South Africa’s top marketers were revealed in the 2022 Marketing Achievement Awards (MAA) ceremony, which took place on 13 July at The Forum in Sandton.
The awards were proudly presented by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and endorsed by the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA). The awards ceremony was attended by the MAA finalists, the MAA Council and judges, and invited guests from the marketing industry, and was simultaneously live streamed. Modern Marketing is a proud media partner of the MAA’s.
The winners across 14 categories were named, including the most anticipated announcements of the evening: the winners of the three MAA leadership awards. The winners were Firoze Bhorat, CMO at The Discovery Group, winner of the Marketer of the Year Award; The Discovery Group, winner of the Marketing Organisation of the Year Award; and Jared Patel, Head of Marketing at Sea Harvest Group, winner of the Rising Star of the Year Award.
Ivan Moroke, CEO of Kantar’s Insight Division, South Africa; Lead Inclusion and Diversity Kantar EMEA; and current chairperson of the MAAs, said all three winners had demonstrated impeccable application of marketing as a strategic craft, and were most deserving of these accolades.
‘The MAA judges were very clear that the winners had to consistently show the potential of strategic marketing to catalyse business growth. These awards are an opportunity to prove, with empirical evidence, the positive impact of marketing and brand building as a critical commercial tool of growth, and Bhorat and Patel did just that,’ he said.
Marketer of the Year Award is a nominated award category that was fiercely contested this year. Professor Doug Mattheus, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the Nelson Mandela University and Chairman of the Marketer of the Year selection committee, noted that all the finalists embraced this year’s MAA theme, ‘marketing that means business’, showing their understanding of the strategic link between marketing and business results.
‘Bhorat embodies all these attributes, and more. His influence, value and presence are immense as he leads a large, centrally-controlled marketing team in a giant organisation, where each division is a business on its own that competes against other established companies in highly-traded sectors. As an Exco member, he does justice to the profession in all its aspects, from his digital-first view to the detailed customer understanding he employs across all channels, creating shared value, promoting diversity, and building the brand and culture, while showing excellent business results,’ Professor Mattheus explained.
The Marketing Organisation of the Year Award celebrates the organisation that has most clearly demonstrated how its business, brand and marketing strategy are closely aligned and executed to drive sustained returns.
Haydn Townsend, MAA council member and an MD at Accenture Song – sponsor of the MAA Marketing Organisation of the Year Award – said entrants had to show how their marketing initiatives had related to sustained performance towards the triple bottom line over a three-year period.
‘This is one of the industry’s most meaningful awards because it interrogates companies from a holistic perspective. It really delves into what it takes to be an organisation that embraces the entire brand experience, and remains relevant doing it. This award is not only important for the recognition it bestows on the winner, in this case, The Discovery Group but, as an example of best practice, also a future learning tool from which the whole industry can benefit,’ Townsend said.
This year’s Rising Star of the Year Award celebrating the best young marketer under the age of 35 who showed their potential to become an outstanding industry leader through impactful, analytical and creative marketing efforts, was sponsored by Mondelēz Africa.
Thembi Butelezi Equity and Marketing Strategy Lead, Mondelēz Sub-Saharan Africa, emphasised the importance of young marketers being able to leverage a balanced skill set, especially in a volatile operating climate. ‘The current business, and marketing landscape is constantly evolving. This is complicated further by a highly competitive environment. The most successful marketers, like Patel, are those who leverage a diverse and commercially minded skill set to encourage transformation through thinking holistically about growth. This not only supports strategic growth now, but future-proofs their organisations in the long term,’ Butelezi added.
This year’s MAA entries in 14 different award categories were judged by 50 industry experts against strict criteria, including the impact of the marketing campaign on business objectives and bottom line. Each written submission was evaluated against specified criteria; the merits of each top-scoring entry were assessed in peer quorums; and in the case of the three leadership categories, online interviews were conducted with the nominees and their colleagues in order to understand these marketers and their work.
Award winners and finalists:
MARKETING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS