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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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