The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG), has named the Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), Daniel Wilson Addo, and the Managing Director of the ABSA Bank, Abena Osei-Poku, respectively as the Marketing Man and Woman of the Year 2021. The awards were conferred at the 33rd CIMG Annual National Marketing Performance Awards held at the Labadi Beach Hotel.
The Marketing Man of the Year 2021, Daniel Wilson Addo was recognised for leading CBG’s transformational drive from ground zero after the defunct banks were collapsed and consolidated into one bank. The Consolidated Bank Ghana has since grown steadily from 6.70% in 2019 to 7.70% in 2021, with a 151,333-usage rate culminating into a transaction value of GHS1.10bn.
Customer-centricity has been the most notable characteristic of the new CBG, introducing innovative customer care programmes such as SME Seminars, provision of advisory services, Adesua training series and wealth creation sensitisation schemes. These initiatives aims to help build networks for SMEs, enhancing financial and business knowledge skills through business and financial management programmes.
The Marketing Woman of the Year 2021, Managing Director of ABSA Bank, Abena Osei-Poku, was recognised for, among other things, successfully leading the development of some excellent schemes that trained over 3,140 SMEs, financially supporting 1,277 SMEs with an amount of GHS138 million and the creation of 9,144 jobs.
Mrs. Osei-Poku led the execution of Young Africa Works entrepreneurship development program, which is geared towards offering training to MSMEs, supporting them with loans ranging between GHS500,000.00 and GHS1,000,000.00. This helped Absa Bank gain a 6.9% share of the market that has culminated into a total income of GHS1,641,211,00 in the year under review.
Also on the personality awards list were the Marketing Practitioner and Marketing Students of the year 2021, which went to Ms Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuor, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Affairs and Mr. Mark Mensa-Abban, who emerged overall best student in the professional Marketing examinations. Other awards categories are Hall of Fame, Media/Marketing Communications, Business Organisations, Products, and Not-for-Profit Organisations.
With the global economic challenges, the CIMG deemed it appropriate to emphasise the alternative options for business sustainability, hence the theme: “Creative Marketing and Innovation in a Volatile Global Economy”.
Addressing participants, the National President of CIMG, Dr Daniel Kasser Tee, intimated that Ghana’s economy had been pointing in the right direction until the last three years when the economy was first struck by the coronavirus pandemic and more recently, the Russia-Ukraine War. Dr Tee also highlighted the need to rationalise business operations to be able to protect the interest of investors, employees, and customers.
Dr Kasser Tee further added that “Employee associations and labour unions should also explore ways by which they can promote the interest of employers in such challenging times. It is not all the time that employees should be agitating for higher wages. It is our wish that we could make it possible for every public sector organisation to keep and publish their individual books of accounts. This will, in no doubt, bring transparency to bear, making it possible for every public sector worker to see the profitability of their institutions.”
He believes the absence of such transparency in the public sector is mainly responsible for the most agitations on the labour union front. “The private sector workers are usually quiet, not necessary because they are well paid, but because they know what their organisations are capable of paying, at least from the published accounts.”
The National President of CIMG also recounted two recent worrying occurrences in Ghana with varying consequences, the suspension of oral examinations for PhD candidates at the University of Ghana and the closure of shops by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
“It is very legitimate for workers to embark on a sit-down strike and the law grants them that. What, I think, is not acceptable is for us to do it in a manner that hurts the future of our institutions. Most of our older universities have positioned themselves as centres of excellence in research. If this means anything to us, then we should not be doing anything that negates this positioning. Fee-paying master’s degree programmes and all Doctoral programmes should never be disrupted. There must be certainty about their start and end dates, with a near zero tolerance for disruptions. That is the only way by which we will continue to attract students from the international markets around us,” he highlighted.
Dr Kasser Tee further said that the move by members of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), to close shops to protest rising inflation created artificial shortage of goods in the market.
“Take the case of GUTA, your members are already heavily disadvantaged due to your mode of operation. Each member has physical shops, made of brick and mortar. Rent payment for some of these shops are very prohibitive and dollar denominated. Goods sold by GUTA members are expensive not necessarily due to the cost of the goods from the supply source or general freight and carriage charges or even import duties alone but the cost of running their businesses through physical shops, mainly rent,” he explained.
Speaking on behalf of the Honourable Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum was Mr Nana Agyei Yeboah, the CEO of Student Loan Trust Fund. He intimated that “the importance and need for marketing education in the country and the need for its acceptability as a profession with all disciplines imbibing, marketing, sales and customer service can be our saving grace.”
Mr Yeboah further mentioned that “As a nation, Ghana should invest some efforts into marketing because through marketing, we can ignite a massive transformation of the economy that would go a long way to reduce the economic challenges we face, hence the poverty levels. Marketing should not be an afterthought but rather something that should commence the entire value chain of every process in life. It is my wish to see marketing being accepted in the public spaces in Ghana.”
The Guest of Honour for the 33RD awards ceremony, Mr. Idorenyen Enang, who is also the President of the National Institute of Marketing, Nigeria (NIMN), revealed that it is no longer gainsaying that the world is indeed going through a significant period of change and transformation, all occasioned by the force and pull of technology.
Advising marketing professionals and practitioners, he emphasised that the current global dispensation is founded on data and technology, which is the background and environment within which brands and businesses must strategise to compete and win sustainably.
“Customers no longer need your brands as much as they once did. Now they are spoilt for choices more than they ever did. As we have seen, hundreds of new Marketing messages and fresh competitors are vying for the customers attention daily. Brands, new companies and businesses are not backward about coming forward. Competitors are doing all they can to engage with the target audience as quickly, meaningful and efficiently as possible. The brand with the biggest marketing budget will not necessarily win, but the brand with the best customer experience will. And for you to be that brand or business, you must build the customer into every element of your business,” he advised.
Mr Enang further mentioned that customers expect a lot more from their engagement with brands, companies and businesses than that which results from an exclusive focus on Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
“According to Nick Johnson, in his book ‘the future of marketing’. Brand is not about communications strategy. It is no longer appropriate to simply ‘have a message’. You have to live up to that message in a far more extensive and deep-seated manner than ever before. An authentic brand story isn’t like a confection manufactured by the PR team, it is a representation of everything about how a company works, its position in the world, its goals, and its relationships with customers,” he quoted.
In his concluding remarks, Mr Enang tasked marketers and business people to embrace the change that beckons at break neck speed rather than wish it away, since marketing is about figuring out “who you are and what you want to say”.
The CIMG Annual National Marketing Performance Awards is the Institute’s annual recognition platform to create awareness about the relevance of marketing for the success of businesses, promote higher professional standards and excellence among practitioners, and stimulate healthy competition among organisations, while ensuring improved quality of products and services offered by organisations.