Marketers Association of Zimbabwe successfully hosted its first ever online Annual Continuous Professional Development Master Class (ACDP) also known as the Winter School. The ACDP is a three day program meant to equip marketing practitioners and related professionals with marketing skills of current trends in the marketing industry worldwide.

This year’s edition ran from 5-7 August via Zoom platform and it had over 40 participants.

MAZ could not be deterred by the Covid 19 pandemic which has disrupted the usual way of doing business but quickly adapted to the new normal and hosted the online ACDP via Zoom.

Both classes ran concurrently and flawlessly with local and regional speakers sharing their expertise with the marketers.

MAZ Head Marketing and Operations, Mrs Enia Zimunya said that MAZ the Winter School was a success.

She highlighted that the online edition was a success and had seen them having ease of inviting renowned regional speakers which added flair to this year’s ACDP.

The first class (Class A) was open to all Marketers who desired to be accredited with the Marketing Practitioner Status (MPS) offered by MAZ in conjunction with IMM.

The Second Class is open to those who have already attained the Marketing Practitioner Status and those abreast who seek to keep abreast with local and global marketing trends.

Some of the speakers included, Sunshine Corporate Communications director , Lennox Mhlanga ,Mhlanga , Zimnat Managing Director , Workmore Chimweta , Kenyan based seasoned marketer and business leader , Juliet Ziswa , Famous Digital Media Managing Director , Gary Bolt  from South Africa , Founder of ATC Digital Academy , Janet Machuka from Kenya and also from Kenya , Victor Mwangi , Chief Commercial Officer Sendy (Pvt Ltd) and Michael Beavan, Senior Business Lecturer at IMM South Africa.

Gary and Janet emphasised the need of embracing digital marketing strategies and integrate them with traditional channels to make the most of the New Normal.
“As part of your strategy choosing your online channels wisely is very important. Audit the audience and evaluating your existing digital channels and assets. Always know what needs to be improved. Accept and acknowledge criticism. Increase social media managers. Do not delete negative comments,” said Janet.
Workmore emphasized on assertive marketers.

“The CEO is looking for substance. You must be the he or she turns to because only you can do the job, that’s the differentiation you have to make. CEOs talk of metrics in business. You must understand the goal, key result to deliver that goal,” said Workmore

Juliet touched on the need to focus on brand experiences to enhance the customer experience while Challenge urged companies to spruce out their e-commerce strategies and start gunning for foreign customers who are not experiencing economic challenges

One of the participants National blood service Zimbabwe Public affairs Manager Mrs Esther Masunda said the online winter school went on very well.

“The winter school was awesome , greatly enjoyed it and I felt that it was greatly appropriate because we are in the new normal so there is also need for us to embrace the online discussions in terms of whether they are workshops , meetings among others.

I think it was of great benefit and as MAZ you managed to bring up topics which are very relevant with the environment that we are in,” said Mrs Masunda.

Kudakwashe Makandyera, the Digital Specialist for Turnall Holdings had this to say:
“Winter school was great. As a digital Marketing person it’s great to utilise what I used every day thus online platforms. The Online sessions were quite interesting. I found the presenters to be very clear and articulate. They displayed a thorough understanding of the topics presented.

I found out new things about different topics which were fascinating. This course helped me improve my skills,” said Mr Makandyera.

He highlighted that one of the challenges participants faced was the issue of connectivity.

“Connectivity was an issue to some of the participants due to various reasons but as for myself I did not have problems connecting. The world has gone digital and 4iR is here. We need to embrace Marketing 4.0 as marketers and embrace it,” he added.

Some of the Topics that were covered include,