Sunday, September 30, 2012

Marketing and Communication professionals called upon to take their rightful position in the social economic growth of the East African Economic Community… TMCC 2012

From left Eddie Roberts (CEO Push Observer), Caroline Lukalo (CEO Bulls Eye), Chinwe Kalu, ED Customer Passion Point, Ike Kalu, 

Dar es Salaam, on Thursday 27th September 2012 hosted Marketing and Communication professionals at the Tanzania Marketing Communication Conference 2012 organized by Marketing Initiatives Limited which held at Serena Hotels. All the speakers spoke passionately about the Marketing challenges facing the East African Community.

The annual conference,  which is the high point of the quarterly seminars organized by Marketing Initiatives Limited was themed ‘Challenges of Marketing in the East African Community Common Market’ and it was indeed an opportunity for wholesome discussions on the role of Marketing and how Marketing communication tools can be leveraged to build the economic community.  Mr. Rodgers Mbaga, CEO of MIL in his opening remark said ‘Considering that in recent times, the East African Community has opened doors/borders where goods, services and labor are now moving freely within the zone, the Marketing challenges become more complex and will require well thought out solutions. We brought the best minds in the industry with their deep insights and proven experience to talk to us. They did a fantastic job’’.

Tanzanian born Rosemary Mwakitwange, chairperson of Marketing Society of Tanzania spoke on Branding as Way to Market. She encouraged Tanzanians to embrace the principles of Branding and Branding Management and leveraged to create endearing value for both self, the organizations they work for and the nation of Tanzania. She stressed that a brand is the sum total of the experiences people have when they interact with products and services. The better the experiences, the better perceived and positioned the products, people or organizations are.

One of the promotional mixes that delivers so much value to any brand but it is not well understood is Experiential Marketing. Colin Mandell, the Group Experience Director at Exp, Africa's largest and leading Experiential Marketing agency with operations in 15 countries including Tanzania spoke on Insights, Learning and Best Practices of Experiential Marketing in Brand Plan. . It is often said that advertising creates awareness but connections are made through experiential engagement.

Barry Sayer, CEO Continental Outdoor Media, an Outdoor Advertising Company which is the market leader in South Africa and trades in 14 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.  He spoke on Direction of Outdoor Advertising stressing that though outdoor advertising is perceived to be very expensive, it is extremely economical if properly deployed.

Kenyan based Caroline Lukalo lit the conference with a very engaging discussion on Cause Marketing. She stressed that customers will be more favorably disposed to buy a product that they know that believes and supports the cause they believe in. She encouraged brand managers to include Cause Marketing in their brand plan given its ability to create endearing engagement with not just the customers but the public at large.

Finally, Eddie P. Roberts, spoke on the New Opportunities for Marketing and Public Relations. Eddie who is the CEO of Push Observer, the only digital media monitoring service provider in Tanzania appealed to Marketers and Communication professionals to avail themselves of the huge opportunity in public relations to grow volume and value in this day and age.

In conclusion, Ikechukwu Kalu, a director at MIL, called on Marketing and Communication professionals in the East African Common Market to embrace and promote the marketing mind set in the discharge of their roles. He noted, ‘We must see ourselves as business managers whose actions and inactions would have far reaching impact on our persons and the organizations we represent’.

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