August 16—The country’s image industry has stepped up a gear towards fully embracing international standards and instilling more professionalism by launching the Uganda Marketers Society (UMS) complete with new corporate signage and a Board of Governors.
Pamela Abonyo, the UMS board chairperson said the first priority is to set standards and ethics. She said this was long overdue considering the impact the industry has on business and the lives of countless people.
“We have constantly had complaints from customers about misconduct from marketers–like cheating customers as well as distorting facts in order to sell their products. We however could not hold anyone accountable, because there was no set of rules or code of conduct that these marketers could be judged on. This is why it important for this body to be in place,” she said.
UMS has been affiliated to th London-based Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), an international body that governs marketers in the whole world. The CIM is the world’s largest community of marketers that support, represent and develop marketers, teams, leaders and the marketing profession as a whole.
Besides organizing individuals and companies under one umbrella, other UMS priorities include creating connections for problem sharing as well as working together to find ways on how the marketing profession can be developed better.
John Paul Okwi, the President, UMS board of governors, said it is necessary to have rules which are respected, because marketing was increasingly becoming a driving force in all business all over the world. “For the past years, markets did not have an umbrella body through which they could share experience, interact, discuss challenges as well as find solutions to their problems. We therefore formed this Society so that marketers can have a voice,” he said.
He said, “Every year the top three companies In Uganda invest over UGX 300 billion (about $80 million) in marketing. That is because they understand that marketing can build to destroy a company; hence the need to take marketers seriously.”
Abonyo said those involved in the industry are encouraged to join regardless of whether they are certified or not. “We have different categories for individuals, cooperates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Anyone can join this organization as long as they are ready to abide by the regulations of this organization. Through this way, we can hopefully say marketing in Uganda is going to become better,” she said.