THE Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) will this year introduce the Southern Region awards meant to recognise outstanding organisations and individuals.

Speaking at a MAZ cocktail in Bulawayo on May 21 ,  MAZ executive secretary, Mr Gillian Rusike said the first Southern Region awards were set for August.

“We do have marketing awards in Harare, the national awards, but at those forums it’s very rare for those who are from the region point of view to attend or to come. In the region there are people who are doing wonderful and tremendous work, people that are pushing their brands. So, one of the things we have agreed on is that this year we are going to start our own regional Marketing, Sales and Public Relations awards in August, just to massage our own egos and clap hands for ourselves,” said Mr Rusike.

Mr Rusike said MAZ had also started pursuing an Act of Parliament to protect the industry.

“We are now at a stage where we presented a proposal to Cabinet and I’m so glad to say that our patron who is the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon Monica Mutsvangwa who is also a marketer by qualification is representing us. She has stood for us at Cabinet level and Cabinet has endorsed that we need to have an Act that governs our operations as marketers, so now we are at an engagement stage with all stakeholders.”

Mr Rusike said the Act will ensure that marketers regulate their profession and be able to protect themselves. He encouraged marketers to utilise opportunities offered by the organisation such as digital marketing training so that they can continuously upgrade their personal skills. He noted that MAZ was also rolling out training to other countries such as Zambia and they recently signed an MoU with Malawi to offer their services there.

“We are now in Zambia doing training on digital marketing courses and we have signed an MoU with Malawi. The courses that we are offering here to our local marketers are the same as those we are offering through the Zambia Institute of Marketing Management there,” said Mr Rusike.

Mr Rusike addressed members at a Cocktail held following a series of stakeholder engagements with members in the Southern region.

A committee to spearhead the awards ceremony will soon be set up.

In his presentation on using digital platforms in the Covid-19 era, Edgars Group chain director Mr Vusumuzi Mpofu said that the Covid-19 pandemic was not the first health crisis that the world has faced and will not be the last.

He noted that a key part of the recovery effort should be to document the wins and areas in need of improvement and to take corrective action from a planning perspective to avoid further pitfalls.

“Part of that process should entail continuous scenario planning of potential risks not yet considered and the implications put on technology to run the business differently. When alarms are triggered indicating possible upsets to the plan, there should be a process in place to identify alternative actions. Other customer interaction channels such as live chat, or more informal channels like WhatsApp or SMS, need to be aligned, connected, and integrated to ensure customer agents are able to offer exceptional customer experience irrespective of the channel used.”

Presenting on the topic, ‘doing business in the face of Covid-19’, PPC Zimbabwe sales and marketing general manager, Mr Nkosana Mapuma said that as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, there has never been a more pressing need for organisations to rethink and reconfigure their businesses for a changed world.

“Now is the time for organisations to focus their efforts on supporting key areas of their businesses that will help them to stabilise in the new environment and strategise for what is next,” said Mr Mapuma.

He said organisations must strategise for the pending economic change of fortunes, as every crisis gave birth to new opportunities.

Source Sunday News

Additional Report by MAZ staff writer