Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
MARKETING executives should relentlessly scan competition to ensure their organisations and products lead the market despite the challenging operating environment.
This emerged during a breakfast meeting organised by the Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) for its members in Bulawayo yesterday.
Addressing participants, MBCA Bank head of marketing, public relations and communications Mrs Dedrey Mutimutema challenged marketers to keep pace with the vast changing marketing environment for them to remain relevant.
Mrs Mutimutema said the marketing environment has of late become volatile in terms of fast changing customer needs and expectations.
“Volatility, it is indeed true that everything is moving so fast; there is rapid change in customer needs and expectations particularly the banking sector.
“Uncertainty, we are sometimes unclear about the present, what is really happening and what the future is like; complexity — it is so complex out there, how do you even know that you are on the right track…it’s all interlinked because of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
“In this environment you need to raise the voice of the customer in whatever industry you are in, it’s not about you (marketers and organisations),” she said.
Mrs Mutimutema said the success of every organisation was underpinned by the ability to meet customer satisfaction through market research.
“Marketers think they are advertisers for their organisations. No, you need to be the one providing foresight and leadership for your organisations and unless you make your mark you will remain irrelevant. You need to know what is really happening in the future particularly outside your own locality.
“And this calls for relentless market scanning of competitors, clients and competitors that are not your traditional marketers,” she said.
Earlier in his presentation, National Foods regional sales executive Mr Phawulani Ngwenya said to become a market leader it was imperative for marketing professionals to involve the whole value chain.
“Volatility is about warfare, it’ is about fighting for market leadership . . . and for you to become a market leader you then have to understand the key stakeholders and sometimes involve the entire value chain,” he said.
Mr Ngwenya said in light of the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment there is no room for dead brands and incompetent workforce.
He said should such brands and products and human resources exist, they must be offloaded as a matter of urgency.
MAZ business development manager Mr David Dzikiti said the main objective for their breakfast meeting was to consolidate the association’s presence in the southern region of the country.
“The main reason for the breakfast meeting was to gain momentum of our presence in the southern region. We need to expand and that can only be done by making known of what we have as an association,” he said.