soul of a thriving business

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Marketing is one of the most important things that help a business grow and it involves more than just getting new clients.

Zaida Essop says creating a brand for the business is also an integral part of business success because it enables a company to build its reputation.

Essop knows marketing well because she is marketing manager at Metropolitan Asset Managers (MetAM).

"I'm responsible for the branding, document marketing and brand building plans for MetAM, and I oversee their successful implementation," she explains.

"I also lead and manage the brand team and their outputs. I work closely with all areas of the business to ensure that brand is maintained and enhanced through people, culture, image, the media, public perception, supplier selection and relationships."

Essop says she chose this profession because it enables her to use various skills such as strategic thinking, creativity and leadership.

Her clients include trustees of retirement funds and asset consultants.

Essop, who has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology, says she developed an interest in marketing after five years of working in the employee benefits industry.

"I also studied management, economics and marketing part-time once I started working," she says.

She adds that it's essential for her to provide excellent service and build healthy relationships with her clients and colleagues .

To succeed in this industry, Essop says, one needs a marketing qualification or business degree, an understanding of business management and the investment industry, and excellent communication and presentation skills.

"It's crucial for one to have worked in the investment industry," Essop says.

"Other relevant industries include experience at dealing with advertising agencies, PR agencies and working with the media, experience at managing people and working in a team."

She says that if you are not an investment professional it takes time to understand concepts.

"If you have poor planning skills or don't pay attention to detail, it can come back and bite you," she says.

"You must be able to do many things at once - yet be able to stay calm. Expect the unexpected."

She adds: "There is a potential for growth in this global industry. You will always be at the cutting edge of developments.

"Skills in marketing and communications in this industry are hard to come by and are rewarded well when found," she says.

"It takes time to build this skill, so perseverance is key."