By Fred Sarpong
The Managing Director of Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), Peter Ndegwa has said that shareholders are very important to businesses and they must be handled with care.
According to him the success of every business and its development depends on those who invest their money in the business.
The GGBL MD was delivering a speech at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana an Evening with Peter Ndegwa in Accra last week. The topic was: ‘Corporate and Marketing Challenges: the Mindset of the Strategist.’
He stated that businesses exist to meet shareholder expectations and shareholders are concerned about three main issues. The issues are higher returns, rapid growth and lower risk. He explained that shareholders value investments with sustained high returns; arising from rapid and continued growth in the business; and within acceptable and appropriate limits of risk and uncertainty.
He said marketing strategy is fundamental in determining the future direction of a business and plays a major role in the long-term strategy as well as value creation.
‘Identifying consumer needs and satisfying these at a profit in order to create a sustainable business is a key role of marketing in today’s corporate world,’ said Ndegwa.
He told the participants, who numbered about 300 that, creating brands that have personalities that connect with deep consumer motivations enables businesses to charge a premium.
He mentioned that corporate challenges include operating environment, macroeconomics & sector issues, talent, technology changes, regulation/government policy, and fiscal policy while marketing challenges are made up of competition, route to consumer, technology (e.g. digital, mobile), making innovation work; execution, value creation/growth, brand building – recruitment/keeping the core relevant.
‘More and more marketers must utilize the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion), leveraging on each especially price to create value. Value creation entails three components, and these are growth, returns and risk. With these marketers tend to over index growth (optimistic), over estimate returns (understate costs), and under estimate risks,’ said Ndegwa, adding that this leads to challenges in fully exploiting innovations and difficulties in making brand plans work.
He said marketers must adopt the entrepreneurship skills to make their businesses grow. ‘The best brands were created by entrepreneurs not marketers e.g. Johnnie Walker,’ said Ndegwa.
He mentioned that entrepreneurs stay true to their brands and protect their reputation at all costs. They take risks, invest in their businesses and are forward looking. ‘Marketers need to start treating brands as businesses and go back to the fundamentals of running a business,’ he urges marketers.
The National Vice President of CIMG, Kojo Mattah also called on markers to improve on their strategies to remain in businesses.