Professor of Accounting at the Nottingham University Business School, Noel Tagoe, has urged business owners, particularly marketers, to take note of the increased importance of the role customers play in the success of their businesses – stating that the era of treating individual customers as dispensable is over.
With customers placing a high premium on access to products and services, as opposed to ownership; hyper-personalisation over generic services as well as increased emphasis on the experience, the tide has shifted and business can no longer stand aloof. This, he noted, has been compounded by easier access to documenting and sharing of information.
Speaking at as the special guest of honour at the 31st edition of the CIMG National Marketing Performance Awards, which were held under the theme ‘Marketing in a Disruptive Era’, he argued that bad publicity could have a tangible impact on sales, market capitalisation and revenue of businesses, and the intangible impact on brand equity can be immeasurable and permanent.
“In times past, when we said that the customer is important we wanted you to believe that you are important; but some fundamental changes have taken place – namely, the cost of accessing and disseminating data at scale has become significantly cheaper, and possession of a smart device by a customer can increase your brand equity by so much or destroy it so much,” he said.
Prof. Tagoe, who previously served as the EVP of Management Accounting, Research and Curricula at the Association of International Certified Public Accountants, added that while COVID-19 has been a significant disruptor, disruptions have long existed and will continue post-pandemic; he therefore called on businesses to be vigilant if they are to thrive.
“Vigilance means you have acquired foresight capabilities which enable you to see things that are going to happen sooner and act upon them faster than anyone else. You have to constantly scan your environment for changes – the difficulty is that those changes not broadcast themselves, but if you have a culture of curiosity, open-mindedness and collaboration in your organisation, you get intelligence on what is happening.”
On his part, national president of CIMG, Dr. Daniel Kasser Tee, in his welcome address once again stressed the CIMG award scheme’s credibility, pointing to its longevity, consistency and assessable impact.
He also noted that this year there were no awards in the Microfinance Company of the Year; Airline of the Year (Domestic); Postal and Courier Service (Domestic); Postal and Courier Service (International) and Telecoms (Allied & Support Services) categories, saying: “None of the entries met the standard criteria for evaluation; they were therefore desk-rejected”.
On the night, the following awards were given: Marketing Man of the Year – CEO Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman; Marketing Woman of the Year – Group CEO, Hollard, Ghana, Patience Akyianu; Marketing Practitioner of the Year –Marketing Manager of Fanmilk, Edwin Amoako; Marketing Student of the Year – Regina Manu.
In the Hall of Fame – Elite Category (over 10 years) was Motor firm Toyota and Retail outlet Melcom.
Meanwhile, Hall of Fame (below 10 years) included Insurance company (Gen) – Vanguard Assurance and Enterprise Insurance; Insurance Company (Life) – SIC Life; Motor Firm – Japan Motors; Bank – Ecobank; Petroleum – Goil; Airline (Domestic) – Africa World Airlines.
For the Media category, there was ATL Commercial – Vodafone Too Much Data; BTL Commercial – Vodafone Gigabit Net 4G; New Media Commercial – MyJoyOnline.com; TV Programme – Vodafone Healthline; Radio Programme – Joy FM Super Morning Show.
As well as Business, there was Insurance company (Life) – Prudential Life; Insurance company (General) – Hollard Insurance; Hospitality facility (Hotel) – Labadi Beach Hotel; Hospitality (Allied & Support Services) – Sunseekers Tours Limited; Petroleum company – Total; Real Estate – Lakeside Estate; Private Health Facility – Lister Hospital; Corporate Pension Trust – Enterprise Trustees; Media Organisation – The Multimedia Group Limited; Motor Firm – Silver Star Auto Limited; Bank – Stanbic Bank; Rural Bank – Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank; Finance House – Profin Ghana; Savings and Loans Company of the Year – Opportunity Int. Savings & Loans; Indigenous Catering Facility – Bush Canteen; Telecom Company – MTN; Internet Service Providers – Internet Solutions; Marketing-Oriented Organisation – MTN; Airline of the Year (International) – Ethiopian Air; Manufacturing Company – Polytank Ghana Limited; Afro-based Company – RMG Ghana; Digital Media – MyJoyOnline.com; Retail Outlet – Electromart; E-commerce – Jumia; Not-for-profit Organisation – Invest in Africa.
The Product category saw awards in Manufacturing – Fan Yogo; Service – Hollard Araba Chatbot; Emerging Brand – Transitions; while the CIMG President’s Special Award went to Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II – Asantehene; and GEXIM Bank’s Tuesday Market.