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Marketing critical — Nguni

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The government has urged companies to make marketing an integral part of their business if they are to sustain their brands.

Speaking at the Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) breakfast meeting yesterday, Minister of State in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s office Sylvester Nguni said the marketing industry was awakening from its slumber due to challenges that beset the economy over the past 10 years.
“Many professionals left the country in search of greener pastures. The marketing profession was not spared,” he said.

“Consequently, many companies are now struggling to resuscitate their businesses and to return to their previous positions or to regain lost market share.

“In order to achieve this, there is need to go back to basics of professionalism in running businesses with much emphasis on marketing.”

Nguni said marketing had been misunderstood in business circles as it went beyond having customers buying products from companies.

“To this end, companies just pick anyone with a beautiful smile, or with the loudest voice, to fill in the marketing position,” he said.

“No wonder many companies then fail to develop and sustain their brand in the market.

“Professionalism in marketing is not just confined to advertising, or worse still to convincing a client to buy a product, but it means the adherence to systematic process of marketing, which is used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.”

African Marketers’ Confederation South Africa president Helen McIntee said a process to form a regional marketer’s body had been set in motion.
She said South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya were already working together.

“We are going to Nigeria, Mauritius and Ghana, as people (there) are interested,” McIntee said.

At the event, 41 marketers were awarded with the Marketing Practitioners Status certificates, including NewsDay sales marketing manager Wilson Masawa and Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard sales and marketing manager Punish Murumbi.

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