The boardroom debate rages on and is now getting hotter. The majority of marketers nowadays are more focused on winning an exhibition award than they consider the marketing objectives of the organization. In so doing, practitioners are becoming very creative in ensuring that their exhibition is top-notch in terms of relevance with the theme rather than the core identity of the company. Thus, exhibition organizers have also realized this mishap such that they have increased the number of categories to ensure everyone walks away with an accolade, in a move aimed at increasing subscription to the exhibition. No wonder the exhibition invitations now contain the usual, “a platform to network and showcase your products,” as the return value to companies. In the end, exhibitions are turning out to be publicity events for businesses where they pour so much money and, in return, obtain an A4 certificate and a floating trophy to show for the investment.

In the boardroom, a marketer’s hands will be full, but the bank balance for the company will be telling a different story, which is why the finance manager will be seething with rage. Marketing functions in most organizations are now the biggest cost centers for marketing activities with very little return on investments, and the war with finance guys seems never to end soon.

It’s high time marketers take deep introspection of their efforts so that they consider cost-effective and high-return programs such as market activations, where the exchange of value takes place instantly. I have witnessed with enthusiasm how mobile service providers like Econet and Netone have converted exhibitions from merely being a platform to showcase products to becoming shops or service centers where customers actually transact to get services. In such scenarios, award or no award, the marketing practitioner will walk in and out of the boardroom with their head held high because the exhibition report will be speaking the same language as that of the finance manager or better in terms of dollar value returns.

40%, if not more, of companies who attend exhibitions merely to “showcase,” “win,” and network rarely get a financial recovery from the investment they have put into the event. I am not advocating for not partaking in international exhibitions, but rather advising my fellows in the marketing departments to change the mindset and focus more on the company bottom line than merely seeking theme relevance. The world of business nowadays has changed, especially in Zimbabwe, where a dollar spent by any company is hard to recover, and it takes blood and sweat for the sales team to recover it. Hence, my call is for marketers to first consider the marketing and business goals for the company, then look into what value the exhibition brings to the bottom line and align your products and services to suit the platform so that you balance both ends.

It does not give any finance director relief that you were the best exhibitor at a show when he is looking at a negative bank balance, and if you don’t show him the revenue from the accolade, you will forever remain their enemy for being a money-eating machine of the company. Therefore, it is also of paramount importance to scrutinize these exhibitions and see which ones are more relevant to the company’s business so that you will speak to your rightful audience who are enthusiasts of the showpiece rather than being an attend-all type of business.

Exhibitions of today should be merely outside shops for companies where it is business as usual with a captured audience, rather than a vacation for marketers to enjoy themselves while outside the office. In the same vein, exhibition organizers also need to engage a lot with exhibitors so that they create a platform that supports the marketing focus for companies in terms of creating dollar value spaces more than being traditional and ceremonial events for business retreats. After paying for space, I don’t see why stand visitors should also be charged a premium to enter into the exhibition venue because once one spends money at the gate, chances are they will spend less while inside, thereby limiting economic benefits for exhibitors to whom the visitor was likely to be a potential customer. An exhibition must benefit the exhibitor more than the organizer because they pay huge sums in stand rentals and the development of such stands. It’s quite mind-boggling that because there is a musical act, gate charges will be hiked, and for exhibitors who may want to interact with potential customers, that on its own is restrictive already. Those entertainments actually benefit visitors more than they do businesses.

Basic questions marketers need to be asked in planning an exhibition include: What are the marketing goals for the company? What is the theme of the show? How can the theme resonate with our goals? Who are our potential clients from such an event? What is the call to action by stand visitors that bring financial value to the company?

By so doing, one may align the exhibition to the company objectives while at the same time understanding the theme for the show without overlooking the other. In identifying the audience, you come up with specific tactics that create a rapport with those potential clients you are targeting rather than having a one-size-fits-all approach. Networking today has to be valuable, not just mere socializing, so to my fellow marketers, let’s be wary of such when invited to exhibit.

Morgan Kagande is a seasoned marketing practitioner, public relations expert, and big data analyst with a decade of experience. He has worked extensively in real estate, retail business, and transport services across both government and private sectors. He holds a Master of International Relations, is a certified digital marketer, and has completed a basic Russian language course from St. Petersburg State University in Russia. Contact: morgankagande@gmail.com.

Meiseiwitz (2021) asserts that it is more expensive to acquire customers than to retain them. Competitors can replicate quality and price, but what they cannot duplicate is the engagement strategy.

There are many circumstances that can give a salesperson an opportunity to be accepted or supply an order for the first time. These could include, but are not limited to, the use of a penetration strategy, quality promise impression, or the existing supplier having their own challenges, or even unforeseen events. While winning a customer is the pinnacle goal of every salesperson, the long-term objective should be to ensure the customer is retained.

Creating a guarantee of profitable repeat purchases is one of the reasons why marketing professionals now have a seat in the boardroom. Yes, you heard me. Occupying the top position in strategically directing and aligning business operations. How is this possible? The ability to present figures like the customer lifetime value (CLV) of the 20% of customers that contribute 80% of company revenue as opposed to mere generalization of market happenings and a rainbow profile of customers.

Terms Defined

RM is defined as a management activity solely focused on establishing, nourishing, and constructing competitive and profitable customer relationships beneficial to all concerned stakeholders (Matsuoka, 2022).

Contrarily, TM is a marketing strategy that focuses on a one-time sales transaction rather than on returning customers for the future. In fact, this strategy does not aim to build a connection with customers (Ndubisi, 2018).

So many strategies can be applied to foster long-term relationships that eventually compel customers to keep returning for more services. The following are some practical strategies at the disposal of a profit and growth-oriented salesperson:

1. Functional Alignment with Marketing Goals

This strategy opposes the notion that sales is the sole responsibility of the sales department. Salespeople are often the first casualties in many failing organizations because of the perception that selling should be left to the sales department only. Therefore, there is a need for collective functional alignment towards marketing goals. Imagine a scenario where salespeople, having exhausted all tricks to win a long-time difficult customer, finally supply the specified first order only to be ambushed with damaging information, for instance, from the production department that producing the order is impossible due to various reasons or the order is produced well in time but does not meet the detailed specifications. Similarly, if the finance department does not provide a competitive price and flexible trading terms depending on the value of the business, it limits the chances of the salesperson to guarantee repeat purchases. Therefore, functional alignment with the strategic intent of the organization is necessary from which the marketing goals will be derived.

2. Proactive Approach

A salesperson should make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. By physically examining the supplied orders or balances on the floor, a salesperson can correctly anticipate expected new orders. A reminder or follow-up based on factual figures of quantities motivates the customer to appreciate the support of the salesperson in ensuring there are no unwanted production interruptions. There are many advantages associated with being laser-focused on the customer’s stocks, such as avoiding or lessening production pressure on the supplier side if the customer realizes stocks have dwindled at the last minute. Giving enough time to production enables perfection that upholds the quality promise and eventually returns the customer.

3. Communication

A traditional approach to sales is to communicate only when another order is required. Trenggana and Cahyani (2020) proclaim that communication is the lifeblood of any successful transaction. Communication promotes connectedness between the salesperson and the customer. Constant communication enables the salesperson to stay abreast of what the customer is facing. This could be new prospective suppliers that have approached the customer, product performance feedback, anticipation of the next order, internal changes in the customer’s environment, and many others. If communication is current, order solicitation becomes easy as reference is made to the previous discussion. Furthermore, communication enables the salesperson to understand whether the customer is faithful or not regarding feedback on sales inquiries.

4. Understanding Customer Processes

It is vital to fully understand the production processes of the customers. Knowing where the products are applied, at what stage of production, and if possible, the dosage ensures technical assistance where necessary or where the customer has indicated having problems with the delivered products. Understanding usage in terms of quantities, for example, per day, month, as well as frequency is crucial information that the salesperson should optimize to estimate monthly, quarterly, and yearly consumption. Therefore, that information, if supplied back to the organization, allows every functional department to plan accordingly. By doing so, the salesperson is guaranteed to retain the customer.

5. Listening Skills

From time to time, customers can have issues, some positive while others negative. A salesperson should focus more on the negative sentiments and make efforts to convert them into opportunities for further business. At no point should the salesperson focus on winning an argument with the customers or try to be smarter. A customer will never be the denominator, hence the adage that a customer is always king. A strategically oriented salesperson converts the negative remarks of the customers into another precious chance for Kaizen (continuous improvement).

6. Partner and Appreciate Customers’ Milestones

It is a well-known thought marketing strategy that strengthens relationships by partnering or participating in celebrating customers’ milestones. This can be in the form of sending congratulatory media adverts acknowledging and highlighting the effort towards the achievement as well as the support the customer is giving to the business. As executives go through the reading and see the congratulatory messages, that alone further cements the existing relationships. In fact, this is another form of engagement, getting directly to the top key decision-makers over and above the buyer-seller level.

7. Measure Customer Satisfaction Levels

The sales journey is characterized by ups and downs. The coming in of new entrants and ever-changing customer tastes and preferences require measuring customer satisfaction levels. Drafting tailor-made questionnaires to find out more about product performance feedback, service delivery, and self-analysis of the key account salesperson in terms of relationships with the buying unit, communication style, and willingness to assist customers is a prerequisite. Another way to evaluate customer satisfaction levels is by creating a contract document for a quality service promise, which will be kept by the customer for updating based on experiences. By doing so, the customer will develop myopic behavior towards the supplier while neglecting possible profitable prospective suppliers.

8. Research and Offer New Insights

I am of the view that it is equally beneficial to share research findings with customers, such as new products which can be incorporated into the customers’ processes to either add value or reduce production costs. For example, a beverage raw material supplier researches and updates its customers on a new organic cost-effective preservative that can both add health benefits while reducing production costs. The customer will definitely feel valued if they receive new market updates from suppliers. Applying this strategy distinguishes the salesperson from the rest.

9. Engage Key Decision-Makers

It is vital for the salesperson to engage key decision-makers for guaranteed repeat purchases. In some organizations, the quality department might be the key decision-makers while the buyer will be just the conduit. While building connectedness with the buying unit, it is equally important to build relationships with key decision-makers.

A strategically aligned salesperson or department should go beyond transaction marketing and envision returning customers for profitable long-term customer lifetime value.

“RM is the panacea of keeping and returning customers.”

Misheck Nyawo. A certified MAZ chartered marketer, holder of a Higher National Diploma in Marketing (HND), Degree in Marketing (BCom), and Master of Business Leadership degree (MBL). Regional Sales Manager for Codchem Pvt Ltd

By Agang Bongani Mkwananzi

In a ground breaking report released in June, 2024, Hootsuite, one of the largest social media management tools, has unveiled the five cardinal sins that brands commit on social media. The findings, based on a comprehensive survey of active and casual buyers, shed light on how brands can navigate the treacherous waters of digital marketing without invoking the wrath of the gods.

Instead of relying solely on marketers’ opinions, Hootsuite turned to the real experts—the users themselves. The survey, conducted in collaboration with Critical Truth, a renowned marketing research agency, canvassed 6,026 social media users aged 18 to 64 across Canada, the USA, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Their insights provide a candid look at the state of social media behaviour and brand interactions.

The Five Social Media Commandments for Brands:

1. Thou Shalt Not Produce Boring Content:

   Brands must break free from the shackles of mediocrity. Engaging content is the lifeblood of social media success.

2. Thou Shalt Not Post Repetitive Content:

 Repetition breeds indifference. Brands should strive for variety and freshness to captivate their audience.

3. Thou Shalt Not Write Clickbait Content:

   Sensationalism may attract clicks, but it erodes trust. Authenticity is the golden rule.

4. Thou Shalt Not Post Inauthentic Content:

   Authenticity resonates with users. Brands should align their messaging with their core values.

5. Thou Shalt Not Post Content Solely for Metrics and Analytics:

   Metrics matter, but content should serve a purpose beyond data points. Prioritize substance over statistics.

Failure to heed these commandments risks alienating followers. Brands must deliver what users truly desire, not what they assume users want.

What Do Buyers Crave?

The report reveals that emotive and unexpected content reigns supreme. Active and casual buyers yearn for:

Educational Content (56%): Teach them something new.

Humour (55%): A good laugh goes a long way.

Inspiration (47%): Stir their souls.

Emotional Content (36%): Make them feel—whether it’s tears, laughter, or excitement.

Surprising Content (30%): Challenge assumptions and debunk myths.

Gone are the days when product-centric content sufficed. Social media users seek an escape from life’s pressures. Brands should avoid bombarding them with self-promotion and hard sells reminiscent of the ’80s.

Beyond Products: Social Issues Matter

Buyers want brands to engage beyond their offerings. Major sporting events, cultural moments, unfolding news, and social justice issues resonate. But tread carefully—authenticity is paramount. Align content with your brand ethos.

Navigating Safe Zones

If cultural commentary feels risky, consider these safe routes:

Charitable Causes

– Environmental Concerns

– Educational Initiatives

– Health and Wellness

– Ethical Business Practices

Remember, your audience isn’t fooled. Authenticity wins hearts; clout-chasing falls flat.

Follow the Trail: Active Shoppers and Content

To attract active shoppers, brands must venture beyond product-centric content. Paid, organic, and shared content play pivotal roles.

Paid/Social Content

While not immediate sales drivers, secure a spot in consumers’ minds for future consideration.

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, brands that embrace authenticity and deliver captivating content will thrive. The gods of marketing smile upon those who heed these lessons.

Certainly! Let’s seamlessly merge the continuation with the existing article. Here’s the revised version:

Organic Content: A Recipe for Success

The Hootsuite report highlights that organic content boasts a higher conversion rate than paid content—a phenomenon possibly rooted in familiarity bias. When it comes to making sales, organic content is your secret weapon. Craft content that not only captures users’ attention but also compels them to share it with friends and family.

Shared Content: The Cream of the Crop

Shared content is the holy grail! It acts as social proof, swaying buyers from one side of the fence to the other. How do you create shareable content? It’s simple! Ensure your content checks these boxes:

1. Informative: Teach your audience something new.

2. Perspective-Driven: Include shared viewpoints.

3. Humorous or Inspirational: Tug at their emotions.

When your posts embody two or more of these attributes, your brand sails toward higher sales, fuelled by the word-of-mouth magic of social media.

Serving What the People Crave.

The voice of the people resounds: 52% of those surveyed are weary of self-promotional brand content. Imagine having two ears and just one mouth—listen twice as much as you speak. Always tailor your content to what your target market desires; it’s a constantly shifting landscape. Don’t rely on last year’s playbook.

While the report focused on North America, Europe, and Australia, its principles extend beyond continents. Consider the content shared by you, your friends, and family on social media. It’s relatable, organic, funny, educational, and inspirational. The specific platforms don’t matter—what resonates is content that aligns with social media’s original purpose: connecting and unwinding.

Marketers, Take Note: Serve on Social Media

To receive, you must give. Instead of incessant self-promotion, elevate your followers through content that entertains, educates, and inspires. In return, they’ll engage and share, leading to more followers—more potential buyers—and ultimately, more sales.

Remember the timeless wisdom: “Give, and it shall be given back unto you.” (Luke 6:38) Let’s transform our brand’s pages into a haven for our followers.

Regarding the report’s relevance to Africa and Zimbabwe, even though these regions weren’t directly surveyed, the underlying principles remain universal. Social media users worldwide seek authentic, engaging content. By aligning with these insights, brands in Africa—including Zimbabwe—can enhance their online presence and foster meaningful connections. Remember, social media transcends borders—it’s about people connecting, not just commerce.

Note: This article is based on the Hootsuite Social Media Report (Conducted in December 2023 and published in June 2024) and reflects the views of social media users surveyed.

Agang Bongani Mkwananzi

Social Media Strategist, Writer, and Graphic Designer. He is a seasoned professional with a passion for communication, design, and digital engagement. Armed with a BA Journalism Degree from the University of Johannesburg, Agang has honed his skills over five years in the dynamic fields of social media marketing/management and graphic design.

In today’s business landscape, delivering exceptional customer experiences has become a key differentiator for companies seeking to build long-term relationships and foster customer loyalty. By prioritizing the needs, emotions, and satisfaction of customers, organizations can elevate the human experience and create meaningful interactions. This article explores the concept of elevating human experience through Customer Experience Management (CEM) and highlights the key principles and strategies involved in creating outstanding customer experiences.

Understanding Customer Experience Management: Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a strategic approach that focuses on planning, implementing, and optimizing customer-centric initiatives to enhance the overall customer experience. It encompasses every touchpoint a customer has with a brand, from their initial awareness to post-purchase support. The goal of CEM is to create positive, memorable experiences that foster customer loyalty, advocacy, and long-term relationships.

Empathy and Understanding: At the core of elevating human experience is empathy and understanding. By placing the customer at the center and truly comprehending their needs, emotions, and motivations, organizations can respond with empathy and compassion. Active listening, anticipating customer expectations, and personalized interactions contribute to building strong emotional connections.

Personalization: Tailoring experiences, communications, and offerings to meet individual customer preferences and needs is essential. With the help of customer data analysis, segmentation, and targeted marketing strategies, organizations can create personalized experiences that resonate with customers on a deeper level. This personalization leads to increased customer satisfaction and strengthens the overall human experience.

Continuous Improvement: Embracing a culture of continuous improvement is crucial to elevating human experience. Organizations should actively seek customer feedback, measure key performance indicators, and implement iterative changes to enhance the customer experience. By being open to feedback and making proactive improvements, companies can demonstrate their commitment to delivering exceptional experiences.

Employee Engagement: Recognizing that employees play a vital role in delivering outstanding customer experiences is essential. Engaged and empowered employees are more likely to provide exceptional service. By investing in employee training, recognition programs, and fostering a positive work environment, organizations can enhance employee engagement and, in turn, improve the human experience for customers.

Technology Enablers: Leveraging technology and digital solutions is key to optimizing the customer experience. CRM systems, customer feedback platforms, AI-powered chatbots, and data analytics tools can streamline processes, automate repetitive tasks, and provide seamless omnichannel experiences. Leveraging these technologies allows organizations to deliver personalized interactions and enhance the overall human experience.

Benefits of Elevating Human Experience: By prioritizing the human experience through customer-centric strategies, organizations can reap several benefits, including:

Increased Customer Loyalty: When customers feel valued and understood, they are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty towards a brand. By consistently delivering exceptional experiences, organizations can foster long-term customer relationships and advocacy.

Differentiation in a Competitive Market: Elevating the human experience sets companies apart from their competitors. When customers have positive interactions and memorable experiences, they are more likely to choose a brand over its competitors, even if the products or services are similar.

Positive Brand Reputation: Organizations that prioritize the human experience build a positive brand reputation. Customers often share their experiences through word-of-mouth and online reviews, contributing to the company’s overall reputation and attracting new customers.

Conclusion: Elevating human experience through Customer Experience Management is a strategic approach that focuses on delivering exceptional customer experiences. By embracing empathy, personalization, continuous improvement, employee engagement, and technology enablers, organizations can create meaningful interactions, foster customer loyalty, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Prioritizing the human experience is crucial for organizations seeking to build long-term customer relationships and drive sustainable growth in today’s customer-centric business landscape.

Benson Mukandiwa (CCXA) CMgr FCMI-FIML, FCICRM, FCICM, FZIM, MIIBA

✪Ranked #10 Customer Experience Top 30 Global Guru 2023 ✪ Keynote Speaker ✪ Chartered Manager Fellow ✪ Strategic Advisor ✪ Trainer ✪Writer ✪ Business Analyst

The conversation I would like to have today is mainly focused on Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The reason they are my focus is simply because of the significance that SMEs play in driving the country’s economy. It is estimated that SMEs account for approximately 60-70% of employment in the country. Outside of statistics, we are anecdotally aware that every other person is engaging in one form of economic activity or another (what is colloquially referred to as hustling) on whatever scale their resources permit. These ‘hustling’ activities can also be considered SMEs. Therefore, SMEs are rife with potential and have a meaningful role to play in the country’s economy.

In the present day, while a lot of focus and resources have been dedicated to equipping SMEs with relevant financial literacy skills to ensure that they can efficiently manage their books, there is still work to be done in equipping SMEs with Marketing knowledge and skills that will help them unlock their potential.

Technical knowledge, a good product, an excellent service may get an SME far. However, the development and, more importantly, the execution of sound marketing strategies can be the game changer that propels an SME to growth and longevity. A marketing strategy is crucial for a business of any size as it contributes to providing direction to the organization, guiding efforts and the deployment of resources to generate demand for goods and services.

It is imperative to demystify some misconceptions about marketing strategy and clarify that a marketing strategy extends beyond consumer communication. A marketing strategy is an end-to-end plan that outlines the goals, target audience, messaging, and tactics a business will use to promote its products or services and achieve its marketing objectives. It involves analyzing the market, understanding what the customer needs, and developing a strategic approach to reach and engage the target audience effectively. A comprehensive marketing strategy is a critical piece of any business strategy.

The starting point of a marketing strategy is a clear understanding of the target consumer. Knowing who one’s target consumer is and what they are looking for from your product will aid in ensuring that the enterprise is offering a solution to a consumer’s need. An SME may offer a good product. However, if this product does not meet what the consumer needs, then it may be obsolete before it is even launched.

Building off the understanding of one’s consumer; this understanding of your consumer and what they need will subsequently inform how to effectively communicate with that consumer. Are you to communicate with them colloquially or formally? Are they interested in your technical benefits or your emotional benefits? Are they to be reached via radio or through the distribution of pamphlets? These are some of the answers that an enterprise can answer through a solid consumer understanding. This consumer understanding ensures that your efforts to generate demand for your product or services are accurately targeted and whatever budget you are expending towards demand generation is working efficiently for your SME.

A marketing strategy will support your business in ensuring that you crystallize a point of differentiation between yourself and your competition. You could both be selling chickens but if one of them is delivered fresh to the consumer with a thirty-day credit facility then they are not just two chickens. They become different by virtue of the total package that they come with.

Outside of being better equipped to fight competition, a marketing strategy details how the enterprise will build a brand. The job of building a brand is inevitable, whether you are intentionally working towards building a brand or not. For as long as an enterprise is offering a product or service there is a perception of the company, product or service that is generated in the minds of consumers. And that is what a brand is – a unique identity, values, and promises that an enterprise wants to communicate to its target audience. With a sound marketing strategy in place, the job of developing a brand becomes an intentional and planned effort and is not unintentional and left to chance.

A marketing strategy also plays a role in allowing room for agility. A marketing strategy allows any enterprise to adapt to changing macro and micro conditions. Through regular reviews and relevant updates of the strategy, a business can adapt to remain relevant in changing circumstances, allowing responsiveness to changing trends and a guarantee for long-term success.

The part of a marketing strategy that truly separates one enterprise, large or small, from another is the measuring and evaluation of efforts. Confirming that the strategy has been deployed as planned, tracking the execution of the strategy and measuring whether it has achieved the intended business results will guarantee success. Many enterprises are guilty of investing resources into building strong strategies that are then shelved and not brought to life through execution to achieve business results. The investment and rigor required to deploy a marketing strategy can certainly be termed a game-changer in the pursuit of business growth.

Many SMEs are born and sustained by a technical understanding. To pivot however, SMEs must think of growth and this growth may often require the acquisition of marketing skills that will carry the enterprise into the future. The acquisition of these skills may be through academic programs, investing in knowledgeable human resources or engaging competent consultants.

With this understanding of the features and role of a marketing strategy, I trust that owners of SMEs will consider the role that developing a marketing strategy can play in the growth of their business and consider this role worthy of investment as they seek to build strong business that will exist today and in the future.

Tariro Chivonivoni is a marketing professional with 14 years of Sales and Marketing experience across several countries in Southern Africa. She can be contacted on tarirochivonivoni@gmail.com.

The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) is excited to announce the eighth edition of the MAZ Charity Golf Day, set to take place on Friday, 26 July 2024, at the ZRP Golf Club. This year, the event will be held under the inspiring theme #SwingForACause, guided by the biblical principle from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Since its inception in 2017, the MAZ Charity Golf Day has grown into a powerful platform for marketers to connect while making a tangible difference in communities across Zimbabwe. This year, we are proud to continue this tradition with the support of our current sponsor, Premier Gifts Corporate. Their commitment to this cause underscores the importance of community and corporate social responsibility.

This year’s fundraising efforts are dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for students in need. We are excited to announce a strategic partnership with College Press to supply essential books to a school in Matabeleland. Our goal is to provide these students with the resources they need to succeed academically, fostering a brighter future through quality education. By equipping the school with a wide range of books, we aim to ignite a love for learning and empower the next generation with knowledge and skills. Join us in this noble cause to make a lasting impact on the lives of these young learners.

One of the highlights of the MAZ Charity Golf Day is the prestigious Agrippa Mugwagwa Trophy, named after the former MAZ president and founder of the annual charity golf tournament. The trophy, awarded to the overall winner, has been a symbol of excellence and dedication within the golfing and marketing communities.

Over the past few years, the trophy has been dominated by talented female golfers, with Nolwandle Sachikonye winning last year’s edition. Sachikonye follows in the footsteps of Christabel Washaya, who won in 2022, and Pride Zerera, the 2019 champion. Their victories reflect the growing participation and success of women in the MAZ Charity Golf Day.

The Charity Golf Day offers an exceptional opportunity for marketers and corporate teams to network, compete in a friendly environment, and contribute to a noble cause. With more than 30 teams expected to participate, the event promises a day filled with camaraderie, competition, and community spirit.

We invite golfers, corporate teams, and sponsors to join us in making a difference. By participating, you will not only enjoy a great day on the greens but also help us achieve our mission of promoting marketing professionalism and fostering economic sustainability through corporate social responsibility.

As we look forward to another impactful event, we encourage everyone to participate and contribute generously. Your involvement is not just a show of skill on the golf course but a powerful act of giving that can transform lives. Let’s come together, swing for a cause, and make a lasting impact on the communities that need our support the most.

For more information and sponsorship inquiries: Contact: Rudo at 0787933120 or events@mazim.co.zw

The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) is proud to announce the appointment of the eight-member board for the MAZ Charity Foundation, led by esteemed communication specialist Lenox Mhlanga. With a rich history of community support and philanthropy, the foundation enters a new era under the guidance of this dynamic and experienced leadership team. Committed to driving positive change and making a tangible difference in the lives of the underprivileged, the new board represents a fresh chapter in the foundation’s mission of social responsibility and community upliftment.

At the helm of the MAZ Charity Foundation is Chairperson Lenox Mhlanga, a seasoned communication specialist and media consultant with over two decades of experience. Lenox’s visionary leadership will guide the foundation as it embarks on new initiatives to address pressing social challenges and uplift communities across Zimbabwe.

Joining Lenox is Vice Chairperson Justina Machinya, a marketing and corporate affairs expert with over 20 years of experience. Justina’s comprehensive understanding of strategic business development and client relations management adds invaluable insight to the board. Her track record of success in various industries, including insurance, manufacturing, and fuel retail, demonstrates her ability to drive meaningful outcomes in diverse contexts.

Handling publicity for the foundation is Mazvita Violet Msonza, a passionate marketing practitioner with extensive experience in brand management and stakeholder relations. Mazvita’s dedication to serving the less privileged will ensure that the foundation’s initiatives receive the attention they deserve, amplifying their impact and reach. Her ability to craft compelling narratives and engage stakeholders will be instrumental in raising awareness and support for the foundation’s initiatives.

Betty Mpala, the Managing Director and Cofounder of Premier Corporate Gifts, oversees Treasury and Resource Mobilization, bringing invaluable expertise in financial management and resource allocation to the foundation. Betty’s strategic acumen ensures effective utilization of funds for charitable purposes. Her track record of success in managing corporate resources positions her as a trusted steward of the foundation’s financial assets. She is passionate about mentoring young women and ensuring a brighter future for the underprivileged in society and often participates in various charity initiatives. The committee members, Liberty Kazhanje (Econet Life & MAZ Vice President), Nkosana Mapuma (PPC Zimbabwe), Gillian Rusike (Executive Secretary MAZ), and Enia Zimunya (Head of Marketing and Operations MAZ), each bring a unique set of skills and experiences to the table, contributing to the foundation’s collective vision of creating positive change in Zimbabwean communities.

MAZ Charity Foundation has a longstanding tradition of community support through various initiatives, reflecting its commitment to making a meaningful and sustainable impact on the lives of individuals and communities in need. These initiatives include donating school shoes in Gutu in 2018 and at Matthew Rusike in 2019 as part of the “Donate a Shoe” campaign, providing sunscreen lotion to the Albino Association of Zimbabwe in Harare in 2020 initially as part of the “Donate a Hat” campaign, responding to Cyclone Idai in 2019, donating food baskets to Epworth Methodist Church in 2020 through the “Donate a Basket” program, contributing toiletries and basic goods to Chinhoyi Prison Depot as part of the “Prisons Campaign,” establishing a chicken project for youths, with a fowl run for 1,500 birds in Ziko, Chitungwiza, under the “Rescue-A-Teen from Substance Abuse” initiative, and roofing, plastering, and painting of Masasa Clinic, Buhera District.

The Foundation is guided by a set of core objectives aimed at promoting social welfare and community development. These objectives include identifying and supporting charitable causes aligned with MAZ’s mission and values, overseeing and managing all charity activities and initiatives, collaborating with stakeholders to maximize the impact of charitable efforts, and maintaining transparency and accountability in resource allocation and utilization.

Over the years, MAZ has demonstrated its commitment to community support through various initiatives, including donations to schools, support for vulnerable groups, disaster relief efforts, and youth empowerment programs. With the establishment of the MAZ Charity Foundation, the association aims to expand its impact and reach even more individuals and communities in need.

The MAZ Charity Foundation is committed to making a meaningful and sustainable impact on the lives of Zimbabweans. With a dedicated board and a clear mission, we are poised to drive positive change and contribute to the betterment of our society. Together, we can make a difference.

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The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe is proud to announce the upcoming Interbrands Sports Games, scheduled to take place on the 20th of July 2024 at the prestigious Belgravia Sports Club. This highly anticipated event promises to be a celebration of athleticism, teamwork, and brand synergy, as professionals from diverse industries come together for a day of spirited competition and networking.

The Interbrands Sports Games offer a unique platform for brands to showcase their competitive spirit in a dynamic and engaging environment. With a wide array of activities including football, netball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, snooker, and more, there’s something for every sports enthusiast to enjoy. Complimentary contests such as tug-of-war, hwishu, maflau, and rakaraka add an extra layer of excitement to the festivities.

Participating in the Interbrands Sports Games provides numerous benefits for brands seeking to enhance their visibility and engage with their audience. Beyond increased brand visibility and networking opportunities, the event fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among participants. It provides a platform for brands to demonstrate their commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle and supporting physical activity, aligning with the values of their target audience. Moreover, the competitive spirit of the games encourages teamwork and collaboration among employees, strengthening bonds within organizations and boosting morale.

Furthermore, the Interbrands Sports Games offer a unique opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves in the market. By associating their brand with positive attributes such as sportsmanship, determination, and teamwork, participants can enhance their brand image and reputation. This alignment with values that resonate with consumers can lead to increased brand loyalty and engagement, ultimately driving business growth and success.

We invite brands, athletes, and sports enthusiasts alike to join us for an unforgettable day of excitement, competition, and camaraderie at the Interbrands Sports Games. Whether you are looking to showcase your brand, connect with industry peers, or simply enjoy a day of thrilling sports action, this event promises something for everyone.

The success of this event is made possible through the generous support of our partners. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to CBZ Holdings, CIMAS, Delta Holdings, Ecocash, Image Magic Corporate, Econet Wireless National Foods, Nyaradzo, PPC, Premier Gifts, Topline Research Solutions, and Old Mutual.

For participation, exhibition, and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Wesley at 0772999158 or email wesleyk@mazim.co.zw. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this exhilarating event and unleash the power of your brand on the field of play.

The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, (MAZ) proudly announced the unveiling of the 2024 Top 200 brands, marking a significant milestone in the realm of brand excellence and innovation. The Superbrand Business Breakfast Meeting, held on May 24th, 2024, served as the platform for this auspicious occasion, bringing together esteemed professionals, industry leaders, and brand custodians to celebrate and recognize outstanding brands that have excelled in their respective sectors.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Gillian Rusike, MAZ Founder and Executive Secretary, highlighted the significance of the Superbrand Awards in providing invaluable insights into brand performance and customer feedback. He emphasized the rigorous research process undertaken by MAZ, supported by auditors, to ensure the integrity and transparency of the awards. Mr. Rusike acknowledged the unwavering support of participants, affirming their essential role in the success of the Superbrand initiative.

The theme of the Superbrand Business Breakfast, “Sustainability Driven Brands: ESG as a Game Changer,” reflected MAZ’s commitment to advancing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles in business. Mr. Rusike emphasized the transformative potential of ESG principles in driving sustainable growth, enhancing brand reputation, and fostering long-term resilience. He called upon marketers to integrate ESG principles into their strategies, emphasizing their pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future.

Godfrey Dube, Chairperson of the Superbrand Adjudication Team, provided insights into the meticulous process behind the Superbrand Awards. He introduced the esteemed members of the adjudication committee and outlined the comprehensive research methodology employed, emphasizing the central role of consumer feedback in determining the top brands. Mr. Dube announced the introduction of the Teen Superbrand Awards, recognizing brands that effectively engage with the youth market.

The Superbrand process, a cornerstone of MAZ’s efforts to recognize excellence, involves a multi-stage methodology to ensure fairness and accuracy. Initially, brands are nominated by both consumers and industry experts. Following the nomination phase, a rigorous research process is conducted, incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods. Consumer surveys are administered to gather data on brand perception, loyalty, and overall satisfaction. This data is meticulously analyzed, and the findings are reviewed by an independent panel of auditors to guarantee transparency and objectivity.

Subsequently, an adjudication committee, comprised of industry experts and academics, evaluates the brands based on predetermined criteria, including market dominance, customer loyalty, longevity, goodwill, and overall market acceptance. The combined insights from consumer feedback and expert evaluation culminate in the final list of the Top 200 brands.

In his address on “Sustainability Driven Brands: ESG as a Game Changer,” Guest Speaker Mr. Nyanhongo, CEO of Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, delivered a compelling call to action for businesses to embrace sustainability as a core principle of their operations. Drawing from historical context and contemporary challenges, he underscored the transformative potential of sustainability in driving both economic success and societal resilience. Through vivid storytelling and poignant examples, Mr. Nyanhongo illuminated the urgent need for businesses to move beyond superficial gestures and adopt genuine, substantive action towards environmental consciousness, social responsibility, and ethical governance.

Moreover, Mr. Nyanhongo articulated the tangible benefits of embracing sustainability, citing enhanced reputations, financial performance, and market opportunities as compelling incentives for businesses to integrate ESG principles into their business models. By aligning business objectives with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and prioritizing people, communities, and the planet, Mr. Nyanhongo urged attendees to seize the opportunity to shape a future where sustainability and success are inseparable. His impassioned plea resonated deeply, leaving a profound impact on all those in attendance and underscoring the imperative for businesses to embrace sustainability as a strategic imperative in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world.

The Superbrand Business Breakfast would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Econet Wireless, Golden Pilsner, Huletts, Ecocash, 3ktv, ZiFM, The Financial Gazette, The Sunday Mail, Dailynews, The Herald, Alliance Media, Askeland Media & Advertising, Expert Research Insights, Grant Thornton, Arenel, Proton, Olivine Industries, Medtech Distribution, Edward Snell & Company, Zimgold, Dairibord Zimbabwe, Delta Corporation, National Foods Limited, Nemchem, Impala Car Rental, Passion Events and Image Magic. Their unwavering commitment to promoting excellence in branding and marketing has been instrumental in making this event a resounding success.

As we embark on this journey to celebrate excellence in branding, MAZ remains steadfast in its mission to champion marketing professionalism and synergies, thereby ensuring that brands are recognized and implemented to the highest standards for economic sustainability. We congratulate all the brands that have made it into the Top 200 and look forward to an inspiring year ahead filled with innovation, resilience, and unparalleled success. The Superbrand concept, adopted in Zimbabwe since 2009, aims to identify and celebrate brands that excel in their respective fields. By recognizing and rewarding exceptional brands, the Superbrand Awards not only honor excellence but also provide consumers with insights into brands that positively impact their lives.

In conclusion, MAZ congratulates all the brands that have been recognized in the 2024 Top 200. As Zimbabwe’s premier champion of marketing excellence, MAZ remains committed to driving innovation, promoting sustainability, and recognizing outstanding brands that shape the nation’s business landscape.

The economic winds have shifted, and many Zimbabwean businesses are feeling the chill of declining sales figures in Q2 2024. This isn’t an isolated phenomenon. A recent report by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) indicates a significant drop in capacity utilization across various sectors. As a seasoned marketer with years of experience in the local market, I delved into the potential causes behind this downturn and now offer practical marketing strategies, both low-budget and high-budget, to assist businesses in weathering this storm and reviving their sales.

Understanding the Sales Slump: A Data-Driven Approach

Several factors could contribute to the current sales slump. Apply these pointers to your business, analyze the data, and gain a clearer picture of the situation. Here’s how data can help us diagnose the problem:

Low-Budget Marketing Solutions for Immediate Impact

Even with limited resources, businesses can implement effective marketing strategies:

High-Budget Marketing Solutions for Long-Term Growth

While low-budget strategies can provide immediate results, consider these high-budget options for long-term growth:

The Road to Recovery: Measuring Results and Adapting

Regardless of budget, all marketing efforts require careful measurement and adaptation. Utilize analytics tools to track key metrics and regularly analyze the data to refine strategies based on results.

A Look Ahead: Embracing Change and Building Resilience

The current economic climate presents an opportunity to build resilience and emerge stronger. By implementing data-driven marketing strategies, Zimbabwean businesses can navigate this challenging period and pave the way for a future of growth and success.

Written by Audrey Imbayago

Audrey Imbayago is an established marketer and brand strategist specializing in digital marketing and social media management. She is the Group Marketing Manager of Mokuba Group and has worked with various local and international businesses, successfully building and managing brand profiles. Contact her on +263 779 949 099 or audreyimbayago@gmail.com