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Marketers seek to deepen sector's capacity as the society turns 60

South Africa’s Vusi Thembekwayo speakS during the MSK Marketers Summit 2022 in Mombasa. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Marketing Society Kenya (MSK) this week organised its first symposium aimed at building the capacity of marketers and streamlining operations in the sector, which has largely been unregulated.

According to MSK, the national umbrella body for marketers, the symposium served as a celebration of the society’s 60 years of existence as well as building the capacity of industry players to ensure effectiveness in service delivery.

MSK Chief Executive Edward Oswe said the summit is a means through which the organisation intends to drive the conversation around marketing best practices in projecting the profession as a necessary career without which the growth of the business sector cannot be effectively realised.

“It is through marketing that local businesses are empowered to advance their positions into the continental scale and drive sustainability and inclusivity into the sector,” he said.

The symposium was attended by over 150 members as well as local and regional corporate representation.

“We are setting standards as well as establishing a regional marketers’ powerhouse that will regulate the sector as we seek to have the MSK Bill passed by Parliament,” Mr Oswe said.

The event was graced by acclaimed South African business mogul and international speaker Vusi Thembekwayo.

Mr Thembekwayo urged the participants not to promote dependency on the people they lead but to provide their employees with the freedom to bring their full selves to the work they do, quoting author Tanveer Nassir.

“If you want to succeed in business, you need to be utterly obsessed. You need to reply to customer queries after 5pm on Friday,” he said.

Key talent

He said the hardest part of the growth process is learning to let go.

“Do it too soon and you set your people up to fail, leave it too late and you will lose good people.

“Timing and talent must meet at the intersection perfectly.”

Stressing the need to qualify for the career one intends to pursue, Mr Thembekwayo said education becomes more relevant when one decides what to do with it.

“Set goals and go for them,” he said.

MSK Communications and Marketing Manager Wangari Kamanga said marketers will be certified, and the ones practising without skills are encouraged to pursue competency.

“Just like any other profession, we shall require that members practising without formal qualifications enhance integrity in the sector,” she said.

Speaking of the society’s vision to make the umbrella body a marketing force behind business in the region, Mr Oswe told The Standard that they would continually promote professional marketing standards, establish a practitioners’ code of ethics and provide an interactive space for marketers.