Gathering hears of the importance of culture in modern marketing

By our News Team | 2022

Developing the right corporate culture is a key driver of marketing and overall business success, conference delegates are told.

‘Culture as the New Marketing Currency’ came under the spotlight as the first session of the African Marketing Confederation’s 2022 Conference got underway at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 19 October).

Dr Matongo Matamwandi, Vice Chancellor of Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University in Lusaka and a Past President of the Zambia Institute of Marketing, presented a hard-hitting overview of the importance of culture and its significance in driving marketing and overall business success.

AMC Marketing Conference

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

He begun by explaining how regional and national cultures need to be understood by marketers when developing their strategies. Giving one example of a failure to do so, Dr Matamwandi told delegates how fast-food chain McDonald’s – buoyed by the huge success of its new beef burger offering in Europe and North America – launched an expensive campaign to do the same in India.

The result, however, was abject failure. McDonald’s marketers had failed to realise that most Indians are Hindu and do not eat meat. Furthermore, cows are regarded as sacred in the Hindu religion.

Dr Matamwandi then turned his attention to company culture, emphasising that a good organisational culture was more important to long-term business success than an understanding of regional or national cultures. 

Impossible to recover from a cultural mistake

“If you make a strategic business mistake, you may recover. If you make an [organisational] cultural mistake, you cannot recover,” he explained, adding that it was possible to have an over-emphasis on customers and too little emphasis on company culture.

According to Dr Matamwandi, corporate culture comprises a company’s shared values, beliefs and goals. Among other things, the right company culture can be a huge draw for talented people, who are vital to achieving excellence and success within the business. 

“Company culture can also become a marketing tool; customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” he said.

He quoted a survey by global executive search firm Egon Zehnder, which found that 95 percent of business leaders questioned believed that a company’s culture affects customer decisions. Sixty percent said they thought their business culture supported their company’s brand.

Dr Matamwandi ended his presentation with a ‘Moment of Truth’ challenge to the African business community to bring about a cultural change in the way business is done on the continent. This was necessary to be more globally competitive, he emphasised.

Collective power and marketing wisdom

In opening remarks preceding Dr Matamwandi’s presentation, Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) President, Professor Zororo Muranda, welcomed delegates from eight African countries to the Victoria Falls conference. He hailed the collective power and marketing wisdom present at the gathering and said the sharing of experiences would help to grow the profession on the continent.

Helen McIntee, President of the African Marketing Confederation, added her welcome. She said this inaugural conference was a milestone for the AMC, which had grown from a small spark of an idea in 2009 to a continent-wide organisation with 10 member countries.

The conference is being hosted by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe and continues until 22 October at Elephant Hills Hotel. For further information, visit the dedicated conference website: https://amcmarketingconference22.com/

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    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
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