the Heart of marketing

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Marketing is crucial for business success. Businesses use marketing to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements profitably.

Without paying attention to what it sells, what price it charges, how it promotes its products, and where it sells them, no company can survive. These are the issues that marketers grapple with, and it is what marketing is all about.

Murray Booth, the brand manager of Baby Soft at Kimberly-Clark, said: "There is a great balance between the excitement of the business world and the creativity of being able to conceptualise, develop and implement a brand in the market-place."

Asked how he chose his career, he said: "While at varsity, I worked as a salesman at a sunglasses shop and it gave me good grounding. I pursued this career after studying BCom marketing management at the University of Pretoria."

He joined Kimberly-Clark, the holding company for Baby Soft, in 2002. Booth started as a category analyst. He was promoted to customer analyst and later to brand manager, his current position.

His hectic daily schedule involves e-mailing, research and preparing for meetings.

He said: "Marketing involves a lot of communication and team work, so I spend a large proportion of my days in project team discussions."

Booth also participates in corporate social responsibility projects. He said: "We give back to worthy causes with similar caring goals, and align Baby Soft with an organisation which is close to the minds and hearts of those who buy our products.

"Recently, we held our Baby Soft campaign, which raised money for the South African Guide Dogs Association, enabling me to be involved in social projects that help people."

"Baby Soft is running an on-pack promotion to raise money for South African Guide Dog Association for the Blind. For each plush puppy we send out to a consumer, we donate R10 to the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind. In 2006, we raised enough money to train 15 new guide dogs and we're aiming to raise more this year," he said.

Booth added: "Timelines are tight and the constantly changing environment is something I have to stay on top of. We need to continuously be one step ahead of the competitor so that we can be first in the hearts and minds of consumers when they want to make their bath tissue purchase."

The qualities required for this job include; people skills, patience, creativity, negotiating skills, a determination to win (but not at all costs), and the ability to accept a loss and learn from it.

To keep himself abreast of trends and changes in his field, Booth communicates with agencies which are involved in above-the-line and below-the-line media and research.