The Irony of Marketing in the Ugandan Economy –Eric Abala

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Why the irony?

To start with, no company can survive without marketing. Its marketing that bring in the money. This to me, makes marketing the most important component of any business entity. So to me its is ironic that the least valued employees of more than 95% of companies are marketers.

How badly do Ugandan companies need marketing?

Considering that Uganda is a developing economy, a lot of our home grown companies still havealotofgroundtocover.Ugandancompaniesareoperatinginamacroenvironment where there is no protection from government against multinationals.

Simply put, they have to work extra hard to market themselves locally and internationally.

How badly do Ugandan companies treat marketers?

There’s a miss use of commission pay. Commission pay is good, but many four Ugandan MDs don’t understand that it needs to be handled cautiously. For one, its mostly the youth who apply for these sales and marketing jobs. The youth generally have no savings. And it is these same youth that you’re asking to employ their own money to chase after a deal and get contracts signed without any facilitation. You’re asking them to spend money they don’t yet have.Thesolutionistogivesomeonefacilitationthat’sadequatefortheirjob.Companies such as UBL (Diageo),Nile Breweries and MTN understand this issue and act accordingly.

No job contractual agreements. Many companies use marketer on a casual basis and they go to lengthstomakesuremarketerscannotholdthemaccountabletoanycontract.To marketers, my advice it’s on demand for a contractual agreement even for a single days’ work, becausethat’spartofyourexperienceanditisinvalidonyourresuméifyoucannotprovein any way that you ever held that position in that company.

There’s little to no training tailor and for marketers. Most companies don’t train marketers because marketers don’t stay too long with them. But any HR manager who under stands the short falls of our educations stem has to emphasize training for marketing personnel. The besttimetorecruitpersonnelfortrainingiswhiltheyareinaninstitutionofhigherlearning.At that’s stage, they are simply easier to train. They still have no obligation and they make for an easy transition of skills and management of the client portfolio.

So to conclude I have to say that company goals and objective are usually SMART-if you know

What I mean. This means that all companies operate on targets. But it is stupid to have a target for the company and then have not forgotten for the most important department in your organization. I say this because you cannot set a target or a sales man who you have not given a contract, is not facilitated, and is not trained, among other wrongs.


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