'How we market ourselves either makes or breaks us'

Bob Reyman Kabango is the managing partner of Kingston Marketing Group, a regional consultancy firm behind the recent creation and the September launch of Rwanda Association of Marketing Professionals.

Bob Reyman Kabango is the managing partner of Kingston Marketing Group, a regional consultancy firm behind the recent creation and the September launch of Rwanda Association of Marketing Professionals. Pontian Kabeera had a chat with him.

You talk of changing the face of marketing in Rwanda; how?

Bob Reyman Kabango

As a marketing management consultancy firm, we are looking at designing programmes, events, training activities to enlighten the people about the relevance of marketing to individuals, organisations and the nation.

Training programmes will be designed to enhance sales, marketing, customer care and communication skills of workers in companies.

Talk about the state of marketing in Rwanda today.

Marketing in Rwanda falls short of expected standards. At individual level many have not realised the need to revitalise personal marketing and self branding as well as its benefits.

Companies have also not done much, especially due to the fact that business owners and managers view investing in marketing as wasting capital. At national level, I must commend the government for ably marketing Rwanda as a nation through different programs such as good governance and creating a good investment climate.

What is so special about marketing that you speak so highly about?

It is the backbone and a great performance determinant of any entity — individual or organisation. How we market ourselves as individuals will either make or break us.

From the business point of view, it goes without mentioning that how we market our companies/products will at the end of the day determine the amount of sales revenue.

At national level, it will determine the appeal to citizens as well as the international community which at the end of the day has social, political and economic implications.

Rwandan businesses don’t advertise; how will you enhance their marketing?

Well said indeed. Many feel that advertising as a component of marketing is wastage of investment capital but our role as consultants is to demystify that. We seek to enlighten them on the need and benefits of advertising, and explain the return on investment on advertising with projected statistical data.

How was the inaugural Marketers Night?

It could never have been a success without the support and participation of the different marketers and organisations. Its success is also premised on the aggressive publicity and outreaches that we made in a bid to put word out there.

The Marketers Night will be a quarterly event under different themes. The theme of the inaugural Marketers Night was, Marketing-the Bridge to Regional Opportunities and Beyond. The next one will be in January.

The Marketers Night is very fundamental to the economy. It’s an event that every company needs to be a part of to partake of the vast opportunities that come along such as empowering staff through capacity building presentations, lectures from different speakers and networking opportunities.

The event also offers an opportunity for brand visibility and company.

Why did you choose Rwanda?

While Kingston Marketing Group has offices all over East Africa, it has come out pronounced that Rwanda has received a lot of global investment attention that has attracted a whirlpool of international investors.

This has created great need for us, as marketing management consultants, to come in and offer services that are directed towards enabling our clients to position themselves strategically and able to benefit from this centre of global investment focus.

It is therefore our mandate as marketing consultants to prepare our entrepreneurs, citizens as well as existing local companies to be the key beneficiaries of the East African integration as well as benefit from the whirlpool of international investments opportunities, regional business partnerships, investment interventions and many others.