

For The Best New Product or Innovation of the Year, National Foods limited was the Diamond winner with Pearlenta Nutri Active Breakfast Cereals product, followed by Old Mutual with O’mari product. WestProp with Millennium Heights and Pure Oil Industries Aura bath soap were both in third position which was regarded as the Gold winner.

Best Marketing Oriented SME of the Year 2023 was scooped by Powerlive Zimbabwe as the Diamond winner, followed by The Legacy Car Rental as the platinum winner. The Best Travel and ClicknPay Africa tied on the third position.

StarFM was awarded as the diamond winner for the Best Marketing Services Supplier of the Year 2023 and Askeland Media & Advertising was the platinum winner. Urban Media Africa and Image Magic Corporate were both on the third position in this category.

The Best Corporate Event of the Year 2023 was won by Delta beverages with their Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival. Econet Zimbabwe won the platinum award with their Econet Victoria Falls Marathon while Jacaranda Culture & Media Corporation with their National Arts Merit Awards and Old Mutual with O’mari (product launch) were both on the position as the gold winners.

For Best Interactive Marketing/Gaming Excellence of the Year 2023, Econet Wireless was the diamond winner with their Econet Journey VR, Scan & Win challenge at ZITF 2023 followed by Zimnat as the platinum winner with their Zimnat Scratches

Another category was the Excellence in Viral Marketing of the Year 2023, where Zimnat was the diamond winner with their Zimnat construction house cover campaign, followed by Econet Wireless as the platinum winner with Hall 25 Blue Week.

For the Best Promotional Campaign of the Year 2023, Econet Wireless floated on top as the Diamond winner with their Econet Hallo 25 Thematic Campaign, followed by Ecocash as the platinum winner with Chakachaya PaEcocash USD promotion while OK Zimbabwe (OK Grand Challenge) and ZITF were both on the third position as the gold winners.

The first position for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the Year 2023 was awarded to FBC holdings with it’s “the Human Face of FBC CSR Campaign” as the Diamond winner. SPAR Zimbabwe was on second position with their opening of a school library, toy drive campaign, clean up campaigns & one tree planted campaign. Old Mutual with their ‘On the money financial education programs and Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) was on third position for their career guidance initiative.

Young Achiever /Upcoming Marketer of the Year 2023 was scooped by Gamuchirai Sibanda from Zimnat as the Diamond winner, followed by Cuthbert Nduwure from CIMAS as the platinum winner. Kudakwashe Chiutsi from Pacific Cigarette Company and Tawanda Rusike from Marketers Association of Zimbabwe tied on the third position as the gold winners.

Best Creative Designer of the Year 2023 was given to Kundai Sasha Sunduz from SUNDUZ Design as the Diamond winner, Tawanda Chibayiwa from ZITF Company as the platinum winner. Nyasha E. Mhazo (Artmosfear Graphics) and William Duri from Croco motors were awarded gold winners.

Kudzai Munemo (Econet Wireless) was on first position as the Diamond winner for Brand Manager of the Year 2023, with the platinum award going to Nomagugu Matafare (National Foods Limited). The third positions were occupied by Ralph Wilson (OK Zimbabwe) and Rungano Rukawo (Nemchem).

Dr. Douglas Mboweni from Econet Wireless scooped the Diamond Winner award for Marketing oriented CEO/Managing Director of the Year 2023, followed by Kenneth Sharpe (WestProp) as the platinum winner and Aman Jyoti (Pure oil Industries) as the gold winner.

Furthermore, Public Relations Practitioner of the Year 2023, was awarded to Dr. George Manyaya (ZESA) as the diamond winner, Kissmore Murandu (Delta Corporation) as the platinum winner and Constance Rudo Makoni Thodhlana (Cottco) in the Third position as the gold winner.

Tafadzwa L. Gotora (Bakers Ogilvy) scooped the first position as the Diamond winner for the Digital Marketing Practitioner of the Year 2023, followed by David Duri (Econet) on the second position and Tinovimbanashe Hove (Bakers Ogilvy) on the third position as the gold winner. 

Sales Manager of the Year 2023, Darlington Mabvure from Nyaradzo Group scooped the diamond winner award. Shalmore Khuleya (Dendairy Private Limited) was the platinum winner in the same category, while Clemence Ngoni Kawadza (Econet) and Batsirai Tembo (Sixspeed Tech system) were both Gold winners.

Tariro Muchena in recognition to her outstanding work this year GM- Marketing services from Econet Wireless topped as the Champion Marketer (Executive) of the Year 2023, Lesley Gibbons from Pureoil Industries as the platinum winner and Patience Dingani from Delta Corporation as the gold winner.

The National Exceptional Awards were made possible through the support of several sponsors and partners, including; Askeland media, Dailynews, Pacific cigarette company, Premier gifts, Image Magic Corporate, Star FM, 3Ktv, ZiFm stereo, ZTN, Financial Gazette, Zimpapers, Showcase it among others.

The overall sponsor for this memorable night was Surface Wilmar with their Buttercup Margarine Brand

Congratulations to the winners!!!

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Zimbabwe Association of Business Communicators (ZABC).

The Zimbabwe Association of Business Communicators is a welcoming community that supports, develops and connects public relations and communication practitioners in Zimbabwe and beyond.

It was birthed from a desire to build professionalism and credibility in the business communication fraternity, ZABC is meant to foster excellence, recognition, skills development and synergies among its members. We will drive sustainability agenda to attract capital, build investor confidence and promote stronger brand identity.

ZABC is made up a Board of leading Public Relations and Communication experts in the country.

The ZABC seeks to cover the gap in the Public Relations and Corporate Communications industry.  One of its main thrusts is to drive the Environmental, Social, Governance agenda in the country.

ZABC also provides corporate communications and Public Relations Consultancy to public and private businesses. With a wealth of experience from members, any organisation can tap into this experience and benefit from PR Research and Consultancy Services.    

Our purpose as ZABC is to drive standards and inspire quality business communicators.

ZABC seeks to elevate professional excellence in business communication that drive transformation. It also seeks to position business communicators and its contribution to the bottom line and development of organizations.

There has been so much technological advancements such as Artificial intelligence , metavese , Chat GPT therefore there is need develop agile business communications practitioners that are equipped and up –to-date with sector trends and practices.

As ZABC we will also strive to create an internationally connected astute community of practitioners for exchange, collaboration and co-creation as well as spearhead the sustainability agenda and equip practitioners with relevant trends in the fast moving corporate affairs role, in order for the communications function to transform businesses.

ZABC will officially be launched on October 3rd, 2023 at the Venue in Harare. The launch will be attended by business executives, Public relations practitioners and government officials.

We will avail more details on the launch but today we wish to inform you on the pending birth of a game changer in the Communications industry.

The proliferation of technology and the rapid increase in online communities have brought about a significant transformation in the area of marketing. Customer engagement and interactions were transformed into metaverse. A metaverse is a new normal in which people can interact with digital content. Customers can engage companies and act as product co-creators. Marketing practitioners and educators need to be upskilled in developing knowledge that embraces the emerging phenomenon of metaverse. Educationists and industries need to collaborate to harness the upcoming challenges and opportunities with metaverse ecosystems.

Although metaverse is still under development, the potential to provide marketers with unique experiences is becoming a reality. Interactive brand experience, interactive platforms, creation of virtual venues, and virtual show rooms are becoming a new normal in the market. The brick-and-mortar shops are being annihilated and, in some cases, complemented as organisations try to remain competitive. This is the survival of the fittest, as companies aim to have online dominance. The whole is to improve customer loyalty and to be up-to-date with the changing consumer behaviours.

Global corporates, commonly known as “the digiratis” have since embraced the metaverse marketing strategy of digitally literate companies. Nikeland (Nike) allows customers to become involved in the development and design of their sneakers. In addition, the Roblox (Gucci) is in the branded clothing while Fortnite (Coca Cola) is in the music. The certainty of incorporating a metaverse into marketing books is not debatable. This stage is not only transformative, but also a gamechanger in marketing innovations and campaigns.

Metaverse has allowed customers to share their experiences virtually, making personalisation easier than ever before. However, it remains to be seen to been seen how these technologies transform customer engagement and experience. Companies must also understand the side effects of online engagement with customers, as issues of authenticity and transparency are emerging. Companies should invest in improving value for customers, improving customer experience, and engaging rather than manipulating them.

It is noteworthy that the metaverse is an innovation in marketing. The adoption of technology in marketing activities is critical, as marketers try to create memorable experiences with their customers through personalised products. New opportunities exist for marketing practitioners, educators, and communities in the era of the meta-verse.

Dr. Reason Masengu is a Senior Lecturer of Marketing at Middle East College, Muscat, Oman. He is passionate about teaching and research in marketing and supply chain management.

By Lenox Lizwi Mhlanga

Public relations (PR) helps an organisation connect with its audiences and create a positive reputation for the brand. An organisation may have a dedicated PR department, yet it may need to get the services of an external agency to help achieve PR goals such as gaining visibility.

I have worked with several PR agencies both in Zimbabwe and South Africa, including Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultancy, run by Sapi Bachi, Vincent Magwenya’s Conversations Africa, and Purple Room Consultancy run by the director, Thandi Chaotsane-Moticoe. Vincent is now South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson having held the same post under Jacob Zuma.

Sunshine Corporate Communications consultancy, is the start-up I launched during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are launching another start-up, Lenox Mhlanga & Associates to replace it in June to coincide with my birthday.

My experience working with PR agencies has almost been dominated by crises of expectations. The question at the top of the minds of most organisations that hire agencies is how they can make sure they get the best results, in other words, value for the money. I will share some tips and best practices to follow.

Make sure you choose the right one

All PR agencies are different, so you need to find the one that’s the right fit for your brand. You should look for an agency that has experience in your industry, understands your target audience and shares your vision and values. You should also check their portfolio, testimonials and references. Check their track record. You either go for small boutique agencies and large transnational ones that can hit you in the pocket but deliver.

Define what you want

After selecting the PR agency you want to work with after a rigorous pitch process, your work with them should start with setting accurate key performance indicators (KPIs). At your initial meeting, you need to decide what you want to accomplish. Do you intend your PR campaigns to increase sales, and brand awareness, manage reputation or engage in stakeholder relations? You should set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based objectives. This helps focus the agency’s work with laser-sharp precision.

Treat it as a partnership

A PR agency is not just a service provider; it’s a partner that can help you grow your brand. So, you should learn to trust and communicate with them openly and regularly. You should also involve them in your strategic planning and decision-making processes, and give them access to relevant personnel, information and resources. Such unfettered access, under strict parameters, of course, will contribute to the success of the partnership.

Be straightforward and provide information

A PR agency can only do its job well if it has enough information about your brand, products or services, competitors and market trends. You should be honest and transparent with them about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), as well as any challenges or issues that may arise during your campaigns. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are standard particularly where you are worried about trade secrets being leaked to competitors. You should also provide them with feedback on their work and suggestions for improvement.

Be responsive

A PR campaign often requires quick action and reaction to changing situations or opportunities. You should be ready to respond to any requests or queries from the PR agency promptly and efficiently, especially when deadlines are tight, such as in a crisis. It would be best if you also were flexible and adaptable to any changes or adjustments that may be needed along the way.

The pros and cons of hiring a PR agency

When making the decision to hire a PR agency, you have to consider the many benefits for the brand as well as the drawbacks. A PR agency can bring expertise, experience and creativity that you may not have in your organisation. This is so when specialist services such as in reputation management, staging events or communicating during a crisis.

You save time and money by hiring an agency to handle all aspects of a PR campaign from planning to execution. They also offer objective and fresh perspectives on your business and the market.

PR agencies have wide networks and relationships they can leverage. These include media outlets, influencers and other stakeholders that generate positive coverage and exposure for your brand. They also assist your organisation to manage and mitigate any negative publicity that could harm your brand’s reputation.

But, one has to be aware of the disadvantages presented by hiring an agency. Depending on the kind of services one requires, agencies can be expensive, especially if you hire a large or prestigious one. These are able to mobilise a tremendous amount of resources to deal with the tasks at hand. It’s a case of putting your money where your mouth is!

Another drawback may be that the agency may not understand your business culture, values or goals, or align with them. The intricate processes and internal politics are out of reach for the agency unless the organisation is willing to open up to outsiders. I have found that often, organisations are very cautious in this regard.

The coming in of an outsider (the agency) may cause confusion or duplication of efforts if it does not coordinate well with the business’ internal team or other external partners.

PR agencies may have other clients that compete with or clash with yours or prioritize them over yours. This is why full disclosure is necessary for the agency to avoid conflict of interest. The lure of a big account may influence an agency to mask the possibility that they are working with a competitor, but from experience, this is rare. Some PR agencies make promises they can’t fulfil, or fail to meet expectations or set standards.

Hiring a PR agency is an investment in your brand’s success, so you want to make sure that you get value for your money. The success of the partnership is guaranteed when clear expectations and deliverables are set from the start. Track them throughout the campaigns. Establish a realistic budget and timeline for the campaign, and stick to them as much as possible.

Take time to negotiate favourable terms and conditions for the contract, such as payment methods, cancellation policies or performance incentives. Evaluate the performance and outcomes of the campaign using both quantitative and qualitative metrics, such as media coverage, brand awareness, customer satisfaction or sales growth. Celebrate the successes and learn from the failures of the campaign together with the PR agency, and share feedback and recommendations for future collaboration.

In conclusion, hiring a PR agency can be a smart investment for any organization looking to build its reputation, increase brand visibility, and improve its relationships with stakeholders. Yet, it is important to choose the right agency and to establish a clear and effective working relationship to achieve the desired results. By following the steps outlined in this article, organizations can increase their chances of finding the right PR agency and making the partnership a success.

Lenox Mhlanga is a communication consultant with over 22 years of experience working with high-profile organisations such as the World Bank and blue chip clients in Zimbabwe and the region. He is available for strategic counsel, training and mentorship on mobile at +263 772 400 656 and by email:

By Elliot Shoniwa.

According to respected Research and Business Advisory Consultancy firm Gartner (2019), Customer Experience Management (CX) “is the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed their expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy”.

CX goes beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM) by tracking customer experiences at every touchpoint with the organisation.

Furthermore, CX seeks to understand current transactions and their connection to previous encounters and how best to make future ones memorable. Another broader definition of customer experience is given by Gupta and Vajic (2000) who state that “an experience occurs when a customer has any sensation or knowledge acquisition resulting from some level of interaction with different elements of a context created by the service provider”. In simple terms Abbott defines an experience as the transformation of products into value as perceived by the customer.

As this transformation occurs emotive responses associated with the product or service consumption occur. These emotions underline the experience that the consumer goes through which can be either positive or negative.

CX is an emerging concept that has gained a lot of prominence in many sectors though the retail sector embraced this concept much earlier than most sectors. It has been observed that the “experience” factor in this ecosystem comprises the ambience of the environment in which the service is provided, for example a restaurant.

The whole customer purchase journey involves contact with the firm or its representatives, product or service consumption and all the touch points contribute to the experience, (Berry et al., 2002, Lemon and Verhoef, 2016). Katherine & Verhoef (2016) define CEM from a strategic as well as holistic angle focusing on organisational design, measuring and monitoring the customer experience so that the whole organisation is wired for total customer satisfaction.

This approach requires customer experience management matters to be discussed in the highest levels of any organisation, which is the boardroom. The corporate vision and top management support are a strategic imperative in implementing a superior customer experience culture.

A quick re-cap:

In Part 1 of this article we laid down the fundamental issues concerning brand voice, tone and personality.

What is a brand’s voice?

Brand voice is the words and language that you use to speak with your audience, while brand personality is the human characteristics, qualities and traits you attach to your brand to make it more charismatic and engaging to your target audience.

What is brand tone?

A brand’s tone is the way you speak, it’s the attitude with which you convey your brand’s values and beliefs.

A brand’s voice or personality determines what it says, while tone of voice determines how it says it. Brand tone is the emotional chord or the emotion behind the voice. It helps a brand to connect with its audience or customers, thereby building relationships with them.

A unique brand with a strong personality that doesn’t blend in or that won’t be drowned in the tonnes of content being churned out literally every minute online is the key to visibility in the battle of brands in an overcrowded digital space.

The traits and characteristics of a brand’s personality serve as a differentiator, setting it apart from the rest, and enabling it therefore to connect on a personal or even emotional level with its customers. 

How to develop your own brand voice?

Creating the most ideal or best personality for your brand is crucial in order to avoid having an assortment of voices and tones in your marketing messages across various platforms. Giving your brand a personality entails determining how you want your brand to be known and what it is you want to be known for.

To get started on this journey, ask yourself what type of relationship you would want to have with your customers. You ought to be able to describe your brand in at least 3-5 words.

The Awards season is upon us!

The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe -Top Brands and Marketing Excellence wards is upon us with provincial and national awards lined up in the month of September.

The awards, organised and hosted by Marketers Association of Zimbabwe were introduced in the year 2012 to encourage and celebrate excellence across the marketing process within the business spectrum.

These awards recognise organisations and people who have achieved outstanding success in their planning and implementation of marketing and related area strategies annually.

For 2023, MAZ has decentralised the Exceptional Marketing Awards (EMA) which were traditionally hosted at the Marketers Convention to Manicaland, Bulawayo and Harare.

The decentralisation of the EMA awards is meant to recognise marketing efforts by regional or provincial executives in abide to promote marketing orientation across Zimbabwe.

Manicaland province hosted their first ever, Manicaland Top Brands & Marketing Excellence Awards on the 15th of September, 2023.

The awards ceremony held at Holiday Inn Mutare were highly attended a sign that regional brands also appreciate the recognition.

The Matabeleland Top Brands Marketing Excellence Awards will be held at the ZITF Hall 2 on 22 September, 2023.

The dress code for the awards ceremony is Black tie with an African Touch.

Categories to be awarded for the provincial awards are;

1.       Best Video / TV advert of the Year 2023

2.       Best Radio Advert of the Year 2023

3.       Best Print Advert of the Year 2023

4.       Best Outdoor Advert of the Year 2023

5.       Best Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year 2023

6.       Best Customer Experience of the Year 2023

7.       Best Marketing Oriented SME of the Year 2023

8.       Best Corporate Social Responsibility of the Year 2023

9.       Best Regional Consumer Brand of the Year 2023

10.    Best Regional Corporate Brand of the Year 2023

11.    Regional Marketing Champion of the Year 2023

The National EMA awards would be held at the Golden Conifer in Harare on the 29th of September, 2023.

The awards would be held under the theme ‘Igniting creativity and growth for brand success.’

The National Exceptional Marketing Awards were traditionally held at the Annual Marketers Convention and the first stand-alone awards were held last year at Cresta Lodge.

For the National awards, there are 25 categories from which only one best personality, advert, and campaign will be selected as the best together with two runner ups, first and second respectively.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Gillian Rusike highlighted the importance of recognising and celebrating marketing excellence.

“The Top Brands and Marketing Excellence Awards seek to pick out the outstanding brands and executives pushing those brands countrywide.

There has been a paradigm shift in the manner in which business is done globally and so has marketing evolved in the past years. There are new focus areas for brands and we want to celebrate those brands that have managed to stand out,” said Mr Rusike.

He said the regional awards are in line with Government’s devolution agenda.

“With the government agenda on devolution, MAZ has seen it necessary to foster growth of regional brands. The time has come for brands that dominate in the regions to rise up and spearhead regional growth of the region. Further, these brands should strive not only to become household brands in their regions only, but to dominate every household in Zimbabwe, and start entering regional markets, in SADC first, and Africa as a whole,” said Mr Rusike.

Categories for the National EMA awards;

  1. Best Radio Advert of the Year 2023
  2. Best Print Advert of the Year 2023
  3. Best Outdoor Advert of the Year 2023
  4. Best Websites of the Year 2023
  5. Best Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year 2023
  6. Best Customer Experience of the Year 2023
  7. Best New Product or Innovation of the Year 2023
  8. Best Marketing Oriented SME of the Year 2023
  9. Best Marketing Services Supplier of the Year 2023
  10. Best Corporate Event of the Year 2023
  11. Best Interactive Marketing / Gaming Excellence of the Year 2023
  12. Excellence in Viral Marketing of the Year 2023
  13. Best Promotional Campaign of the Year 2023
  14. Best B2B Marketing Campaign of the Year 2023
  15. Best Corporate Social Responsibility of the Year 2023
  16. Best Marketing Student of the Year 2023 (Outstanding Dissertation)
  17. Young Achiever / Upcoming Marketer of the Year 2023
  18. Best Creative Designer of the Year 2023
  19. Best Customer Experience Personality of the Year 2023
  20. Brand Manager of the Year 2023
  21. Digital Marketing Practitioner of the Year 2023
  22. Public Relations Practitioner of the Year 2023
  23. Sales Manager of the Year 2023
  24. Champion Marketer (Executive) of the Year 2023
  25. Marketing Oriented CEO / Managing Director of the Year 2023.

At last year’s National EMA awards, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, deputy CEO, Stella Nkomo was adjudged as the National Marketer of the year.

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

MAZ president, Lillian Mbayiwa was the first runner and National Foods’ Group Marketing executive, Lawrence Kutinyu was the second runner up.

In a tightly contested Best Marketing Oriented CEO/Managing Director of the year category, Varun Beverages Vijay Bahl emerged as winner with Nyaradzo’s Group, Philip Mataranyika was first runner up while Dr Nicholas Ndebele and Professor Robson Mafoti became the second runner ups respectively

The award criteria looks at the following; forward thinking, a risk taker and a person who always comes up with innovative ideas. The person must be able to motivate and inspire marketers to make sure that executions meet with objectives.

United Refineries Limited’s sales Manager Conchita Jo-Anne Vermack was named as the Sales Manager of the year. She was battling it out with Sydney Tafadzwa Chasekwa, the Sales Manager of POSB Zimbabwe and Piwai Tafuma who is the Sales Manager of The Legacy Car Rental.

This award is given to an individual who has managed to improve the company’s sales. The person must have interpersonal skills to communicate with customers.

It was indeed a great marketing week!

The Marketing Week is growing bigger each year with a growing audience from marketers and related professionals.

Launched in 2022, the Marketers Week is set to become one of the key features on the Marketers’ calendar incorporating all related professionals ; sales , customer experience , digital marketing , public relations.

This year, the Marketing Week ran from 24 to 28 July, 2023 under the theme ‘Marketing: The engine for Business Transformation’.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Gillian Rusike said the Marketing Week was very important on the Marketers’ calendar to commemorate the profession.

“This is a platform that we say as marketing professionals we need to celebrate the gains that we have amassed through implementing proper marketing in our organisations.

Since the time we have been in existence as MAZ there are a lot of success stories that we have scores as marketing professionals even in the industry and economy because marketing is the engine for business transformation which is the theme that we are running with this week,” said Rusike.

Rusike said organisations need to move with the times to stay afloat.

“We are saying organisations need to adopt marketing for the transformation, growth and development of business and we feel that marketing is at the core of the transformation that we are talking about,” he said.

He said since the Covid 19 pandemic, technology has been an enabler of doing business for marketers.

Corporate members joined in the commemorations by bring their teardrops and banners at the MAZ offices.

The country’s top brands were represented and the teardrops were conspicuous along Prince Edward road and passer-bys stopped to ask what the event was about.

The commemorations began on Monday with a Webinar on the evolution of the Progression of Marketing in Zimbabwe- Then and Now.

Speakers for this were Andrew Tawodzera, Marketing and Corporate Communications Executive AFC Commercial Bank, Priscilla Sadomba, Head of Change Management , Xarani (Pvt Ltd) and Bhekimpilo Ntini the Group Marketing Manager for Cimas Medical Aid Society.

They spoke on how marketing has evolved in Zimbabwe.

“To understand the evolution of marketing channels over time, one has to understand the change in the consumer or customer. Ultimately Marketing is about understanding designing communicating and delivering value to your customer,” said Sadomba.

She highlighted that over the last decade or so, marketing has been transformed in ways that marketers in the 20th century could not have imagined.

“What has changed are the tools that companies use to create value. Now customers get detailed product information from both company and other customers. The consumer is now more intelligent and well informed,” said Sadomba.

In his presentation focusing on Ntini highlighted factors affecting the implementation of digital marketing strategies among them limited internet access, low digital literacy, limited payment options and limited infrastructure.

He further highlighted that for businesses to overcome the challenges they have to repurpose international content, create original content and build partnerships.

“However, it’s important to note that creating effective digital marketing campaigns requires careful planning and a deep understanding of local audiences,” said Ntini.

Andrew Tawodzera added that failing to adapt in a changing world has led to the collapse of many businesses globally.

“It costs many more times to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. However not all customers are created equal. Some require more attention than others. Some need guidance from time and some simply do not wish to be disturbed,” said Tawodzera.

He added: “Journey mapping is one of the important factors in creating an emotional customer connection.  Define vision and culture. Empower customer facing staff. Use internal ambassadors”.

On Tuesday, Digital Marketing was the topic of the day with speakers presenting on emerging Technologies and Impact on Marketing.

Speakers for this session were Taffy Gotora, Head of Digital at Barker McCormacOgilvy and Mather, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Digital, Marketing Manager, Arthur Suwali, and Tinovimbanashe Hove who is an Advertising Practitioner.

The trio shared on emerging technologies and strategies of how to make them work for the local businesses.

“AI technologies have revolutionised the marketing landscape. In 2023, AI powered tools and Chatbots have become more prevalent, allowing business to deliver personalised customer experiences at scale,” said Gotora.

Suwali shared on prompt engineering and how to create a content calendar using Generative AI.

“Prompt engineering is the strategic use of language that takes you from input to usable output. Like programming but the difference is one using words instead of using programming language,” said Suwali.

Hove shared on proximity marketing which he said is a tactic that allows brands to target potential customers with advertising content based on their current location.

“Proximity marketing allows marketers to create a personalised experience for customers enhancing their overall customer experience,” said Hove.

On Wednesday the focus was on Sales in a Turbulent Environment. Presenters, Edmore Munyanyi Regional Business Development Manager, SADC and Conchita Veermak, Business Consultant

Munyanyi shared on the causes of a turbulent sales environment citing them as external and internal.

“In external causes, the firm has limited direct control. The causes could be changes in consumer tastes and preferences, emergence of new entrant or competitor in the market or rapid technological changes and globalisation and lastly unforeseen circumstances,” said Munyanyi.

And internal causes could be rapid product innovation and employee and talent capabilities.

He cited panning and trend analysis as some of the challenges resulting from a turbulent sales environment.

Vermaak shared on strategies to circumvent the challenges in a corporate setting among them customer relationship management, pricing strategies and stop strategy.

“Stop selling for a specified time. Watch the market and push to reduce the product that is already on the market,” she said.

On Thursday, PR gurus , Arthur Choga , PR Communications and Brands Manager at Premier Service Holding Company ;  Lloyd Gumbo Public Relations Manager and Firstme Vitori, PR and Communications Manager , Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe shared on Managing Corporate Affairs in the Era of Social Media.

The Webinar on Customer Experience Measuring Customer Experience Success capped the week long learning sessions on Friday.

Presenters for this session were Patricia Chigwa-Mutumha, CX Manager at Nicoz Diamond Insurance, Tich Gandanhamo, CX Head, Ecobank and Sharon Tapesa, Contact Centre Manager at Nedbank Zimbabwe Limited.

Tapesa highlighted the key metrics for measuring CX success, among them, the net promoter score. Customer satisfaction etc. 

She highlights that the choice of metrics varies according to organisations or industry.

“Select appropriate metrics for your organization. Use metrics that align with organizational goals, monitor key metrics and analyse trends. Use the data to improve customer experience,” said Tapesa.

Mutumha shared Measuring CX success. She highlights that corporates have taken a deliberate step to measure CX success.

She added on how to create a great customer experience one has to understand the customer needs, define the customer journey, use tech to enhance experience and personalise the experience.

Gandanhamo shared on formulas to measure CX success.

Various provincial activities concluded the packed Marketing Week.

In Harare, marketers were treated to a Marketers Braai /Karaoke Friday, In Mutare the professionals gathered at the Manica SkyView Conference for the Marketers Seed Networking Cocktail and in Bulawayo for the

In Mutare, over 50 guests they kicked off with the speed networking cocktail where members had the opportunity to network and share on their businesses.

In Bulawayo, a Public Lecture was held at Bulawayo Polytechnic with a presentation on the Topic Grooming for Work.

On Friday, Marketers in Harare rounded off the Marketing Week with a Braai/Karaoke session.

The Karaoke session was attended by almost 100 people who took time to network and sing along to their favourite jams while they enjoyed the braai.

Ladies continue to dominate the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe Charity Golf Day as they have won the Agrippa Mugwagwa Trophy in three consecutive years.

This year, Nolwandle Sachikonye was announced as the overall winner of the prestigious trophy taking over from last year’s winner, Christabel Washaya.

Washaya took over from Pride Zerera who was the overall winner in 2019. 

The MAZ Charity Golf is in its 7th year running this year and it has continued to grow every year.

Speaking after the prize giving ceremony, ceremony Sachikonye who was the overall winner with 45 points said she was excited and looked forward to many other games and events.

“I started playing golf last year in October and since then I have not looked back. I love playing golf. I was very happy to be part of the event and winning. I am looking forward to many other games and events.

 “I joined the MAZ Charity golf because I wanted to support MAZ and meet new people since I am still new in the game. I am looking forward to many other games and events,” she said.

The key drive behind this event was to encourage marketers to use the platform to network and also contribute to charity.

This year`s fundraising objective was; ‘Roofing, plastering and painting of Masasa Clinic in Buhera District.’

The Charity Golf day is organised by the MAZ Charity Foundation, an arm of Marketers Association of Zimbabwe with assistance from the Marketers Golf Society.

The tournament Charity Golf day attracted new golf players from various corporates and also individual golf players who came through to support the cause.

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.  

Various corporates who sponsored the Charity mounted their banners and gazebos at the Club.

Mr Agrippa Mugwagwa who is a former MAZ president as well as the founder of the Annual Charity golf tournament really appreciated how the initiative started with a few people but has grown into a big platform for marketers to meet and network.

“The MAZ charity golf platform is a platform that indeed we started 7 years ago and as a passionate golfer myself I did find it amiss that our marketing community was not visible and activities in the golf space which is a very powerful networking platform”.

He went on to explain gratifying it is to see the growth that has happened on the MAZ charity golf from the time they started.

“We had our first game with 80 players which was not bad for a first shot and it has grown over the years and impacting in communities,” said Mugwagwa.

MAZ Executive Secretary Gillian Rusike in his speech thanked Mr Agrippa Mugwagwa for introducing golf to marketers.

“You know we started introducing some golf lessons for marketers who wanted to play golf and thank God, a team of other marketers saw it fit to start what they are calling Marketers Golf Society MGS and they are more of our cousin brother as we work together and they are here supporting this cause. Thank you MGS,” said Rusike.

He extended his gratitude to everyone who made it to the tournament, participated and sponsored.

“Your presence has gone a very long way because you have managed to impact through the organisations that you represent or even through yourselves so once again colleagues allow me to clap hands for making it to this annual golf charity” he said .

The MAZ grand prize, a floating trophy named after Agrippa Mugwagwa was won by Nolwandle Sachikonye as the overall winner 

Other ladies who won prizes are, P Zerere, M Ruwizhi, N Muchokwinjo , C Washaya and L Ncube.

L Ncube won the ladies nearest to pin hole 16 and longest drive hole 1. Nelia Muchokwinjo won the longest drive ladies hole 18.

For men, G Machai had the highest points with 43 points followed by Shamba on second position, Munyonga was on third position with 39 points.

Jacha and Nzwere completed the top 5 for the men’s section.

The event was a success thanks to all our sponsors’ prize, apparel, hole, giveaway sponsors as well as the teams that came through. These include Proton, Cairns, Lobels, Premier Corporate Gifts, Delta Beverages, Nyaradzo, Deridon, African Sun, Telone, Zimnat, and PPC among others.

Marketers positively answered the call to assist in the construction of the Masasa Clinic with over 30 teams participating in the annual Marketers Association of Zimbabwe Charity Golf day held on July 21, 2023.

The teams drawn from various corporates took part in the in the 7th Charity Golf tournament held at the ZRP Golf Club.

This year’s theme focused on ‘Roofing, plastering and painting’ of Masasa Clinic in Buhera district.

For this year’s edition, MAZ decided to shift its focus to the health sector targeting Manicaland province to assist in the construction of Masasa Clinic in Buhera.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will go towards the refurbishment of this clinic in a bid to make a difference to the people in Buhera area.

Speaking at the Cocktail after the golf tournament , Masasa Clinic representative Sam Matema highlighted the need at the rural clinic which serves a community of over 14 000.

“Masasa clinic is in Buhera Central taking care of 14 000 people. Just by way of back ground there are only seven 7 health centres in the entire Buhera constituency which is made up of 4 constituencies

“Masasa clinic has a catchment area covering 40 villages. There are only two nurses at the clinic and they are supposed to be having 8 so its operating at 25% capacity and one of the reasons why there are only two nurses is that there is no accommodation explaining why there is need for us to come together as a collective and provide staff accommodation for the nurses,” said Matema,

Matema thanked the golfers for supporting the cause.

 “Thank you very much for your support and contributions and show of love. I can only hope we continue that we continue walking this journey together,” he said.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Gillian Rusike said the Charity Golf day has continued to grow and impact various communities every year since its launch seven years ago.

“Your presence has gone a very long way because you have managed to impact through the organisations that you represent or even through yourselves so once again colleagues allow me to clap hands for making it to this annual golf charity.

He paid tribute and appreciated MAZ former president, Agrippa Mugwagwa who initiated the Charity golf tournament.

He also acknowledged the Marketers Golf Society which works with MAZ in planning the Charity Golf tournament.

“You know we started introducing some golf lessons for marketers who wanted to play golf and thank God, a team of other marketers saw it fit to start what they are calling Marketers Golf Society MGS and they are more of our cousin brother as we work together and they are here supporting this cause. Thank you MGS,” said Rusike.

MAZ Charity golf founder, Agrippa Mugwagwa said he was impressed with the growth of the Charity golf tournament over the years.

“The MAZ charity golf platform is a platform that indeed we started 7 years ago and as a passionate golfer myself I did find it amiss that our marketing community was not visible and activities in the golf space which is a very powerful networking platform”.

“It is really gratifying to see the growth that has happened on the MAZ charity golf from the time we started. We had our first game with 80 players which was not bad for a first shot and it has grown over the years and impacting in communities,” said Mugwagwa.

He challenged marketers to take up golf as it is also a platform to network and build business relations.

“To be honest, business is about relationships you can phone all you want do as many lunches you can but the quality of relationships you create on the golf course is unassignable and I can tell you I have made so many friends and I have been able to open many doors that I think I wouldn’t have been able to open it if it wasn’t for this platform and I’m   grateful for that.

Today I want to encourage you marketers and those that are not playing golf to try and take up golf. Thank you so much for supporting MAZ,” said Mugwagwa.

One of the sponsors of the Charity golf tournament, Cairns Foods Limited Marketing manager, Mutsai Mukungatu shared about her brands’ products.

“It was such a pleasure playing golf with you today, I represent a brand that brings people together and I think bringing people together is our timeline. So keep eating Cairns food products enjoy them giving us feedback let’s keep getting together as marketers and consumers let’s keep give us feedback and inspiring each other,” said Mukungatu.

MAZ Head Operations and Marketing, Enia Zimunya thanked all sponsors who made the day a success.

“I want to thank our sponsors, quite a number of them, our apparel sponsors, price sponsors, hole sponsors, giveaway sponsors and everyone who came through with all this support and we are so happy that we are able to reach our objectives of the Masasa Clinic. We really thank you and are grateful for your continued support,” said Zimunya.

Last year’s Charity Golf was held under theme ‘Rescue a teen from substance abuse’ and the Association partnered with Teen Rescue Mission, a non-profit organisation based in Chitungwiza.

Teen Rescue mission sought assistance for the construction of a fowl run to assist the youths in the area by equipping them with self-help projects in order for them to stay away from drugs.

MAZ has since handed over the fowl run to Teen Rescue Mission.