Critically Re-Assess Organic Growth Strategies In Tough Economic Times – CIMG Advises Professional Marketers

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The National President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG), Dr. Daniel Kasser Tee, has urged Chief Marketing Officers and Professional Marketers to consider the wide range advantages available for participating in cross border trade within Africa. The statement was made during the 32nd CIMG President’s Ball held in Accra. 

The theme for the event was, “Creative Marketing and Innovation in a Volatile Global Economy”, to re-echo the urgent need for Marketers to work together, as a nation, to find creative ways of salvaging the economy and getting it back on track, at least to the pre-COVID era. 

The event witnessed the induction of 30 new members into the Full Member, Associate Member, Emerging Associate Member and Corporate Member categories, as well as a recognition ceremony for 22 outstanding candidates who wrote and successfully passed the June 2022 CIMG Professional Marketing Qualifications Examinations. 

In his presidential address, the National President, Dr. Daniel Kasser Tee urged Chief Marketing Officers to critically consider all available and workable organic growth strategies in this challenging economic times.

 “We must, as a matter of necessity, be proposing less risky and less costly ways of pursuing market penetration, as well as market and product development strategies. We must emphasise on value creation, from our knowledge of buyer behaviour and also take advantage of effective target marketing. The products we offer must deliver unmatched value to buyer, in terms of inherent utility and service quality. The cost of procuring those products, the channel choice, the processes involved, etc. must be far below the intrinsic benefits to be derived by the buyer and/or user,” Dr. Tee advised. 

He added that for market expansion drives, “we must look beyond Ghana, by considering the wide range advantages available for doing cross border trade within Africa, on the back of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Currently, the National AfCFTA Coordination Office (NCO) is engaging stakeholders in the business community across all 16 regions of Ghana to discuss, among other things, available trade opportunities, including the development of an electronic Trade Information Repository interfaced with the African Trade Observatory.” 

This is aimed at increasing trade prospects for Ghanaian businesses in the AfCFTA market. The National AfCFTA Coordination Office will also provide real-time information on product-market opportunities across Africa so Ghanaian exporters are enabled to increase trade within the sub-region. 

Bringing the economy back on track should be a major concern for everyone. According to the CIMG National President, “many professional associations have publicly declared that, on behalf of their members, they will out rightly reject government’s proposed Debt Exchange Programme. They are, understandably, unhappy with the sheer depth of the ‘haircut’ they and their members are being asked to accept. However, my advice, based on what I have heard experts say, is that they take a step back, control their anger and emotions, and take a good look at the situation we [economy] are faced with”. 

“Simply put, government has warned that it is no longer in a position to meet its domestic debt servicing obligations on both interest payments and principal amortization upon maturity now. Therefore, as unpalatable as it may appear to be, acceptance of the proposed Debt Exchange Programme is the only way forward for investors of the affected government debt securities, if we want to eventually get our monies”, he further pointed out. 

Without the Debt Exchange Programme, debt servicing alone would, in 2023 consume close to 70% of Ghana’s projected tax revenues and over 55% of total anticipated revenues, including grants. With government no longer capable of paying its debts under the original terms on which those debts were contracted, it is a clear warning that under those terms, government will definitely default payments. 

“Therefore, as unpalatable as it may appear to be, acceptance of the proposed Debt Exchange Programme is the only way forward for investors of the affected government debt securities, if we want to eventually get our monies. If we refuse to participate, government will simply default on its repayments under the original terms, and unfortunately, there is very little we can do about it,” Dr. Kasser Tee explained. 

He also used the opportunity to persuade government to improve its communications with Ghanaians, stating that “they must do this effectively through both the government communications set up as well as their party communications structures. Public Relations is a deliberate, planned and sustained top-level management communications activities aimed at the harmonisation of stakeholder interests, and as such government communications should be well planned and structured to achieve its intended objectives”, he said. 

Representing the Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Deputy Minister for Education, Hon. Rev. John Fordjour, in his remarks, commended the suitability of the theme and stated that in the current global economy challenges, the role of the marketer should be re-evaluated. 

“You would agree with me that consumer sophistication is on the high and the marketing trends are showing a lot of competition in industry, services, and products. It has become exceedingly important that one leverages technology, digital resources, the tools of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, all in our practice of marketing, in our customer service practice, in advertising, in ensuring that we reach the right customers through data to make informed decisions on how we can drive our turnovers in the various workplaces, in the various organisations that look upon us to drive their turnovers,” Hon. Rev. Fordjour intimated. 

He further indicated that “It is also high time we, in this country, took marketing education seriously and ensuring that marketing is brought at the forefront of every organisation. We should understand that marketing must become an integral part of business strategy, knowing that it is marketing that drives turnover wherever an organisation that is for profit is set up.” 

Hon. Rev. Fordjour also recommended for all to take advantage of the synergies around marketing and its related disciplines, recognising that marketing must be an umbrella body around which all related disciplines also take their root. He added: “I look forward in earnest to the passage of the LI that will be able to set out the procedures that will give flesh to the CIMG ACT 2020 (ACT 1021) to be able to ensure that we carry along Customer Relationship Management, Marketing research & Insights, Brands Management, Advertising, Public Relations, Channel Management and all such related practices in such an all-encompassing LI that will be applicable across the various areas and disciplines within marketing.” 

The event was chaired by the Deputy Minister for Education, Hon. Rev. John Fordjour, representing the Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum. Also in attendance was the CIMG Marketing Man of the Year 2021, Mr. Daniel Wilson Addo who is the Managing Director at Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG).

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