SELLING a global brand
Marketing is a profession with a wide range of duties and responsibilities depending on your position.
Julian Remba's job as the marketing manager for SABMiller in Africa and Asia is not only diverse but stretches across two continents as well. His key markets are Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, DRC, Zimbabwe, Angola and India.
He also assists the company's local marketing directors in the development, implementation and execution of their portfolio strategies.
It is also his responsibility to entrench global best practice and marketing excellence, and support the marketing component of mergers and acquisitions, and developing competitor strategies.
He said: "I control a budget of several millions of US dollars and this budget comes with great responsibility.
"If you are going to spend R3million to make a good 60-second TV advertisement you need to convince a board that sometimes does not understand that marketing is an investment - and you better know what you're doing," said Remba.
He has a small team which he manages by giving direction and delegating where necessary.
"The best advice I've ever been given is hire talented people. Once you give them a meaningful challenge, get out of the way and let them get on with it," he said.
This role requires someone who has the ability to deal with people, is culturally sensitive and empathetic, a good coach and an outstanding team leader, Remba said.
He added that you also need to be able to perform under pressure and recognise problems and opportunities.
He said his working hours depend on where he is: "Officially we work from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, but that is when I'm in the office. But we travel up to 120 days a year, so I could be on a plane over the weekend."
Remba started as a marketing assistant in 1997 and has at least 10 years experience in marketing.
He said he keeps abreast with industry news by reading, attending conferences and workshops, networking and reviewing competitors.
He added: Gathering consumer insights is critical, and keeping in touch with what's going on is part of that so I always try new things and experiences that add to my knowledge in unexpected ways
"I also play golf which gives me the opportunity to meet people in other industries and to expand my network over time."