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Excellence awards to celebrate ideas that work in marketing

The third annual Uganda Marketing Excellence Awards (UMEAs) have been announced with the theme “Celebrating Ideas That Work.”

The awards are intended to provide brands, agencies, and marketers with a platform to highlight their marketing achievements and enhance the calibre of their companies.

The awards, which are organised by brand marketing and communications firm Evolve Africa, cover every facet of the marketing industry, including communications, advertising and public relations.

“The UMEAs will explore how well brands, marketers and their agency partners have leveraged different media channels, digital and traditional, to create campaigns that have made a powerful impact on their target audiences and businesses,” said Shafique Ssemakula, co-founder of Evolve Africa.

This year’s awards will have 12 categories, up from nine last year, following the addition of three new categories: best ESG campaign award, best not for profit/social good award and Rising agency of the year.

Other award categories include advertising campaign of the year, best use of partnership marketing, best use of digital marketing, PR campaign of the year, best innovation (new product, service, or process), experiential marketing campaign of the year, agency of the year, marketing campaign of the year, and UMEAs marketing pioneer award.

The organisers of the awards also presented a six-member jury of renowned industry professionals that was selected based on leadership, contribution towards the profession, experience and academic qualifications and will oversee the nomination and critical award winner selection.

Ssemakula noted that the jury shall determine all nominations, but the public shall vote transparently on the UMEA’s website for six of the twelve categories of the awards.

“The jury shall solely make the decision on the winners of the five other categories. The major aim of establishing a jury is to ensure professionalization of the processes, credibility, transparency and fairness,” Ssemakula noted.

The jury includes Dr Benedict Mugerwa, the head of professional courses at the Uganda Management Institute; Ngulumi Immaculate Nabatte, manager marketing and branding at Centenary bank; John Paul Okwi, senior manager events and sponsorships at MTN Uganda; Rogers Anguzu, commercial director at Crown Beverages Ltd; Barbra Arimi, head of Marketing and Communications at NSSF; and Jackie Namara, CEO of Iguru Consult Ltd.

He added that the nomination criteria and eventual winners for this year’s awards shall be based on three major aspects: alignment with strategy, implementation, and impact based on the objectives set.

John Paul Okwi, the president of the jury, noted that this year they are going to focus on excellence as they are going to be looking at campaigns and projects that are making good use of the resources that have been entrusted to marketers and whether they make returns on investments.

“From last year’s results, we got to see that taking stock of the marketing campaigns and activities doesn’t happen. Many of the submissions were very weak on justifying the measurable output, and this year we are going to encourage marketers to demonstrate the return on investment. As we go into the next three months of evaluation and submissions, we request that the participants focus on excellence.”

He added that this year, after the awards, they will be publishing a detailed report to explain their methodology for all stakeholders to review and understand why their brands performed the way they did.

Entries for participation in the awards are open via UMEA’s website, and participation is free and open to all organisations that have engaged in marketing campaigns with the potential to win an award.

The deadline for submission is October 22, and the winners will be announced at a red-carpet black-tie gala on December 1 at the Kampala Serena hotel.


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